The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Contractor fraud from hurricane repairs? Restore Louisiana may be able to help survivors of Hurricanes Ida, Delta and Laura.

Did a contractor take your money without doing repairs you paid for or by doing terrible work?

Contractor fraud occurs if:

  • Your contractor did not finish work within 45 days of getting paid, unless the contract gives more time.
  • Your contractor damaged your home.
  • Your contractor did poor work or work worth less than you paid for.
  • Your contractor lied about permits or licenses.
  • Your contractor misled you to get the job.

If even one of these things happened, you may be able to get help from the Restore Louisiana program.

Restore Louisiana helps Louisiana homeowners rebuild homes destroyed or severely damaged. The home must have been severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ida, Laura, or Delta.

Restore Louisiana can sometimes help homeowners who are victims of contractor fraud.

The Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) runs this federal disaster relief program.

Can I get Restore Louisiana aid?

Every one of the things on this list must be true to get the help:

  • You owned the home when the hurricane hit.
  • That home was the main place where you lived when the hurricane hit.
  • You still own that home.
  • Your income must be low enough to meet the guidelines. Different limits will apply depending on how many people apply. But the limits are set out here.
  • The government must find that your home had “major and severe” damage.

Any of these three things count as “major and severe” damage:

  • You had a FEMA award of at least $8,000 to repair your home.
  • You had a FEMA award of at least $3,500 for personal property.
  • Your home had more than one foot of flooding.

How do I show contractor fraud?

You must show all of these things:

  • Proof that you paid the contractor. Proof that the contractor did not finish the job. This may be photos of repairs not finished, a current estimate of work needed from a new contractor to finish the work, and so on).
  • Proof that you told enough government officials that your contractor committed fraud.

You will need to give Restore Louisiana paperwork to show you reported the fraud. The program will want proof you did all of these:

  • Filed a fraud report with the Louisiana Attorney General’s office
  • Filed a police report
  • Filed a fraud complaint with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors

To find out more about Restore Louisiana and how to apply, go to https://slls.org/restore-louisiana/

If you are a Hurricane Ida survivor who has been the victim of contractor fraud, you may be eligible for free legal assistance with problems with Restore Louisiana and sometimes regarding contractor fraud.

To see if you can get free help, call the Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Disaster Legal Services Hotline at: 1-800-310-7029, or apply at our website here.

References

http://legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?p=y&d=508538

A major purchase may come with a warranty. The warranty may come from the seller or the manufacturer. A “warranty” is a promise to stand behind the thing sold to you. The law says that you must be allowed to read what the warranty says before you buy.  The warranty law covers purchases in person, online, or with a catalog.  Warranties might cover a lot or a little. Look into the details before you buy. You may be given the option to buy an extended warranty. An extended warranty would cover some repairs after the regular warranty expires. Buying an extended warranty is up to you.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tells people to look out for these things when it comes to warranties:

  • What’s the reputation of the company offering the warranty?

Look up the company’s name on the Internet.
Try using words like “complaint” or “review.”
See what other people think of the company or product.

  • How long does the warranty last? 

It depends. The warranty period could be days, months, or years.
Read over the fine print on the warranty to find out how long the warranty lasts.

  • Which parts and repairs are covered by the warranty? What things are not covered? 

If specific parts or repairs that are not listed in the warranty, you should assume they aren’t covered.

  • Will there be extra costs?

Some warranties make you pay for labor or to ship the product back for repairs.
This could be expensive for heavy items.
Again, read the warranty.

  • Are there limits to the warranty coverage?

Do you need to send in a product registration card to get warranty service?
Some limited warranties require that.
Other warranties only cover problems that happen when you maintain or use the product according to the directions.
Many warranties won’t cover problems that happen if you misuse a product or change the way it works.
Federal law states that a manufacturer can’t make you use specific parts and services to keep warranty coverage, unless the warranty provides those parts and services for free, or if the company offering the warranty gets permission from the FTC to make that requirement.

  • How do you get warranty service? 

You may have to contact the manufacturer for help or the seller.

  • What will the company do if the product fails?

The company could repair it, replace it, or refund the money you paid for it.

  • Does the warranty cover "consequential damages?" 

“Consequential damages” are damages the product causes.
Few warranties cover them, or the time and money you spend to repair such damage.

All the things listed above should be in the warranty document. Read the warranty before you buy. Keep a copy of both the warranty and your receipt of the purchase. If the purchase was online, remember to print a copy of the receipt. If any warranty is stated to you verbally by the seller, get it in writing.

Are there other types of warranties that you get when you buy something?

Almost everything you buy is covered by an implied warranty. This is so even if there is no written warranty. All states have implied warranties. Here are some common implied warranties:

  • "warranty of merchantability."

Merchantability means that the seller promises that a product will do what it’s supposed to do.
For example, a car will run and a toaster will toast.

  • A "warranty of fitness for a particular purpose."

This warranty covers what happens when you buy a thing because the seller said it is fit for a particular use.
For example, a seller says a certain sleeping bag is good for zero-degree weather.
That means the seller is giving an implied warranty to buyers that the sleeping bag will is fit for use in zero-degree weather.

In Louisiana, the main implied warranty is called “redhibition.” Redhibition covers problems that come up with the product that make the thing so useless or inconvenient that you would not have purchased it or would have purchased it for a lower price. Even if your purchase doesn’t come with a written warranty, it’s still covered by implied warranties. Big exception: the implied warranty protects you unless the seller gives a written notice that there’s no warranty, or the product is marked "as is".

What about extended warranties?

An extended warranty or a service contract is different from the initial warranty that may automatically come with a product. An extended warranty will cost extra. It may cover different issues than a warranty. It is sold separately. Before you buy an extended warranty or service contract, compare it to the warranty to see if you’ll get any extra benefits for the extra cost. You do not have to buy extended warranties.

What can I do if I have issues with a new product?

  • Try to work out the problem with the place where you purchased it.
  • If you can’t resolve the problem with the seller, write to the manufacturer.
  • Your warranty should list the address of the company that provides the warranty.
  • You may want to send your letter by certified mail and request a return receipt, so you’ll have proof that the company got your letter and signed for it.

Having a warranty doesn't mean you’ll automatically get a refund if a product is defective. The company may have a right to try to fix it before it gives you a refund. But if you report a defect to the company during the warranty period and the product isn’t fixed properly, the company must correct the problem, even if your warranty expires before the product is fixed. 

What can I do if I still have issues?

If your letter or emails don’t resolve the issue, report problems with a company to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov

You can contact the local Better Business Bureau in your area to see if they can resolve your issues.  In the Greater New Orleans area, their number is 504-581-6222.

Finally, you can speak to an attorney.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

If you have undone repairs or rebuilding work to do on your home, the Restore LA program gives homeowners two choices. You must first qualify for Restore LA aid.  To learn more about Restore LA see our other blog post here.

Here are the two ways you can use aid from Restore Louisiana:

  • Solution 1: Program - Managed (that means the program hires, pays, and oversees the company that will fix your home)
  • Solution 2: Homeowner - Managed (that means you hire, pay, and oversee the company that fixes your home); Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Replacement Assistance (that means that the program replaces, not repairs your damaged mobile home).

Both Solution 1 & 2 require that you meet the following requirements below.  If you do not comply, you may not be eligible for program assistance and you may have to pay funds back to the program.

