Legal Services

From bankruptcy services to debt negotiation and beyond.
Sometimes, you just need an attorney to help sort it out.

LEGAL SERVICES IN DEBT RELIEF

Legal services involved in the resolution of consumer debt are varied and diverse. They can involve a myriad of legal services ranging from attorney assisted debt negotiation and settlement to complete bankruptcy services. Lawyers are governed by the State Bar in which they are licensed and must adhere to a strict code of conduct. It is important to understand, however, that just because a company is a law firm, or the individual offering assistance is an attorney doesn’t mean they are skilled or ethical. It is very important to make sure you check their Bar Number and make sure they are licensed to practice law in the state you reside. Just like any other company providing debt relief in this country, there have been plenty of instances of attorneys losing their licenses, being disciplined and in some cases, being criminally charged for their misconduct in offering these services. As with any debt relief service, or any service for that matter, Buyer beware.

If your debt has gotten out of control and you feel that you cannot sustain the repayment plans you are on, bankruptcy may be an excellent way to get a fresh start. If you have assets and/or real property that could be in jeopardy if you stop paying your creditors, a bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your situation and determine whether bankruptcy is a good fit. Like any industry, not all attorneys are good at their trade. Just because someone is an attorney doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to solve your problems effectively. Some bankruptcy scenarios are complicated and require someone with expertise to guide you through the proceedings and help protect your assets. It is always important that you research potential attorneys before just driving headlong into the banckruptcy thinking it will be a “quick fix”. Make sure the attorney is licensed in your state and is in good standing with the state bar. Make sure to research any disciplinary actions taken against he/she. Ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel comfortable with the attorney’s skills and experience in cases similar to yours.

There are many attorneys and lawfirms that also offer alternative debt relief services. After a review of your situation, they may recommend an attorney assisted debt settlement program. In some states, an licensed lawfirm may be your only solution for this settlement service due to laws that prohibit debt settlement services performed by a commercial entyerprise. You need to understand that there are many types of debt related services you may be offered. If a “lawfirm” contacts you to pitch you their services, you need to know exactly what they are offering and do your due diligence to make sure that the lawfirm is legitimate. Some debt relief companies use a network of loosely affiliated attorneys in different states to cover their true service. There have been many lawsuits initiated by the federal regulators involving these “attorney networks”. Some of the attorneys involved were disbarred and some even went to jail.

Debt validation is another such program you need to be aware of. Debt relief companies offering you a debt validation program are actually using the collection laws to clog the collection system and allow your debts to reach the statute of limitations. In some cases they get lucky and the debt doesn’t get validated. That doesn’t mean the debt goes away, and it can often come back to haunt you later on down the road. If the debts get validated or verified by the collections agency or primary collector, they will generally use the leverage to negotiate a settlement. The fees they charge are similar in nature to the debt settlement programs and in many cases are identical. Be wary of any company that claims they can leverage the laws to invalidate your debts or make the debts go away. Some of these firms use shady tactics to effectuate this program including convincing you that you should not have to pay them back for XX reasons. If you spent the money, you owe the debt. That’s the right way. That doesn’t mean you can’t use strategies to get out of that debt for less than you owe.

Whether you are interested in finding an attorney to help or a company that specializes in debt relief, it is imperative that you know who you are working with. Just because someone says they are a law firm or that they are attorneys doesn’t mean that they are. OCCAM has created a safe, easy to use system to truly know who you are working with and hold those companies to a higher standard. Trade groups, pay-tp-play associations and fancy brands haven’t stopped the abuse. This OCCAM Network will. Take a look at the list of companies, law firms, and individuals banned from providing debt relief services by the FTC for abuse. BANNED COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS.

At OCCAM, we believe you need to be armed with every resource at your disposal for addressing your debt situation. There are some absolutely fantastic companies out there that can help. We know who the reputable ones are and are leveraging that knowledge with a meaningful system of self regulation from within the industry. Whether you need an attorney or a company to help you, we have the right players. Don’t trust the fancy brands and badges, get the facts and work with an OCCAM Certified provider and KNOW that you are in good hands and that you have an advocate team of experts looking out for your best interests.

CHECK LAWYER LICENSING AT THE American Bar Association.

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