Area attorney to head national banking group


By Tom Kirvan

Legal News

In November, Marcy Ford will become just the second woman to serve as president of the USFN, formerly known as the U.S. Foreclosure Network, reportedly the "oldest and largest not-for-profit association of mortgage banking law firms and trustee companies in the nation."

She will assume the leadership role from one of her mentors, Caren Castle of Denver, the first woman to guide the 50-state trade association for legal counsels within the mortgage banking industry.

Ford, a partner and executive vice president of Trott & Trott in Farmington Hills, is following the lead of another of her mentors, David Trott, chairman of the firm that bear his family name. Trott was USFN president from 2002-04, a time frame that coincided with the remarkable growth of the firm that represents lenders in residential default and foreclosure avoidance matters, according to Ford.

"Our firm's involvement with the USFN was one of the strategic initiatives that David implemented and it has been a great organization to be connected to in our business," said Ford, an attorney who has been honored by several legal publications for her expertise in the area mortgage banking foreclosure law. "It is humbling for me to lead an organization that is national in scope. I hope to continue the excellent work of my predecessors."

Ford's involvement with the USFN spans more than a decade and includes 8 years on its board. As its incoming president, she will serve a 2-year term in office, conducting its regular board meetings, handling various speaking engagements around the country, contributing columns for the quarterly USFN publication, and "navigating USFN member firms through what is a very tumultuous time" in the mortgage servicing industry by serving as the leading USFN representative in interactions with various governmental agencies (such as FHFA, GSEs, HUD, and/or VA or other regulatory groups).

"Increased government regulation and oversight have added to the challenges facing all those involved in the mortgage banking industry," Ford said during an interview last week at Trott & Trott's headquarters off Northwestern Highway in Farmington Hills. "As a result, the work of the USFN has become even more important over the last few years as we respond to various legal issues and legislative changes that have been enacted."

Ford, who grew upnear Grand Rapids, took a bit of a winding road to her career path, working at Adrian College and then Oakland University as a student recruiter before joining Trott & Trott in 1993.

"I thought I'd be a dean of students at some point in my career," said Ford, who earned her bachelor and master degrees from Western Michigan University. "I had no intention of ever going to law school. However, after a few years I realized I had not found my niche. It just so happened that some friends of mine were taking the LSAT and they encouraged me to give it a go as well.."

Ford was accepted at Wayne State University Law School, switching to its night program while she worked a three-quarters schedule at Oakland.

"It certainly wasn't easy attending classes at night after working all day, but I really enjoyed the law school approach to learning," Ford said. "It taught me to think differently, to take an analytical approach to problem-solving."

After graduation, she landed a job with Trott, joining the firm at a time when it numbered 25 employees, far short of the 400-plus employees that work there today. She handled foreclosure files, evictions, litigation services, and related matters.

"In short, I was involved in just about everything except bankruptcy law," said Ford. "It was a great way to learn about virtually all aspects of the business."

Three years after joining the firm, Ford was appointed head of its California operation, a role she held for 2 years until she was named in charge of Trott's bankruptcy department.

"It was just about at that time when we saw our file volume really starting to increase," Ford said. "The next few years really set the stage for the growth of the firm and our move to a much larger office facility."

Ford's ability to keep pace with her increased responsibilities may be linked to one of her abiding interests - running.

An avid runner, Ford is a veteran marathoner. Her husband, Richard, also is a running enthusiast.

"We are a family of runners," said Ford, noting that their oldest daughter Claire qualified for the state cross country meet while running as a sophomore for Cranbrook. "Perhaps her sisters (Kathryn, 12, and Amelia, 9) will be inspired to follow in her footsteps at some point."

Published: Mon, Nov 5, 2012