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Friday, Nov 24, 2017
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Free legal assistance for Irma victims

The Tampa Bay area may have been spared the worst of Hurricane Irma, but residents and homeowners still must deal with a myriad of problems brought on by the monster storm.

If those issues require legal assistance but money is too tight to hire an attorney, a hotline has been set up to help.

The number is 1-866-550-2929. You can reach Florida lawyers there who have volunteered to provide qualified residents assistance with the following:

• Securing FEMA and other benefits.

• Making life, medical and property insurance claims.

• Dealing with home repair contractors.

• Replacing wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the hurricane.

• Helping with consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures.

• Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems or landlord/tenant issues.

Callers can leave a message at any time, in English or Spanish. Calls should be returned within two business days between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

There are some limitations: For example, assistance is not available for cases in which fees are paid as part of a settlement or award from a court.

The hotline is operated through a partnership between the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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