More People Able to Obtain Legal Assistance in New York's Bankruptcy Courts, as Southern and Eastern Districts Adopt New Pro Bono Representation Rules

Monday, March 27, 2006

  • Brennan Center's Legal Services E-lert
Low-income New Yorkers filing bankruptcy petitions now have a better opportunity to obtain counsel, thanks to new rules set by bankruptcy court judges in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. Two new projects -- the Pro Bono Consumer Bankruptcy Project of the City Bar Justice Center and the NYC Bankruptcy Assistance Project at LSC grantee Legal Services for New York City -- will coordinate a network of volunteer attorneys who will represent low-income debtors in claims for Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed under new, stringent laws in effect since October 2005. In addition to updating court rules to administer the appointment of volunteer attorneys, both Eastern and Southern District judges have urged the private bar to participate in the program. The judges write, "It is vital that the private bar assists in providing representation to indigents. If legal rights are to remain a reality to all citizens, it is essential that indigents be able to obtain legal representation."

Source: Press Release, NYC Bar and NYC Bankruptcy Assistance Project, Bankruptcy Court Establishes New Procedures to Help Self-Represented Debtors Obtain Legal Services, March 22, 2006; also based on original reporting by Brennan Center staff.

Posted with permission.