Equal Justice Works Blog

40 Wills in 4 Days: Part 1

March 31, 2010

On March 7, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Senior Program Manager Cole McMahon and Program Manager Marty joined with current Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellows Read More

Summer Corps Applications Open April 1

March 29, 2010 The Equal Justice Works Summer Corps program provides law students with the opportunity to engage in qualifying public interest law internships during the summer and earn a $1,000 education award for 300 hours of service. Read More

Congress Enacts Landmark Student Loan Legislation

March 26, 2010 Banks and private lenders will no longer earn billions of dollars in profits by originating federal student loans.   Congress voted Thursday to move to a direct-lending approach for federal student loans, saving taxpayers an estimated $61 billion over 10 years and directing about $40 billion of the savings to increased Pell Grants and other higher education initiatives.  The new legislation is a terrific step, but it doesn’t go far enough.  The Pell Grant increase will not keep up with rising tuition costs. Read More

Double check payment amounts for IBR

March 25, 2010 Income-Based Repayment (IBR) will help millions of borrowers reduce their monthly student loan payments with payment caps based on income and family size.  But borrowers need to double check that their lenders are calculating their monthly payment amounts correctly.  IBR should be based on Adjusted Gross Income, not wages.  Adjusted Gross Income includes wages plus certain other income (like interest income) but minus specific deductions (like the student loan interest deduction and IRA contribution deduction).  Read More

Student Loans No Easier to Discharge in Bankruptcy

March 24, 2010 In an unusual and limited case Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a student loan lender had waited too long to object to legal errors in a bankruptcy case involving student loans.  Student loans are rarely discharged in bankruptcy, and borrowers seeking discharge must prove that the student loan will impose an “undue hardship,” or that the borrower cannot have a minimal standard of living if forced to repay. Read More

Immigrant communities targets in loan scams

March 23, 2010 Another post in Equal Justice Works series on economic recovery in America.  Esther Ro is an AmeriCorps Legal Fellow serving at Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles, CA.  Esther is working with immigrant populations, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, modify loans and obtain other relief.  She recently worked on a case impacting 28 Korean families.    As distressed homeowners try to save their Read More

Bringing Fairness Back to the Foreclosure Process in Washington

March 22, 2010 Another post in Equal Justice Works series on economic recovery in America.  In 2007, an elderly woman who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease fell behind on her mortgage payments.  Even though she had more than $150,000 of equity in her home, and a purchase agreement with a potential buyer, her home was sold at a foreclosure sale, wiping out her entire life savings.  Consumer law attorneys at Northwest Justice Project, with the help of Rory O'Sullivan, an Equal Justic Read More

Student Loan Reform Legislation Ends Subsidies to Private Banks

March 19, 2010 Yesterday, Congressional leaders introduced legislation to shift to direct lending and eliminate the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program. The bill increases spending on Pell Grants and expands the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program, but only for borrowers who take out their first federal student loan after 2014. Read More

Capturing Campus Culture: Top 10 List for Students Seeking a Law School Environment that Supports Public Service

March 18, 2010 This is a guest post by Charlene Gomes, Senior Program Manager, Law School Advocacy and Outreach, at Equal Justice Works. This is the time of year when thousands of aspiring law students are juggling admission letters from various law schools.  After almost a year of preparation, the time has come to make a decision.  While the stakes have always been high for applicants who seek to attend law school knowing that they wish to pursue a public service career after graduation, they are particularly high in these days of growing tuition costs and scarce employment opportunities.  So muc Read More

Economic recovery in Georgia

March 16, 2010 This is another post in Equal Justice Works’ series on economic recovery.  This post was written by Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Recovery Fellow Anna-Elisa Mackowiak who is serving at Atlanta Legal Aid Society. In late November 2009, Atlanta Legal Aid received a call from Ms. B and her son, who stated that their home had been foreclosed on and that an eviction action had been filed against them.  Ms. Read More
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