Without the Legal Aid Society, Stacey Lloyd would have lost the only home she has ever owned, the pastoral place in Porter Corners where she has raised two sons and cared for her granddaughter and, because she runs her own business, that is the center of her professional life, too.
In 2010, after she was divorced and “two-thirds of my income walked out the door,” Lloyd modified her mortgage with Fifth Third Bank out of Ohio. In 2014, on the brink of losing her job in Ballston Lake, she started her own business out of her home, providing in-home counseling services to people with traumatic brain injuries.
Lloyd bills the government for her services, under a special program for patients with brain injuries who qualify for Medicaid.
Getting clients took time, and Lloyd was struggling at first. The power was shut off, and the cable, and the fuel.
Lloyd would put sheets up in the living room, then turn on the electric fireplace to keep it warm for her granddaughter, a toddler.
“I don’t know how I got through it,” she said.
In October 2014, she called the bank to ask for another loan modification.
“They kept stringing me along, said I’d have to wait,” she said.
The bank reps would ask her to fill out paperwork, then ask her to fill out some more. In the winter of 2015, they told her to “hang on until April.”
In March, they served her with foreclosure papers.
Panicked, she contacted the Saratoga Springs office of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York.
The society serves 16 upstate counties through five offices that employ a staff of about 100 people, including 46 lawyers. Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York is one of 133 such programs nationwide, providing legal help in civil cases to poor people and families.