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Arnie and his wife asked his brother to co-sign a mortgage so they could buy a house. Unfortunately, they couldn't manage the payments and the home went into foreclosure. Arnie desperately wanted to leave the property and protect what was left of his brother's credit but the bank wouldn't talk to him. Then his attorney, Sal Lopez, got involved. Within a matter of weeks Sal negotiated a deed in lieu of foreclosure. For Arnie, it was as if the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders.
Arnulfo and Alina
Although the Thomases had never missed a mortgage payment, a mistake by their bank put them into foreclosure. Their attorney, Matthew Hulstein, tried to resolve it in mediation, but the bank stonewalled. Finally, Matt asked the court to sanction the bank for wrongful foreclosure and bad faith mediation. The stone wall crumbled. The bank dismissed the foreclosure and the Thomases kept their home.
CVLS was appointed GAL after Alcelia petitioned for guardianship of her 86-year old grandmother Ruth. Karen Callahan visited Ruth at Alcelia's home and saw her happy, comfortable and safe. Although Karen recommended guardianship, Alcelia had a criminal history and the court had to determine Alcelia's fitness to serve as guardian.
Alcelia testified about troubled family life during childhood leading to the offense. Clean and sober since 2007, Alcelia said that Ruth had cared for Alcelia's children during that time and should not spend her last years in a nursing home. The court agreed and appointed her guardian.
Nine year old Nicole had always lived with her grandmother, Mariela, in an apartment with her aunt and uncle right next door. Last Christmas, Mariela's adoption of Nicole was final. Now Nicole has Mariela's last name. For Mariela and Nicole, their attorney gave them the best Christmas present ever.
Together, Charles and his sister took out a home improvement loan to repair the family home.
The sister paid the loan until she moved out of state. Charles, elderly and on a fixed income, could not afford the payments by himself. His attorney, Erik Diggs, negotiated an affordable payment plan and makes sure that Charles makes his payment, on time, every month.
A victim of domestic violence, Lithuanian native Jurgita had been living in the U.S. on a u-visa.
After three years, she wanted to become a permanent resident. CVLS volunteer Renae Yoo, made it happen, proving that her client qualified for a green card. Jurgita cried when she discovered she was able to stay in America for good. It meant she could finally visit her family in Lithuania assured that she would be welcome back into her new country.
Hui was driving a loaner car because his had been damaged while parked.
When his loaner car was stolen from a secure parking garage, the rental company demanded $26,000. CVLS volunteer Roenan Patt reviewed Illinois law and the car rental agreement. Then he sent the plaintiff a letter explaining that both the law and the contract limited his client’s liability to $2,000. Hui never hear from the plaintiff again.
Jia (Julia) came to CVLS’ AILA Legal Clinic after five unsuccessful attempts and 20 years of trying to get a green card. Because Julia needed proof of a 20 year old crime, her attorney visited courthouses looking for archived documents. She discovered that a police officer’s initial statement led to the original denial of Julia’s visa. They convinced the police department to issue a corrected statement for the immigration appeal. Success! Julia’s nonimmigrant visa will allow Julia to get a green card in three years and U.S. citizenship a few years later. After becoming documented, Julia thanked her attorney, saying, “My heart has been moved and touched. My life became light.”
Monique was a responsible driver—she had insurance. Unfortunately, her insurance company wasn’t as responsible. When she was in an accident, they filed suit against her to cancel the contract, claiming she’d lied on her application by failing to identify her boyfriend’s vehicle. Luckily, Monique had a good attorney to fight the insurance company After her client’s deposition, the insurance company dropped their case and agreed to fulfill their obligations to Monique.
Debi Martin, CVLS staff attorney in the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for Minors program, will cover the skills required to be a successful GAL for a minor as well as the issues that may come up during the case. This training is for licensed attorneys interested in working as pro bono Guardians ad Litem for children through CVLS. No prior experience is necessary.Find out more »