Swindled by a Cemetary
When Mrs. H.’s husband died, she went to the cemetery to make preparations. He had picked out a particular spot where he wanted to be buried, and she intended to buy a simple grave there. She was told the burial would cost just under $10,000. The cemetery company hastily gave her a contract, and she had to sign it without the chance to read it carefully.
However, after the funeral, she was shocked to see that her husband wasn’t being buried in the simple plot she purchased, but rather in an above-ground crypt.
To her horror, the incomprehensible contract she signed was for the construction of a private mausoleum for two at a total cost of $57,000. She began getting billed $643 a month, payments that would stretch for seven years.
She tried and tried to have him moved to the plot she thought she bought, but to no avail. Finally, a salesperson told her that if she paid another $25,000 immediately, they would move him. She did, but they didn’t.
She then turned to IEJF grantee, LAF. LAF filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County and engaged in settlement negotiations on her behalf.
The death of a loved one is traumatic enough without the additional blow of being swindled out of tens of thousands of dollars. Legal aid providers are critical for helping the vulnerable, like Mrs. H., get justice when they’re taken advantage of.
For more than 50 years, LAF (formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago) has provided free legal services in non-criminal matters to people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago. LAF makes equal justice a reality for over 40,000 of the most vulnerable members of the Cook County community.