Press Release


Carolyn Taylor and Dominique Varner
of Hughes Watters Askanase Default Services Practice Group
to Speak at National Conferences
on Mortgage Finance and Residential Real Estate

HOUSTON, Texas (June 16, 2008) - Carolyn Taylor and Dominique Varner, partners with Hughes Watters Askanase L.L.P. in the Default Services Practice Group, will be speaking this week at two separate national conferences on legal issues related to mortgage finance and residential real estate.

HWA, as a full service law firm with a strong mortgage banking default practice group, is ideally positioned and well-equipped to take on the broad ranging and complex issues faced by mortgage servicers and lenders caught in the throes of the subprime mortgage crisis and credit crunch.

Taylor's Role in the CMIS Executive Leadership Summit presentation

The newly formed Coalition for Mortgage Industry Solutions (CMIS) is hosting the CMIS Executive Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., on June 17 for related industry, congressional, regulatory and consumer group leaders to vet and participate in defining the immediate and short-term issues that affect the U.S. mortgage and credit industry sectors and capital markets.  The CMIS is designed as a unique forum through which leaders across these industries can work together and assume leadership for the long-term welfare and corresponding benefits of their respective industries.

William M. LeRoy, chief executive officer of the American Legal & Financial Network (AFN), CMIS Summit Executive Committee member and founding member, is the moderator for the panel presentation entitled "Charting a Future Course: the Case for Self-Regulation."  LeRoy chose Taylor as one of eight panelists to participate in this presentation because of her extensive experience and the reputation that she has earned in the mortgage default services and bankruptcy sectors. An active member of AFN, she is part of a team of HWA attorneys that provides frequent Web-based seminars hosted by AFN.

"I am delighted for this opportunity to participate in the ‘solution,'" Taylor commented. "Right now, the mortgage industry is in a state of turmoil and the participants are stuck in the blame game.  With the constant barrage of negative press, angry and unpredictable judges, concerned legislators, hungry plaintiffs' attorneys and terrified investors are each attempting to pinpoint the ‘cause.'  The reality is that the mortgage brokers -- many unlicensed -- who put the deals together and were paid their commissions are nowhere to be found.  Many companies that originated these subprime loans either no longer exist or are in bankruptcy. CMIS offers a forum for the industry to collectively move out of the problem and into the ‘solution.'"

Taylor, who joined HWA in 1994, established the firm's Default Services Practice Group. She was instrumental in implementing the internal policies and procedures that enable her team to provide exemplary service, which culminated in the selection of HWA to participate in the Freddie Mac Designated Counsel Program for Texas. Taylor is a member of AFN's Legal Services Committee. She has 28 years of experience in creditor representation and is certified in both consumer and business bankruptcy law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

"My hope is that through CMIS,  a set of ‘best practices' will emerge for the mortgage industry that is sanctioned by the legislative, judicial and regulatory branches of the government, private investors and government sponsored enterprises  --including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginny Mae - as well as borrowers, mortgage holders and servicers," Taylor added.

Taylor can be contacted at or (713) 328-2804.  Her biographical profile is available at

For more information about the CMIS or the CMIS Executive Leadership Summit, please contact AFN at (314) 878-2360 or

Varner's Role in Real Estate Default Symposium

Varner will serve as one of a number of presenters from various firms around the nation for the invitation only 2nd Annual Real Estate Default Symposium. The symposium is being hosted by the Default Attorney Group in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 17. HWA is a member firm of the Default Attorney Group (DAG), an association of seasoned legal and trustee professionals providing services in 25 states united by their vision to commit fully to serve the mortgage lending and servicing community. DAG offers educational seminars and innovative solutions on foreclosure, bankruptcy and litigation to the default industry across the United States.

Varner will be speaking to mortgage industry professionals regarding recent developments in the areas of foreclosures and loss mitigation, with an emphasis on recent court decisions and best practices that these industry representatives should be adopting in their handling of defaulted loans.  Her comments will be directed toward foreclosures under Texas state law and The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

"I will share my experience in default services and offer perspectives on the ever-changing landscape of the default servicing world. I'll also initiate discussions about ways to implement best practices that can be learned from recent court decisions and procedures, particularly in bankruptcy court," Varner commented.

A partner in the Default Services Practice Group of Hughes Watters Askanase, Varner was chosen as a speaker for this event because of her extensive experience in the collection and handling of defaulted loans and loss mitigation.  She also has a keen understanding of recent legal developments that affect the mortgage industry and defaulted loans.

Varner, who joined HWA in 1995, focuses on creditor's rights in bankruptcy and in probate, where she initiates dependent administrations on behalf of secured creditors. Board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, she provides guidance and solutions for her creditor clients in a variety of forums. As a past president of the Houston Young Lawyers Association, she contributed to increasing both the size of membership and the scope of the association's participation in community projects and projects serving the bar.

Varner can be contacted directly at or (713) 328-2818.  Her biographical profile is available at

For more information on the 2nd Annual Real Estate Default Symposium, please visit

About Hughes Watters Askanase L.L.P.

For more than 30 years, Hughes Watters Askanase L.L.P., based in Houston, Texas, has utilized its resources, timely action and prompt communication to assist its mortgage banking and financial services clients in their business endeavors. This dedication to quality service is the cornerstone of the firm's unparalleled success. The firm's practice focuses on five interrelated areas that provide the greatest opportunities and most challenging obstacles: business bankruptcy, business planning and strategy, real estate and finance, consumer financial services and commercial litigation. For more information on HWA, please visit


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