SEPTEMBER 2019
The latest news and updates
We at SCBALAS wanted to send along our best wishes for everyone's safety. We hope you and your families are safe and taking all the precautions possible.
Annual Fundraiser 2019
Written by Carolina Hernandez
We will be hosting our “The Art of Law” fundraiser on December 19th at 11:30 am. “The Art of Law” focuses on the beauty of the legal profession and its power to improve the lives of others in our community. Many in our community are hurting and need our legal help.  In Seminole County, over 50% of enrolled children in public school are on free or reduced lunch. 69% of people frequent food banks are forced to choose between buying food or paying bills. Approximately 12% of Seminole County residents live under the poverty line.

Please consider becoming a sponsor of our event or donating an item for sale at our auction. To view our event page and sponsorship levels, please click here . All funds raised at the event supports our mission to provide free quality legal services to vulnerable residents of Seminole County to improve their quality of life and enhance their self-sufficiency and safety.” Last year, we offered free legal services to more than 1,028 impoverished families, including 1,397 children and obtained $362,256.53 in court-ordered support for low-income families in Seminole County.
Christian Sharing Center Project
Written by Carolina Hernandez
Anticipated to begin in September, Seminole County Legal Aid will be beginning a project with the Christian Sharing Center, in which we will be providing free legal advice clinics to their in-need clients which will be hosted at the Sharing Center. We are extremely excited to be embarking on this new program with the Sharing Center. More details forthcoming.
Active Military: How to Prevent Identity Theft
Written by Daniel Woodruff
Military service members are not immune from fraud and identity theft. They can be predisposed to these attacks due to the long periods of time they spend away from home. Many scammers use this information to their advantage. However, the United States government has not left military men and women without recourse; the Fair Credit Reporting Act puts several safeguards in place to prevent these events.
               The Active Duty Alert is designed specifically for active duty military away from their usual station. The alert requires lenders to take extra steps to verify the service member’s identity before approving new credit and lasts for one year but can be renewed to match the deployment period. In addition to this, the alert can remove the service member’s name from nationwide credit reporting companies per-screening lists.
               The Fair Credit Reporting Act also includes two additional alerts. The Initial Fraud Alert is available to everyone and is for people with a “good faith suspicion” that they are or will become a victim of identity theft. However, if a service member is already a victim, they should request an Extended Fraud Alert. It, like the Initial Fraud Alert, is not exclusive to military members. The Initial Fraud Alert lasts 90 days and ensures lenders will take reasonable steps to verify your identity, while the Extended Fraud Alert lasts seven years and requires submitting a police report to the credit bureaus.
               Although these alerts can be helpful, they do not guarantee against identity theft and fraud. To completely freeze your credit while gone, preventing the release of their credit file to lenders, need to request a Security Freeze. This ensures that credit will not be offered to anyone while the freeze in place, and you are away.
 
*The information in this article was provided by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Florida Lemon Law
Written by Daniel Woodruff
           Under chapter 681 of the Florida Statutes and the Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, consumers who purchase or lease new vehicle are protected should the car have defects or conditions that substantially impair the use, value or safety. The protection lasts for two years and is referred to as lemon law. The law requires the manufacturer to make repairs on the vehicle as long as the problem is reported within the first two years. Additionally, the Act specifies that the manufacturer must fix a singular defect within a reasonable number of attempts.
           A reasonable number of attempts, in this instance, is three attempts plus a final attempt after written notice is delivered to the manufacturer; after the written notice for the final attempt, the manufacturer has 10 days to repair the vehicle. Alternatively, a reasonable number of attempts has elapsed after the vehicle has been out of service (for repairs of one or more defects) for a combined 30 or more days. At the end of a reasonable number of attempts if the car is still not repaired it is considered lemon. The manufacturer must either buy the car back or replace the car.
           The goal of Florida lemon law is to protect consumers from unlucky purchases and to save them from expensive lawsuits. However, the law is not perfect at protecting the consumer. The manufacturer is of course afforded the ability to claim the defect does not impair the use, value or safety and the ability to claim the defect is the result of accident, abuse, neglect, or alterations. A decision will then be made on the vehicle by certified procedure or arbitration.
In addition to these roadblocks, when the vehicle is bought back the purchase price is subtracted for the use of the vehicle. Typically, the offset in value is the purchase price multiplied by the number of miles driven, all divided by 120,000. For example, if the car was bought at $20,000 and the consumer put 10,000 miles on it, then the offset would be calculated as $20,000 * 10,000 / 120,000 = $1667.67. Thus, consumers with lower mileages are better protected by the Act.
While the goal of the act is to prevent expensive lawsuits, an attorney still may be necessary. For more information visit My Florida Legal or contact a local attorney .
Housing for Low-Income and Disabled Central Florida Residents
Written by Daniel Woodruff
            The Hacienda is a HUD funded apartment complex in Longwood, Florida. Recently, the complex has opened a waiting list for one-bedroom and two-bedroom applicants. It is set to stay open from August 5, 2019 to September 16, 2019, or until 15 candidates who meet admissions requirements complete applications. The criteria are as follows:
1.       Receive SSI or SSDI and fall into the “low income” category
2.       Be 18 years or older
3.       Be a current resident of Seminole, Orange, Osceola or Volusia County
4.       Take the medication and continue treatment for your mental health
5.       Demonstrate basic living skills
6.       Have no criminal record for the last 5 years
The complex wants potential residents to be excited about the possibility of living at the Hacienda. The potential resident must accept the responsibilities and privileges that come with independent living, as well as agree to abide by all the rules and lease agreements. Additionally, those that use illegal substances, have a history of violence, are sex offenders, and/or have an eviction within the last three years are all disqualified. Again, the spots are first come so apply immediately. The application and the address can be found below.  
 
 
225 S. Wayman Street Longwood, Florida 32750 
Hurricane Dorian
As Hurricane Dorian nears us towards the beginning of the month, remember to register for text alerts from Seminole County Emergency Management for updates on the storm in Seminole County. Text "Dorian" to 888-777 for updates. For updates on courthouse closures, call 407-665-4834. Also be sure to download FEMA's mobile app for real time alerts and emergency tips for the storm.
We at SCBALAS wanted to send along our best wishes for everyone's safety. We hope you and your families are safe and taking all the precautions possible.
New Administrative Orders

In Re: Appointment of General Magistrate and Support Enforcement Hearing Officer

In Re: Mediation – Family Law Mediation Program
Upcoming Events

1 - 4 PM at the Seminole County Public Library, 215 N Oxford Rd. Casselberry, FL

10 AM - 12 PM at the Sanford Job Connection Center,
4516 W State Rd. 46 Sanford, FL
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE 1-800-435-7352, WITHIN THE STATE OR ONLINE AT WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. OUR REGISTRATION NUMBER IS 1944.