Florida Rural Legal Services
In the past year we were able to obtain many good results for our clients. A partial list of the cumulative benefits obtained are listed below.
In 2014 our firm closed over 5700 cases for low-income families. We also provided free legal information and education on a wide range of topics to more than 11,000 people.
SOME OF OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Our client is 74 years old and raising her three great grandchildren. She took out a reverse mortgage and because of health problems she was unable to pay the taxes and insurance and a foreclosure was filed against her. She had several meritorious defenses and we represented her in the foreclosure. We also assisted her in applying for special assistance funds through the Elmore program. Her loan was reinstated and the foreclosure action was dismissed. Her daughter was able to move in with the family and is helping her with expenses and raising the children.
Our clients came to us a month before their home was being sold in a Home Owner Association foreclosure sale. They had an affordable first mortgage and were only behind one month. They had a second mortgage which they could not pay for over a year. The husband had lost his job which caused them to fall behind. The good thing was that by the time they came to us, the husband was back to work. We were able to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy which allowed them to save their home and are now current on their bankruptcy payments and HOA dues.
Two profoundly disabled clients who were receiving assistance through the Medicaid Waiver Program received notices from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities notifying them, that due to budget reduction, they would be losing their assistance which resulted in a loss of services to both clients. The services were vital to their health and safety. We represented both clients and received favorable decisions in both hearings preserving in excess of $18,000 per year for each client and a restoration of all services.
An army veteran applied for his VA pension only to find out that the military had him on record as defaulting on a VA home loan and his VA pension was being withheld until the loan was paid back. Our client never had a VA home loan. We demanded a hearing on the matter, and asked for all records relating to the issue. We were successful in proving that the signature on the loan was not our client’s. We were able to get the VA to terminate collections from clients VA benefits. The VA refunded to our client the amount of benefits that were withheld via direct debit; and the debt of $19,801.55 was liquidated from their system.
A single mother with two small children was facing eviction due to termination of her shelter plus subsidy. She suffers from mental illness and had applied for social security disability. Her landlord reported that she was violating the lease, when client was not. The program sent her a termination notice stating her subsidy was terminated which caused the landlord filed an eviction for nonpayment. We advocated on her behalf and her subsidy was reinstated. She was able to move with her children to a new apartment.
A homeless farmworker was referred to us from the homeless shelter. . He needed assistance replacing his documents that had been lost or stolen when he was living in the woods. We learned that he had received his lawful permanent resident card through the Special Agricultural Worker amnesty several years back. We were able to assist him to apply for a new LPR card using the fee waiver to cover the cost of the I-90 application. We requested the card be expedited because he had serious medical issues that required attention. Through direct advocacy with USCIS, we were able to secure a replacement proof of status within 10 days.