Overview of the Collaborative
Through the Collaborative, the partner organizations coordinate their work to provide pro bono (free) legal assistance and education to aid homeowners in resolving property title issues. They will also focus on advocacy efforts to reform policy at the state and local level, in order to remove systemic barriers to clearing title, preserving homes, and restoring neighborhoods.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS), The Pro Bono Project (PBP), Louisiana Appleseed, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law are channeling their pro bono resources and expertise in heir property and title issues in order to assist homeowners. SLLS and PBP are local legal organizations that have helped thousands of residents address title problems for many years. Louisiana Appleseed provides education about the issue of heir property in Louisiana, and the Lawyers' Committee provides education and legal assistance on the issue of title clearing throughout the country.
What Does "Title Clearing" Mean?
You may own property, but it may be difficult to prove, or title may be tainted by "encumbrances," such as mortgages, tax liens, easements, or other restrictions. In order to make productive use of the land - to sell it, lease it, make repairs, build on it, or obtain loans or grants, for instance - you must show "clear title" by removing the encumbrances and proving ownership. This process can be complicated and usually requires the assistance of a lawyer.
What is Heir Property?
Heir property refers to land that is owned by more than one family member - often several or even dozens of family members, which occurs when land is passed down without the use of wills. The result is that family members own undivided shares in the land as "tenants in common," making it difficult to make productive use of the land and making it unclear who is responsible for maintaining the property.
We hope that members will use this practice area as a communication tool, to share collected experiences and knowledge. To see a listing of our current members, click on "Roster" in the left-hand navigation bar.