Foreclosure glut in Anne Arundel–and Legal Aid swamped

Yesterday’s Capital (Annapolis) newspaper reported that foreclosure filings in Anne Arundel Co. are “far higher” than a year ago–and that Maryland Legal Aid “has seen a 64-percent increase in caseload over the same period one year before. Cheryl Hystad, the bureau’s director of advocacy, said a portion of that increase is the result of foreclosure cases, through landlord evictions, loss of health care coverage and other economy-related legal problems are all contributors,” the article said.

“Hystad said that, while legal aid is in demand for foreclosures, the bureau can only help those who meet certain qualifications. ‘We can only represent folks who are poverty-level and below,’ she said. ‘There are a lot of people who aren’t eligible for Legal Aid but still need the help.'”

The article also looked at proposed federal reforms and Congressional restrictions that prevent Legal Aid and other federally funded programs “from participating in class-action lawsuits, pursuing statutory attorneys’ fees and advocating for lending reform.”

“For example, the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, the only agency in the state that receives the federal legal-services funds, receives only about 20 percent of its funding from federal grants,” the article said. “Regardless of the fact that a small portion of its funds comes from the government, all of its funds fall under the federal restrictions.”

To read the article, click here.

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