DS News

DS News January 2021

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 71 of 99

70 Top 25 Women of Law Caren Jacobs Castle Senior Attorney // The Wolf Firm With nearly 40 years in the mortgage servicing industry, Castle has accrued honors including service as the Legal League 100's first chair- person and USFN's first female president. "I have been fortunate to break a few glass ceilings during my career and hope that, going forward, women don't feel the barriers still exist," she said. She loves participating in education and training, whether overseeing a new team mem- ber, training onsite at a client's office, or at a seminar or conference. "Over the past few years, I also have had the opportunity to participate in mentorship programs and have enjoyed helping women who are newer to the industry navigate their way," she said. Going into 2021, Castle foresees, in addition to moratoria extensions, many continuing legal and regulatory changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also expects significant bankruptcy filings and legal challenges to resumed default legal actions when the moratoria end. "How quickly the economy recovers, and how regulators and legislators on both the national and state level deal with the ramifications of the economic downturn and record unemployment remains to be seen," she said. "We need to review and learn from our experiences during the Great Reces- sion as we move towards recovery, hone our loss mitigation and communication skills, as well as be prepared for the many potential legal contests and potential media issues." Magalie A. Creech Partner // Finkel Law Firm LLC roughout all the challenges that COVID-19 has caused, Creech feels fortunate to work with a group of attorneys and staff that she believes proved its resilience and resourcefulness during such a difficult year. With 10 years of experience practicing law, Creech recognizes resilience and professionalism when she sees it. One highlight of her career was when a defendant in a prior foreclosure case reached out to her years later seeking advice on an unrelated legal issue. "He said I always treated him kindly and with professionalism during our foreclosure case, and those were the qualities he wanted in an attorney to represent him," Creech said. She developed her interest in studying law from an early age, and was inspired by all kinds of sources, "from reading John Grisham novels to the iconic 'dundun' of Law and Order." Today, Creech is a partner at her firm and has helped it prepare for today's challenging legal landscape by using the time during moratoria to focus on improving internal efficiencies and process functionality. "I have also worked to further expand our creditor bankruptcy practice. By collaborating with our clients and staff to streamline workflow, we are prepared for the next wave of legal responsibilities that will inevitably come in a post-COVID-19 world," Creech said. As a leader in her field, she knows that it is difficult to predict what challenges may present themselves to mortgage professionals next year. However, Creech says that "as an industry, we will need to continually develop ways to adapt quickly and effectively. e ability to evolve in times of change while providing effective solutions and services will be crucial to the success of all mortgage professionals going forward." Pamela Cunningham Senior Associate // Hladik, Onorato & Federman, LLP As a female attorney working in the male-dom- inated industry of default serving, Pamela Cunningham occasionally faces unfortunate challenges from a few male counterparts. Whether being interrupted, talked over, shut out of conversations, or mistaken for a paralegal, Cunningham sees these on a recurring basis. However, she says working with a great team at a firm offering tremendous growth oppor- tunities has propelled her career forward--one she finds highly enriching. ose struggles have helped Cunningham remain strong in her field of which she says the best part is assisting de- fault service clients and borrowers in navigating foreclosure options. She enjoys working with lender/servicer clients and the court system in providing borrowers with alternatives to foreclosure, whether forbearance agreements, loan modifications, payoffs, or reinstatements. "ose creative solutions on a defaulted loan are a 'win-win' for all involved," she said. "Borrow- ers retain their homes, avoid upheaval and dis- ruption to their family, and the lender has now turned a non-performing asset into a perform- ing asset." As Cunningham looks toward 2021, she says she feels the mortgage industry will continue to suffer due to COVID-19-related issues. Mortgage professionals will continue to face legal and regulatory challenges, including moratoriums, changing state regulations, and increased oversight on foreclosure alternatives.

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