What Can I Do If My Pooled Trust Screws Up?
My pooled trust made a “clerical error” and underpaid my monthly rent thus putting me in arrears. Who oversees pooled trusts? Where is legal representation or advocacy for tenants? I am pending eviction?
Pooled trusts are managed by non-profit corporations for the benefit of many individuals. Although they’re called “pooled” trusts, the trustees maintain separate accounts for each beneficiary. Pooled trusts come in two forms with two separate sets of rules: so-called third-party pooled trusts which parents and grandparents fund for their children and grandchildren and (d)(4)(C) trusts which a special provision of the law permits beneficiaries of Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to shelter their own assets. (You can read more about these trusts here.)
There is no regulatory body other than a court that governs pooled trusts or any other type of trust. Legal services agencies and pro bono attorneys represent tenants in eviction proceedings. Unfortunately, legal service agencies are generally underfunded, but it’s worth reaching out to your local legal services office. Your local bar association may be able to steer you towards pro bono representation. All that said, most landlords don’t bring evictions for a single underpayment if the tenant makes up the difference quickly. It’s also likely that the pooled trust will work to fix the problem if they caused it. Rather than seeking outside legal representation or advocacy, I’d contact the pooled trust, explain the situation and ask for their assistance.