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Legal Services Journal - Spring 2010 Issue


Articles in this Issue

New Yorkers for Responsible Lending (NYRL)
May 14, 2010
New Yorkers for Responsible Lending (NYRL) is a statewide coalition that promotes access to fair and affordable financial services and the preservation of assets for all New Yorkers and their communities. Read More

Support Our Work - Donate Today!!
May 14, 2010
Two of three core funding sources for civil legal services continue to face virtual elimination and ongoing delays in the New York State budget will soon begin to force legal services providers to cut services, cut staff, close offices. Read More

Federal Reserve Acts to Regulate Overdraft Fees
May 14, 2010
NSF fees, known as nonsufficient fund fees, or overdraft fees, are essentially loans made to bank account holders when the consumer overdraws on their account (as a result of a check, electronic payment, ATM withdrawal or point of sale purchase) rather than the bank denying the transaction. Read More

Holding Credit Card Companies Accountable
May 14, 2010
The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (“CARD”), which went into effect in February of this year, is a much needed step in efforts to reform America’s credit card industry. CARD’s provisions (highlighted below) are helpful but additional safeguards are still needed to protect consumers. Read More

Is A Child Conceived After Parent's Death Entitled to Benefits?
May 14, 2010
An appeal pending at the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit raises the thorny issue of whether a child who was conceived by in vitro fertilization and born more than two years after her father’s death from leukemia is entitled to Social Security benefits on his account. Read More

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Nassau County Department of Social Services Challenging Delays in Processing Benefits Applications
May 14, 2010
On March 24, 2010, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Nassau County Department of Social Services to challenge widespread delays in processing applications for Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Public Assistance. Read More

Foreclosure Chasers
What Every Advocate Should Know
May 14, 2010
On March 25th 2010, New York State Attorney General announced his office was commencing a lawsuit naming National Modification Service, Infinity Mitigation Services and their respective owners as defendants. Read More

New York Foreclosure Settlement Conferences
A Client Success Story
May 14, 2010
In August of 2008, the New York State legislature passed the Foreclosure Prevention and Responsible Lending Act.1 This law created a mandatory foreclosure settlement conference for some people with subprime or non-traditional mortgages who were facing foreclosure. Read More

Iraqi and Afghan Citizens Entitled to Special Refugee Status
May 14, 2010
Effective December 19, 2009, the five year bar for food stamps, TANF, SSI and federal Medicaid eligibility no longer applies to Iraqi and Afghan citizens who entered the U.S. with Special Immigrant Visas rather than as refugees or asylees. Prior to this date, their eligibility for these federal means tested benefits had been limited to a period of eight months. Read More

Decreased Access to Mortgage Credit in Rochester's Underserved Neighborhoods
May 14, 2010
National news stories recount how lenders have tightened credit standards, resulting in borrowers finding it much harder to obtain a loan to purchase a home or to refinance their current mortgage. Read More

DSM Revisions Proposed
May 14, 2010
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - or DSM - is slated for some major revisions to psychiatric diagnoses when the fifth edition is published in 2013 (DSM 5). Read More

Improvements to the Consumer & Community Development Section of Website Planned
May 14, 2010
The Consumer, Housing, C.A.S.H. and Community Development (CHCCD) Unit just finished a plan to enhance the Consumer Community Development issue area of Empire Justice Center’s website. As the plan is implemented over the next several months, look for the following improvements to the C&CD issue area. Read More

Improving New York's Deceptive Acts and Practices Statute
May 14, 2010
Every state has a statute or collection of statutes intended to target unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP) that occur in the course of business transactions. A strong UDAP statute contributes to consumer protection in two significant ways. Read More