June is National Homeownership Month, a time to celebrate, promote, and reflect on the American Dream – owning your own home. Homeownership provides social and financial stability, builds communities, and helps improve the national economy.

While most Americans dream of owning a home, obstacles such as student loans, credit card debt, poor credit, interest rates, and the ever-fluctuating job market stand in their way. These same situations also put current homeowners at risk of homelessness.

Lone Star Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Prevention Project’s goal is to help low-income homeowners and their families fight foreclosure and, in doing so, preserve home-ownership and home equity, and gain housing stability.

Working with homeowners before, during, and after the foreclosure process, LSLA has provided foreclosure prevention legal help to its clients from advice and counsel through extended representation. The Foreclosure Prevention Project covers the full spectrum of foreclosure prevention legal needs, including, but not limited to, predatory property tax loans, tax foreclosures, reverse mortgages, purchase money mortgages, foreclosure rescue fraud, home equity loans, foreclosures by property owners’ associations, invalid material-man’s liens, contract for deed rights enforcement, mobile home foreclosures/repossessions, and bankruptcy. The project has added focus on preventing bail bond and post disaster foreclosures to its list of prevention tasks.

Over a two-year period, the project handled 971 cases. In the process, it has prevented 152 foreclosures and secured $1,453,394 in back awards, lump sum settlements, cost savings, and costs avoided. The project also conducted 80 community outreach and education events targeting vulnerable populations.

The Foreclosure Prevention Project is made possible in part by funds from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984 to administer the newly implemented Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program. Since then, TAJF has diversified its funding sources to include public funding and private donations.

The Foundation grants millions of dollars per year to approximately 40 organizations statewide that provide free civil legal assistance to low-income Texans. With TAJF grants, legal aid organizations provide free legal assistance in civil matters, such as protection from domestic violence and assistance with housing issues, to more than 150,000 low-income Texans each year. 

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and wellbeing; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, and how to apply for legal services, visit our website at http://www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: Clarissa Ayala, cayala@lonestarlegal.org.