Earlier this month, Van Horn Law Group, P.A. the largest bankruptcy law firm in Broward County won a case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida (Case No. 20-8268-LMI), confirming a more affordable process for attorneys to provide bankruptcy services to underserved, low-income communities. In addition, the win ensures a more
reasonable option to paying thousands of fees upfront prior to the bankruptcy filing.
Chief Judge Laurel M. Isicoff sided with Van Horn Law Group, its founding partner Chad Van Horn, and attorney Melissa Goolsarran Ramnauth who argued the matter for the firm in a case alleging the firm violated federal bankruptcy law by offering two-contract legal agreements in Chapter 7 cases.
These bifurcated agreements – an initial contract and fee for filing bankruptcy and a second contract to complete the bankruptcy process with the fee paid over time with no interest – enables low-income individuals to access the bankruptcy process.
“The legal system should be open to everyone in need, not just those who can afford it,” said Van Horn. “We structure our agreements to help those in dire financial need – many of whom are already facing wage garnishments and barely making ends meet when they come to us.
“Requiring full payment before filing bankruptcy shuts out low-income communities and
denies them access to quality representation for their bankruptcy filing. Our firm is committed to serving individuals and families of every economic stratum, particularly those who struggle the most,” Van Horn added.
While Van Horn’s two-contract business model enables the company to fight for low-income clients – having used this process for more than 2,000 cases since inception – it also increases costs to the firm. For example, the firm has had to build and manage an infrastructure to accommodate taking payments. In addition, those payments are not necessarily guaranteed compared to requiring full payments prior to filing.
Its larger vision is to establish Van Horn Law Group as a relentless advocate for debtors’ rights in the State of Florida and across the country to dispel the stigma associated with bankruptcy, empowering citizens with the knowledge of their rights and providing access to the legal system.
Van Horn and his team have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the community:
- Helping others in the community during this time of financial insecurity, including the purchase and delivery of free boxes of food to 167 South Florida families in need.
- Volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County, where Van Horn currently serves as board chair, financial supporter, and a Big Brother mentor to Desmond for eight years.
- Providing pro-bono and low-bono services to those in need in the Broward
County community, having handled hundreds of cases for veterans, the elderly, minorities, and other low-income earners.
Van Horn Law Group, P.A.
Van Horn Law Group, founded in 2009 by Chad Van Horn, 37, is the largest bankruptcy law firm in Broward County based on cases filed, according to Pacer.gov. The firm specializes in the areas of personal and corporate bankruptcy, student loan consolidation and litigation, estate planning/asset protection, LGBT estate planning/asset protection, foreclosure defense, corporate representation, debt consolidation, civil litigation, debt relief, and consumer law. The firm was ranked among the top 5,000 fastest-growing,
privately held companies in the United States in 2019 and 2020 by Inc. magazine.
Van Horn Law Group, P.A. is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with
satellite offices in Miami Lakes and West Palm Beach.
For more information, call (954) 765-3166 or visit Van Horn Law Group