  • Maintain communication with the case manager during the program. A case manager is a person who will be assigned to you, direct you to resources, and help you develop a disaster recovery plan.
  • Submit required documents.
  • Allow lead-based paint testing.
  • Allow inspections.

There is a third way to use Restore LA aid. That is called Solution 3: Reimbursement.

The third choice is for people who have money to fix their home. Or for people who have already installed a manufactured home unit on their property to replace a damaged home.

Those homeowners can try to get Restore LA to reimburse (pay back) what they spent to repair or rebuild, or replace a manufactured home unit, completed before the program damage assessment. This money is separate from other FEMA or insurance money.

Which choice is right for me?

Here is information about each choice – called a “Solution” by Restore LA.

Solution 1: Program - Managed

  • The state hires a licensed and insured contractor to manage repair or rebuilding of your home.
  • That means the state and the contractor call most of the shots for your home repair or rebuilding project.
  • You do not work directly with the contractor.
  • The contractor does the repair or rebuilding work, including hiring and managing the workers.
  • This can include demolition, planning, reconstruction, and permitting.
  • The state pays the contractor.
  • You do not get the money to pay the contractor.
  • The state provides a limited warranty on home repairs and new construction made by the program contractor.
  • The program will only pay amount based on allowable square footage, subtracting any other disaster assistance you got.
  • You can pick colors and finishes from choices available.
  • All materials are economy (budget) grade. That means this is not an upscale or luxury repair or rebuilding project. You cannot make upgrades, substitutions, or customize the work.[1]
  • You must contribute funds received from other sources (FEMA, SBA, or insurance payments) into an escrow account before receiving the grant award. These funds, too, will be disbursed by the Program to make Payments to the Solution 1 contractor.
  • Everyone in the home must move out of the home within 30 days after Notice to Proceed is issued. The move out is to allow the repairs or rebuilding to go forward on time. The state provides money for hotel and rental assistance during this time if you need it and have no other available housing. To be considered, contact your case manager who can help assist you in this process.
  • If everyone does not move out BY THE DEADLINE the grant can be taken away. That means Restore LA will not go forward with your repairs or rebuilding, and you will lose this aid.
  • You must handle your own move out. That means you must move out all of your things and store them if you want to keep them.
  • If you do not remove your things from your home, repair or construction workers will throw away your things. You can move your things back into your home only after the work is done and the home passes final inspection.
  • Any demolition and reconstruction are managed by the contractor.
  • You get to approve changes and should attend inspections. Changes may be needed in the event of drawing errors and omissions in the construction documents. Sometimes specifications are not clear or impossible to perform.
  • Direct questions go to your case manager, not the contractor.

Solution 2: Homeowner - Managed

  • All solution 2 projects require a LA licensed general contractor

There are two choices under Solution 2.

  • You manage project:
    • This choice means that you oversee repairs or rebuilding yourself by hiring, paying, and supervising the work.
    • Reimbursement payment made to homeowner after work is inspected and verified.
    • Remember to make sure you and your contractor know about this and agree to these terms in your written contract.
  • You hire licensed contractor:
    • This choice means that you hire a Louisiana licensed and insured contractor to oversee the project.
    • The state may issue a two-party check to homeowner and contractor after work is inspected and verified.
  • Contracts are between you and your selected contractor(s).
  • The state does not provide a warranty for Solution 2 projects. That means the state does not guarantee the work will be done correctly.
  • You should seek reputable contractors who stand behind their work with a warranty.
  • You must give Restore LA a “project completion plan and timeline” for projects of $10,000.00 or more.
  • You won’t get any Restore LA money until the repair or construction work is inspected and confirmed. Make sure your contracts allow for this, so your contractor knows what it takes to get paid for the work.
  • You are responsible for contributing all FEMA, SBA, insurance, or other non-profit  insurance and FEMA  funds previously received. You must report all of these before receiving an award. The program will identify all potential sources of assistance received and reduce awards by these other amounts.
  • You can work with contractors of your choice and choose your own building materials.
  • Note: The program reimburses for the cost of economy (budget) grade materials and finishes. So this means that you will have to pay the difference for higher grade materials or finishes.
  • Deadlines:
    • You must start construction with at least one inspection within 180 days of executing grant agreement.
    • Must complete project within 365 days of executing the grant agreement.
    • If deadlines are not met, you may lose state funding.

Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Unit (or MHU) Replacement Assistance

  • The state establishes maximum allowed for removal of a damaged unit, replacement of damaged MHUs and the costs associated with the delivery and set up of the new MHU.
  • If you are eligible to replace a damaged MHU with a new MHU, a damaged singlewide MHU will be $85,000.00. or less A damaged doublewide MHU will be $120,000.00 or less. The amount will be reduced by any other assistance you received from FEMA, SBA, or insurance. This amount also has to cover the removal and transportation and setup.
  • You must also provide the bill of sale which clearly states that Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the replacement unit.
  • You will not get any money until you give the program proof of a contract to purchase and install a new (not used) MHU. Proof can be  a Purchase Agreement with an MHU seller.
  • Exception: If you have already received a FEMA MHU and want to purchase that mobile home, you may be able to purchase it, but only with FEMA’s approval and an agreement to purchase provided. To see if this would apply to you, first check with Restore Louisiana for further details.

SOLUTION 1: Program - Managed

Pros: If all this is overwhelming and you want someone to take the lead, then you may want to consider Solution 1. Under Solution 1 Restore LA will hire  a licensed and insured contractor to  handle the demolition, planning, reconstruction, and permitting through completion of the project.

If you struggle with keeping track of deadlines, managing your own money, or if you have other problems that will make it hard for you to keep up with a repair or construction project, or if it is hard for you to find a  contractor then Solution 1 may help  you.

Cons: If you chose Solution 1, you will be required to move out of your home. You   cannot move back into your home until notified by the program in writing. If you do not want to be displaced from your home, then this Solution may cause discomfort.

Also, you will be required to move your belongings out of your home, otherwise it will be disposed of as part of the demolition. If you do not have a place to store your belongings, then this option may cause difficulty. Unfortunately, the Restore program does not provide moving and storage assistance.

SOLUTION 2: Homeowner - Managed

Pros: This option gives you more control, though you will also have more responsibility.  Solution 2 may help you if you really want to pick your own  licensed and insured contractor and if you can handle  deadlines, contracts, details, and  find a reputable contractor within the time limits.

Cons: If you have an issue with keeping track of deadlines, managing your own money, or have accessibility barriers, then this option may not be for you.

Check out this video for more information:

Need more materials? Check out the links below.

*Contact Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001 for more details about Solution 1 & 2 reconstruction. 

[1] The program will make changes as needed for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations. For example, “If the homeowner has any mobility issues, vinyl flooring will be installed throughout the home. Flooring transitions must be such that a wheelchair/mobility impaired person can easily maneuver throughout the home. “ LA Office of Community Development. Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program. Version 1.2 last updated: April 2022, pp. 105.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

What is Restore Louisiana?

Restore Louisiana helps Louisiana homeowners rebuild if their homes were destroyed or nearly destroyed by one of these three Hurricanes: Ida, Laura, or Delta. The Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) runs this federal disaster relief program.

Am I eligible?

All of these things must be true for you to get this aid.

