Consumer LawFighting for justice for indigent victims of consumer fraud and abuse is the hallmark of Public Counsel's oldest project, the Consumer Law Project ("CLP"). Since its inception in 1977, CLP's staff of experienced consumer attorneys and paralegals have worked with thousands of pro bono lawyers in the private bar representing low-income consumers who have fallen prey to a variety of scams. Read More
For more information about our services and our intake hours, call:
- Consumer Issues Intake Line:
Mondays and Wednesdays
(213) 385-2977 x700
- Bankruptcy Intake Line:
(213) 385-2977, ext. 704
Monday – Friday
- L.A. Bankruptcy Self-Help Desk:
Mondays and Wednesdays
10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 2–4 p.m.
Closed on court holidays
Arrive 30-60 mins. early for security
- Bankruptcy Community Hits the Streets for Public Counsel Bankruptcy lawyers and judges hit the streets of Santa Monica to raise $10,000 to support the valuable work of Public Counsel's Debtors Assistance Program.
- Public Counsel and Healthcare Experts Put Focus on Homeless Care On June 10, representatives from more than 30 major hospitals in Southern California heard from local and national leaders about the opportunities for better care for homeless patients with chronic illnesses.
- OUR STORIES ___________________________________________________________________________________
- Shocking Case Puts Patient Dumping Back in the Spotlight Public Counsel helped expose the problem of patient dumping by Los Angeles hospitals and change it. But a new case featured in the Los Angeles Times puts the issue back in the spotlight.
- Protecting Debtors from Fraud and Abuse Many debtors at Public Counsel's Bankruptcy Self-Help Desk have received incompetent advice from bankruptcy petition preparers.
- >> Our Stories Archive
- CONSUMER ALERTS ___________________________________________________________________________________
- Health Insurance Fraud Consumers beware! Some people may try to trick you into buying health coverage that doesn't provide all of the required benefits.
- Forged and Fraudulent Deeds In the current economic climate, criminal fraud related to real property deeds appears to be on the rise.
- Foreclosure Rescue Scams Many consumers are faced with a mortgage they can no longer afford and are facing foreclosure. Unscrupulous opportunists are profiting from this crisis. They promise quick results for a fee but actually provide nothing.
- >> Consumer Alerts Archive
- PRESS RELEASES ___________________________________________________________________________________
- Click, Call To Learn About Keep Your Home California Keep Your Home California is a state-run program with almost $2 billion in federal funds to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
- Statement: Governor's Plan Fails Californians Still Fighting Foreclosure Groups that assist homeowners said Governor Brown should restore money meant to hold banks accountable and prevent foreclosures.
- Update on Countrywide Fair Lending Settlement The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice wants to update you on the process to distribute proceeds from the $335 million victim fund created as part of the Department of Justice’s December 2011 lending discrimination settlement with Countrywide.
- >> Press Releases Archive
- NEWS CLIPS ___________________________________________________________________________________
- NY Times: Last Plea on School Loans: Proving a Hopeless Future It isn't easy to stand up in an open courtroom and bear witness to the abject wretchedness of your financial situation, but by the time Doug Wallace Jr. was 31 years old, he had little to lose by trying.
- Daily Journal: Central District has lion's share of nation's pro se bankruptcy debtors Few experience much -- or any -- success in bankruptcy court when going at it alone.
- LA Times: L.A. hospital accused of patient-dumping Public Counsel filed a lawsuit Friday against a hospital on behalf of Jesse Bravo, alleging elder abuse, false imprisonment and hospital negligence.
- >> News Clips Archive
- All You Need to Know About Identity Theft Identity theft (or ID theft) is when someone else uses your personal information, like your name, Social Security number or address, without your permission.
- Todo Lo Que Necesita Saber Sobre Robo de Identidad Robo de identidad (o robo de ID) es cuando alguien mas usa su informacion personal, como su nombre, numero de Seguro Social o direccion, sin su permiso.
- Bankruptcy Resources These publications will provide you with the information you need to file bankruptcy, or deal with issues that arise in your bankruptcy case.
- Recursos de Bancarrota Estas publicaciones le proporcionan con la informacion que necesite para archivar la bancarrota, or para manejar con asuntos que surgen dentro de su bancarrota.
- Understanding Wage Garnishment and Your Options Wage garnishment is a legal process requiring an employer to withhold a portion of a person's earned wages to repay someone who won a lawsuit against the employee.
- CCJC Foreclosure Prevention Clinic at KABA
- CCJC Foreclosure Prevention Clinic at ACCE
- Help for an Elderly Woman Who Lost Home in Sham Foreclosure 86-year-old Juana and her 66-year-old daughter, Francisca, were evicted from their family home of more than 30 years after a foreclosure sale based on a sham loan. Find out what happened when Public Counsel and pro bono attorneys Dan Nabel and Rachel Wilkes Barchie of Greenberg Glusker took on the case.
- Overview of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Alternatives to Bankruptcy Learn about the bankruptcy process, the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and alternatives to bankruptcy.
- How to Prepare a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition In this series of step-by-step videos, you will learn how to fill out your own Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.
- How to Apply for an Independent Foreclosure Review Were you in foreclosure in 2009 or 2010? Even if your foreclosure has already been completed, there may be an opportunity to have your loan file reviewed. If the review finds errors in how your foreclosure was handled, you may be eligible to receive compensation.
- Bankruptcy Basics These videos from the U.S. Courts give an overview of the bankruptcy process. Topics covered include types of bankruptcy, limits of bankruptcy, filing for bankruptcy, the creditors' meeting, bankruptcy crime, court hearings, the discharge, and legal assistance.
