July 24th, 2007 07:32 EST
FEMA, Free Legal Services Available for Disaster Victims
WACO, Texas -- Through an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Bar Association's Young Lawyer Division and the State Bar of Texas, free legal services are available to low-income disaster victims who have insufficient resources to secure adequate legal services.
These legal services are available through a hotline: 1-800-504-7030. Additional resources are also available on the State Bar's website: www.texasbar.com. If the legal assistance required is beyond the scope of FEMA's agreement with the American Bar Association, eligible applicants will be referred to other free local Texas legal service groups.
"Recovering from a disaster can be a challenging process. With these free legal services, Texans can get expert advice about some of the more complex issues they may be facing," said Kenneth Clark, federal coordinating officer.
Available services include:
- Help with insurance claims
- Counseling on landlord-tenant and other housing issues
- Assistance with home repair contracts
- Assistance in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures
- Counseling on mortgage foreclosure problems
- Replacement of wills and other important documents
- Drafting of powers of attorney and other estate administration issues
- Referring individuals to state or local agencies that may be of further assistance
Legal services are available to disaster victims in a fair,nondiscriminatory and equitable way, and aid is available in both English and Spanish. Assistance is available in Texas counties where individual disaster aid is available: Archer, Bell, Burnet, Cooke, Coryell, Denton, Eastland, Grayson, Hood, Lampasas, Parker, Starr, Tarrant, Victoria, Webb, Wichita and Williamson.
Those who suffered damage from the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for those with speech or hearing impairment. Individuals may also register online at www.fema.gov.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.