  • You must have owned the home when the hurricane hit.
  • That home must have been your “primary residence.” That means the home was the main place where you lived at the time of the hurricane.
  • You must still own that home.
  • Your income must be low-to-moderate. There are rules about what that means.
  • The government must find that your home had “major and severe” damage.

Any one of the three things listed here should mean your home had “major and severe” damage:

  • You received a FEMA award of at least $8,000 to repair your home.
  • You received a FEMA award of at least $3,500 for personal property.
  • Your home had more than one foot of flooding.

How do I apply for help from Restore Louisiana?

STEP 1: Complete the Restore Louisiana survey that is administered by the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD)

You must complete the survey to qualify for the program.

Is there a deadline to complete the survey?

The survey is separate from the full application.

It’s easy to confuse the survey with the full application.

The survey is a required first step to see if you will be allowed to file a full application.

Don’t wait to send in your survey.

The program could decide in the future to set a deadline for surveys.

Again, the program uses the survey to see who will be allowed fill out a full application.

  • You can take the survey online at http://restore.la.gov
  • You can take the survey by phone at (866) 735-2001.
  • Phone hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Keep the account ID, last name, and password you used when filling out the program survey in a safe place. You may have to use them for years.

After you do the survey, Restore Louisiana should start to send you text and email messages about your request for aid.

STEP 2: Completing the Restore Louisiana application.

If your survey is approved Restore Louisiana will text or email you to apply for aid from Restore Louisiana. That means you have been asked to send in a full application for aid.

You can fill out the Restore Louisiana full application on a computer tablet, or mobile device.

The application will ask you to log onto something called a “portal.”

You will enter the same account ID, last name and password you used when filling out the program survey.

At this stage you will need to give the program documents that show you qualify for aid.

Before you start your application learn more about what it takes to qualify for aid.

  • Proving Home Ownership
    • If your name is not the name that appears on the land records, tax assessors or other government databases, you may have to show additional documents to prove you owned the damaged home at the time of the hurricane.
    • Proving home ownership can create problems for people who inherited a home from someone who died. This is called heir property. Sometimes the heirs did not complete the legal step called a “succession” to transfer ownership of the house.
    • Sometimes problems crop up when proving ownership of a trailer.
    • If you have trouble proving home ownership, you may need legal help with this issue.

You may qualify for free legal aid from SLLS.

To see if you qualify for free legal aid from SLLS, call our Disaster Legal Services Hotline at: 1-800-310-7029, or apply through our website by clicking here.

  • Occupancy of the home – proving that you were living in the home at the time of the disaster.
    • Homeowners must be able to prove they were living in the home at the time of the hurricane.
    • Occupancy is proven through parish records.

For example, the Restore Louisiana program will look for a homestead exemption in the property tax records.

  • When occupancy cannot be shown through parish records like a homestead exemption, you may have to send in other records like tax records, utility bills, other bills to show that you were living in the home at the time of the hurricane.
  • Flood Insurance
    • You may need to prove that you have flood insurance to get Restore Louisiana aid,
    • You will need to prove something about flood insurance if your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (or 100-Year Flood Plain)
      • Before you can sign for your Restore Louisiana grant you will need to send in a copy of a current flood insurance declaration page.
        Or you may need to send in something called a “declination letter” (if your home cannot get flood insurance because of its poor condition).
      • Reconstructions and trailer home replacements: you must send in proof that you have flood insurance before construction is complete or before the final inspection.

*For more information, see Restore Louisiana’s Flood Insurance Requirements flyer.

  • Homeowners who do not take the steps below may not be able to get funding and might be asked to pay back any money they were paid.
  • Send in proof you are flood insured when you are getting the Restore funds
  • Have flood insurance coverage at ALL times after that
  • If you sell your home, you must tell the new owner of the requirement to keep flood insurance
  • Homeowners who get federal disaster aid for a damaged home must buy and keep flood insurance coverage on the property for as long as the home exists.
  • Elevation
    • Elevation of the home may be required on a case-by-case basis.
    • If your home is in a floodplain you may have to elevate if
      • required by a local ordinance, and
      • the local code officials determine your home is substantially damaged or will be substantially improved
      • This elevation must be to HUD’s height requirement, or to the local jurisdiction height requirement, whichever is higher
    • If your home is not in a floodplain you may have to elevate if a local ordinance requires this for reconstructions
    • If elevation is required, you must have it done the same way as the rest of the work Restore is funding on your home.

This means if you choose Solution 1: Program-Managed Construction, then you must allow the Restore Program to elevate your home.

If you choose one of the other Solutions, then you have to make sure your home is elevated.

  • You can lose your Restore Louisiana Aid or be asked to pay back the money if you do not elevate a home that is required to be raised up

* Call Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001 to learn more about elevation requirements.

What flood zone am I in?

See steps below.

Go to:

  1. LSU’s website at: http://maps.lsuagcenter.com/floodmaps/ or FEMA’s website at: msc.fema.gov
  2. Put your address in the search bar.
  3. Select the “go” or “search” button.
  4. Find the pin on the map, and zoom in.
  5. Your flood zone area will show up.
  6. Click this link to view a flood zone chart and find your corresponding flood zone area.

You can also find this chart information on FEMA’s website at: https://www.fema.gov/glossary/flood-zones.

Here, you can find out what flood zone that you are in.

Here are the next steps once your application is accepted:

  • You will be contacted to make an appointment with an inspector.
  • You will receive grant money based on your damage assessment.
  • Your next steps will depend on which solution you choose.

During the application process, you can choose a solution based on the progress in the rebuilding process and your capacity to complete the work.

○ If you have remaining work to be completed, then you will be asked to choose between Solution 1: Program -Managed Solution or Solution 2: Homeowner- Managed Construction.

○ If you have a mobile home unit (MHU) that needs to be replaced, you will be asked to consider Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Replacement Assistance.

○ If you seek reimbursement costs for partial or full repairs on your home, or if you replaced your MHU before applying to the Restore Program, you may be eligible for Solution 3: Reimbursement of expenses that you incurred before the application process and up to completion of the Program’s Damage Assessment.

○ For more information, see the Restore Program’s Homeowner Journey Guide or Choosing your Solution video.

Still have work needed on your home? You may want to look at the pros and cons of Solution 1 and 2 below:

SOLUTION 1: Program-Managed

Pros: If all this is overwhelming and you want someone to take the lead, then you may want to consider Solution 1.

Solution 1 will assign a licensed and insured contractor who will handle the demolition, planning, reconstruction, and permitting through completion of the project.

If you struggle with keeping track of deadlines, managing your own money, or if you have other problems that will make it hard for you to keep up with a repair or construction project,  or if it is hard for you to find a contractor then Solution 1, then this option may help you.

Cons: If you chose Solution 1, you will be required to move out of your home. You cannot move back into your home until notified by the program in writing. If you do not want to be displaced from your home, then this Solution may cause difficulty, or discomfort, for you. Also, you will be required to move out your belongings, otherwise it will be disposed of as part of the demolition. If you do not have a place to store your belongings, then this option may not be for you. Unfortunately, the Restore program does not provide moving and storage assistance. But it does cover rent.

SOLUTION 2: Homeowner-Managed

Pros: If you want to choose your own licensed and insured contractor and want to take more control over your home reconstruction decisions, you may want to consider Solution 2.

Cons: This option may not work for someone who has trouble keeping track of deadlines, managing money, or has other problems that would make it hard to deal with a repair or rebuilding project.

