Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Aug 26

2015

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Council Should Consider Debt Collection Reform

Yesterday, Legal Aid and seven other local advocacy groups sent a letter to Councilmember Vincent Orange and other members of the D.C. Council asking them to support and schedule a committee hearing and mark-up of the Debt Buying Limitation Amendment Act of 2015. Councilmember Orange is the Chair of the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the committee to which the bill was referred. The reform would require debt buyers to obtain certain documentation before pursuing collections, particularly in court, a critical consumer protection that has been enacted in several states to curtail abusive debt collection behavior. Read more →

Aug 24

2015

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Lending Practices Exposed: USA Discounters Closes Its Doors

After nearly 20 years of selling overpriced electronics, appliances, and furniture, USA Discounters will soon close all 24 of its stores. The closures follow ProPublica’s investigation into the company’s lending practices, as well as government investigations and Department of Defense actions. The ProPublica investigation revealed how the company “guaranteed credit to service members for items that sometimes sold for two to three times the typical retail prices.” If a service member defaulted on the loan, USA Discounters sued the service member in Virginia state court, regardless of the state in which the item was purchased or where the service member lived. USA Discounters brought nearly 13,000 lawsuits in Virginia courts, seizing the pay of active-duty military members through default judgments. Read more →

Aug 06

2015

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2015 Generous Associates Campaign Exceeds Stretch Goal!

After eight suspenseful weeks, the 2015 Generous Associates Campaign has concluded with another record-shattering result. This year’s campaign has raised $1,367,000, eclipsing last year’s total by more than $100,000!

Legal Aid is deeply grateful to all who helped make justice real this summer – most of all, to our Co-Chairs and Coordinators, who devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy to this effort. This year’s campaign was the most successful fundraiser – of any type – in Legal Aid’s 83-year history. Read more →

Aug 03

2015

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Medicaid & Medicare’s Golden Anniversary

50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the amendments to Social Security, establishing Medicaid and Medicare. Today, more than 95 million Americans depend on these two programs for health insurance coverage.

The expansion of Medicaid and Medicare has made a significant difference in Americans’ access to health care. In Washington, D.C., 24 percent of residents are enrolled in Medicaid alone – a greater percentage than in any other state. Read more →

Jul 31

2015

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Study Confirms Free Legal Services Critical for Domestic Violence Survivors

A report released last week and discussed in a recent compelling Huffington Post article entitled, “One Simple Idea that Could Reduce Domestic Violence,” highlights the importance of free legal representation for DV survivors. Prepared by the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, the report found that survivors of domestic violence who have legal representation when they seek protection orders against their abusers are significantly more likely to get the protection orders than unrepresented survivors. Notably, the report recommends that state and municipalities provide free or low cost legal services to survivors of domestic violence.
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