ATTORNEY THOMAS COX
Thomas Cox uncovered mortgage lender fraud so massive that the discovery led to a $25 billion settlement to help people who had suffered foreclosure or who were on the brink. And he did it as a volunteer.
In 2008, Cox helped launch Maine Attorneys Saving Homes, a nonprofit project providing legal assistance for low-income homeowners facing foreclosure. It was Cox's way of giving back some of what he felt he took away during his long legal career, focused on representing banks.
While helping a woman save her home from foreclosure, Cox discovered that an employee of the woman's lender had signed thousands of foreclosure documents in 23 states, without knowing whether any of the information was true. (The practice became known as "robo-signing.") In February 2012, the country's five biggest mortgage servicers agreed to the $25 billion settlement. Now Cox is working to build a network of lawyers to do similar pro bono legal work.
For his extraordinary contributions to society, Cox has won a $100,000 Purpose Prize.
Now in its seventh year, The Purpose Prize is America's only large-scale investment in social entrepreneurs and other creative problem solvers in the second half of life. The Prize program, which recognizes people 60 and older, is funded by the John Templeton Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The Prize is awarded by Encore.org (formerly Civic Ventures), a nonprofit that promotes encore careers - work that is both personally meaningful and serves the greater good.
Cox will join four other 2012 Purpose Prize winners at an awards ceremony in February in San Francisco.
For more information on the 2012 Purpose Prize click here: PURPOSE PRIZE