Mountain State Justice provides aggressive legal advocacy on behalf of low-income West Virginians to ensure access to the civil justice system for the vindication and protection of their rights.

George and Brenda Fore decided to take out a mortgage to help purchase a mobile home for their daughter and grandchildren, and became victims of a predatory lending scheme. Mountain State Justice helped the Fore family save their family home.

The Fores have lived in their family home for nearly forty years. In 2006, the Fores owned their home free and clear of any debt. But, seeing advertisements about low interest rates, the Fores decided to take out a mortgage to help their daughter purchase a mobile home to place on their land. After they responded to a lender’s advertisement, the lender obtained a fraudulent appraisal that placed an inflated value on the Fores’ modest home. With the inflated appraisal in hand, the lender pressured the Fores to take out more money than they wanted. Excited about helping their daughter, and trusting the lender, the Fores were tricked into entering two large, expensive loans.

The next year, the Fores were shocked when their payments nearly doubled. At risk of losing their home, the Fores applied for a loan modification with the loan’s new owner.  The Fores complied with every request the bank made, only to be told time and time again that their file was “under review,” but that the bank would eventually modify the loan to a lower payment. Despite these promises, though, in October 2010, the bank foreclosed on their home.

The Fores learned that the bank had foreclosed when they found a note on their door.  The Fores panicked — until they found Mountain State Justice. After meeting with the Fores and learning their story, Mountain State Justice represented the Fores in a lawsuit to combat the abusive and illegal conduct of their mortgage lender and servicer. With Mountain State Justice’s representation, the foreclosure sale on the Fores’ home was undone.  The Fores now live, safely and without fear of foreclosure, in their long-term home with their daughter and grandchildren next door.

Mountain State Justice is committed to helping West Virginians like the Fores stand up against predatory lending and abusive loan servicing.

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Contact us if…

  • You were told that your loan was a fixed rate mortgage, but the payments started to rise after two or three years.
  • Your loan is for a higher amount than you think your house is worth.
  • You were lied to about the price of your home or the terms of your loan.
  • Your payments were refused or returned or you were told not to make payments.
  • You were told that you qualified for a modification, but you never received the promised modification.
  • Your loan servicer lost the documents you provided for your loan modification application, and then denied your application.
  • You were foreclosed even though the servicer had never given you a decision on your loan modification application.
  • You are the victim of other consumer fraud or predatory financing, or you are being harassed by debt collectors.

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Mortgage Abuses
Debt Collection

Fraud and Other Consumer Issues

Marshall "Jay" Justice is a coal miner who believed that his employer was interfering with his right to raise concerns about safety and health on the job. Marshall felt that the company’s actions were illegal and, with help from Mountain State Justice, he was able to take legal action against the company. He got his job restored. He recovered for his losses. And he is now free to make safety and health complaints, and to join with other miners in refusing to work in unsafe or unhealthy conditions, without fear of retaliation from the company.

Marshall Justice is a lifelong Boone County coal miner, and a longstanding and well-informed advocate for safety and health at the mines.  Unfortunately, when new management was brought in to Marshall’s mine, he started to feel harassed for demanding that the coal operator must not put miners’ lives and lungs at risk.

Despite feeling the hostility from management, Marshall continued serving as a miners’ representative.  He refused to work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.  He pointed out hazards to the bosses and the mine inspectors.  He filed complaints about safety hazards and health risks.  He did everything that a reasonable miner must do in order to ensure that he and his fellow workers remain free from injury and illness throughout their entire working lives.

When Marshall eventually felt forced out of the workplace due to the operator’s threatening and chilling attitude, he came to Mountain State Justice for support in regaining his job, recouping his losses, and protecting his rights to demand a safe and healthy workplace.  Now that Mountain State Justice is representing Marshall, he feels free to point out hazards, and to refuse to work in unsafe or unhealthy conditions that management won’t fix.  His job was restored, along with financial relief and more.  He is free to notify his coworkers about unsafe conditions, and they can all collectively exercise their right to refuse to work until unsafe or unhealthy conditions are eliminated.  Marshall knows that it is illegal for the company to lay him off or threaten him in retaliation for his advocacy on safety and health.

In addition to working on Marshall’s individual case, Marshall Justice, Mountain State Justice, and other miners and their families have worked together to improve working conditions for all of West Virginia’s coal miners, by advocating through the courts and the legislature for stronger safety regulations and to ensure that government agencies disclose important information about safety investigations at West Virginia’s coal mines.

Mountain State stands shoulder-to-shoulder with miners like Marshall Justice, to protect their rights to stand up for safety and health in the mines.

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Contact us if…

  • You want to refuse to work in unsafe or unhealthy conditions at your jobsite, and you need legal backup.
  • You have been threatened or retaliated against at work for raising concerns about safety conditions.
  • You have black lung, but are having trouble obtaining black lung benefits, or you are the survivor of someone who received black lung benefits.
  • You have been denied the right to move to a safer work environment.
  • You have been denied the right to a free X-ray and lung function screening.
  • Your disability is not being accommodated.
  • You have been denied wages or overtime pay that you were promised, or your schedule is so erratic that you can’t work a second job.
  • You have been denied access to government investigation reports of your job site.

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Workers’ Rights

LaVon Butcher received harsh letters from her daughter’s teachers, and she knew she needed help in getting the school system to understand her child’s special needs. With Mountain State Justice at her side, LaVon finally got the school to listen to her and put a plan in place to provide her daughter the education she deserves.

LaVon Butcher is a single mother of four children, one of whom suffers from a traumatic brain injury and ADHD, among other disabilities.  While her daughter’s school had an individualized education plan, or IEP, in place, it wasn’t working to provide her daughter the support she needed.

The IEP didn’t include specific or measurable goals and objectives for her daughter’s teachers and aides to work toward.  Moreover, the school was punishing LaVon’s daughter for behavior problems related to her disability, rather than trying to understand the behaviors and address them proactively.

Mountain State Justice accompanied LaVon to her daughter’s IEP meetings, to help her advocate for what her daughter needed to succeed in school.  After Mountain State Justice got involved, the school agreed to conduct a behavioral assessment to figure out what triggered the behavioral problems and implement a positive behavior intervention plan to avoid such problems in the future.  The team also wrote better academic goals and objectives, and LaVon’s daughter’s grades have improved dramatically.

LaVon explains that “before contacting Mountain State Justice, my meetings with my daughter’s school were emotional and frustrating; I felt like my concerns were not being heard, and it was me versus the six people from the school. Once Mountain State Justice joined me at my daughter’s IEP meetings, the school listened, and I was finally able to get services in place that my daughter needed to receive.”

Mountain State Justice is committed to ensuring that all West Virginia’s children receive a free and appropriate public education.

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Contact us if…

  • You know of a school that refuses to allow children of all abilities to participate in the classroom or school activities.
  • You know of a school that refuses to provide necessary services and supports for children with special needs.
  • You know of a school that sends children into the juvenile justice system instead of providing them with necessary services.

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