You must do some things to keep your grant under either Solution 1 or Solution 2:

You could lose your grant or be asked to pay it back if you do not follow the rules of the program.

  • Stay in touch with the case manager for the duration of the program
  • Send in required documents
  • Allow lead-based paint testing
  • Allow inspections

* For more information about Solutions 1 and 2, see our flyer found here or Contact Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001.

La Comisión de Seguros de Luisiana creó un programa de mediación para reclamos de $50,000.00 o menos.

La mediación es una manera de resolver una disputa sin ir al tribunal.

Piense en estas cosas para decidir si mediar en su reclamo.

  • Por lo general, es mejor buscar un abogado con experiencia en su tipo de problema, si puede.
  • Hay plazos para presentar un caso en el tribunal. Usar la mediación no le da más tiempo para presentar un caso en el tribunal.
  • Existen sanciones especiales para las compañías de seguros que no actúen de buena fe o utilicen el “trato justo”. A menudo, estas sanciones especiales pueden pagar lo suficiente para que un abogado tome un caso.
  • El uso de un abogado que sabe sobre reclamos de seguros puede hacer que la compañía de seguros acepte pagar más por su reclamo.
  • Si su reclamo es pequeño o tiene problemas, puede resultarle difícil encontrar un abogado.
  • Si no puede encontrar un abogado que lo ayude, algo llamado “mediación” podría ayudar.
  • No todos pueden encontrar o pagar un abogado.

Aquí hay cosas que debe saber sobre el programa de mediación del huracán Ida del Comisionado de Seguros de Luisiana:

  • La mediación significa que habrá una persona neutral que te escuchará a usted y a la compañía de seguros y tratará de ayudarlos a llegar a un acuerdo.
  • La mediación bajo este programa cuesta una tarifa fija de $600.00. La compañía de seguros paga esa tarifa, a menos que ambaspartes acuerden lo contrario.
  • La mediación sólo ocurre si tu y la compañía de seguros están de acuerdo con la mediación.
  • El mediador trabajará con ambas partes para tratar de que todos estén de acuerdo en un resultado.
  • Para que el resultado sea definitivo, usted y su aseguradora deben llegar a un acuerdo por escrito.
  • No estás obligado a aceptar nada.
  • Si no puede resolver la disputa, puede parar la mediación.
  • Puede probar otras formas de resolver las cosas con su compañía de seguros, incluida la presentación de una demanda. Debe presentar una demanda antes de alguna fecha límite legal.
  • La mediación ofrecida por la Comisión de Seguros de Luisiana finaliza el 31 de diciembre de 2022.

Para iniciar la mediación, llame o envíe un correo electrónico a una de estas empresas :

La mediación no es la opción correcta para todos.

  • Si cree que el seguro debería haber pagado más de $50,00.00, su caso no califica para este programa de mediación.
  • Si realmente cree que no podrá convencer a la compañía de seguros de que pague más por su reclamo, es posible que deba buscar un abogado para considerar emprender otras acciones legales.

** Los Servicios Legales del Sudeste de Luisiana no representan a personas en disputas de reclamos de seguros.

¿Más preguntas? Vaya al sitio web del Departamento de Seguros de Luisiana:

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS - Disaster Legal Services Project & Adult Learning Content Developer Consultant

Brief Overview

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) seeks the services of an independent project consultant to assist it in supervising our recently awarded almost $6.5 million three year Disaster Legal Services (DLS) grant from the Legal Services Corporation. This work also includes a subcomponent with primary responsibility for creating content working with our staff for our Adult Learning Management System and to implement our new Adult Learning Management System. The goals of our DLS project and our subcomponent project is to provide high quality legal assistance to disaster survivors and to help better prepare SLLS to respond to disasters.

Introduction to SLLS

SLLS provides free legal assistance to indigent and other vulnerable people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We protect their livelihoods, health, housing and families. Through legal representation, we are able to assure fairness for our clients as they navigate through the civil justice system. SLLS works to combat the inequities and disproportionate impacts faced by marginalized communities of color.

SLLS is the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Louisiana serving 50% of the state’s poverty population in twenty-two parishes across southeast Louisiana. Pre-pandemic, Louisiana had the third highest poverty rate in the United States, the second highest rate of women killed by their intimate partner, the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world disproportionately impacting marginalized communities, was consistently noted as one of the unhealthiest states, and had the second highest rate of food insecure seniors. We have been struck by ten presidentially declared natural disasters since 2005’s catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, and the people we serve have been particularly hard-hit by the impact of COVID-19 due to our economic reliance on the hospitality and oil and gas industries and Hurricane Ida.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of Ida, SLLS has fought for the rights of vulnerable people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, provided safeguards to domestic violence survivors, protected the livelihood of disaster victims and assisted renters who were facing eviction.  SLLS has won significant appellate cases protecting thousands of vulnerable people through eviction defense and child in need of care work, and engaging in successful policy advocacy with government agencies administering housing assistance, child protection programs, and unemployment benefits. Our 2021 case work for individual households resulted in over 30,000 people being helped through free legal aid to protect their lives, homes, and families with a direct economic impact to them through our work of over $28.5 million.

Pre-pandemic, SLLS had about 100 team members on staff. Since COVID, we have grown to have almost 175 employees, seven offices, staff embedded onsite with other partners such as hospitals, medical clinics, homeless shelters, domestic violence victim service centers, community colleges, and robust pro bono partnerships. We have almost 100 different funding sources though LSC funding is about 45% of our budget with another almost 30% from the Louisiana Bar Foundation. In response to the effects of COVID-19 on housing, we have hired 14 additional attorneys to represent people who are facing eviction and 15 new staff to represent vulnerable populations affected by natural disasters.

Request for Proposals

Purpose of RFP

SLLS seeks an independent project consultant to participate in the management of SLLS’s Disaster Legal Services grant and to assist in developing training resources for staff.  SLLS understands the importance of analyzing and adapting our resources to fit the needs of our growing organization. Our goal is to improve SLLS’s ability to respond to the legal needs of disaster survivors and to better prepare the agency to respond to future disasters internally and as part of our broader statewide civil legal aid justice community.

Deliverables

In this two pronged role, the consultant we are seeking will assist SLLS in managing our DLS Project and will have primary responsibility for our Adult Learning Content Development (ALCD) Project as a subcomponent of our DLS Project. We expect the selected consultant will need to dedicate significantly more time to accomplishing our project plan goals during the first 12 months of the project with the level of effort being significantly less during 2024 and by 2025 minimal work to be done. The rationale for this is that as the major deliverables under the contract are achieved, the work effort needed to supervise and implement the project will be less.

Disaster Legal Services (DLS) Project

In the DLS role, the consultant will provide general supervision, diligent monitoring, and reporting on the usage of SLLS’ DLS grant to ensure that it aligns with our grant performance plan. The full performance plan with tasks already completed to date is attached to this Request for Proposal as Attachment A. The consultant will have primary responsibility for issuing, coordinating, implementing, and supervising Goal 2, Objective 1, Milestone 8 regarding SLLS’ Adult Learning Management System described in more detail in the next section and Goal 3, Objective 3, Milestones 1-4 to help SLLS create an outreach plan using media and to secure a technology consultant to ensure disaster survivors have access to legal services. The selected consultant for the instant RFP will report directly to the Executive Director regarding progress on the DLS Project general oversight, supervision, and progress on deliverables.

