Help Desk Update – Covid-19/Coronavirus

Protecting the health of our clients, volunteers, and staff is extremely important to us during the continued threat of COVID-19/Coronavirus. In an effort to continue providing services to our clients during this time, we have modified our services. 

While we have suspended our in-person Help Desks, we will be providing services following the procedures below:

  1. Requesting help: Low-income citizens of Jefferson County with civil legal concerns can call us at 205.250.5198, ext. 3 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note that we handle civil matters only and are unable to address criminal matters.
  2. Intake: If your situation qualifies for our services, you will receive a call from an intake specialist the following day (excluding Fridays). At this time an intake specialist will verify your name, address, date of birth, and details related to your case. We will also request proof of income at this time to verify you qualify as a low-income individual or family.
  3. Receiving an appointment with an attorney volunteer: Following intake, please wait for a staff member to schedule you for an appointment to speak with one of our attorney volunteers. You will be given a time and date when the attorney will call. It is extremely important for you to be available to take this call. Any client who cannot be reached at their designated time will lose their place in line and need to wait for a new appointment to be scheduled, resulting in delay of service.

Thank you for your patience during this time.

How to Volunteer

If you are an attorney willing to volunteer by phone or by representing clients in virtual hearings, we need you!

Virtual Help Desks:

Civil Help Desk: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Domestic Help Desk: Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You will only be assigned one client per Help Desk engagement.

Please call Michelle Horn Brown at 205.623.0901 or email her at mbrown@vlbham.org. Volunteer opportunities are not limited to these virtual Help Desks. We also need attorneys who are willing to represent clients during virtual hearings as the need arises.

Covid-19 Specific Relief

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE          

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, PLEASE DO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Call 911;
  2. Go to the Family Court of Jefferson County to file for a Protection From Abuse (PFA) – 120 – 2nd Court North, Birmingham, AL  35204,  Telephone: 205- 325-5491;  or
  3. Go to One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center – 1135 – 14th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL, Telephone:  205.453.7261 

EVICTIONS IN JEFFERSON COUNTY The Alabama moratorium on evictions has now expired, with the exception of certain types of housing (see below). Many landlords are allowed to move forward with eviction proceedings. If you are at risk of being evicted, call us at 205.250.5198, ext. 3 to see if we can help.

MORTGAGES

FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC, FHA—SUSPENDING FORECLOSURE SALES AND EVICTIONS OF BORROWERS FOR 60 DAYS.

  • Homeowners affected are eligible for forbearance plan to reduce or suspend mortgage payments up to 12 months.
  • Please reach out to your mortgage company for forbearance and modification options.

CONSUMER PROTECTIONS

•           Price Gouging – Report cases of coronavirus-related price gouging to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.  

–           To Report – HTTPS://WWW.ALABAMAAG.GOV/CONSUMERCOMPLAINT OR

–           1-800-392-5658

•           Phony “Cures”

–           Report: FTC.GOV/COMPLAINT

•           Phone/Internet Scams

Learn More About COVID-19 Relief

Click here for information about expanded unemployment compensation due to COVID-19.

Click here for information about applying for benefits.

Click here for information about SNAP and healthcare access.

Click here for information about SSI recipients and COVID-19 economic impact (stimulus) payments.

CHANGE THEIR WORLD. CHANGE YOURS. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.