New York City foreclosure, credit counseling, and bankruptcy assistance.
A number of legal needs are addressed by the non-profit Legal Services of New York City. Every year tens of thousands of families use their services, which range from homeless prevention, advice on bankruptcy, credit services, and information on rent and foreclosure help. Attorneys, social workers, and paralegals work on behalf of low income families across NYC.
Below you will find more information on some of their resources. Legal Services NYC operates from several offices around the city, and all neighborhoods and boroughs are covered. The legal centers are located in the main transportation hubs and all low income communities across the city.
Foreclosure assistance is provided by Legal Services NYC
Free legal services are offered to homeowners to help them address predatory lending issues as well as more typical mortgage delinquency counseling. Several Foreclosure Prevention Projects resources are offered by the non-profit firms.
The attorneys and staff help thousands of homeowners deal with their banks, mortgage servicers and other lenders that participated in predatory lending practices, with a focus on the subprime market. A large number of foreclosures, homeless cases, loss of hard-earned equity, and general financial devastation has been caused by predatory lending practices of these bans. The high foreclosure rates have also lead to the destabilization of neighborhoods across New York City, by leaving vacant homes and hurting property values. Specific programs offered by Legal Services NYC's include:
They partner with and refer borrowers to HUD certified and approved foreclosure prevention advocates throughout NYC.
Free legal assistance, including foreclosure mediation, advice, and counseling is offered to homeowners.
Get information on the large number of government mortgage assistance programs.
Free bankruptcy assistance and advice is also offered to low-income residents of New York City who are even considering the possibility of bankruptcy. The primary program offered is known as the New York City Bankruptcy Assistance Project (“NYC BAP”).
When a request comes into the non-profit, debtors will be able to meet with attorneys and staff to learn about the pros and cons of a filing, and they will also be assessed for bankruptcy. In addition to one on one counseling, bankruptcy workshops and seminars are held throughout the month to provide more information.
These bankruptcy workshops are run for those low to moderate income individuals who have not filed for bankruptcy yet, but who are strongly considering doing so or who may be good candidates for it. The workshop will provide information to debtors and other participants. After that session, free 1-on-1 meetings can be held between potential filers and attorneys.
During these session, the attorney, sometimes working with a certified credit counselor, will determine debtors’ appropriateness for filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and they will give them advice at no cost. Depending on this review of their financial situation and assessment, the non-profit attorney from Legal Services NYC will assist in the preparation of a bankruptcy petition for the debtor. The attorney will also work closely with the client by advising them throughout the court proceeding process, and the lawyer will assist in all communication with the creditors.
If, after reviewing all of the information, the attorney and the client think it is the best option, then paralegals and lawyers will help debtors in preparing and filing the appropriate Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions. In addition to assisting with the filing and overseeing the process, NYC BAP finds pro bono attorneys to actually represent debtors in the bankruptcy courts in front of a judge.
There are income qualifications that need to be met. The New York City Bankruptcy Assistance Project is offered for free to low-income New York City families. Their total household income needs to be less than 200% of the federal government poverty guidelines.
Receive free legal help in the unemployment insurance appeal process from Legal Services NYC. They advocate and represent individuals at hearings and throughout the entire unemployment insurance appeals process. The formal name of this program is the Unemployment Insurance Advocacy Project, and it also provides free legal advocacy to address the larger systemic barriers and borderline dysfunctional government bureaucracy that prevent unemployed workers from accessing benefits and financial assistance.
To learn more, or to get assistance with an unemployment insurance question or denial from your employer, call the Legal Services New York helpline at 646-442-3332 to speak to a paralegal, attorney, or social worker in your neighborhood.
Advice for other basic needs
Legal Services NYC partners with dozens of other non-profits across the city. Together they offer a resource known as Single Stop. The objective is to help low income residents receive free and confidential legal advice and services. Some of the services offered by Single Stop include:
- Homeless prevention.
- Assistance in claiming and filing for government benefits and cash assistance.
- Support in dealing with and stopping a foreclosure.
- Individuals who are behind on their rent can get legal aid in preventing evictions.
- Receive help in dealing with other civil legal issues such as immigration, domestic violence, and child custody.
- Utility disconnection advice.
- Free legal counseling is offered by experienced Legal Services NYC attorneys and paralegals, and the assistance covers those issues and many more.
Legal Services NYC offices
Some of the locations are below. However additional offices are also located across the city.
- Legal Services NYC-Bronx, 579 Courtlandt Avenue, Bronx, New York 10451, call (718) 928-3700
- Brooklyn, 1360 Fulton Street, Suite 301, Brooklyn, New York 11216, phone number (718) 636-1155
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Legal Services
- Brooklyn Family Defense Project is run by Legal Services Corporation. The southern portion of the borough is supported by South Brooklyn Legal Services. 105 Court Street, New York, NY 11201, (718) 237-5500
- Manhattan Legal Services, 90 John Street, Suite 301, New York 10038-3243, phone number (646) 442-3100
- A second office is at 1 West 125th Street, 2nd Floor, New York 10027, (212) 348-7449
- ueens Legal Services, 89-00 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, New York 11435, main number (347) 592-2200
- Or stop by 42-15 Crescent Street, Long Island City, New York 11101, telephone (347)592-2200
- Staten Island Legal Services, 36 Richmond Terrace, Ste. 205, Staten Island, New York 10301, phone number (718) 233-6480. The center is across the street from Staten Island ferry.
- Main office (Citywide) - 40 Worth Street, Suite 606, New York, NY 10013, telephone (646) 442-3600