New Mexico Legal Aid

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Disaster Legal Services: How We Can Help

Many legal issues can arise after a natural disaster. New Mexico Legal Aid’s Disaster Legal Services Practice Group provides legal representation and advice in legal issues related to disasters, including cases involving:

  • Assistance with starting the application process
  • Assistance with appealing FEMA decisions
  • Residential evictions, with priority given to cases involving subsidized housing
  • Termination of section 8 vouchers and other housing subsidies
  • Rent-to-own, leases with options to buy, and seller-financed real estate contracts
  • Tenant-owned mobile homes located on spaces in mobile home parks
  • Landlord-tenant disputes related to domestic violence
  • ID/Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
  • Foreclosure is the legal process by which a lender attempts to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan by taking ownership of the mortgaged property and selling it.
  • Typically, default is triggered when a borrower misses a specific number of monthly payments, but it can also happen when the borrower fails to meet other terms in the mortgage document.
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Title clearance refers to the process by which a title or settlement agent researches the history of title to a property and ensures that its new owner will receive clear, or unencumbered, title to the property.
  • Probate is the general administration of a deceased person’s will or the estate of a deceased person without a will.
  • Contractor fraud refers to illegal business practices committed by individual contractors or contracting firms hired to renovate, repair, or (re)build residential properties.
  • This type of crime can manifest in countless ways, but contractor fraud is typically characterized by deception, a breach of contract, or substandard work performed intentionally or arising out of inexcusable negligence.
  • Contractor fraud is a serious, illegal act and will cost homeowners in the long run, often leading to further repairs.
  • An insurance company or agent may issue policies without the proper licensing;
  • Collect premiums without processing or having the means to cover claims;
  • Or deny legitimate claims without sufficient reasoning, which is known as bad faith.
  • Price gouging is a term that refers to the practice of raising the price of goods, services, or commodities, to an unreasonable or unfair level.
  • The IRS will automatically provide administrative disaster tax relief and special tax law provisions that grants additional time for individuals and businesses to file returns, pay taxes, and perform certain other time-sensitive acts to taxpayers affected by a federally declared disaster. Some circumstances may apply.
  • Bankruptcy is a legal step people can take to get out of debt when they owe a lot of money. Bankruptcy is a request to a court to provide relief when you are unable to pay your debts (for example, car payments, mortgage, utility bills, etc.).
  • For those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, unemployment benefits can provide much-needed financial support. But if you’ve applied for benefits and been denied, you’ll need to appeal.
  • While some workers can handle unemployment claims on their own, you might want to speak with a lawyer if your claim is particularly difficult, or if you think you have reason to sue your employer in court for wrongful termination.
  • S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Disaster Assistance
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Restoration Plans
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans
  • A simple power of attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint someone to act on your behalf.
  • You can specify what actions your agent can take, such as managing your property or money.
  • Your power of attorney can go into effect immediately or at a future time.

How to Reach Us ​

If you’re facing a disaster-related legal issue, we’re here to assist you. Here’s how you can contact us:

The 2022 federally declared disasters impacted the following areas:

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