News Clips

December 22, 2011

Daily Journal: Working to avert bankruptcy crisis

Daily Journal | Connie Lopez


The Daily Journal profiles Public Counsel's self-help bankruptcy clinic, which is a "lifeline for a court deluged with debtors who are unrepresented." The story profiles Christian Betancourt, who came to Public Counsel for help when a loan modification service stole his identity and pushed him into bankruptcy.

Desperate, Betancourt went to Public Counsel Law Center for help. The center is one of six nonprofit legal service organizations and four bar associations operating a network of pro bono programs through the Bankruptcy Court of the Central District to help a growing number of debtors through the complexities of filing for bankruptcy.

Magdalena "Maggie" Bordeaux, senior staff attorney for the Public Counsel Law Center's Los Angeles division, took Betancourt's case. She manages the Debtors Assistance Project, a hotline debtors can call to request a pro bono attorney to help them in their Chapter 7 filings.

"[He] came to the help desk," said Bordeaux. "We then assisted him with a motion to expunge to take the bankruptcy off his record since he did not actually file it."

Betancourt, believe it or not, is one of the lucky ones.

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