All decisions pertaining to the management of the grant are rooted in and reflective of the Goals, Objectives, and Milestones agreed upon by SLLS and LSC. The grant term of our project is 7/1/2022-6/30/2025. The goals and objectives of the DLS project are below which our detailed Project Plan referenced in Attachment A fleshes out in more detail.

DLS Goals and Objectives:

  • Provide advice and legal representation to address disaster-related legal issues for low-income survivors.
    • Direct Services –Sustain and Increase Level of Direct Assistance through 30 essential disaster response staff
    • Provide training and support to disaster staff to facilitate their skills and ability to deliver direct legal assistance to disaster survivors
  • Enhance legal aid capabilities to better serve survivors of 2020-2021 declared disasters.
    • Improve SLLS’ disaster resilience through improved technology and software
    • Transition SLLS’ current case management system to a new case management system to better serve 2020-2021 disaster survivors
  • To provide outreach and education to the survivors of the 2020-2021 declared disasters.
    • Outreach and Community Education – Expand outreach and knowledge for survivors of the 2020 and 2021 disasters
    • Improve SLLS’ intake/outreach process to better serve disaster survivors.
    • Develop and implement an outreach plan using media and technology to ensure disaster survivors have access to legal services.

Adult Learning Content Developer (ALCD)

In the ALCD subcomponent of the DLS Project, the consultant will identify, collect, revise, create, design, test, and integrate resources into SLLS’ Learn Upon Learning Management System working in close collaboration with in-house staff subject matter experts (SME). This  work involves breaking down often complex concepts into fundamental pieces and weaving them into engaging learning segments to create learning modules that are easily understood and digested for use by legal aid staff and partners. Major duties in this subcomponent include:

  • Establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with staff, volunteers, and other key stakeholders
  • Facilitate engagement with stakeholders from multiple sectors and audiences
  • Coordinate resources and helping design learning pathways for the learning management system such as videos, power points, graphic design tools, and other resources
  • Work with SLLS staff to implement a testing and evaluation period for LMS resources
  • Collaborate closely and professionally with SME’s to ensure they provide content in a timely fashion and/or work with SME’s to revise already created content
  • Work with our LMS vendor to address and resolve any LMS issues
  • Implement instructional design best practices to create/revise SME content into well-organized, bite-sized chunks with the adult learner at the center
  • Create appropriate interactions in each lesson/module to keep staff engaged while learning for retention
  • Convene planning meetings with necessary SLLS staff and partners
  • Collect documentation for the project
  • Assisting in preparing a project plan and grant progress reports
  • Assist in making presentations to SLLS staff, volunteers, and partners as needed

Reporting Deadlines for DLS Grant

Progress and fiscal reports are due to the funder on the below schedule:

Reporting Period 7/1/2022-12/31/2022  -  Due 1/31/2023

Reporting Period 1/1/2023-6/30/2023    -  Due 7/31/2023

Reporting Period 7/1/2023-12/31/2023  -  Due 1/31/2024

Reporting Period 1/1/2024 – 6/30/2024  - Due 7/31/2024

Reporting Period 7/1/2024- 12/31/2024  - Due 1/31/2025

Reporting Period 1/1/2025-6/30/2025     - Due 7/31/2025

Cost

Interested consultants can submit a cost proposal on an hourly rate with an estimate of hours needed to complete tasks or by using a project based method. Please propose a payment schedule for your work under the project.

Inquiries/Contact Information

Questions about this RFP may be directed Laura Tuggle, SLLS Executive Director at (504) 529-1000 ext. 270 or ltuggle@slls.org.

Timeline

  • Issue RFP: 9/26/2022
  • Proposals Due to Executive Director: 10/23/2022
  • Award of Contract: 11/1/2022
  • Project Implementation: 11/01/2022-6/30/2025

Proposal Delivery and Due Date

Proposals are due on or before 10/26/2022. Delivery of proposals should be made electronically to Laura Tuggle at ltuggle@slls.org with “SLLS “DLS & ALCD Proposal” in the subject line. PDF is preferred. If you have large file size items, please provide a file sharing link with instructions for accessing the proposed materials.

Evaluation Criteria and Award of Contract

SLLS may elect to schedule a conference call with potential consultants prior to awarding a final contract. We anticipate conference calls will be scheduled between 10/25-10/26/2022. Please include contact information for scheduling purposes in the RFP.

Proposals will be evaluated upon the contractor’s responsiveness to the RFP, qualifications, demonstrated experience with similar projects, and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. Award of the contract resulting from the RFP will be based upon the most responsive contract that is most advantageous to SLLS in terms of cost, functionality, experience, and quality of past work.

SLLS ideally seeks a firm that understands its needs as a nonprofit and legal services organization and is invested in our mission of achieving justice and social change by fighting poverty.

SLLS reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and to waive any minor discrepancies or technicalities in the proposal or specifications, when deemed to be in the best interest of SLLS. We also reserve the right to negotiate with all respondents to the RFP and reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any respondent.

Cost of Proposals

SLLS will not pay any costs associated with preparing proposals in response to this RFP.

You can download this Request for Proposals here.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Updated 10/12/2022

The Biden administration announced a three-part plan to help those with federal student loan debt. What happens next?

Extended Pause on Loan Repayments

The current pause on federal student loan repayment has been extended one final time through December 31, 2022. Borrowers should expect to resume making federal student loan payments in January 2023.

Changes to the Student Loan System

The Biden administration is proposing changes to the student loan system so that it is more manageable in the future. These include cutting monthly undergrad loan payments in half, increasing the number of Pell Grants available, and changing the rules for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) so that it is more accessible to borrowers.

What is the Student Loan Relief Plan?

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) in August 2022 announced that the Student Debt Relief Plan that includes one-time student loan debt relief targeted to low- and middle-income families.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) will provide up to $20,000 in debt relief to Federal Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 in debt relief to non-Pell Grant recipients.  Borrowers with loans held by ED are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 (or $250,000 for households).

What types of loans are eligible for this relief?

The following types of federal student loans with an outstanding balance as of June 30, 2022, are eligible for relief:

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans:
    • Subsidized loans
    • Unsubsidized loans
    • Parent PLUS loans
    • Graduate PLUS loans
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by ED or in default with your FEEL loan administer
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program loans held by ED
  • Defaulted loans (includes all Stafford, parent PLUS, and graduate PLUS; and Perkins loans held by ED)

However, check with your student loan servicer to make sure your particular loan qualifies.

Consolidation loans are eligible for relief, as long as all of the underlying loans that were consolidated were first disbursed on or before June 30, 2022.

How do I apply for this?

Step 1: Check if you're eligible

You're eligible for student loan debt relief if in 2020 or 2021 you:

  • Filed your federal taxes as an individual or if married you filed separately AND your annual federal income was below $125,000; or
  • Filed your federal taxes as married and jointly file or filed as head of household AND your annual federal income is below $250,000.

If you qualify, then you will get:

  • $20,000 in debt relief: If you received a Pell Grant in college and meet the income test above, you'll be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt relief or
  • $10,000 in debt relief: If you did not receive a Pell Grant in college and meet the income test above, you'll be eligible for up to $10,000 in debt relief.

