Whether it is the result of an illness, job loss, or accident, dealing with a financial crisis can be overwhelming. Many people accumulate debt as they try to manage increases in the costs of living, while facing stagnant wages and a lack of affordable housing. Seniors and disabled individuals are even more vulnerable to financial stresses as they rely solely on their fixed income to pay for all their necessities. For our low-income, elderly and disabled clients, options seem limited. But knowledge is power and the first step to finding a solution.
To help clients understand their options and regain control over their consumer debt, Bet Tzedek regularly conducts a Debtors’ Rights Clinic. This Clinic includes a seminar where prospective clients receive an overview and educational materials on bankruptcy, alternatives to bankruptcy, judgment enforcement actions, fair debt collection practices, and credit reporting. The purpose of the Debtors’ Rights Clinic is to ensure clients facing a financial crisis have the information necessary to make an informed decision about how to best handle their consumer debt.
We offer one-on-one interviews after the seminar for eligible clients who need additional legal assistance.
We assist clients with the following:
- Exercising their rights and understanding their responsibilities when dealing with collectors.
- Responding to judgment enforcement actions, including wage garnishments and bank levies.
- Evaluating and filing chapter 7 bankruptcy
On a more limited basis, we also assist clients with:
- Debts that resulted from identity theft
- Government offsets from public benefits
- Student loan discharge applications