Maryland Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Anne Balcer Norton to be Honored October 18th


Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC) honors champions of fair housing, consumer rights with top awards

BALTIMORE, MD (October 17, 2012) - The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations' (DLLR) Deputy Commissioner of Financial Regulation, Anne Balcer Norton will be awarded as an outstanding consumer advocate by the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC) at its 12th Annual Awards Celebration on Thursday October 18 at 7 pm at the Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville, MD.

"I am honored and humbled to be selected to receive this important award. Through the work the MCRC does each day, I am hopeful that we can continue to look ahead - remain committed to civil liberties and social justice - fight for health, housing, civil rights and equal opportunities together," said Anne Balcer Norton, DLLR Deputy Commissioner of Financial Regulation. "By working together, anything is possible, and I'm excited by the opportunity we have to do right by the citizens of Maryland."

"We're very excited about honoring these great advocates and volunteers who have done so much to protect the rights and the homes of Maryland families," MCRC Executive Director Marceline White noted.

MCRC's 2012 award winners are:

  • Consumer Advocate of the Year - Deputy Commissioner of Financial Regulation Anne Balcer Norton: Honored for her many years of work both in state government and as a leader of Baltimore's St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center to protect consumers' rights to fair housing and fair treatment.
  • Legislative Achievement of the Year - Del. Craig Zucker: Honored for his critical leadership in sponsoring landmark legislation that will protect vulnerable Marylanders from identity theft (HB 555/SB 295) and in helping pass an important law that will prevent families that lose their homes to foreclosures from being stuck with extra tax bills (HB 600/ SB 580) during the 2012 General Assembly session.
  • Legal Champion of the Year - John Relman: Honored for his innovative legal work as the architect of the "reverse redlining" suits against Wells Fargo for pushing well-qualified minority homebuyers into subprime loans that the bank settled with Baltimore and several other state and local governments last summer. The city of Baltimore will get more than $7.5 million in compensation as a result of its settlement and communities around the country won more than $175 million.
  • WTOP's Call For Action Consumer Volunteer Team - Consumer Volunteers of the Year: Honored for more than 35 years of hard work to protect Washington-area consumers from abuse by businesses and public agencies and to give consumer a voice larger than their own.

MCRC's October 18 awards event will feature a special focus on the foreclosure crisis that continues to cost hundreds of families their homes each month and threatens tens of thousands of others with foreclosure. More than 79,000 Maryland families received notices of intent to foreclose on their homes in the second quarter of 2012 alone.

"Anne Balcer Norton, Del. Zucker, and John Relman have all made critical contributions in helping families survive the foreclosure crisis," Marceline White notes. "As thousands of families still struggle to save their homes and families across the state struggle to meet underwater mortgages, we think it's a great time to honor these advocates and to gather to discuss what we can do next to help families save their homes."

Tickets for the event are $50 and they're available through MCRC's website.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.