Step 2: Prepare

Here's what you can do to get ready and to make sure you get our updates:

  • Log in to your account on StudentAid.gov and make sure your contact info is up to date.  ED will send you updates by both email and text message, so make sure to sign up to receive text alerts. If it's been a while since you've logged in, or you can't remember if you have an account username and password (FSA ID), we offer tips to help you access your account.
  • If you don't have a StudentAid.gov account (FSA ID), you should create an account to help you manage your loans.
  • Make sure your loan servicer has your most current contact information so they can reach you. If you don't know who your servicer is, you can log in and see your servicer(s) in your account dashboard.

Step 3: Submit your application (when available)

The application will be available online by early October 2022.

You will be emailed when the application is available. You'll have until Dec. 31, 2023, to submit your application.

For all information on this process, visit: https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief-announcement/one-time-cancellation

How do find out if I qualify for the Pell Grant forgiveness?

Federal Pell Grants typically are awarded to undergraduate students with low or moderate income.  Most borrowers can log in to StudentAid.gov to see if they received a Pell Grant. You will get information about the aid you received, including Pell Grants, on your account dashboard and your “My Aid” pages.

If you did receive Pell Grant(s), the ED will verify this with your application to make sure you will receive up to the full benefit of $20,000 in relief if you meet the income tests.

ED has data on all borrowers who received a Pell Grant.  If you received a Pell Grant prior to 1994, that information won't display in StudentAid.gov, but you'll still receive the full benefit.

Student Debt Relief Scams

Some people are trying to rip borrowers off.  Some scams and how to avoid them are:

  • You will be asked for money to help you fill out an application. There is no fee for this application
  • Never give any personal information or account passwords to anyone
  • Only trust emails from ED which will be from noreply@studentaid.gov

More info on how to avoid student loan scams: https://studentaid.gov/resources/scams

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Why am I being billed for some else’s care?

Sometimes a nursing home asks family members to pay for the care of a relative in the nursing home. This can happen if your family member went to live in something called a “skilled nursing facility” or a “long-term care nursing facility.”

You or someone else may have signed papers to get someone into the nursing home. These papers may have been something called an “admission agreement.” These papers may have been called a “” Long Term Care (“LTC”) Medicaid Application.”

If you signed papers like this, get a copy. Read the papers. Keep them in a safe place for your records.

What is the law that deals with a nursing home that tries to get me to pay for the care of someone in the home?

More than one law covers this kind of debt.

One of the laws is the federal Nursing Home Reform Act.  That law says that the nursing home cannot make someone else agree to pay the bill for someone get into a nursing home.  Another way to say this is that the nursing home cannot force you to be a co-signer for the nursing home bill.

This will not protect you if you are married to the person in the nursing home. Louisiana is a “community property” state. This makes the husband and the wife responsible for a debt that happens during the marriage.

What if I am sued on someone else’s nursing home bill?

It is best if you can find a lawyer right away if you are sued.

There are important deadlines for taking legal steps to fight a lawsuit. If you do not reply on time, the other side may get the court to rule against you. This is called a “default judgment” It can be very hard or impossible to undo that kind of court judgment.

Do not let a court deadline or time limit go by! There is a form you can use to try to get the court to give you more time to reply to the lawsuit in court.

 https://louisianalawhelp.org/resource/a-motion-for-extension-of-time-to-respond-in-a-louisiana-court-with-instructions

Even if you file this form try to get legal help right away. It is best to have a lawyer if you need to file court papers to fight the suit.   Without a lawyer you may miss something in the suit you need to deny, reply to. You might also miss out on raising important defenses that can be lost unless filed with or before your Answer.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services may be able to give free legal help. For how to contact us, see https://slls.org/get-help/client-services/

What if I did sign something saying I would “be responsible for” the bill?

In some cases, the nursing home might not be able to make you do the things listed in the papers you signed. The Nursing Home Reform Law makes it illegal for a nursing home to demand that you sign an agreement to pay the bill to get the nursing home to admit your loved one. There could be other reasons why something you signed at other times might not be valid.

You might have had control of the nursing home resident’s check, bank accounts, stocks, or other things, as co-owner. You might have had control of what the nursing home resident owned through a power of attorney. Or the resident may have died and you inherited from them.

Because you had control over the resident’s assets, you can be liable for the bill, up to the amount of those assets.

What is a responsible party clause?

If you held a power of attorney for the person in the nursing home or if you signed the Admission Agreement as a “responsible party” for the resident, the nursing home may treat you as the one who is responsible for taking care of the bill. The Nursing Home Reform Law does not allow nursing homes to demand third party financial guarantees as co-signer. On the other hand, the law allows nursing homes to use “responsible party clauses. This kind of agreement would make you liable to the extent you have or had control of the resident’s finances.

Here is what a “responsible party clause” might look like:

“By signing this, you agree to 1) use the resident’s money to pay nursing facility expenses, and 2) take all necessary steps to obtain Medicaid coverage.”

Some “responsible party clauses” may also say things like “If you fail to do this, you may be held personally liable for damages, including attorney’s fees and court costs including attorney’s fees and court costs.”

Be sure to read all papers before you sign. Make sure you are not signing anything that says you agree to pay any debt or bill that is more than any of the resident’s finances that you control.

Some courts have upheld contracts even though they have terms that seem illegal under the federal Nursing Home Reform Law.

Why else might I be sued or threatened?

You may also be contacted because you are someone who knows about the resident’s finances. Nursing homes sometimes use lawsuits a to pressure resident’s family members even though they are not responsible for the debts.

What is the Admission Agreement?

This is the contract for services between the resident and the nursing home.  Read this carefully. Look at the terms of the contract regarding financial liability very closely. Ask questions.  Ask the nursing home about any financial obligations that you could have.

Compare what they say to what is in the papers you are signing.

Do not just take the nursing home’s word.

Look in the papers for words such as “liable” “damages” “attorney fees.”

Keep copies of everything that you sign.

Ask for a copy of the facility’s admission agreement as soon as you are aware your loved one may be placed there. Do this before you sign anything. Take time to review the papers or have an attorney explain them to you. 

If I did sign as a responsible party, do I still owe these debts?

If you voluntarily signed the admission agreement as a responsible party then you must give a good faith effort to use the resident’s resources to pay the bills.

Responsible parties are usually in charge of gathering all the nursing resident’s financial resources they can to make them available to the pay the nursing facility.

Responsible parties also usually submit information and documents requested by Medicaid should their loved one require assistance to pay the long-term care bills.

If you do not send information on time to Medicaid or if you do not use the resident’s money to pay for nursing home care, you could find yourself liable for a hefty bill.

If you or someone else inherit from a resident’s estate, that estate can be charged for unpaid nursing bills.

Likewise, after the death of a person, the state may seek recovery of facility bills Medicaid paid, from the estate of the resident.

You are only liable to the extent you receive assets of the dead person’s estate. There can be important exceptions making you owe less.

