Idaho Foreclosure Prevention Project.
In 2010, Idaho had the nation's eighth highest foreclosure rate. In January 2011, RealtyTrac released its 2010 Year-End Top 20 U.S. Metro Foreclosure Rates report which rank the Boise-Nampa metropolitan area 20th nationally with an 108% foreclosure increase since 2008. ILAS responded to soaring demand for legal assistance in foreclosure cases by launching a Foreclosure Prevention Project. The firm trained its attorneys to fight wrongful foreclosures and obtained grants from the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation and Idaho Housing and Finance Association to fight improper or illegal foreclosures. Beginning July of 2011, ILAS will begin statewide fair lending/foreclosure prevention workshops. Go to our website, www.idaholegalaid.org, in June for more information.
ILAS funds to prevent foreclosures have only scratched the surface of the need so ILAS turned to the private bar for help. The Boise Inc. Legal Department and private attorneys from across Idaho have stepped forward to volunteer their services. We are still looking for volunteer attorneys and funds to make this a truly statewide project. To volunteer to help Idahoans in foreclosure or donate to the Foreclosure Prevention Project please contact ILAS attorney Zoe Ann Olson at 208-345-0106.
Pro Se Bankruptcy Clinic.
In April 2011, ILAS began a pilot pro se bankruptcy clinic in collaboration with the U.S. Trustee 's Office and the private bankruptcy bar. During the clinics Ms. Bonnie Shuster and Mr Jerad Crawford from the U.S. Trustee's Office conducted an educational overview of the bankruptcy process followed by volunteer bankruptcy attorneys who provided one-on-one legal help to six low income pro se persons per clinic to complete bankruptcy forms. Four bankruptcy clinics have been held at ILAS's Boise office with more scheduled throughout 2011.
ILAS would like to thank Boise Inc. attorney Bob Meek who helped establish the clinic, obtained two computers for use by clinic participants from Boise Inc., and has found volunteer bankruptcy attorneys to staff the clinic through December.
The ultimate goal is to expand the clinic to serve participants at all seven ILAS regional office locations. ILAS is looking for four more laptop computers, so ten participants can be served at each clinic.