How to Find Reward by Working With Those in Need

As Maureen McCarty and I meet with Maria (not her real name), I realize the compounded struggles of the poor. Maria’s English speaking and comprehension are limited. She and her husband are separated. Her son’s health issues complicate her search for work. And at this moment, with area rents topping $1,000 a month, even for a small apartment, Maria needs rent assistance. Can we help her? Each Wednesday morning, McCarty and other finance counselors who volunteer with a Christ Church’s …

The Long Goodbye: Your Kid’s Cellphone Bill

Cheering their new grads at college commencements this month, parents will likely give another hurrah: No more tuition! But there’s another cost that might well linger on for parents of high school and college grads: the cellphone bill. A Wall Street Journal survey last year found that about 40 percent of parents of 18- to 35-year-old children still pay for their cellphone service, and 29 percent continue to do so even after their kids have moved out and pay their …

In Eviction Dispute, It’s David 1, Goliath 0

Rafael Lee is 82, it’s true. But the New Yorker’s energy and attitude revealed itself when he hired a lawyer to protest a law firm’s attempt to evict him from his rent-controlled apartment – and won. Turns out that Lee (or his lawyer, James Fishman) may have known more about federal debt collection law than the landlord’s law firm, Kucker & Bruh, which, somewhat ironically, specializes in … debt collection. First-year law students (I teach ‘em) learn on their first …