The Western New York Law Center is doing what it can to support community members during the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorneys from the center were able to break down how they can help when it comes to things like mortgage payments and water shut-offs.
"We know a lot of people are defaulting on their mortgage payments right now," said Amy Gathings, a foreclosure unit supervising attorney.
With temporary and permanent job losses, many homeowners are struggling to pay bills.
"A forbearance period where people can delay making their payments but they are still going to owe those payments and will need to take action later on," Gathings said.
This is why they strongly encourage people to make any payments they can. If you have questions about your debt, they have free clinics to help you learn what resources are available to get back on your feet. If you have more than mortgage debt, attorneys say they're increasingly seeing bank accounts being frozen and phone calls from community members who say their stimulus checks were taken by creditors.
"It's supposed to be going towards people's mortgage payments, rent. One man has been unemployed for a year and he was really banking on this money to help him pay back his mortgage," said Paulette Campbell, a managing attorney at CLARO Buffalo Legal Clinic.
Another big issue has been water being shut off. Law officials say back in March, they were able to negotiate with the Buffalo Water Board to ensure water is not shut off during the COVID-19 period.
"Six-hundred or so people who would otherwise be living without water still have water," added Steve Halpern, another attorney at the center.
Halpern says he worries about the people who went into COVID-19 with their water already shut off.
"Our best guesstimate about that is that there are hundreds of people in that category. The water board says it has restored service at this point to about 162 people,” he said.
Spectrum News has reached out to Buffalo Water for more information. Anyone who needs assistance can contact the center here.