Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2014

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Las Vegas Sol:

Legal Aid Center launches Spanish-language bankruptcy class

Starting Friday, the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada will be offering bankruptcy classes taught entirely in Spanish.

Classes will be offered on the third Friday of every month.

The first class will be from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at 610 S. Ninth St. The new class is the third in a series of Spanish-language seminars at the center. The other offerings include classes on family law and navigating small-claims court.

Those who would like more information about obtaining a pro bono Legal Aid Center attorney for their case can also learn more about the process at the classes.

"For the past 10 years, we have held two bankruptcy classes in English every week, and we made printed materials available in Spanish," Barbara Buckley, Legal Aid Center executive director, said in a release. "However, bankruptcy can be a complicated process, and requests from people who understand information better in Spanish have been steadily increasing. Classes also provide a more efficient forum for us to address the questions that many people have."

Legal Aid Center lawyers have seen a dramatic rise in bankruptcy petition preparers who prey on Spanish speakers, according to the release.

“Petition preparers are nonlawyers who charge a fee for preparing bankruptcy forms," Buckley explained. "We have seen an increase in preparers who charge Spanish-speaking clients more than attorneys would charge, give wrong advice and then leave litigants alone in court to fend for themselves."

For information about the center's classes in English and Spanish, call 386-1070, ext. 155, or visit www.lacsn.org and click on "Free Classes."

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