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Help with legal issues

The article headlined, Drop in the ocean for repo help (Money Marketing, July 2), was very informative but could I reassure readers in need of legal advice on housing issues that there is help at hand. In fact, last year, over 170,000 people got legal aid to help them resolve their housing problems.

Legal aid is available to people who pass a financial means (income and capital) and legal merits (considering factors such as the case’s likelihood of success) test laid down by parliament.

Generally, a client is eligible if they and their partner have a combined monthly disposable income of less than £733.

We fund advisers in 112 courts across England and Wales as part of our housing possession court duty scheme, which provides free advice to anyone regardless of their financial means.

In addition, we fund the Community Legal Advice (CLA) service (http://www. communitylegaladvice. org.uk/or 0845 345 4345), which offers free, confidential and independent legal advice for residents of England and Wales.

All callers to the CLA helpline can get some limited initial advice, request advice literature or be referred to other services while those people eligible for legal aid can be put straight through to a specialist housing law adviser over the phone.

Carolyn Regan

Chief executive

Legal Services Commission

London

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