Free legal aid and advice in Delaware.
The non-profit, pro-bono Legal Services Corporation of Delaware, Inc. offers free consultations, assistance and representation to the elderly, seniors, and other qualified families. Attorneys from the non-profit organization address various civil issues. Get help in preventing a foreclosure, legal support for accessing housing assistance, eviction prevention, consumer debts, lawyers to help with fraud cases, and domestic issues. Find how and where to apply for free legal aid in DE below.
Legal help for civil cases
Only civil legal services are supported and not criminal cases. In general, a civil case is when someone has a disagreement or dispute with other businesses or people. Or this can also be where people think the federal government or the state of Delaware is doing something wrong. Civil cases more often than not involve disputes about services, money or consumer rights. Examples of some types of cases covered in Delaware include divorce and custody, landlord/tenant issues, used car issues, domestic violence, foreclosures, unemployment compensation, and public benefits.
Each and every attorney that is involved in working with the Legal Services Corporation of Delaware will set their own priorities. This really means that each lawyer will determine how it can best serve clients with the limited funding and resources that it has. Unfortunately hard decisions needs to be made due to resource levels. Each legal services program in Delaware is limited it what it can do, so they will establish priorities of which civil cases they take or they focus on, and restrictions are in place.
Most of the free legal aid is for the following. Housing, including evictions, foreclosures, lockouts, utility shutoffs as well as mobile home issues. Family law can be supported too, such as divorce and domestic violence. Another focus is on consumer issues such as payday loans, used cars, predatory lending, and bankruptcies. Get help in filing for or challenging public benefits (Medicaid, Delaware's A Better Chance, food stamps). Other free legal aid is for addressing unemployment compensation claims, health care, special education, income tax problems, and more.
As indicated, Legal Services Corporation of Delaware can help with housing issues, including mortgage delinquency and foreclosure. The lender and the homeowner can attend the scheduled mediation conference and attempt to work out some form of loan modification or a similar agreement. All solutions will be reviewed in order to avoid foreclosure.
If the mortgage servicer, bank, and the homeowner can’t work out a settlement or an agreement, then the next steps are implemented. They can meet with an attorney or highly trained professional mediator who attempts to bring the parties to some type of consensus agreement. If such an agreement is reached, the paperwork will be filed with the local Delaware Court system. Only if this fails will the foreclosure take place.
Elder Law Program
This is for senior citizens of any income level. An Elder Law Program is offered in partnership with the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. This organization will provide limited free legal assistance and representation to Delaware residents aged 60 years or older, seniors, and the elderly. The services provided by ELP are offered free of charge to qualified senior citizens.
State of Delaware government and public benefits
Legal Services Corporation of Delaware will also represent families and individuals in legal matters that deal with government benefit programs. This includes items such as Social Security/SSI; Medicare/Medicaid; Food Stamps; General Assistance; and TANF - Welfare, including Delaware's A Better Chance Program
Clients that have had their applications denied or cut off can get help. There is legal aid to assist with programs such as General Assistance, Food Stamps, Medicare/Medicaid, and Welfare. These low income families can get advice and support. If your benefits have been terminated, then you can also ask for help. Attorneys can also represent lower income clients enrolled in Delaware's A Better Chance Program in instances where DSS has imposed restrictions or penalized the recipient.
Get assistance in contested family law cases involving domestic violence, child custody, property division, visitation, and child support. As the guardian and/or custodial parent will generally be the one with the greater need for monetary assistance or advice, having an attorney represent a non-custodial parent is usually fairly rare, but it can happen under special circumstances.
Disputes can be covered too. Get help with the collection of child support, both collecting it and contesting a judgment. There is also assistance in cases where the non-custodial parent is unable to pay child support due to a disability.
Other examples of free legal assistance
Some other needs that can be met include:
- Health Care, such as assistance in filing and preparing powers of attorney.
- Consumer fraud, including illegal or questionable loans and debt collection tactics.
- Estate Planning. Lawyers can advise on a pro-bono basis for small estates and help people prepare simple wills in appropriate cases.
- Guardianships and conservatorships.
- Senior abuse, including protection for seniors from financial or physical abuse.
- Assistance with obtaining emergency medical benefits, including spousal and child support.
There are two main offices of Legal Services Corporation of Delaware, Inc. Call (302) 575-0408 , or stop by or dial one of the offices below. Both will offer their own unique services.
- Dover Office, 208 S Governors Ave, Dover, DE 19904, telephone 302-734-8820
- Wilmington Office, 100 West 10th Street, Suite 203, Wilmington, DE 19801, main number is 302-575-0408