Students Give Presentation on Debt Relief Clinic and Provide Solutions for Debt-Related Legal Issues
WMU-Cooley Law School Tampa Debt Relief Clinic students Tim Harvey, Daniel Munzner and Derek Matthews, under the supervision of the clinic director Victor Veschio, presented an introduction to the clinic and bankruptcy law at the James J. Lunsford Hillsborough County Law Library in downtown Tampa on July 11, 2016.
Students discussed their experience in the clinic, which provides debt-related legal assistance on issues arising from past-due medical bills, loans, predatory lending, unfair collections practices, and more, for underserved individuals in Hillsborough County, Florida.
“Clients come in laden with worry and burdened by the unknown and walk out standing taller with a clear vision and a plan for the future,” said Matthews. “It is one of the most rewarding aspects of counseling our clients.”
The process of understanding bankruptcy law in the clinic was also discussed.
“After the interview and counsel at the clinic, some clients realize that they do not need to file bankruptcy as their assets are exempt from creditors under state law,” said Munzner. “We provide assistance in finding other alternatives to relieve the financial stress.”
Veschio, director of the clinic stated, “The vetting process of the students, our law office model, and our emphasis on empathy works for both the students and the clients we serve.”
About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.