Posted Jul 27, 2012 05:27 pm CDT
A Chicago-based consumer law firm described by the Illinois attorney general as a “front” for collecting hefty fees rather than a provider of actual assistance to struggling individuals is winding down its operations in some 38 states after agreeing to pay a $2.1 million refund to its customers in the state.
Jason Searns, who serves as general counsel to Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, said adverse publicity about the firm’s settlement with AG Lisa Madigan made it hard to attract new business matters, even though the firm has helped a number of consumers, reports the Chicago Tribune (reg. req.).
“Once you have something like this, it’s very difficult to get your message out,” Searns told the newspaper, explaining that the company will cease doing business once it has resolved its current client matters.
However, a spokeswoman for Madigan said Legal Helpers had no one to blame but itself for a lack of clients.
“This was a business built on defrauding people, not providing real legal help,” said Natalie Bauer. “When you expose that conduct for what it is, it’s not surprising that a business can’t survive.”
The settlement will provide an average of about $1,000 to each of Legal Helpers’ 2,000 clients in Illinois.