We are pleased to present you the 2021 Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) annual report. Every year, we reflect back on the difference our work makes in the daily lives of the people and communities we serve. The devastating impact of Hurricane Ida on our clients has made our work more important than ever. With lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and the 10 presidentially declared disasters that followed, we hit the ground running providing critical legal aid in some of the hardest hit areas through community-based disaster legal clinics. To date we have helped over 4,000 people but the recovery process is far from over. Your support has made an incredible difference in making sure the most vulnerable people are not left behind in the recovery process. We are grateful for your leadership in the fight for fairness.
In 2021, SLLS delivered legal help in individual cases to over 14,000 households composed of over 31,000 people. The economic impact of our work topped $28.5 million. Every dollar invested in civil legal aid generated nearly $9.18 of social return on investment. Some results have no price tag, such as lives saved through our work with domestic violence victims or children protected from abuse. Thousands more Louisianans benefitted from our policy advocacy work fighting for equity such as in the rollout of COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida relief programs. Thousands of people obtained vital legal information from our SLLS website blog about hot topics like how to fight contractor fraud, appeal your FEMA claim, and other urgent recovery matters. Pro bono attorneys and volunteer law students helped us expand the availability of legal aid throughout our twenty-two parish service area.

On behalf of the clients we serve and the team at SLLS, thank you again for your staunch support. It means more now than ever. We hope this report is useful in helping you learn more about how your investment in justice is making an impact. For more frequent updates about our work, like us on Face Book. Or you can always call (504) 529-1000 ext. 270 or email me at ltuggle@slls.org to talk about our program. Thank you again for helping us help others.

Sincerely,

Laura Tuggle
Executive Director

Request for Proposals - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant

Brief Overview

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) seeks the services of an independent diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultant to assist it in implementing diversity, inclusion to increase employee engagement, and growth and cultural competency to better serve our clients.

Introduction to SLLS

SLLS provides free legal assistance to indigent and other vulnerable people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We protect their livelihoods, health, housing and families.  Through legal representation, we are able to assure fairness for our clients as they navigate through the civil justice system. SLLS works to combat the inequities and disproportionate impacts faced by marginalized communities of color.

SLLS is the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Louisiana serving 50% of the state’s poverty population in twenty-two parishes across southeast Louisiana. Pre-pandemic, Louisiana had the third highest poverty rate in the United States, the second highest rate of women killed by their intimate partner, the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world disproportionately impacting marginalized communities, was consistently noted as one of the unhealthiest states, and had the second highest rate of food insecure seniors. We have been struck by ten presidentially declared natural disasters since 2005’s catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, and the people we serve have been particularly hard-hit by the impact of COVID-19 due to our economic reliance on the hospitality and oil and gas industries and Hurricane Ida.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of Ida, SLLS has fought for the rights of vulnerable people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, provided safeguards to domestic violence survivors, protected the livelihood of disaster victims and assisted renters who were facing eviction.  SLLS has won significant appellate cases protecting thousands of vulnerable people through eviction defense and child in need of care work, and engaging in successful policy advocacy with government agencies administering housing assistance, child protection programs, and unemployment benefits.  Our 2021 case work for individual households resulted in over 30,000 people being helped through free legal aid to protect their lives, homes, and families with a direct economic impact to them through our work of over $28.5 million.

Pre-pandemic, SLLS has about 100 team members on staff. Since COVID, we have grown to have almost 175 employees, seven offices, staff embedded onsite with other partners such as hospitals, medical clinics, homeless shelters, domestic violence victim service centers, community colleges, and robust pro bono partnerships. We have almost 100 different funding sources though LSC funding is about 45% of our budget with another almost 30% from the Louisiana Bar Foundation. In response to the effects of COVID-19 on housing, we have hired 14 additional attorneys to represent people who are facing evictions.  We have also hired 15 new staff to represent vulnerable populations that are affected by disasters.

Request for Proposals

Purpose of RFP

SLLS seeks a consultant to assist it in creating a culture of inclusion and promote diversity within the organization. SLLS understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in an organization that provides legal services to vulnerable communities.  Our goal is to develop staff who are culturally competent and will practice empathy when interacting with underrepresented and underserved clients.

Deliverables

SLLS seeks a consultant to assist it in advancing practices that will attract, engage and retain diverse employees. We are seeking a consultant who will conduct quantitative and qualitative research, and immersive observation to discover any potential barriers to diversity and equality. We also are seeking assistance in providing training that includes interactive group training and diversity discussions which promote honesty about diversity and inclusion.  We are seeking training that fosters inclusion and behavioral change.  SLLS seeks to have a diversity consultant provide training and implement strategies to address and avoid unconscious and implicit biases.  We would also like the consultant to assist SLLS in fostering an environment that recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion within a legal aid organization internally and externally.   We further seek a consultant to assist the staff in identifying and addressing racial inequities that contribute to systemic poverty and disparate treatment.  We seek a consultant to facilitate and incorporate a plan to combat the racial issues facing vulnerable communities. We anticipate that the cost of services under this proposal will not exceed $25,000.

The SLLS Board of Directors Governance Committee will work with SLLS’ Executive team to select the Diversity consultant. Input will also be sought from our SLLS DEI Committee. Once selected, SLLS will designate a staff point person(s) for the consultant who will likely be Talya Bergeron, our Directing Attorney in our Baton Rouge office who is also our DEI Officer. We will work closely with the consultant to determine which SLLS staff and partners will be involved with the DEI plan and how best to obtain their input into the process. SLLS is committed to ongoing review of the plan to track progress in meeting plan objectives. The diversity plan will implement strategies to promote diversity, recognition and respect. We have established an internal SLLS Diversity Committee to assist with these efforts.

Inquiries/Contact Information

Questions about this RFP may be directed or Talya Bergeron, SLLS Directing Attorney/DEI Officer at tbergeron@slls.org or (225) 448-0080 or Laura Tuggle, SLLS Executive Director at (504) 529-1000 ext. 270 or ltuggle@slls.org .

Timeline

  • Issue RFP: 8/15/2022
  • Proposals Due to Executive Director: 9/15/2022
  • Award of Contract: 9/30/2022
  • Project Implementation: 10/1/2022-9/30/2023

Proposal Delivery and Due Date

Proposals are due on or before 9/16/2022. Delivery of proposals should be made electronically to Laura Tuggle at ltuggle@slls.org with “SLLS Diversity Planning Proposal” in the subject line, PDF preferred. If you have large file size items, please provide a file sharing link with instructions for accessing the proposed materials.

Evaluation Criteria and Award of Contract

SLLS may elect to schedule a conference call with potential consultants prior to awarding a final contract. We anticipate that conference calls will be scheduled between 9/20/2022-9/28/2022. Please include contact information for scheduling purposes in the RFP.

Proposals will be evaluated upon the contractor’s responsiveness to the RFP, qualifications, demonstrated experience with similar projects, and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. Award of the contract resulting from the RFP will be based upon the most responsive contract that is most advantageous to SLLS in terms of cost, functionality, experience, and quality of past work.

SLLS ideally seeks a firm that understands its needs as a nonprofit and legal services organization and is invested in our missions of achieving justice and social change by fighting poverty.

SLLS reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and to waive any minor discrepancies or technicalities in the proposal or specifications, when deemed to be in the best interest of SLLS. We also reserve the right to negotiate with all respondents to the RFP and reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any respondent.

Cost of Proposals

SLLS will not pay any costs associated with preparing proposals in response to this RFP.

You can download the request for proposals here.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

The Louisiana Insurance Commission created a mediation program for claims of $50,000.00 or less.

Mediation is a way to work out a dispute without going to court.

Think about these things to decide whether to mediate your claim.

