Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission

This post is by guest author Matt Dale, Director of the Montana Office of Consumer Protection & Victim Services, as part of the MLSA Advocacy Blog’s focus on domestic violence issues this October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. MLSA thanks Matt for this contribution.This October we remember those who have died at the hands of their …

Part Three of MLSA’s Foreclosure Series: Your Options: Leaving Your Home

By Beth Hayes, Staff Attorney, Montana Legal ServicesYou might be in a situation where it is not realistic for you to keep your home. There are still options available to you to avoid foreclosure and prevent further damage. Assumption: Assumption is an option for a third party to take over your loan. When a mortgage …

Part Two of MLSA’s Foreclosure Series: Your Options: Keeping Your Home

By Beth Hayes, Staff Attorney, Montana Legal ServicesThe first thing to consider is whether or not you want to keep your home, and whether you are realistically able to do so. If you want to keep your home, and are realistically able to do so, there are many retention options available to you: Forbearance: Forbearance …

Part One Of MLSA’s Three Part Foreclosure Series: Foreclosure Procedure in Montana

By Beth Hayes, Staff Attorney, Montana Legal ServicesForeclosure is when a mortgage lender sells a borrower’s property to satisfy an unpaid debt on a mortgage. Foreclosure happens when a homeowner defaults on the mortgage. Default is another way of saying you are behind on your payments. About 15 days after you default, the lender will …

MLSA’s File Your Own Bankruptcy Program: A New Approach to Helping Debtors Find a Fresh Start

By: Jessie Lundberg, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, Montana Legal Services Association – Consumer Law Unit  Bankruptcy is a powerful word. It carries many connotations, most often negative. For many, it symbolizes failure. Crisis. Even personal and moral shortcomings. After all, what kind of a deadbeat runs up a bunch of bills they can’t pay?Everyday Montanans like:Bill, a Viet …

Bankruptcy in Montana: Increasing Demand Necessitates Innovation in Services

A large percentage of the clients that seek services from MLSA each year have some sort of consumer related issue. Of our clients with consumer issues, many of them are asking for assistance with filing for bankruptcy. What we experience at MLSA is similar to what Rural Dynamics Inc reported in their recent blog entry. …

Federal District Court Order Protects Montana’s Pro Se Litigants

By Judy Meadows, Montana State Law Librarian and Co-Chair, Montana Commission on Self-Represented LitigantsThe Montana Supreme Court’s Commission on Self-Represented Litigants (the Commission) and Montana Legal Services Association have spent years developing, reviewing, editing and approving legal forms that are easy to understand and compliant with state law. These forms are then posted on the …

Don’t Touch My Check! New Rule Protects Seniors, Veterans, and the Disabled From Creditors

By Klaus Sitte, MLSA Litigation DirectorJohn and Mary are “closely approaching advanced age,” in Social Security parlance, age 64 and 63 respectively. Because of a serious heart condition, John is disabled and receives Social Security Disability benefits of $1280 per month. Mary retired at age 62 because of John’s failing health. Mary gets about $850 per month Social …

The Root of Bankruptcy in Montana

By Jolene Bach, Rural Dynamics Inc.Last week, Montana Legal Services highlighted that the vast majority of consumers who file for bankruptcy do so as a direct result of medical debt and that three-quarters of those filers had private health insurance. Either these consumers were underinsured; were sick for an extended time period and lost their …