In Legal Terms

5/19/2020

In Legal Terms: Consumer Protection

Are there rough seas ahead for you due to the pandemic? Foreclosures, bankruptcy, or predatory lenders? Our guest from the MS Center for Justice, Director of Consumer Protection, Charles Lee took questionsfor this podcast. https://www.mscenterforjustice.org/Resource Information for ConsumersA resource on managing personal finances curing COVID19 for Mississippians created by the Mississippi State Extension Service.http://extension.msstate.edu/content/managing-personal-finances-during-covid-19Coronavirus and dealing with debt: Tips to help ease the impacthttps://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/coronavirus-and-dealing-debt-tips-help-ease-impact/Sample Letters for Dealing with Debt CollectorsThe following sample letters will help if you’re experiencing common problems that may come up with debt collectors.I do not owe this debt.I need more information about this debt.I want the debt collector to stop contacting me.I want the debt collector to only contact me through my lawyer.I want to specify how the debt collector can contact me.If you use any of these letters, it’s important to do so as soon as possible after you’re first contacted, and to keep copies of any letters you send. In certain situations, youonly have 30 daysafter you’re contacted to ask for certain information, but even if more than 30 days pass, it’s still a good idea to ask for what you need.Credit ReportsDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 3 national credit reporting companies are offering free weekly online credit reports through April 2021.Link to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.actionThrough December 31, 2026, all U.S. consumers can also get six free credit reports every 12 months from Equifax by establishing a "myEquifax" account at https://my.equifax.com/consumer-registration/UCSC/#/personal-infoor by calling 866-349-5191.How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Reporthttps://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/how-do-i-dispute-an-error-on-my-credit-report-en-314/Resources to Help Consumers Avoid Scamshttps://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/avoiding-scams/Tips to Cancel a Time Share Contracthttps://www.debt.org/real-estate/timeshare-cancellation/MPB’s Money Talks recently had a representative from the National Foudnation for Consumer Credit. https://www.nfcc.org/ You can hear their podcast from May 12th on their website http://moneytalks.mpbonline.org/episodes/money-talks-credit-counselingNational Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at disaster@leo.gov _ Report scams to the IRS at phishing@irs.govThe Federal Trade Commission also has informationhttps://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scamshttps://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alertsFTC.gov/complaintThe Mississippi Attorney General’s guide to Consumer Protection http://www.ago.state.ms.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Consumer-Guide-to-Mississippi-Consumer-Protection-Law.pdfCARES Act: Temporary student loan relief:All loan and interest payments are deferred through Sept. 30 without penalty to the borrower for all federally owned student loans. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/26/821457551/whats-inside-the-senate-s-2-trillion-coronavirus-aid-packageCalls concerned:time sharestitle problemshousingwarning about scamsmore scamsAttorney Charles Lee can be reached at the Mississippi Center for Justice at 601-352-2269 extension 104
4/21/2020

In Legal Terms: Housing with MS Center for Justice

Guests: attorney Vangela Wade, president and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice and Will Bedwell an attorney in the Center's Biloxi office.Immediate protection for housing:The eviction moratorium operates by restricting lessors of covered properties # from filing new eviction actions for non-payment of rent, and also prohibits “charging fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.” Sec. 4024(b). The federal moratorium also provides that a lessor (of a covered property) may not evict a tenant after the moratorium expires except on 30 days’ notice—which may not be given until after the moratorium period.# Covered properties include:VAWA Covered Housing Programs Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentPublic housing Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program Section 8 project-based housing Section 202 housing for the elderly Section 811 housing for people with disabilities Section 236 multifamily rental housing Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate HOME Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS McKinney-Vento Act homelessness programs Department of AgricultureSection 515 Rural Rental Housing Sections 514 and 516 Farm Labor Housing Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants Section 538 multifamily rental housing Department of Treasury Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Rural Housing Voucher ProgramProperties with federally backed mortgage loans (1-4 units)Properties with federally backed multifamily mortgage loans (5+ units)https://www.nhlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020.03.27-NHLP-CARES-Act-Eviction-Moratorium-Summary.pdfc. Evictions Suspended: Pursuant to Miss. Code. Ann. Section 33-15-11(c)(1) and (33-15-11(c)(4), evections within the State of Mississippi are suspended, and all state, county and local law enforcement officers are directed to cease enforcement of orders of eviction for residential premises during the Shelter in Place Order. No provision contained within this Executive Order shall be construed as relieving any individual of the obligation to pay rent, to make mortgage payments, or to comply with any other obligation that an individual may have under tenancy or mortgage.https://www.sos.ms.gov/Education-Publications/ExecutiveOrders/1466.pdfA new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:A foreclosure moratoriumA right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergencyIf you don’t have a federally backed mortgage, you still may have relief options through your mortgage servicer or from your state.https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guide-coronavirus-mortgage-relief-options/Landlord-Tenant Law in Mississippi Authored By: The University of Mississippi School of Law Legal Clinichttps://www.mslegalservices.org/resource/landlord-tenant-law-in-mississippiMS Legal Services: 1-800-498-1804Mississippi Public Service Commission COVID-19 statementshttps://www.psc.ms.gov/node/555MS Legal Services: 1-800-498-1804Mississippi Center for Justice: 601-352-2269 https://www.mscenterforjustice.org/Fair Housing Hot Line: 1-877-352-2269MS United to End Homelessness: 601-960-0557 https://www.muteh.org/Open Doors Homeless Coaliton: 228-604-2048 https://www.opendoorshc.org/MS Home Corporation https://www.ms.gov/node/223