  • It is usually best to find a lawyer with experience with your kind of issue, if you can.
  • There are deadlines to file a court case. Using mediation does not give you more time to file a court case.
  • There are special penalties for insurance companies who do not act in good faith or use “fair dealing.” Often these special penalties can pay enough for a lawyer to take a case.
  • Using a lawyer who knows about insurance claims may get the insurance company to agree to pay more on your claim.
  • If your claim is smaller or has problems, it may hard for you to find a lawyer.
  • If you can’t find a lawyer to help you, something called “mediation” might help.
  • Not everyone can find or afford a lawyer.

Here are things to know about the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner’s Hurricane Ida mediation program:

  • Mediation means that there will be a neutral person who will hear from both you and the insurance company cand try to help the two of you come to an agreement.
  • Mediation under this program costs a flat fee of $600.00. The insurance company pays that fee, unless both parties otherwise agree.
  • Mediation only happens if both you and your insurance company agree to mediation.
  • The mediator will work with both sides to try to get everyone to agree on a result.
  • For the result to be final you and your insurer must reach an agreement in writing.
  • You are not required to agree to anything.
  • If you can’t work out the dispute, you can stop the mediation.
  • You can try other ways to work things out with your insurance company, including filing a lawsuit. You must file a lawsuit before any legal deadline.
  • The mediation offered by the Louisiana Insurance Commission ends December 31, 2022.

To start mediation you call or email one of these companies:

Mediation is not the right choice for everyone.

  • If you believe insurance should have paid more than $50,00.00, your case does not qualify for this mediation program.
  • If you really feel you will not be able to convince the insurance company to pay more on your claim, you may need to find a lawyer to consider taking other legal action.

** Southeast Louisiana Legal Services does not represent people for insurance claim disputes.

More questions? Go to the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s website:

La información proporcionada en esta publicación no representa, y no pretende, un asesoramiento legal. Toda la información disponible en este sitio es información general. Si necesita ayuda legal, debe comunicarse con un abogado. Usted puede ser elegible para nuestros servicios legales. Nuestros servicios son gratuitos. Usted puede solicitar nuestros servicios con llamar nuestra línea directa de asistencia legal por desastre al 1-844-244-7871 o por nuestra aplicación electrónica.

¿Qué es la "regla de los tres días"? ¿Qué cubre la regla de los tres días?

La regla de los tres días también se llama la "Regla de enfriamiento".

Esta regla cubre los contratos de venta realizados en persona en su hogar, trabajo u otros lugares inusuales.

La regla es proteger a las personas contra ser presionadas para una venta, contrato o trato.

Algunos de estos pueden involucrar a personas que van de puerta en puerta para tratar de que las personas compren cosas o servicios.

La regla se aplica a los siguientes contratos de venta:

  • Una venta de $25 o más hecha en su casa
  • Una venta de más de $ 130 en un lugar temporal (como un mercado de pulgas, tienda de campaña, al borde de la carretera, etc.)
  • Pero la venta debe ser para bienes o servicios principalmente para su uso personal, familiar o doméstico. Esto incluye la venta de lecciones, otras instrucciones o cursos de capacitación.

Sin embargo, esta regla NO cubre la venta si fue:

  • hecho para hacer frente a cualquier emergencia
  • hecho completamente en línea, por correo o por teléfono
  • realizado después de que usted aceptó los términos en el lugar permanente de negocios del vendedor que vende los bienes o servicios que compró
  • hecho porque le pidió al vendedor que visitara su casa para reparar o realizar el mantenimiento de su propiedad personal. (Las cosas que compre que no sean esa solicitud de reparación o mantenimiento están cubiertas).
  • involucra bienes raíces, seguros o valores (como acciones)
  • para un automóvil, camioneta, camión u otro vehículo motorizado vendido en una ubicación temporal, si el vendedor tiene al menos un lugar de negocios permanente
  • para cualquier arte o artesanía que se venda en ferias o lugares como centros comerciales, centros cívicos y escuelas

¿Qué información debe decirte el vendedor?

En el momento de la venta, el vendedor tiene que informarle sobre su derecho a cancelar la venta.

El vendedor también debe darte:

  • Dos copias de un formulario de cancelación. Una copia es para que usted la guarde. La otra copia es para enviar al vendedor si decide cancelar su compra.
  • Una copia de su contrato o recibo. El contrato o recibo debe estar fechado, mostrar el nombre y la dirección del vendedor y explicar su derecho a cancelar.

o Nota: El contrato o recibo debe estar en el mismo idioma que se utilizó en la presentación de ventas.

¿Cuándo puedo cancelar el contrato?

Su derecho a cancelar para un reembolso completo dura hasta la medianoche del tercer día hábil después de la fecha en que se realizó la venta o firmó el contrato.  El sábado se considera un día hábil, pero los domingos y los días festivos federales no lo son.  Así que:

  • Si la venta ocurre un lunes de una semana sin un feriado federal, tiene hasta la medianoche del jueves para cancelar.
  • Si la venta ocurre un lunes y martes es un feriado federal, tiene hasta la medianoche del viernes para cancelar.
  • Si la venta ocurre un viernes, tiene hasta la medianoche del martes para cancelar, si no hay feriados federales el lunes o martes.
  • Si la venta ocurre un viernes y el lunes siguiente es un feriado federal, tiene hasta la medianoche del miércoles para cancelar.

¿Necesito una razón para cancelar la venta?

No tiene que dar una razón para cancelar.

Tiene derecho a cambiar de opinión.

¿Cómo cancelo la venta?

  • Para cancelar una venta, firme y ponga fecha a una copia del formulario de cancelación. Envíelo por correo a la dirección indicada para las cancelaciones en el contrato o por el vendedor. Asegúrese de que el sobre tenga matasellos antes de la medianoche del tercer día hábil después de la fecha del contrato.
  • Si el vendedor no se dio formularios de cancelación, escribe una carta de cancelación. Debe tener matasellos dentro de los tres días hábiles posteriores a la venta.
  • Envíe el formulario de cancelación o la carta por correo certificado u otro servicio de oficina de correos que incluya "seguimiento" para que pueda obtener un informe que muestre cuándo lo envió por correo y cuándo se entregó. Además, guarde una copia de la carta o formulario de cancelación o carta para sus registros.

¿Qué pasa después?  ¿Qué tiene que hacer el vendedor después de la cancelación?

El vendedor tiene 10 días para

  • cancelar y devolver cualquier cheque que haya firmado
  • reembolsar todo su dinero
  • devolver cualquier propiedad en la que pueda haber negociado
  • decirle si algún producto que aún tiene será recogido o abandonado

Dentro de los 20 días, el vendedor debe recoger los artículos que quedan con usted o reembolsarle los gastos de envío si acepta devolver los artículos.

Si el vendedor le dio algún artículo, debe ponerlo a disposición del vendedor en tan buenas condiciones como cuando lo obtuvo. Si no pones los artículos a disposición del vendedor, o si aceptas devolverlos, pero no lo haces, aún tienes que pagarle al vendedor. 

¿Qué pasa si el vendedor no sigue las reglas?

Si usó una tarjeta de crédito, puede disputar los cargos de la tarjeta de crédito en función de la violación de la "regla de enfriamiento de la FTC". Vea nuestra publicación sobre esto aquí.

También puede reportar la violación a la FTC en ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

En algunos casos, es posible que pueda usar la violación como parte de una demanda.