Pro bono attorney Monica Shepard accepted her first bankruptcy pro bono case and achieved a wonderful result for her client with the guidance of expert resource attorney Ed Jackson.
1. What were the basic facts of your case?
A family purchased a mobile home in 1998. Then, in 2011, the husband lost his job and they fell behind on the payments. The mortgage servicing company refused to work with them and initiated replevin proceedings.
2. What were you able to accomplish for your client?
Through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, I was able to stop the replevin and to "strip down" the loan to the amount that the mobile home was actually worth.
3. Why was the outcome important to your client?
The outcome kept a roof over the family's head and decreased the amount of the loan balance, thereby lessening their monthly payments. There were many ups and downs but ultimately we were successful.
4. Why was the experience important to you? That is, what did you gain from the experience?
This experience taught me the benefits of a "team" approach.
Prior to accepting this case, I realized that it had many complexities and nuances. Before I said yes, I asked JALA to team me with an expert resource attorney. I felt it was essential to have an additional attorney on this case to provide guidance and act as a sounding board.
I'm very proud to say that JALA paired me with one of the most esteemed and experienced attorneys in the city, Edward P. Jackson. What a gift!
He was forthcoming, patient and freely shared his time and knowledge with me. He was profoundly instrumental in the success of this case.
I will always be grateful for his assistance.
5. What advice do you have for other attorneys considering pro bono involvement?
Do it! I honestly can say it has been one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of my life. People matter and it's a beautiful feeling to give hope and resolution to those in despair.
Attorneys willing to consider assisting a pro bono client are encouraged to visit the online case-review resource at jaxlegalaid.org and click on "Cases In Need of Placement with Pro Bono Attorneys." Attorneys may request additional information before acceptance of a case.
Attorneys interested in all opportunities for pro bono involvement throughout the 4th Judicial Circuit are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, chairwoman of The JBA Pro Bono Committee at [email protected].