News Service Apr. 3, 2008, 1:56am
COLUMBUS -- Ohio's top government officials announced a new weapon for battling the state's foreclosure crisis on Tuesday and its army is comprised of at least 1,100 Ohio attorneys. The Save the Dream initiative, a collaborative effort introduced by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, among others, is designed to provide legal representation to homeowners facing foreclosure who cannot afford to hire an attorney. In remarks made by Dann Tuesday evening to law students from the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University and Capital Law School, both located in Columbus, the Attorney General called the initiative "unprecedented." According to Dann, foreclosures in Ohio rose 120 percent between 2006 and 2007. He called the foreclosure debacle a "public health and safety crisis." Last month, Moyer and the president of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) sent a joint letter to the more than 34,000 registered attorneys in the Buckeye State to request they offer pro bono representation to those facing foreclosure. The OSBA has already offered legal training to lawyers who volunteered to join the initiative with more classes planned.