Recently the Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee received a call from a mental health advocate who was calling the Legal Support Center for Advocates (LSCA) on behalf of an elderly father and his son.
The advocate informed us that an elderly client with mental illness and who was also forgetful had gotten himself into severe financial straights. Despite support from his son and a reverse mortgage to help him supplement his income, he had failed to pay the real estate taxes on his home during the past year which could result in a foreclosure and jeopardize his housing.
Despite his confusion, he was deemed competent and was willing to give his son power of attorney so he could help him pay bills. The immediate problem that was looming for the elderly man and his sin were current tax arrears on his property.
The LSCA advocate consulted with the Law Services' Foreclosure Project and confirmed that a Mortgage Assistance Application (MAP) was a feasible solution. (The Mortgage Assistance Program is a foreclosure prevention loan fund for homeowners in New York State.) A referral was sent by the Foreclosure Project to complete the application and prevent a tax foreclosure all the while giving the client time to structure a repayment.
The LSCA advocate also facilitated a referral to our Mental Health Law Project attorney to assist with the execution of a Power of Attorney to ensure that the son would monitor his father's finances.
About Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee, Inc.
Nassau Suffolk Law Services established in 1966, was among the first Legal Services Corporation programs in the state and is currently one of the largest providers of free civil legal assistance in New York.
The program is committed to helping people in need vindicate their rights under the law. We provide free legal services in thousands of cases each year as well as legal support to church, agency and grassroots organizations that work with the poor.
NSLS is dedicated to providing equal access to basic human rights and services through the provision of high-quality legal representation, public information, and community advocacy training to ensure that low income, disabled and disadvantaged individuals have equal access to the civil justice system on Long Island.
The staff is comprised of attorneys, paralegals, social workers and support staff. The social work component is a unique feature of the program and is based on the recognition that some of our clients may need special support and services to manage and deal effectively with the legal system.