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Runners Raise Funds to Help Bankruptcy Filers

Leslie Cohen 5K for Public Counsel


Click here to view more pictures from the Leslie Cohen Law 5K courtesy of Timothy Brandt Photography

On a perfect Santa Monica day, 300 runners and walkers helped raise funds to support Public Counsel's Debtors Assistance Project at the second Leslie Cohen Law 5K.

Public Counsel's clinic at U.S. Bankruptcy Court helps people filing pro se -- with a 95% discharge rate for Chapter 7 filers.

Judges Maureen Tighe and Sandra Klein and Chapter 13 Trustee Kathy Dockery joined the race, and "Dockery's Dasher" were the largest team and won a team award.

The Leslie Cohen Law 5K was held April 27 at Santa Monica's Reed Emerson Park.

Making the Difference for Pro Se Filers in Bankruptcy

Public Counsel's in-person clinic at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles helps people fight bankruptcy scams and gives people a fresh start.

KPCC profiled the story of Ajamu Azibo, a software engineer who was a victim of an increasingly common bankruptcy scam, when somebody falsely filed under his name. It could have ruined his dreams of owning a home.

In 2012-13 the Debtors Assistance Project teamed up with the law firm of Landau Gottfried & Berger to defend a pro se filer against a bad faith adversary filing. The client will now get a fresh start without having a $100,000 default judgement.

"I think for many individuals, they are intimidated by the legal system generally, and there's a lot of advertising out there by notaries," said Maggie Reyes-Bordeaux, who directs the Debtors Assistance Project. "It's only compounded by the fact that a lot of these individuals are friends, maybe friends of family, and so they trust them sometimes more than they trust the legal system."

Bordeaux was recently recognized by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys with the Henry Sommer Scholarship, given to a legal aid attorney in recognition of NACBA President Emeritus Henry J. Sommer.

Click here to view the hours of our Debtors Assistance Project.