Two attorneys at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll were honored this week for pro bono work that protected a pregnant single mother who was bedridden following cancer surgery from losing her home in a predatory lending scheme.

Anthony C. Kaye, a partner in the firm's Litigation Department, and Steven D. Burt, a litigation associate, were honored by their colleagues at the firm's 12th annual pro bono awards. They  were given a $1,000 award, which they promptly donated to Utah Legal Services. The pair was recently honored for their work on this case by the Utah Bar Association, and their efforts were  recognized by the national Legal Services Corporation.

Their client, a single mother of three who was pregnant with her fourth child and recovering from cancer surgery, was approached by a predatory lender who targeted her after her home went into foreclosure. The lender convinced the woman to sign a bridge loan with an exorbitant and illegal interest rate and then tried to take the home through a foreclosure sale and sell it to an accomplice buyer.

Mr. Kaye and Mr. Burt determined that the trust deed securing the bridge loan was invalid and forced its rescission. They negotiated a deal that allowed the woman to sell her home on the market, recover her equity, and move into more affordable accommodations.

"It's an honor to be rewarded for doing work that I believe is an obligation for us all," Mr. Kaye said. "Part of our job as lawyers is to make sure that everyone has access to representation. In this economy, it is even more important to remember the people who might otherwise go without."

"Unfortunately, this appears to be just one of a large number of similar cases," Mr. Burt said. "Helping this client was enormously rewarding. It was truly my privilege to work with her."


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