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Submitted on December 4, 2019 in Probate

Client is living in a home owned by his deceased grandmother. Grandmother died testate in 2018 with a will devising the property to two of her six children and a codicil that devises the property to a third and then a fourth child in the event the first two reject the specific devise. Client does not have a legal interest in the property, as his mother is still alive. Client’s mother is not named in the will and is named an alternative in the codicil, but client has obtained renunciation letters from all four named heirs, including his mother, electing him to be personal representative of his grandmother’s estate. The property has an active mortgage foreclosure action. A status conference is scheduled for December 12, 2019. Client needs to become administrator of his grandmother’s estate in order for the lender to consider him a successor-in-interest so he can participate in the proceedings and pursue loan assumption. Client is working with a housing counselor, and the assumption of the loan is affordable for him. A volunteer is needed to help client open his grandmother’s estate and draft a deed transferring title to client’s name.

Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing


Submitted on November 6, 2019 in Probate

Client, who has a disability and is very responsive, seeks assistance with a probate matter. Client is living in a property owned by his deceased mother, who died testate in 1996. The Client’s mother had five children, only two of whom are alive. In her will, client’s mother left the entirety of her estate to her children, to be divided evenly among them. She named client’s deceased brother as the executor of her estate but named no alternate executor. There are currently five living heirs besides client. Client has obtained renunciations from four of five heirs electing him personal representative of his mother’s estate, who each agree to ultimately transfer title of the property to client. A fifth heir has not yet signed a renunciation but has indicated he will consider doing so after speaking with his attorney. Client needs title in order to qualify for assistance programs that will conduct repairs and provide accessibility modifications. A volunteer is needed to help client probate his mother’s estate, including transferring title to client and filing an inheritance tax return. If the final renunciation cannot be obtained, the volunteer will need to file a petition for a citation to show cause why petitioner should not be appointed administrator. Mobile notary available upon request.

Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing


Submitted on December 6, 2019 in Foreclosure

Client seeks assistance with a mortgage foreclosure matter. Client is living in a property owned by her deceased sister. In December 2009, sister obtained a mortgage for $56,000.00 from a now defunct credit union that is currently owned by American Heritage Credit Union. Client has tried to keep up with payments since her sister died in 2019, but fell behind. Client is working with a housing counselor and hopes to modify and assume the loan. A volunteer is needed to represent client at her next conciliation conference, for which the next date is about to be scheduled, and throughout the diversion program. Client has a companion deed transfer case in order to get title to the home as required by the lender, and another VIP volunteer is already helping her with that matter.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Negotiation Skills


Submitted on November 26, 2019 in Miscellaneous


Please ignore for referrals.

Core Competencies: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)


Submitted on September 24, 2019 in Wills

Client seeks assistance with estate planning documents. Client wishes to leave her house, which she and her husband currently own as tenants by the entirety, to her two sons. Client and her husband have signed conflict waivers so VIP can find a volunteer attorney to prepare both of their wills because they have selected the same beneficiaries. Her husband’s case is VIP Case No. 19-0044128. Taking both is encouraged but not required. Client and her husband are Spanish-speaking; interpretation services are available upon request.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Drafting


Submitted on December 5, 2019 in Quiet Title

Client seeks assistance with a quiet title matter. Client took out two small business loans totaling $43,000 in May 2017 from an individual lender. According to the loan agreement, these loans were to be paid back within 12 months and had an annual interest rate of 36.522%. She put her home up for collateral. Client paid back approximately $13,000 before May 2018 but has no evidence of these payments. She defaulted on the loan in May 2018 and met with the lender to enter a payment plan in July 2018 with payments of $1,600/month for 26 months, totaling over $50,000. Because of the client’s limited English proficiency, she did not understand that part of the new loan agreement included a provision that stated that she would temporarily transfer title of her home to the lender until she had repaid the loan in full. Client unknowingly signed the deed over to him in July 2018 and then was unable to make any payments under this new agreement. In November 2018, the lender filed for an ejectment action against client and continued to try to get her to sign new payment agreements that she could not afford. At the ejectment hearing, the judge ruled in client’s favor, and now client seeks to regain title. Client would like to repay amount owed but seeks assistance negotiating with lender to put title back in her name and for a payment agreement that allows her to pay a reasonable amount based on legal lending practices. If that fails, client will need assistance filing a quiet title action for fraudulent deed transfer to get title back in her name. Client is Spanish speaking; interpretation and translation services will be provided upon request.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings, Negotiation Skills


Submitted on November 7, 2019 in Probate

Disabled client, who is very responsive, seeks assistance with a probate matter. Client is living in home owned by his aunt and his mother as tenants in common. Client’s aunt died intestate in March 2012, and Client’s mother died testate in October 2012. Client’s mother devised her portion of the property to client and his brother. Client started probating his mother’s estate in 2013 by obtaining Letters Testamentary and filing the inheritance tax return. Client’s brother agrees to give up his portion of the property to client. Client has also received letters of renunciation from aunt’s intestate heirs in order to probate her estate. There are some major liens on property, including a Department of Human Services (DHS) lien from the aunt’s medical assistance for $100K and an IRS tax lien from his mother for $9K. Client is currently applying for a lifetime deferment of the DHS lien. A volunteer is needed to probate aunt’s estate, help client transfer title of the property to himself, and also help client try to resolve or manage remaining liens on the property.

Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing


Submitted on December 6, 2019 in Wills

79-year-old client seeks assistance with a will and living will. Client would like her will to encourage her daughter and one son to help care for her other son who is disabled. She plans to leave her home and personal property to her daughter and request the property be sold with the proceeds used for her disabled son’s care. She also wants to include her wish that her other son petition for guardianship of her disabled son. A volunteer is needed to help counsel client on how to best address these issues in her will, draft a will, and draft a living will to express client’s own end of life wishes. VIP is able to provide free notary services upon request.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Drafting


Submitted on November 26, 2019 in Nonprofit

Client is an emerging nonprofit organization focused on providing formerly incarcerated individuals with steady employment through a street-cleaning program funded by the City of Philadelphia. Client was originally incorporated as an LLC, but needs assistance with reincorporating as a nonprofit entity.

Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Project Management


Submitted on October 7, 2019 in Real Property

A client needs assistance obtaining exclusive title to her home. The record owners of the property are client and her ex-husband. The parties were divorced in 2004 after opposing party (OP) was incarcerated for a crime against client’s daughter. Although, one of the divorce filings indicates OP’s intent for client to receive the home, no marriage settlement agreement was executed or incorporated into the decree of divorce. More recently, OP wrote a note stating that he was giving all rights to the property to client. OP is no longer incarcerated. Client is not certain of his whereabouts, but has a copy of a current driver’s license with a recent address. A volunteer attorney is needed to draft a deed transferring property into client’s name alone, to find OP, and ask that he sign the deed transferring title. If OP will not sign the deed, the volunteer may need to file a quiet title action on the basis of the not OP signed.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Drafting, Negotiation Skills

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