NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 23, 2017 – Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tennessee’s largest non-profit law firm, has received a two-year grant from the Tennessee Bar Foundation to increase foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment legal assistance.
The Tennessee Bar Foundation, the administrator of funds generated through Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (“IOLTA”) in Tennessee, received part of a nationwide donation to IOLTA programs from Bank of America, as part of a settlement of claims with the Justice Department arising from the home mortgage crisis. They have awarded Legal Aid Society $259,640 to give legal assistance to low-income people and seniors in their Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Oak Ridge and Tullahoma offices.
“Hundreds of individuals in our 48 county service area were adversely affected by actions of Bank of America (and other banks) related to the bank’s conduct during the recent housing/financial crisis,” said Gary Housepian, Legal Aid Society’s executive director. “Many have been at risk of losing their homes through foreclosure because of the actions of the lender. This grant will allow us to expand legal assistance in matters that could affect the financial stability of the household. Foreclosures of homes have an adverse impact on property values, hurt a community and uproot families. We are grateful to this funding to enable our staff to save people’s homes, stabilize households and strengthen a community.”
With these funds, Legal Aid Society is hiring a new attorney and a new paralegal to provide legal assistance in its Murfreesboro and Tullahoma service areas and expand its foreclosure and consumer work in its Oak Ridge, Gallatin and Nashville service areas.
“The Tennessee Bar Foundation is pleased to be able to help the four, federally-funded legal aid organizations that are current IOLTA program grant recipients in Tennessee,” said Barri Bernstein, Foundation executive director. “Legal Aid Society has already demonstrated its ability to assist low-income and elderly people to maintain their homes. We welcome the opportunity to help Legal Aid Society expand those services.”
About Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands
Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands advocates for fairness and justice under the law. The non-profit law firm offers free civil legal representation and educational programs to help people in its region receive justice, protect their well-being and support opportunities to overcome poverty. It serves 48 counties from offices in Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Oak Ridge and Tullahoma. Legal Aid Society is funded in part by United Way. Learn more at www.las.org, or by following the firm on Facebook.
About Tennessee Bar Foundation
The Tennessee Bar Foundation is an organization of attorneys from across the state, active since 1982. The Foundation has a three-fold purpose: (1) to honor attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the profession by electing them to membership as “Fellows,” (2) to use the contributions of these Fellows to support selected, law-related public interest projects, and (3) to administer Tennessee’s IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Accounts) program. Learn more at http://www.tnbarfoundation.org.