Upright Law Sanctioned, a national bankruptcy firm, operating in both Oregon and Washington, was recently sanctioned and enjoined by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for for causing “unconscionable” harm to its clients. The court found that the law firm and its attorneys engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and provided inadequate representation to consumer debtor clients.
After making its findings of fact, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court entered orders in two actions brought by the U.S. Trustee. The court sanctioned Upright Law in the amount of $250,000; and imposed an additional penalty of $50,000 against the firm’s managing partner. Moreover, the Court ordered UpRight to disgorge all fees collected from the consumer debtors in both bankruptcy cases. The went on to revoke UpRight’s bankruptcy filing privileges in the Western District of Virginia for not less than five years.
UpRight operates a website offering legal services to consumers in financial distress, including debtors in both Oregon and Washington. Prospective consumers contact UpRight through the website and are quickly routed to UpRight’s sales agents. The Court found that the non-attorney “client consultants” were trained to close prospective clients by using high-pressure sales tactics and improperly provided legal advice to encourage them to file for bankruptcy relief.
The bankruptcy court found that UpRight had “serious oversight issues” in failing to adequately supervise its salespeople to prevent their unauthorized practice of law, and that UpRight demonstrated a “focus on cash flow over professional responsibility.”
More recently, the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle found that Upright had filed bankruptcies without original signatures from the debtors and properly disclose fees received from those debtors. Because the firm had already disgorged all its legal fees to the debtors prior to the close of the hearing, the Bankruptcy Court did not impose any further penalties.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Your Oregon and Washington Bankruptcy Attorney
When it comes time to file for bankruptcy, you need a compassionate and skilled attorney who will be able to guide you through the process as cleanly as possible. At Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm, we can help you with filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in both Washington and Oregon. We will be there every step of the way to help navigate you through the often-complex and difficult bankruptcy process.
Give us a call at our Tacoma location (253) 780-8008 or our Seattle location (206) 486-1280 to schedule a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys. If you have any other questions about bankruptcy, Tom McAvity will be more than happy to offer advice on your particular situation.