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About the Authors

Geoff Walsh, author, has been a legal services attorney for over twenty-five years. He is presently a staff attorney with NCLC, and before that he worked with the housing and consumer units of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia and was a staff attorney with Vermont Legal Aid in its Springfield, Vermont office. His practice has focused upon housing and bankruptcy issues. He is a co-author of NCLC’s Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications, a contributing author to Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Fair Debt Collection, Student Loan Law, Credit Discrimination, and Access to Utility Service.

Tara Twomey, author, is of counsel with NCLC. She was formerly a clinical instructor at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School and a lecturer-in-law at Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, and Boston College Law School. She is a co-author of NCLC’s Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications, Bankruptcy Basics, and Mortgage Lending and a contributing author to Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Repossessions, and to Collier on Bankruptcy.

John Rao, author, is an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, Inc. Mr. Rao focuses on consumer credit, mortgage servicing, and bankruptcy issues and has served as a panelist and instructor at numerous bankruptcy and consumer law trainings and conferences. He has served as an expert witness in court cases and has testified in Congress on consumer matters. Mr. Rao is a contributing author and editor of NCLC’s Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice and is a co-author of NCLC’s Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications. He is also a contributing author to Collier on Bankruptcy and the Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide. Mr. Rao served as a member of the federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules from 2006 to 2012, appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts. He is a conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference, fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, member of the editorial board of Collier on Bankruptcy, board member of the National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center, and former board member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the American Bankruptcy Institute. In 2017, Mr. Rao received the Excellence in Education Award from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.

Odette Williamson, author, is an NCLC staff attorney with a focus on sustainable homeownership, consumer credit and foreclosure prevention, manufactured homes, and elder-related issues. She is co-author of NCLC’s Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications and Foreclosure Prevention Counseling. She formerly was an assistant attorney general with the Consumer Protection Division of the Massachusetts attorney general’s office.

Sarah Bolling Mancini, contributing author, is of-counsel with NCLC, focusing on foreclosures and mortgage lending, and also is an attorney in the Home Defense Program of Atlanta Legal Aid. She clerked for the Honorable Amy Totenberg, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. She is co-author of NCLC’s Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications and a contributing author to NCLC’s Truth in Lending, Mortgage Lending, and Fair Credit Reporting, as well as a co-author of Georgia Real Estate Finance and Foreclosure Law.

Emily Green Caplan, contributing author, has worked in both the public and private sectors as an attorney focusing on discrimination matters. She has been an author and researcher for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination for over twenty years and is a contributing author to NCLC’s Credit Discrimination, Consumer Credit Regulation, and Access to Utility Service. Previously, she worked in the labor and employment practice of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown and Enersen in San Francisco.

Andrew G. Pizor, contributing author, is a staff attorney in NCLC’s Washington office and a co-author of NCLC’s Consumer Credit Regulation and Mortgage Lending and a contributing author to Truth in Lending and to Federal Deception Law. Andrew also serves as an expert witness on mortgage origination and servicing issues. He was formerly an attorney at the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Consumer Law Group L.L.C., and Legal Services Corp. of Delaware, where he worked on housing and consumer protection issues, focusing on defending foreclosures and fighting predatory lending.

Steven Sharpe, a contributing author, is a senior attorney in the Hamilton office of the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, L.L.C., where he represents borrowers facing foreclosure. He previously worked at the Bloomington office of Indiana Legal Services, Inc. where he started advocating on behalf of low-income homeowners in 2005 with a two-year Skadden fellowship. He has been active in national efforts to address problems with the servicing of FHA-insured and USDA-guaranteed mortgage loans. He is a contributing author to NCLC’s Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications and has contributed a chapter on government insured loans to Ohio Consumer Law. His article addressing strategies for defending foreclosures of FHA-insured loans appeared in the March/April 2013 edition of the Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy.

John W. Van Alst, contributing author, is an NCLC staff attorney whose focus includes deceptive practices law, automobile fraud, and manufactured home issues. He directs NCLC’s Working Cars for Working Families initiative. He formerly was an attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina, where he handled a broad range of consumer issues, and was also an adjunct clinical professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He is the co-author of NCLC’s Automobile Fraud, Consumer Warranty Law, and Consumer Rights for Domestic Violence Survivors and is a contributing author to Repossessions, Consumer Credit Regulation, and Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices.