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Law Review Symposium 2009

by Pepperdine University School of Law

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Pepperdine Law Review Hosts Mortgage Crisis Symposium  In a few short years, Americans have watched the housing market swing from what seemed like unstoppable price inflation and easily accessible loans to today's climate of rapid decline in value, difficulty in financing, and astonishing rates of default and foreclosure. The Pepperdine Law Review brought top scholars to campus to examine what went wrong in a symposium titled, "Bringing Down the Curtain on the Current Mortgage Crisis and Preventing a Return Engagement," on Friday, April 17. Topics included: the roots of the crisis, from both a real estate and a regulatory perspective; bankruptcy issues, including whether the Bankruptcy Code should be changed to allow modification of home mortgages in Chapter 13; problems with financing the burgeoning market of manufactured housing; the "Holder in Due Course" doctrine and how it has muddied the secondary mortgage market; the promotion of home ownership, and its relationship to the current situation; how we can reform the laws and the regulatory agencies to avoid a mortgage crisis in the future; and whether mortgage foreclosure law should be federalized to provide a uniform national approach. Distinguished speakers included Deborah Dakin, Deputy Chief Counsel for business transactions at the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS); Ann M. Burkhart, Curtis Bradbury Kellar Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law; Rick J. Caruso, chief executive officer of Caruso Affiliated; Wilson Freyermuth, John D. Lawson Professor of Law and a Curators' Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri; Samuel J. Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute in Alexandria, Virginia; Melissa B. Jacoby, George R. Ward Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Alex M. Johnson, Jr., Perre Bowen Professor of Law and the Thomas F. Bergin Research Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law; Robert M. Lawless, professor and the Galowich-Huizenga Faculty Scholar at the University of Illinois College of Law; Timothy J. Mayopoulos, previous executive vice president and general counsel of Bank of America Corporation; Grant Nelson, William H. Rehnquist Professor at Pepperdine School of Law; Robert K. Rasmussen, dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law at USC Law; Mark S. Scarberry, professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, Michael H. Schill, professor at UCLA School; and Dale A. Whitman, former James Campbell Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia and current D and L Straus Distinguished Visiting Professor at Pepperdine.