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8:00 AM - 9:00 AM — Registration and Exhibitor Fair

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM — Opening Plenary: Education and Enforcement Go Hand in Hand

Created by Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) works to make markets for consumer financial products and services, including mortgages, work for Americans. CFPB encourages borrowers to work with housing counselors for pre-purchase as well as foreclosure intervention needs. Learn about the tools available to home borrowers and how housing counselors, in partnership with CFPB, can help.

  • Secretary Raymond Skinner, Maryland DHCD - Opening Remarks
  • Cathy Lesser Mansfield, Policy Analyst, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Presenter

Cathy Lesser Mansfield is currently serving as a Policy Analyst with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and as a visiting law professor at Georgetown Law School. She has taught law since 1992 and is a Professor of Law at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. She is a graduate of New York University and University of Virginia Law School. Before teaching law she was an attorney at the Urban Indian Law Office of Community Legal Services in Phoenix, AZ. Professor Mansfield teaches Contracts, Payment Systems, a variety of Consumer Law courses, and Holocaust and the Law. Professor Mansfield was the Chair of the Board of Directors of Americans for Fairness in Lending from Fall 2006 through November 2010, has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, and has worked as a consultant for the National Consumer Law Center.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM — Exhibitor Fair and Break

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM — Maryland Housing Counselors Network Annual Meeting

The Maryland Housing Counselors annual membership meeting of The Network, featuring officer elections, reports and an overview of the housing counseling industry past, present and future.

12:00 Noon - 1:30 PM — Lunch

  • CJ Gross, "The Relationship Engineer", Life Coach/Speaker/Author

About CJ Gross, The Relationship Engineer: CJ is a certified Social and Emotional Intelligence coach, trainer, and speaker. Called The Relationship Engineer because of his unique ability to uncover and resolve social issues that hinder performance and efficiency. CJ coaches and trains people to be more effective and productive, whether in personal or professional relationships.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM — Afternoon Workshops

Workshop #1: Speed Networking: Pre-Purchase Mortgage Underwriting and Credit Resolutions

Housing counselors engage in interactive speed networking sessions to establish lender contacts, get product information and have an opportunity to ask questions about new credit and underwriting guidelines.

  • Uma Srinivasan, Retail Sales Manager, Bank of America
  • Tara McKnight, Home Loans Manager, Bank of America
  • Craig Pascal, BB&T
  • Toni Davis-Spivey, Community Mortgage Specialist, Maryland Region, BB&T Home Mortgage
  • Guy Stafford, Community Lending Manager, M&T Bank
  • Greg Gering, Director of FHA Lending, MECU
  • Rudy Isaac, Sr. Loan Officer, MECU
  • Art Rathell, Team Leader, Susquehanna Bank
  • Joe Knepper, Sr. Mortgage Underwriter, Susquehanna Bank

Workshop #2: Leading Forward - Packaging Your Housing Counseling Program to be Financially Viable, Sustainable and Positioned as a Model for Growth.

Focusing on the resurgence of pre-purchase housing counseling, this session reviews big picture financial trends, then takes an in depth look at rules, procedures, and best practices that will shape Maryland's housing counseling capacity tomorrow and for years to come. With up to date information from HUD and business bankers, organizations will have information needed to implement or expand their client paid fee models.

  • Terri Ames, Housing Program Specialist, Division of Policy and Grant Administration, Office of Housing Counseling
  • Eileen Anderson, Senior Relationship Manager, Homeownership, Northeast Region
  • Dani Johnson, President and CEO, Communications and Brand Strategist, Special Gathering LLC

Workshop #3: Civil Justice Of Counsel Program: Bringing Foreclosure Defense Attorneys and Housing Counselors Together

Coordinated by Civil Justice, the Of Counsel Program brings together Foreclosure Defense Attorneys and Housing Counselors throughout Maryland through in-person meetings and online conversations. This panel will focus on resources Maryland housing counselors have when needing to speak with a lawyer about their client, with Civil Justice staff and Network attorneys providing advice and guidance to housing counselors as they help homeowners apply for loan modifications, short sales, deeds-in-lieu, etc. The goal of the program is to assist housing counselors by making lawyers available to answer any questions the counselors may have regarding loan modifications, origination documents, the foreclosure timeline, and any other legal or procedural questions that may arise. Come and meet the attorneys and housing counselors in the program, and ask any questions you may have about Maryland foreclosure law and policy.

  • Tom Gill, Foreclosure Defense and Bankruptcy Defense Attorney
  • Ayodeji Badaki, Foreclosure Defense Attorney
  • Melanie Mfume, Foreclosure Defense Attorney
  • Jennie Cross, Housing Counselor, Human Resources Development Commission, Allegany County
  • William Thomas, Housing Counselor, Unity, PG County
  • Avy Mallik, Foreclosure Program Attorney, Civil Justice (Moderator)

Workshop #4: Transitioning Out of Homeownership: What Are Your Options?

Although your client will be transitioning out of homeownership, that does not necessarily mean going through foreclosure. Through this workshop, you will learn about resources available to educate you on guiding your clients through the transition.

  • Brandon Brittingham, Long and Foster
  • Christopher Reichert, Wells Fargo

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM — Break

3:15 PM - 4:15 PM — Closing Plenary – Leading Forward for Action

Participants will reconvene to share important highlights, themes, lessons learned and reflections from each workshop with the entire group. Event participants get the opportunity to create an "Action Plan" for follow up on what they gained from the day.

  • Donna B. Hurley, CEO/Executive Director, Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc. (H.O.P.E.)

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Counselor Connection Networking Reception


For more information, please contact Special Gathering at (410) 685-7664
or email

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsors
Neighborworks America
Bank of AmericaMaryland Department of Housing M&T Bank
BB&TLong and Foster

bronze sponsors

KBST&M, CPAs and Consultants

Maryland Association of Realtors

Maryland Bankers Community Reinvestment Group