Justice Matters to Staff Attorney, Andrea Mosley
Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida
CLSMF clients who attend a bankruptcy legal advice clinic and meet the criteria to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can elect to attend a bankruptcy pro se workshop conducted by staff attorney Andrea Mosley. Workshop attendees are provided with all of the necessary information they need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy pro se. Clients are provided with an access code for free credit counseling which must be completed prior to them filing their petitions. Andrea meets with clients, reviews petitions and provides them with filing instructions.
When asked why Andrea chose to pursue civil legal aid as her career path, she shares her motivation and reason for her passion lies with her upbringing. When she was a kid, her parents lost their home to foreclosure. Her father hurt his back and couldn’t work his well paying, but physically demanding job at the regional grocery store. His job loss resulted in the loss of their home. During those days, the mortgage company posted a big sign on your home that stated your house was in foreclosure. Andrea remembers sitting at her front window and watching people walk by her house and point.
Andrea’s parents, Andrea and her baby brother had to move into one room in her grandmother’s apartment. Her grandmother lived in public housing. There was no control for the heater and it was hot all the time. The hallways smelled like urine and she hated every minute of it. Andrea’s parents worked two and three jobs, with no car. Eventually they moved into their own apartment and then another house. Her mother worked and earned her college degree. One of her father’s jobs was mopping floors in a fast food restaurant. He told her years later that he didn’t have the luxury of self-pity or being “too good” for a job. He had kids to feed.
That is the reason why Andrea will do everything she can to help but she won’t coddle clients. Andrea shares, “I will help you, help yourself. And that is also why I do what I do. I’ve been there. I don’t have to empathize or imagine. I know. My parents needed help they couldn’t afford. I know legal aid organizations make all the difference for people who need help but can’t afford to pay for it. I believe I was always meant to work in civil legal aid”.
“Our client’s are by and large honest hardworking people like my parents. They are in a disheartening situation and they need help. They have the weight of the world and the all the negative emotions associated with feeling like they have failed. Which they have not and I always tell them that. We lift that weight. We provide a light at the end of a very long, dark, and narrow tunnel. We give our clients a chance to begin again with the fresh start that bankruptcy was designed to provide. I could never represent the amount of people that come through the workshop. I would have to turn away most of the clients due to their only being only one of me. The workshops allow me to help more people and empower the clients to help themselves”.
In 2015 workshops will be held every other month in Volusia and Marion Counties.