We hear stories every day about the devastating impact consumer debt has on a family. We want to help people find a debt payment structure they can manage while protecting their legal rights.
Towson, MD (Vocus) September 30, 2010
In an effort to continue working to assist consumer clients in Kansas, the Shawnee County District Court has been asked by Persels & Associates, LLC to declare that the Kansas State Bank Commissioner is acting outside its authority in attempting to regulate attorneys practicing law. Persels & Associates, LLC provides representation for over 50,000 clients with a staff of over 160 field attorneys licensed in all 48 states and 25 central office staff, including four field attorneys in the State of Kansas working with 1,000 clients.
The Kansas Banking Commissioner Kevin Glendening has issued a cease and desist order against Persels & Associates, LLC, a national law firm working with consumers to get out of debt. Glendening said in a statement to the Kansas City Star that often in these types of debt-settlements, “promises are made to consumers to help reduce debts, stop collection efforts (and) improve credit ratings. Companies may claim to be exempt from oversight due to the involvement of a local attorney. However, our agency believes many of these companies simply rent the local attorney’s law license” to avoid consumer protection laws. Glendening is clearly misinformed (please visit http://www.perselsandassociates.com for a complete analysis of the differences between Persels & Associates and traditional debt settlement companies), and has not met with the four licensed attorneys in Kansas. All efforts to educate and inform him about Persels & Associates have gone unanswered.
“It is stunning and, frankly, disappointing that the State Bank Commissioner in Kansas would try to take such a regulatory stretch when clearly the regulation of attorneys lies solely with the Kansas Supreme Court, “said Neil Ruther, founder of Persels & Associates, LLC “We practice consumer and debtor law in 48 states and have never seen such an action. And what makes it even more troubling is the fact that the Banking Commissioner has not given us the name of a single client who has complained nor given us the opportunity to resolve any such complaints.”
“We are the only law firm offering this service directly to consumers,” Ruther added. “We hear stories every day about the devastating impact consumer debt has on a family. We want to help people find a debt payment structure they can manage while protecting their legal rights. Our clients in Kansas deserve the same right to representation our clients in all other US states have.”
Persels & Associates and its predecessors have been working with clients to restructure debt payments for over 10 years. The law firm bridges the "gap" that can exist between the consumers and creditors. The firm’s ability to provide legal advice and negotiate payments consumers can afford can be essential to people working their way out of debt.
Unlike traditional debt management programs where consumers can pay up to 100% of the debt balance plus interest and penalties, the Persels & Associates approach has clients with severe debt burden pay a very small set-up fee, then a nominal monthly administrative fee while the payments are being negotiated with the creditors. Only after successful compromise of the clients’ debts does the firm realize its fee as a percentage of the saving achieved for the client.
Other companies will try and negotiate debt but not with legal representation. With Persels representation, clients can effectively assert all the rights afforded them by federal and state consumer protection laws while the law firm helps them develop and execute a plan to pay their debt.
Ruther added that the actions of the State Banking Commissioner reflect a gross lack of understanding for how the law firm serves clients throughout the United States. The clients served by the law firm face overwhelming unsecured debt and need the advice and services that they contracted with the law firm to provide.
Persels & Associates programs go a long way to help clients keep their heads above water in these difficult economic times. Last December, revolving debt — an estimated 95 percent from credit cards — reached a record high of $943.5 billion, according to the Federal Reserve. The annual growth rate of this debt increased steadily, reaching 9.3 percent. The US unemployment numbers continue to hover around 10%, causing more and more people to use their credit cards for household and medical bills.
The amount of debt that is delinquent — in which minimum payments are late but the accounts is still open — also appears to be on the rise. The Federal Reserve found that 4.34 percent of the credit card portfolios of the 100 largest banks that issue cards were delinquent in the third quarter of last year, up from 4.07 percent in the previous quarter. Charge-offs — accounts closed for nonpayment — also grew in that period, and banks expect charge-offs to keep rising.
For a small initial set-up fee and an administrative fee of $50 per month, Persels & Associates lawyers will represent clients with the goal of negotiating affordable settlements with their creditors. Persels & Associates will also assist the client if legal issues arise during the course of the representation Only when the firm has been successful in negotiating a compromise the client can afford will it take its fee as a percentage of the savings realized by the effort.
“Our firm has offered to review individual cases, business practices, any consumer complaints or other specific items of interest to the regulatory body. None of those overtures were accepted,” stated Ruther. “Instead, we asked the court for intervention and now the state regulators have responded with this action that puts our clients at risk. It is a very disappointing turn of events.”
About Persels & Associates
Persels & Associates, LLC, and its entities are pioneers in the field of offering "unbundled" legal services to individuals who cannot afford traditional legal services. As Americans credit debt rose, Persels & Associates bridged the "gap" between consumers and their debtors. Today, Persels & Associates employs over 160 lawyers in the 48 states and has 25 central office staff attorneys with over 50,000 clients. For more information, please visit http://www.perselsandassociates.com.
Karen McGagh 443-632-4217