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Oregon State Bar, FEMA, Red Cross, American Bar Association offer residents within disaster zones pro bono help

COURTESY PHOTO: FEMA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the deadline for area residents to receive assistance in the aftermath of the September wildfires.Wildfires have translated into legal woes for Oregonians, many of whom now have access to free assistance from lawyers, including lawyers receiving specialized training in high areas of need.

Through a partnership between the Oregon State Bar, FEMA, the Red Cross and the American Bar Association, residents within the disaster zones can seek a pro bono lawyer immediately. A key area of need will be assisting FEMA applicants who face ineligibility due to lost documentation (lease agreements, deeds, photo IDs, etc).

FEMA has received approximately 25,000 applications for assistance from the fires, and up to 40% of those applicants face ineligibility challenges. These Oregonians are encouraged to seek help in navigating the federal appeals process. Help will be available in multiple languages.

Other areas of need may include:

• Landlord-tenant and housing problems

• Insurance claims (life, medical, property, etc.)

• Applications and appeals for FEMA and other federal benefits

• Contracts for housing repairs

• Consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures

• Mortgage foreclosure

• Replacement of lost legal documents (wills, etc.)

• Power of attorney/estate administration

• Guardianship and conservatorships

For more information, go to, or call the OSB's hotline at 503-684-3763 or 800-452-7636.

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