Because of COVID-19, an estimated 165,000 families in the seven Bay Area counties BayLegal serves face nearly $1 billion in rent debt. The end of federal and state eviction moratoria intended to keep families in their homes during the pandemic leaves this astronomical personal debt unresolved. Even where eviction protections remain, many must deal with debt collection, lawsuits, wage garnishment and negative credit reporting that keeps them from finding housing in the future.
BayLegal’s Consumer Unit is taking steps to help our community with rent debt. In May, BayLegal Senior Attorney Kari Rudd conducted an online training with the Contra Costa Family Justice Center on legal rights related to COVID-related tenancy debt for more than 85 community-based direct service providers. In January, she held a similar training at the San Francisco Law Library for 55 providers.
On June 25, BayLegal’s Consumer Unit will begin monthly one-to-one legal clinics for San Francisco residents who are facing collection lawsuits and negative credit reporting for tenancy debt. These clinics will not assist with eviction lawsuits. San Francisco tenants and former tenants can make an appointment for the clinic by calling (415) 982-1300.