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TLS students, SLLS attorneys successful in hosting free FEMA collections clinic

January 11, 2012

Office of the Dean
tel: 504.865.5937

More than 50 people were on Tulane University’s uptown campus Saturday (Jan. 7) for a free collections clinic targeting appeals of alleged Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) overpayments. In collaboration with Tulane University Law School and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS), local attorneys volunteered the afternoon to offer legal advice to disaster victims in the midst of a FEMA collection.

“Are you one of the estimated 180,000 asked to repay your disaster assistance to FEMA?” read the public event flyer posted by the Tulane University Legal Assistance Program (TULAP). “Know your rights if you have received a FEMA collection letter! Help for your appeal of FEMA’s demand that you pay back your disaster aid.”

FEMA Collections Clinic v   
Attorneys kicked off the clinic, officially entitled “FEMA Collections – Help for Your Appeal,” at 1 p.m. with a general overview of the FEMA collection process. Victims with FEMA collection letters then had a chance to meet with local attorneys for free one-time counseling about appealing a FEMA collection notice. Eligible individuals (based on the federal income guidelines) needing further assistance were referred to SLLS.

“A central goal was to provide recipients of the recent FEMA collection letter with the necessary background info and the knowledge to proceed pro-se,” said Julie Jackson, assistant dean for public interest programs at Tulane Law School. “The joint efforts of our students and the SLLS attorneys made this happen in record time—despite the holidays and exams—in order to meet an important need that had been recognized by TULAP (Tulane Legal Assistance Program) and SLLS in the late fall.”

Read more about FEMA overpayments from The Times-Picayune Bill could ease FEMA's demands for repayment of money it overpaid after Katrina


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