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A Letter from Karen: Holiday Wishes

Karen Miller, Executive Director of Texas Legal Services Center

Seven out of every ten low-income households have experienced at least one civil legal problem in the past year. And 70% of low-income Americans describe their civil legal problems as affecting their lives 'very much' or 'severely.' 

We're working to change that.

With over a dozen programs offering free legal services across the state, our work touches almost every area of civil law that impacts low-income Texans. We help victims of violent crimes obtain protective orders, host gender-affirming legal clinics, work with veterans and their families to obtain benefits, educate our clients on their rights as parents, and so much more.

Safeguarding the Financial Future of a Vietnam Veteran's Widow

A Letter from Texas Legal Services Center Client: Miguel

My mother's joint bank account was wrongfully garnished by a private creditor in an amount of just under twenty-two thousand dollars, just two weeks after my father passed away. The bank account contained my father's VA and SSI benefits (he was a Veteran of the Vietnam War). It was already a very stressful period for my family with my father recently passing and it was made even more stressful with the garnishment.

After weeks of many letters and phone calls to the bank, the creditor, the creditor's attorney, the bank’s attorney, the courts and other potential attorneys, we felt helpless and at a point where it seemed nothing was getting resolved for us. The attorneys we contacted for assistance were either non-responsive or wanted a large retainer fee and percentage of the returned dollars in order to help us. It truly felt as if the cards were totally stacked against us.

New State Law Will Soon Stop Debt Collectors from Harassing You Over Old Debts

CBS | Austin

Tim Gasaway mostly helps veterans get their benefits in his work at Texas Legal Services Center, where he is the managing attorney of the Veterans Legal Assistance unit. But he heard a lot of complaints about "zombie debts" from his clients. "It's very, very important, very stressful for these people," he said. "Oftentimes you will talk to a consumer who had a credit card debt 10 years ago."

The statute of limitations on a debt in Texas is four years. That means you can't be sued for it after that. But there's a loophole. "The out is they will contact a consumer who has one of these debts and cajole them into making a payment or affirming the debt," Gasaway said. That re-starts the clock -- and those debt collectors, who often have bought those old debts for pennies on the dollar -- are just trying to trick you so they can sue you.

New State Law Will Soon Stop Debt Collectors from Harassing You Over Old Debts

CBS | Austin

Tim Gasaway mostly helps veterans get their benefits in his work at Texas Legal Services Center, where he is the managing attorney of the Veterans Legal Assistance unit. But he heard a lot of complaints about "zombie debts" from his clients. "It's very, very important, very stressful for these people," he said. "Oftentimes you will talk to a consumer who had a credit card debt 10 years ago."

The statute of limitations on a debt in Texas is four years. That means you can't be sued for it after that. But there's a loophole. "The out is they will contact a consumer who has one of these debts and cajole them into making a payment or affirming the debt," Gasaway said. That re-starts the clock -- and those debt collectors, who often have bought those old debts for pennies on the dollar -- are just trying to trick you so they can sue you.

Wall Street Journal

AT&T Overpaid Some Pensioners. Now It Wants the Money Back.

PHOTO: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

Managing Attorney Roger Curme with the South Central Pension Rights Project commented in a Wall Street Journal article by Theo Francis detailing the tactics used by AT&T to reclaim awarded pension funds to former employees. Mr. Curme represented a client battling credit collection agencies after AT&T and Fidelity Investments attempted to rescind payments.

Former Tenants Sue Over HMK Contracts to Buy Homes

CBS 11 and NBC 5 News, Dallas Fort-Worth

Texas Legal Services Center Attorneys Wayne Krause Yang and Ann Maldonado Heaps challenged illegal mortgage lending practices targeting working-class families in Dallas. Click below to read the NBC News article detailing the case.

 

For press inquiries, contact: 

Meghan Lee, Communications

512-477-6000 x214 | mlee@tlsc.org

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