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Should I Trust The Lawyer Referral Network to Get Me Out of Debt?

By on March 7, 2019

Question:

Dear Steve,

Lawyer Referral Network – Is this company legit? I have learned the probability is great that what debt they assist in getting relieved you have to pay income taxes on the write-off.

This company claims they can take my $65K debt to $0 and set up payments as lawyer fees in the amount of $662/mo over 30 months and be out of debt Or almost $20K later.

Anonymous

Answer:

Dear Anonymous,

These kinds of questions are also very interesting to answer. I did not hear the alleged sales pitch you said you heard and I don’t have any documentation from The Lawyer Referral Network that says the same thing.

But here is what I can say. Most people (70% +/-) in financial trouble are able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The debt is eliminated tax-free in about 90 days and should cost less than $2,000.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them for free about your specific situation. Get the facts and then you can make an informed and educated decision if bankruptcy is right for you.

But just looking at the site for The Lawyer Referral Network, here is what I learned.

Here are the basic guides to how I took a look.

  1. The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
  2. 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Settlement Company for You
  3. How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off

It is interesting the website says, “The Lawyer Referral Network is neither a law firm, nor does it purport to render legal services.”

The State of Florida has rules requiring referral networks to comply with. Here is what they say about the April 30, 2018 changes.

The Lawyer Referral Network says they are a “Bar compliant lawyer referral service whose referral agents are licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Our mission is to provide education to consumers on their rights as they pertain to legal matters. In the event that a consumer desires to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney in a particular area of law from our panel of attorneys, we strive to refer that consumer to the attorney of their choice.” – Source

They are correct, they have been a registered telemarketer in Florida since 2013.

The Lawyer Referral Network is a registered Florida LLC company. Martha Pina is listed as the manager of the Limited Liability Company.

The company says it is located at 7000 W Palmetto Park Rd Ste 402 Boca Raton, FL.

A Google search on that address comes up with other entities as well like Credit Experts.

Here is the bottom line from my point of view. If you contact this company and decided to use their services and you think you are being represented by an attorney, make sure the attorney is licensed in the state where you live and that you have a specific attorney representation agreement with that attorney.

An attorney who is not licensed in the state you live in can’t provide you with legal advice and representation.

There is no substitute for good advice and professional assistance. Just make sure you rely on the description of services they may ask you to sign and what your attorney specifically tells you.

A telephone salesperson is often motivated to close the sale, paint a picture of services that sounds wonderful but is not the same as what is described in the written client agreement with the attorney.

Just be a smart consumer.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

3 Comments

  1. OCCAM (@OCCAMALLIANCE)

    March 8, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    This feels like a debt validation type program. You just pay fees and they will use legal loopholes to attempt to make the debt noncollectable. Many companies running this type of company have failed in their efforts and end up selling you into a debt settlement program when they reach the point where their efforts have failed. I would be VERY careful with the company in question until you have had their program completely vetted. Steve has a great article on how to do this, or you can also reach out through OCCAM and have us take a closer look as well. You can submit an inquiry at http://www.occamalliance.org

  2. Consumer

    March 7, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Information submitted

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