Beware of cut-rate bankruptcy advice – Ralph A. Ferro, Jr. handles
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Thought you might find this article interesting.
2 types of Bankruptcy mills:
1. High-volume practices run by attorneys, who may or may
not ever meet their clients before appearing in court.
2. Storefront bankruptcy-petition preparers who advertise cut-
rate services, usually without a lawyer's help.
Bankruptcy has become little more than a few months in purgatory rather than the 7-year ache -- and lifelong disgrace -- it
By Liz Pulliam Weston
Deborah and Victor Valle fell behind on their mortgage payments last year after Victor, a 43-year-old union truck driver, was
idled by the Southern California grocery workers strike.
When their lender started foreclosure proceedings, the Valles hired a lawyer, David Baran, to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy
so they could keep their home and have time to make up the late payments.
Baran filed the bankruptcy papers on Oct. 3, 2003. Within a few weeks, Victor was back at work and the couple had enough
cash to bring their mortgage current.
But the attorney failed to file the necessary paperwork to stop the foreclosure and didn't show up for a key hearing -- all the
while, the Valles said, assuring them that everything was fine.
On Dec. 5, 2003, the couple learned that their home had been sold.
2 types of bankruptcy mills
"Somebody comes to your door and says you have four days to move out," said Deborah, 39, the mother of four. "That was
The Valles now live in a budget Orange County motel. The real estate company that bought their four-bedroom house in La
Mirada, Calif., quickly sold it to another family. Deborah sadly watched the new owners move in recently as she was driving
by her former home.
As bankruptcy filings have soared to new records, many consumers are turning to high-volume bankruptcy law practices
and bankruptcy-petition preparers for help in