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Focusing on Financial Stabilty

John lives in Centre County and is homeless. He applied for public housing, but was denied because of an outstanding debt with a former landlord that was showing up on his credit report. John contacted MidPenn through our Telephone Advice Project. He was immediately connected with an attorney. The attorney found that John was able to make payment arrangements with the debt collector and had received a settlement letter. John was also working with the local base service unit and was receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits. The attorney reviewed the letter as well as investigated the company’s reputation. The attorney determined that the offer was legitimate. She also advised him to request a letter from the creditor after making the payment. The letter should state that the debt was satisfied in full and that he had a zero balance. Since he was authorizing the collection agency to remove money directly from his bank account, once the debt was satisfied, the attorney advised John to notify the creditor, in writing, that they are no longer authorized to remove money from his account. The attorney also spoke to John about any other barriers that could prevent him from obtaining public housing and to confirm that this debt was the only matter preventing him from obtaining approval. John confirmed that the housing agency that he applied to had indicated to him that if he pays this debt it will get him through the credit check. One step closer to a home.