Read How Pro Bono Attorneys Have Made a Difference
Good stories about cases handled by pro bono volunteers
Pro Bono Attorney Recovers Triple Damages for Couple in Home Sales case
In a case where the in-home sales pitch of the windows and siding salesman did not match the company''s performance, a volunteer attorney from the law firm of Rhoades McKee in Grand Rapids was successful in recovering not only the $5000 they had paid but triple damages under the Consumer Protection Act.
The couple was quoted a price of $21,400 to replace the siding and windows on their home. They paid a deposit of $5,000 and filled out applications for credit to finance the rest to through the company--after the salesman assured them that a prior bankruptcy and poor credit rating would "be no obstacle".
Several weeks passed and they heard nothing from the company. After getting the runaround for several weeks, the company finally told them that the financing was denied and that they would not perform the work. The company also refused to return the $5000 deposit.
The attorney working pro bono had to litigate against the company (which hired one of the big Grand Rapids firms to fight the case) but prevailed not only in getting the deposit but a judgment for $15,000.
Pro Bono Attorney Fights Bank to Help Widow Keep her Home
After the untimely and unexpected death of her husband with a heart attack, a middle aged widow was at risk of losing their house when the company providing "credit life" on the home mortgage refused to pay. The widow was not able to make the monthly payments on her own limited income and was at risk of foreclosure.
Although the couple had been paying the premium every month and was current in the payments, the credit life insurance provided by the Bank tried to get out of paying off the balance on the mortgage as the contract provided. Despite the fact that medical records had no indication that the man was ever treated for a heart condition, they tried to argue that the man must have had a "pre-existing" heart condition that he had failed to disclose.
The pro bono attorney worked with the family doctor and was able to get the matter resolved. Without the assistance and perseverance of the volunteer attorney, the woman would have lost her home.
Vulnerable Senior Helped to Stay in Home
After the death of her mother, a 64 year old woman was unable to afford the upkeep on the home where they had lived together. She applied for a reverse mortgage to supplement her income and make needed repairs but was denied because of an error in the deed. Although her mother had put daughter's name on the deed with the intention of the daughter being the sole owner on her death, critical language providing for that was omitted on the deed. The mother's estate had to be probated in order to transfer ownership to the daughter. A volunteer attorney was found who did that work pro bono. As a result, the daughter was able to qualify for a reverse mortgage to meet the expenses and stay in the home.