Our housing advocates provide a broad array of legal services to clients living in poverty, focusing primarily on public housing and Section 8 housing.
We also assist people who are disabled with accessibility issues, and we help other clients with disputes over eligibility for public and subsidized housing. Our housing counselors regularly provide advice or representation to help our clients avoid wrongful evictions and improper rent calculations.
Saving the homes of low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners is a Legal Aid priority. Due to our nationwide foreclosure crisis, thousands of Missourians are facing the imminent loss of their homes — some due to having a predatory loan originated through fraud, and others due to a job loss or disability, high medical bills, or other debts leading to a home loan delinquency.
Depending on the circumstances, our staff has helped homeowners save their homes in a variety of ways. Through litigation in state and federal courts, we bring to light deficiencies in the foreclosure process and frequently convince courts to stop foreclosure sales or to set aside legally invalid sales. We file Chapter 13 bankruptcies to stop the foreclosure process and allow homeowners additional time to repay or restructure their debts, and also to contest improprieties in the foreclosure process. Legal Aid also negotiates directly with loan servicers to pursue loss mitigation options, including loan modifications to reduce interest rates and payments. We also counsel homeowners and tenants on their legal options before and after a home is foreclosed on and provide legal representation when needed.
At times homeowners living on a small retirement or disability income fall behind in paying their property taxes and are faced with the loss of their home of many years. Legal Aid helps these homeowners save their homes through tax redemption contracts, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcies, or seeking legal redress due to deficiencies in tax sale proceedings.