J. Smith-El Hispano.
Philadelphia- Described as a man of unparalleled “passion and compassion,” the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania honored Hiram Carmona with its eleventh annual La Justicia award, Tuesday, at ceremonies from the law offices of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
The President of the HBA Maria A. Arbona, Esq. lauded Mr. Carmona as someone who “embodies a long-standing commitment to the advancement of the Latino community, and who exemplifies those qualities of the human spirit to which we should aspire.”
With low and moderate-income Latino families facing an unprecedented number of foreclosures and delinquencies (25% of Latino households), Mr. Carmona has provided oversight for the city’s work on the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program. The program has saved more than 5,000 Philadelphians from losing their homes since the rise of the mortgage foreclosure crisis that began n 2007.
Working as head of the Housing Counseling Program of the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Mr. Carmona has also overseen the work of eighty housing counselors located at non-profits throughout the city. The housing counselors who work for non-profit organizations around the city, assist low and moderate-income residents with housing and justice issues.
In introductory comments, Judge Annette M. Rizzo spoke of the “quality of being Just,” and the importance of having a ‘moral compass to know what is right.”
“The recipient of this year’s La Justicia award,” said Judge Rizzo, has succeeded in “not just knowing what is right, but in acting upon it. It’s all about doing justice, (and) what is right.”
“Just thirty years ago you came to our city,” added Judge Rizzo. “Now, Hiram you are the Philly boy, and we’re not giving you up.”
HBA President Arbona also offered a tribute to former HBA President Lorena Ahumada, Esq. Colleagues in his effort to “save eligible’ homeowners from foreclosure, Phyllis Crawley and Sherene Brook Green agreed, that Mr. Carmona is “passionate” about his work. Adding that the Diversion program “has made a big difference” in the city.
The eleventh recipient of the La Justicia award, Mr. Carmona was preceded by a number of distinguished officials and community leaders, including: Judge Nelson Diaz, Anita Santos Singh, Patricia DeCarlo, Alba Martinez, Judge Teresa Sarmina, Professor Fernando Chang-Muy, Andi Perez, Honorable Juan R. Sanchez, Honrable L. Felipe Restrepo and Pedro Ramos.
PHOTO: Hirma Carmona, recipient of La Justicia award, is with coworkers Phyllis Crawley and Sherene Brook Green, agreed that Hiram is “passionate” about his work with foreclosures. ‘The Diversion program has made a big difference.”
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