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Fri November 23, 2012
MSU law students help prevent evictions
Michigan State University law students are helping some Ingham County residents avoid eviction.
More than 9,000 families were evicted from their rental homes in Ingham County last year. That forced many to turn to shelters or the streets.
Michael Siracuse is an attorney with the Housing Clinic at Michigan State University College of Law. He and his students are providing free legal services to people facing eviction.
"We can catch those people at the door, my team, and we can help them from getting duped into signing consent judgments that will ultimately result in their eviction because they can't pay those judgments," Siracuse says.
He says many of the evictions involve people who can otherwise afford their housing, but owe back rent for a number of reasons.
"If people who work by the hour, or get paid by the hour get their hours cut or they get sick, those are the people who end up falling behind."
Siracuse says the program negotiates with landlords or their attorneys. A number of organizations are providing financial aid to help people get caught up on their rent.