Lawyer Wins National Award For Pro Bono Work Helping Low Income Clients file Bankruptcy and Donates 10K Award to Charity and is Bringing Program to all 50 States

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Attorney Richard S. Ravosa won the distinguished Paul H. Chapman Award for his pro bono debt relief program which helps low income Massachusetts residents who have suffered catastrophic financial setbacks get out of debt and get a fresh start.

"I am honored and humbled by this award and see it as an opportunity to do more to help others in need."

Richard S. Ravosa, a Boston attorney was recognized for his large scale contributions for providing pro bono legal representation for the neediest in Massachusetts and for streamlining the bankruptcy process, conserving court resources and improving the justice system and has begun the process to bring the program nationwide.

The Paul H. Chapman award is given to only five recipients a year from a national pool of nominations by the Atlanta based Foundation For Improvement of Justice for the purpose of recognizing those individuals whose work improves the local, state, and federal systems of justice in the United States. Over $2,440,000 in cash awards have been distributed since 1986, and Attorney Ravosa has donated his $10,000 award to the Massachusetts Debt Relief Foundation, (MDRF) of which he is the founder and chairman.

The Foundation recognized Ravosa for his commitment and vision in launching and funding out of his own pocket nearly 100% of the costs of starting the MDRF since 2009, and for his work in representing Massachusetts residents free of charge who cannot afford to hire an attorney to file bankruptcy, but without bankruptcy relief, would be living in poverty or dangerously close to it. "I am honored and humbled by this award and see it as an opportunity to do more to help others in need," Ravosa said.

In his address to the Foundation in Savannah Hall at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, Ravosa explained that the MDRF “helps people who are in a 100 foot financial hole with only a 50 foot ladder get out of the hole and get a fresh start.” Ravosa also said that he has begun the process to implement a national debt relief program for all 50 states to be as effective for debt relief as the American Red Cross is for disaster relief. Accompanying Ravosa to Atlanta were three of his staff, Attorney Maegan L. Hurley, Attorney Michelle L. Cote and Senior Paralegal, Cynthia R. Ravosa.

MDRF, a 501(c)(3) approved charity, is the State's first and only pro bono firm dedicated exclusively to representing Massachusetts residents in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings, which also helps speed the process by reducing congestion in the courts because the cases are handled by experienced bankruptcy lawyers, with offices in Boston, Worcester, Natick, Salem, and Springfield. Many MDRF clients find and apply for the pro bono program online at and donors can also donate to MDRF online as well.

MDRF's offices are located minutes away from all three bankruptcy courts and are staffed with experienced attorneys and staff who speak Spanish and Portuguese and are ready to help those in need overcome debt with dignity.

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