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School of Law
1045 W. Maple St.
Robert A. Leflar Law Center
Waterman Hall
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Phone: (479) 575-5601

Lawyers, You Are Now A Debt Relief Agency Under The New Bankruptcy Law

By · October 14, 2005 · 2005 Ark. L. Notes 395
In categories: Bankruptcy

Just today, one week before Law Notes goes to press, I was asked whether lawyers who do bankruptcy work are debt relief agencies. My initial thought was no, these were bankruptcy petition preparers, not lawyers representing debtors in bankruptcy. The reason I am writing this short article is that I was surprised to find out that bankruptcy lawyers are debt relief agencies. This article is no substitute for your reading the statutory sections. Debt relief agencies are defined in section 101(12A) as “any person who provides any bankruptcy assistance to an assisted person in return for the payment of money or other valuable consideration, or who is a bankruptcy petition preparer under section 110, but does not include–….” The exceptions do not concern me now. Instead the definition of “assisted person” is defined and so is “bankruptcy assistance.” Bankruptcy assistance is defined in section 101(4A) as:

any goods and services sold or otherwise provided to an assisted person with the express or implied purpose of providing information,advice, counsel, document preparation, or filing, or attendance at a creditor’s meeting or appearing in a case or proceeding on behalf of another or providing legal representation with respect to a case or proceeding under this title (emphasis supplied.)

You can see from the definition of bankruptcy assistance that it is very broadly defined and does include bankruptcy lawyers. It is from this definition of bankruptcy assistance that I conclude that lawyers doing bankruptcy work are debt relief agencies.

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