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Legal Aid Society of Columbus programs.

Numerous civil cases are handled by the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Attorneys from the non-profit law firm assist qualified low income families from the region, including Franklin, Marion, and nearby counties. Clients can get assistance with a number of needs, including housing and eviction prevention, help in applying for public benefits, consumer debt issues, and other aid.

Many different types of support fall under the Consumer Law team of Legal Aid Society of Columbus. They can assist with some or all of the following, including Creditor Harassment, Bankruptcy filings, wage Garnishments, and Repossessions.

One of the major issues handled by the firm is around consumer debt and dealing with predatory lenders. The federal government, as well as state of Ohio, have rules and regulations in place that need to be followed. For example, a creditor must disclose their identity to individuals and may not people before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Consumers can also request to have debt collectors stop from contacting by writing them a letter just telling them to cease.

So there are a number of other protections in place as well, all of which the Columbus Legal Aid Society can advise clients on. This information is free, and they can help ensure that a debt collector will not threaten or harass someone. Another action that a consumer can take is they can complain to the Attorney General of Ohio or even the Federal Trade Commission noting the abusive actions.

Domestic legal aid is for a wide variety of more general civil issues. They will all have a common theme of dealing with the family and the challenges faced by them. Get help with ending domestic violence and obtaining civil protection orders. There is also free support for Child custody matters or in some cases a divorce filing. For intake or information on these types of civil cases, dial 614-224-2001.

Free foreclosure prevention is provided by the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Staff, including either attorneys or HUD approved housing counselors, will advise clients on the process. They will help people file an answer/counterclaim to any foreclosure notice with the court. Or work with a case manager on exploring various mortgage assistance programs, including government loan modifications, forbearance and more. Some of the more common solutions used in Ohio are the following.




  • The lenders Loss Mitigation Department can be contacted in order to negotiate and alter terms of the home loan.
  • Lawyers can help people complete a Work Out with their bank. In this case, the homeowner will continue to make monthly payments. At the same time, they will need to agree on terms or a repayment plan to catch up the amount that they are behind.
  • Mediation services are available from the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. This involves a third party meeting with the client as well as the lender to try and resolve the issue.
  • Other options include a Loan Modification as well as support from HUD, or the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Homeowners in the area, including Marion, Franklin, Union County, can explore these options and many others. To apply for free legal help for your foreclosure, contact The Legal Aid Society of Columbus at 614-241-2001.

Free legal assistance for other housing matters is also available, including eviction defense. The Legal Aid Society of Columbus Ohio provides representation and advice for tenants residing in either private or government subsidized housing. The goal is to prevent homelessness and ensure that homes and apartments are safe to live in.

The main service offered is known as the Pro Bono Tenants Advocacy Project. Qualified low income families from the greater Columbus region can get free help in dealing with Evictions, landlord Lock-outs, Section 8 Voucher Terminations, and even utility matters. There is support provided for energy companies on disconnections as well as the shut off of heat during the winter months.

The Public Benefits Team can help elderly and low-income families in central Ohio apply for the government benefits they are entitled too. If someone has been denied by either the state of Ohio or federal government, representatives from Legal Aid Society of Columbus will help clients overcome those barriers. They can get help in applying for public aid and other federal and start of Ohio government benefits. Other assistance is for those lower income families that are faced with loss or denial of benefits or difficulty in obtaining Food Stamps or Social Security SSI.

One way they do this is from Direct Service. The firm’s Public Benefits Team provides legal advice at no cost to qualified low income families. If needed, lawyers will also represent them in any disputes. Clients can get help in applying for programs such as Disability, SNAP Food Stamps, Medicare, Ohio Works First, Unemployment Compensation, and more. There is particular focus on veterans in the Franklin County area as well as those with a disability.





Also, if you think you have been unfairly denied or if your benefits have been terminated, clients can call the Legal Aid Society. They will help ensure that people that have applied for public aid are treated fairly.

Free legal assistance is offered for those that have been terminated from their employer but do not think they should have been. There is also aid for people that have been denied benefits, such as unemployment, at the workplace, or maybe they have been reduced for some reason. Also, if there have been delays in the processing of your application, then a lawyer can help the person overcome that challenge.

There is also legal guidance offered to senior citizens in the Columbus Ohio region. This includes Priority Services. They can get help with completing simple wills, Advance Directives, or Powers of Attorney notices. Lawyers work with their families to ensure any nursing home issues are handled appropriately. Other assistance for seniors in regions such as Franklin County include applications for Medicaid/Medicare, housing Issues, and ensuring access to public healthcare.

LITC, or the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic is part of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus as well. The non-profit will represent taxpayers who are involved in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. They can support individuals through the audit process or any wage garnishments that are undertaken. Questions can be answered on the Earned Income Tax Credit by either lawyers or accountants that work for the firm.

Other civil cases handled include unemployment compensation and illegal terminations. Veterans can also get help with applying for VA benefits, including the Ohio Veterans’ Bonus, disability, and civil legal issues that apply to military members.




When calling for advice, there will be an intake procedure held. The result of that will help less fortunate clients find the correct service, and they will work with a paralegal or attorney to find a solution. If not support is available, then clients may be given referrals.

Residents of Madison County should dial 1-888-246-4420 for information. Other phone numbers include Marion, Delaware, Morrow, or Union, the phone number is 740-383-2161. The main office can be reached at 1108 City Park Ave. Columbus OH 43206.


By Jon McNamara

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