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Free legal help available for disaster survivors

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Release Date:
October 7, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Free help with disaster-related legal concerns is available to eligible wildfire survivors in Butte, Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties.

Survivors may seek no-cost aid with wildfire-related legal issues by calling the disaster legal services hotline at (888) 382-3406. Help is available in several languages. The program is a partnership between FEMA and the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

Types of free legal assistance that may be available from a volunteer lawyer include:

  • Help securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster survivors;
  • Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;
  • Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
  • Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the wildfires;
  • Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures;
  • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems;
  • Counseling on landlord-tenant problems;
  • Referral to other attorneys and organizations for help with additional legal matters; and
  • COVID-19 resources.

Free disaster legal services are not allowed for cases that will produce a monetary award.