Across the county, financial hardships have either been created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For homeowners who experienced reductions in income due to hardships like illness or job loss, paying their mortgage has been difficult. In response, the federal government allocated funds to create the California Mortgage Relief Program, which provides one-time funding for qualifying homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage due to the pandemic. More information about the program can be found at camortgagerelief.org. For homeowners needing assistance, the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County is here to help clients navigate the application process through its Foreclosure Prevention and Consumer Protection Program.
The Legal Aid Foundation is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal services to low-income and other vulnerable residents in Santa Barbara County. The Foreclosure Prevention and Consumer Protection Program, in addition to helping distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure, also assists senior victims of financial abuse and exploitation. Program attorney Kate Lee assists senior clients facing issues related to consumer fraud, unlawful business practices, identity theft, and scams. Lee also manages the Consumer Debt and Bankruptcy Clinic, which provides free information on bankruptcy matters to self-represented individuals on Fridays from 10am-12pm.
Prospective Legal Aid clients can either call the office closest to them or visit the website to apply for services. After completing the intake forms and providing proof of income, the information will be forwarded to the attorney for review and potential clients will be notified of the next steps.
About the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County The Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County (Legal Aid) is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance to Santa Barbara County residents. Its mission is to provide high-quality civil legal services to low-income and other vulnerable residents in order to ensure equal access to justice. Legal Aid changes lives through direct representation, legal advice and information, and community education. Since 1959, Legal Aid has provided legal services to those most in need in our community. Its offices are located in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria.