In one of my e-alerts I saw where the Texas Access to Justice Foundation funded a YouTube video to help low-income self-represented litigants navigate the court system. I viewed the video and was duly impressed. While some of the information will vary for self-represented litigants in South Carolina, the video does provide good general information about what to expect in court.
For some reason, I wanted to celebrate June on the blog. Maybe it’s because June introduces summer. And summer holds precious memories for many – school is dismissed, it’s a popular wedding month, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
This probably isn’t a surprise to many. But it is interesting that there are more articles about the phenomena.
For example, the New York Times recently featured a story about the rising number of Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs) entitled “In a Downtown, More Act as Their Own Lawyers.” The article noted the phenomena in multiple jurisdictions including California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas. The NYTimes also notes that the phenomena is not limited to a specific court.
Missing from the list of articles is SRLs in Bankruptcy Court. While there are no numbers, percentages, or stories, not to worry, the U.S. Courts website has a site dedicated to “Filing without an Attorney.” In South Carolina, click here. Both sites offer a video explanation as well.
It may not be a surprise but while there may be many people who want to proceed on their own, they are still advised to speak with an attorney, if possible.
In the national study, Connecticut ranked number 1 and Texas ranked last.
South Carolina ranked in the bottom half of the states overall, in between New York ranked at 38 and California ranked at 40.
In the 220 page report, the definition of homeless children is from birth to age 18 who are accompanied by one or more parents or caregivers. Runaways or throwaways are not included in the count.
~ Each year more than 1.5 million of our nation’s children become homeless ~
From the Report itself:
Extent of Child Homelessness: Counting homeless children is important because it helps us understand the scope of the problem, which drives planning and policy efforts. The percentage of homeless children identified in each state was used as one of the four domains in the Report Card. This was based on school data collected through a mandate of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.17
Child Well-Being: For the purposes of the Report Card, child well-being was determined by three factors: food security, health outcomes, and educational proficiency. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Survey of Children’s Health, McKinney-Vento Academic Progress Reports, National School Lunch Program, and the National Assessment of Education Progress were used to create state scores on child well-being.
Risk for Child Homelessness: By creating an index of risk for each state based on generosity of benefits, household structure, housing market factors and extreme poverty, structural factors contributing to homelessness were included in the composite score. The index of risk reflects the growing gap between rich and poor Americans and the decreasing number of households that can afford the increasing cost of housing. As their purchasing power has also decreased, millions of Americans must choose between housing and other basic necessities. With the current economic downturn and the staggering increase in housing foreclosures, more and more families are likely to become homeless.
Policy and Planning Efforts: This domain includes a state-by-state review of housing, income, education, and health policies and planning activities related to child homelessness. A total score was computed based on various efforts in these critical areas.
It’s an easy website to maneuver and well-worth your time to explore and use the interactive map and at least review the short reports on your own states. For the short South Carolina report, click here. For the long South Carolina report, click here. For the full report’s Executive Summary, click here. For the full report, click here.
It’s usually a good thing to be a leader. But every now and then, it pays off to be in the middle of the pack. This is one of those times for South Carolina.
South Carolina is NOT a Top 10 Leading State in Foreclosures!*
Who leads the nation in foreclosures?
California leads, followed by Florida, Arizona, Illinois, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, Virginia.
Although South Carolina does not lead the nation, our state courts are receiving record filings in the foreclosure arena; many by self-represented litigants. Many legal and social service providers continue to work with people to save their homes.
Trend information is available online at the RealtyTrac where they track foreclosure information. You can access blogs and other information about foreclosures at this site.
For information on a foreclosure ticker, check out my previous post. For a different website with an interactive foreclosure map, visit here.