- Videos from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans -- whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing between credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.
- How To File a Complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs This short tutorial guides viewers through the process of filing a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
- Credit Card Debt Assistance This video is from a live forum on credit card debt assistance, filmed on July 24, 2009, in Sacramento, California.
- Helping Victims of Identity Theft This video explains how identity theft (ID theft) can affect you, and how to use Taking Charge and the Guide for Assisting Identity Theft Victims to resolve problems.
- Next Foreclosure Prevention Clinic Tuesday, Jan. 21st at ACCE New Foreclosure Prevention Clinic on Jan. 21st from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).
- Foreclosure Self Help Desk Public Counsel's Foreclosure Self Help Desk provides assistance to homeowners with legal questions related to foreclosure. The Self Help Desk is held on the first Tuesday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Services are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
- Bankruptcy Self Help Desk Public Counsel's Bankruptcy Self-Help Desk provides walk-in bankruptcy advice on Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Bankruptcy Pro Se Clinic If you are interested in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this interactive workshop will discuss bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy, and teach you how to complete the bankruptcy petition and schedules yourself.
- Toberman Legal Clinic Public Counsel's legal clinic at the Toberman Family Source Center provides general intake concerning a broad array of legal issues including consumer scams, landlord-tenant, government benefits and immigration issues. This clinic serves clients of the Toberman Family Source Center.
- Public Counsel CARES: Connecting Angelenos to Resources and Essential Services Public Counsel CARES, formerly known as the General Relief Advocacy Project (GRAP), is a legal advocacy project that takes place in the LA County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) welfare offices. Through the project, volunteer attorneys and students assist impoverished, hungry, and homeless clients with emergency shelter, food, health, transportation, and other social service needs.
- Homeless Youth Legal Clinic at My Friend's Place Public Counsel's homeless youth legal clinic at My Friend's Place provides a broad range of free legal services and educational workshops for homeless and runaway youth.
- PATH Legal Clinic Public Counsel's legal clinic at People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) provides comprehensive legal intake and referrals to homeless individuals.
- Appellate Self Help Clinic Public Counsel's Appellate Self Help Clinic helps pro se litigants represent themselves in civil appellate matters
- Pro Per Guardianship Clinic Public Counsel's Skadden Arps Pro Per Guardianship Clinic assists with legal guardianship petitions for adults caring for children whose parents cannot or will not properly care for them. The clinic also assists with petitions for visitation and termination of guardianship.
- Proskauer Federal Pro Se Clinic Public Counsel's Proskauer Federal Pro Se Clinic assists unrepresented litigants in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
- Banking and Payment Systems Using credit vs. debit cards, cashing checks and opening bank accounts, and shopping for money wire transfers.
- Bankruptcy Find out answers to frequently asked questions about bankruptcy, how to use credit wisely after bankruptcy, and your legal rights during and after bankruptcy, in these publications from the National Consumer Law Center and Nolo Press.
- Benefits Information on food, housing, and medical assistance, as well as other types of benefits and programs to help those in need.
- California Department of Consumer Affairs Links The California Department of Consumer Affairs helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals.
- Cell Phones and Phone Bills How to buy a cell phone, dealing with cell phone problems, and what to do about mysterious charges on your phone bill.
- Claim of Exemption from Wage Garnishment Is someone taking part of your paycheck? You may be able to stop this with a claim of exemption. Find out more in this flyer created by Staff Attorney Brian Bilford of Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County.
- Credit Cards What to think about before taking out a new card, advice on the new credit card protections, and how to legally settle your credit card debt.
- Credit Counseling, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, and Credit Repair Find out the truth about credit counseling, credit reports, credit scores, and credit repair.
- Debt Collection Find out how to get real help with debt problems, and dealing with debt collection harassment.
- Disputes with Attorneys The Los Angeles County Bar Association and California State Bar each offer methods for dealing a dispute you might have with an attorney you have hired.
- Fraud Learn how you can protect yourself and report fraud by using these resources from the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
- Health Care Find information about health care and health insurance, and how to avoid health care scams.
- Homeowners Learn how to save your home from foreclosure, avoid high-cost home loans, and other resources for homeowners.
- Identity Theft Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. It's a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation -- and can take time, money, and patience to resolve.
- IRS Information Useful information from the IRS, including offers in compromise, the collection process, and taxes and bankruptcy.
- Immigrants Learn how to avoid dishonest immigration consultants, and about other consumer-related issues for immigrants
- Older Consumers Find out more about issues pertaining to older Americans, including bankruptcy, identity thefty, credit cards and reverse mortgages in these publications from the National Consumer Law Center.
- Payday Loans Payday loans are short-term cash loans based on personal checks held for future deposit or on electronic access to the borrower's bank account.
- Renters & Eviction Issues Help for renters who are about to be evicted, and tenants who are renting properties that have fallen into foreclosure.
- Self-Help Resource Centers Located at Superior Court locations throughout L.A. County, Self-Help Resource Centers provide education and assistance to parties who do not have attorneys and need to complete documents and court procedures on their own.
- Student Loans Find out more about dealing with student loan debt, bankruptcy and student loans, debt forgiveness, deferment, forbearance, and repayment options.
- Useful Websites These links provide information on legal resources, general consumer information, legal services, resource centers, car information, helpful financial tools, retailer and trade associations, and government websites.
- Surviving the Economic Challenge - Useful Materials for Individuals and Families Have you or someone in your family lost your home or job? Are you or your family struggling to stay in your home and meet your financial obligations due to the economic downturn? This document contains helpful information about legal issues that you may be facing, and referrals to social service agencies that can assist with your specific needs.