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Former Legal Helpers Employee Wonders About Colonial Law Group

By on August 10, 2015

I received a tip from someone who claimed to be a former Legal Helpers Debt Resolution employee who pointed out something I should look at and raised an interesting observation.

The person wondered if Legal Helpers Debt Resolution may have some relationship or link with Colonial law Group since, as they observed, the client agreements are nearly identical. What!

There are two logical explanations for this. One is Colonial Law Group ripped off the client agreement and nearly copied it. The second is that there is some relationship and Colonial Law Group used the agreement with permission or approval.

Here is an example of what the reader spotted:

Legal Helpers Debt Resolution Agreement

SCOPE OF ENGAGEMENT. LHDR structures its practice as a group practice. LHDR does not guarantee any minimum level of participation in any case by any individual employee, member, attorney, paralegal, or partner of the firm. LHDR agrees to assign qualified personnel, in its sole discretion, to various aspects of the case pursuant to its group practice and in compliance with all applicable rules of professional conduct.

Colonial Law Group Agreement

SCOPE OF ENGAGEMENT. CLG structures its practice as a group practice. CLG does not guarantee any minimum level of participation in any case by any individual employee, member, attorney, paralegal, or partner of the firm. CLG agrees to assign qualified personnel, in its sole discretion, to various aspects of the case pursuant to its group practice and in compliance with all applicable rules of professional conduct.

How about another example.

Legal Helpers Debt Resolution Agreement

SERVICE COST. The implementation, management and maintenance of a debt resolution plan by LHDR shall be performed under the direct supervision of LHDR by Legal Services Support Group, LLC (LSSG) at a cost of fifteen percent (15%) of the Client’s total scheduled debt (hereinafter referred to as Service Cost.)

Colonial Law Group Agreement

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SERVICE COST. The implementation, management and maintenance of a debt resolution plan byCLG shall be performed under the direct supervision of CLG by Colonial Client Services, a support entity group on contract to CLG, at a cost of fifteen percent (15%) of the Client’s total scheduled debt (hereinafter referred to as Service Cost.)

The similarities go on and on.

The Reader Has a Point

The similarities appear to be greater than the differences and I’ll give you the same challenge the reader gave me, “look at the two agreements side-by-side.”

LHDR Agreement
CLG Agreement

So Big Deal

It would not be a big deal if it wasn’t for how soundly Legal Helpers Debt Resolution was trounced by regulators and some attorneys lost there law licenses. In 2011, Illinois went after Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, “The lawsuit alleges Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, based in Chicago, illegally charged fees upfront under a guise that attorneys, who are exempted from an upfront fee ban, were providing the debt settlement service to consumers, enabling them to charge the initial fees. In fact, Madigan alleges, attorneys with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution only served as a front to the business, and debt settlement service was contracted out to non-lawyer, third-party companies.”

It appears Colonial Law Group may be doing the same thing. In this article I reviewed the client agreement and it sure looks like advance fees are being charged and Global Client Solutions is participating.

I did notice that Legal Helpers Debt Resolution provided a list of partner attorneys in their agreement, so did Colonial law Group. There was some overlap. Both agreements list the same attorneys in the following states:

Florida – Karen Gatto
Iowa – J.D. Hass
Michigan – Lori Leigh
Montana – Mark Anderson
Texas – Bryan Fears

Clearly it would seem logical that any attorneys who lived through the Legal Helpers Debt Resolution mess would be aware of the concerns that business model raised. Or so you would assume. To better under the history of the colossal Legal Helpers Debt Resolution failure, click here.

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But in case you may be curious if advance fees are being charged in Colonial Law Group like Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, look at this. The image on the left is from the Legal Helpers Debt Resolution client agreement. The one on the right is from the Colonial Law Group client agreement.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 9.51.15 AM

But Here is a Point to Ponder

It is interesting to note that one name has also surfaced in the government shutdown of Morgan Drexen, another advance fee debt settlement company. Could it be just a random coincidence that J.D. Hass had a relationship with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution and Morgan Drexen, which both were shutdown by regulators and is now involved in Colonial Law Group?

Want to read more for extra credit? Click here and here.

How could Hass not know of the problems faced in the advance fee debt settlement business model?


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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.

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