O'Malley suggested Tuesday that playing the mediation card would incentivize servicers to step up their modification efforts. He made the comments in a speech to attorneys who convened in recognition of Pro Bono Week, which promotes free services donated by lawyers.
The American Bar Association declared this week National Pro Bono Week to highlight the need for more attorney volunteers to meet the need for pro bono legal services.
Close to 80% of the poor in Maryland are unable to access legal assistance in critical civil legal matters, according to a press statement distributed by O'Malley's office. Approximately 480 attorneys work for staffed legal services providers throughout the state, which translates to a ratio of approximately one legal services lawyer for every 970 people in poverty.
"As we celebrate National Pro Bono Week, it is important to recognize the overwhelming response of nearly 1,000 Maryland lawyers to a call for help for their fellow persons," O'Malley said. "They committed to be trained in foreclosure law so as to be able to assist families at risk of losing their homes. Despite this overwhelming response from the Maryland Bar, more volunteers are needed to help stem the tide of this foreclosure crisis, one of the most important pro bono challenges of our time."