Legal Aid Serves Those Who Protect
Shelley canceled her auto insurance around the time she was deployed. However, she was not aware that there was one more payment due, and she did not find out until months later when she returned home. She payed the fee as soon as she could, but the overdue payment had already gone to collection. When Shelley tried to purchase a house, she found that the late payment was listed on her credit report and lowered her credit rating by 60 points, leaving her one point short of obtaining a loan. She contacted the insurance company to discuss the problem, but was unable to resolve the matter. After she contacted LAF, a paralegal from their Veterans Rights Project (VRP) called the insurance company and brought to their attention that the client was protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which affords certain protections in credit and civil matters to deployed service members. Shelley received a call from the insurance company the next day. They apologized for their insensitivity and told her that they would have the late payment removed from her report as soon as she sent them a copy of her activation papers.
LAF works to provide high quality civil legal services to people living in poverty and other vulnerable groups. Through advocacy, education, collaboration, and litigation, LAF empowers individuals, protects fundamental rights, strengthens communities, creates opportunities and achieves justice. LAF has been an IEJF grantee since the first IEJF grant cycle in 2001.