College Columns June 2021 - Page 33

Pro Bono Update continued from page 7
Although Anna started working full-time , there was no way that she could provide for her children and pay off the debt in her name . She reached out to the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer Project ( VLP ) and was placed with a volunteer attorney within 6 weeks of her initial call and the volunteer attorney started working on her bankruptcy case right away .” The pro bono attorney was able to assist Anna in filing bankruptcy and obtaining a fresh start .
From Conejo Free Clinic , Thousand Oaks , CA :
“ Kathy is a 45-year old woman who had been through over a year of unemployment . She was overwhelmed with wage garnishments that creditors had put in place . Even when she re-gained a steady job , the garnishments continued and she found herself in vicious , unsolvable cycle . Our bankruptcy attorney volunteer worked with her situation to dete1mine that Chapter 7 was her best option . This process stopped the garnishments and her creditors were even required to pay back a part of them .”
From the D . C . Bar Pro Bono Center , Washington , D . C .:
“ After Anna lost her job , she began falling behind on her credit card payments . She struggled to pay for basic necessities like rent . The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility of it delaying her ability to file a bankruptcy petition made it difficult for her to understand which , if any , of her creditors she should pay at the outset of the virus-related shutdown . She sought help from the Pro Bono Center ’ s Bankruptcy Clinic hoping to have her debt discharged and get a fresh start . Anna ’ s case was placed with a
pro bono attorney , who advised her on how to approach her pre-petition obligations to her creditors and then helped her file a bankruptcy petition . Her pro bono attorney represented her at a meeting of creditors and successfully secured a discharge for bankruptcy on her behalf . Anna now has the fresh start that she needed to get her financial life back on track .”
And these clients from Put Something Back Pro Bono Project , Dade Legal Aid , Miami , FL , remind us of the personal impact of our grants :
Client 1 : “ I am an elderly lady and was dealing with damages to my home due to past hurricanes . I was unable to meet the financial burden of the repairs and my day to day living expenses , so I had no other option but to file for bankruptcy . Luckily , I found Put Something Back . Today we had the final hearing at bankruptcy court , which was successful , we won our case . . . . I am very grateful , from the bottom of my heart for Put Something Back that guided me through the application process , eased my concerns and swiftly referred me to a pro bono attorney .
Client 2 : “ I remember walking into your office at the beginning of the year . I was drowned in financial debt and you guys were definitely a light at the end of the tunnel . I just received my discharged noticed last week and I can finally go to sleep at night and think of about having a bright future while at the same time reflect on past mistakes .”
Thank you again for your generosity . I look forward to sharing with you the client stories we will hear this year – and the difference in their lives you will make .