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Legal Services Journal - Spring 2011


Articles in this Issue

Policy News
May 26, 2011
On the policy front, Empire Justice Center continues to seek ways to improve the way the law impacts struggling individuals and families in our state, while at the same time keeping an eye out for proposals that would undermine their legal rights or their often tenuous economic security. Read More

Rochester's Poor Have Twice as Many Errors on Credit Reports as National Average
May 26, 2011
The fact that low-income consumers have a higher rate of serious errors on their credit reports than the general population is not likely to surprise advocates for low-income communities; however, it is also deeply disturbing. Read More

Settlement in Class Action Application Delays Case in Nassau
May 26, 2011
The Empire Justice Center, with co-counsel National Center for Law and Economic Justice, reached a settlement agreement with Nassau County on February 28, 2011, that will ensure the timely processing of all food stamps, Medicaid, and cash public assistance applications by the Department of Social Services. Read More

21st Century SSA
Direct Deposits, Express Cards, Garnishments and Tax Offsets
May 27, 2011
The work of representing an applicant for Social Security or SSI benefits does not end with a favorable decision. The representation of disabled adults and children, or elderly beneficiaries extends to insuring that their hard sought benefits actually end up in their pockets. Read More

Foreclosure Prevention Services at Risk in New York State
May 25, 2011
Governor Cuomo’s recent veto of $1.5 million1 in state funding made available by the Assembly Majority for foreclosure prevention services comes at a time when the foreclosure crisis is barely half-over here in New York and federal funding for housing counseling has been unexpectedly eliminated. Read More

National Home Mortgage Lending Study
Dramatic Decline in Credit in Neighborhoods of Color
May 25, 2011
Refinance loans are critical for neighborhoods trying to rebound from the severe community impacts of foreclosures and high unemployment. To stabilize communities hit by the foreclosure crisis, homeowners need access to sound loan modifications and refinance loans that will help them lower their monthly mortgage payments and save their homes. Read More

New York State's "Exemptions" are Increased
May 26, 2011
As one of his final acts in office, on December 22, 2010, Governor David Paterson signed a significant law regarding exemptions for personal and real property, Chapter 568 of the Laws of New York 2010. The law amends and adds certain exemptions relating to the satisfaction of money judgments under Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) § 5205(a) for exemption of personal property, and under CPLR § 5206 for the exemption of real property. Read More

New Yorkers for Responsible Lending Raise Consumer Issues in Albany
May 26, 2011
On Monday, March 14, 2011, thirty members of New Yorkers for Responsible Lending (NYRL), including Empire Justice Center staff, spent the day in Albany meeting with elected officials and their staffers to discuss consumer issues. Members came in from across the state, from as far away as Buffalo and Long Island, with many folks traveling up the Hudson River from New York City. With 23 meetings held throughout the day, it was an exciting and productive day for the coalition! Read More

The New Rent to Own Law: History Repeats as Both Tragedy and Farce
May 26, 2011
Found predominantly in low income neighborhoods, rent-to-own stores have grown from a small fringe business into a major consumer industry, with about 8,600 stores nationwide used by six million consumers, and generating $7 billion in annual revenue. Read More