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Are you now eligible for legal aid? – New legal aid rules now in force

Are you now eligible for legal aid? – New legal aid rules now in force.

Swain and Co solicitors are delighted at a recent change in legal aid rules meaning more homeowners will be eligible for legal aid.

Before the change, the average homeowner would often not qualify for legal aid even if they had a low income and could not afford to pay for legal advice. The “Mortgage Cap” of £100,000 previously artificially inflated the value of equity in a property by not taking into account the full amount of the person’s mortgage.

Following the court’s decision, the government have changed the Legal Aid rules. The new regulations change how property values are calculated for the financial test and enables the entire value of the person’s mortgage to be deducted.

Samantha Lee solicitor at Swain and Co said,

“The old rules were out of touch with the current state of the housing market and meant for example that clients living in areas of high property prices or victims of domestic abuse who had remained living at the family home were unable to apply for legal aid despite being on low income and not having access to the capital tied up in their home. This is great news for homeowners who would otherwise have been excluded. The new rules came into force on 28 January 2021. Anyone who has been refused legal aid prior to that date should check if they are eligible now and reapply under the new rules”.

The change applies to all civil legal aid (not criminal cases). If you are in need of legal help and want to know if you are eligible for legal aid please contact Swain and Co solicitors on 02392 483322 for an assessment.

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