Suffolk University Law School’s Advanced Legal Studies program will present the conference “Foreclosure Fiasco: Documentation Challenges and Policy Solutions” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, at the Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston.

“Paperwork issues have dramatically slowed down the foreclosure process,” said Professor Kathleen Engel, associate dean of Suffolk University Law School and a nationally recognized authority on foreclosure issues. “As long as these paperwork issues persist, people will be hesitant to buy foreclosed property. This is creating community problems in the form of abandoned homes and other major economic fallout. The economic recovery requires the recovery of the housing market.”

Engel, co-author of The Subprime Virus: Reckless Credit, Regulatory Failure, and Next Steps, is chairing the conference, which will look at various proposals for mediation programs for borrowers and lenders, the problem of uncertain property titles and policy dilemmas facing the state right now.

The keynote speaker will be Pulitzer Prize winner Gretchen Morgenson, a New York Times columnist and co-author of Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon.

Lenders and servicers have foreclosed on homes even though the documents establishing their right to foreclose were flawed or missing. As a result, questions have arisen about lenders’ standing, validity of titles and the legitimacy of foreclosure sales, and the threat of consumer lawsuits has mounted.

The conference will explore these issues in the following sessions:

  • Impact of Faculty Loan Documentation on Borrowers and Communities
  • What Can Be Done to Address the Current Documentation Problem and Avoid Future Foreclosure Fiascos
  • Foreclosure Documentation: The Challenge for Lawyers, with a panel representing lenders and servicers, borrowers, tenants and title insurers
  • Implication of Bevilacqua and Ibanez, a Massachusetts case in which the industry practice of issuing assignments of mortgages in blank was rejected, with panelists Supreme Judicial Court Justice Ralph D. Gants and Land Court Justice Keith Long
  • Conference co-sponsors include the Rappaport Center for Law & Public Service at Suffolk Law School, the Moakley Institute, the Flaschner Judicial Institute, the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at the Heller School, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the National Consumer Law Center and the Real Estate Bar Association.