In a sign of the times, the 38 independent provider law firms associated with Pre-Paid Legal Services across the United States and four Canadian provinces responded to more than 79,000 requests to handle debt-collection issues in the first half of 2010 – accounting for 7% of the 1.1 million overall requests for assistance during that timeframe.

The carrier says lawsuits related to these issues are often used as a tool to frighten consumers. "We’re seeing much more of it now than we ever did," according to Michael Fiffk, an attorney with Welch, Gold and Siegel, P.C.

David Bloom, an attorney with Evans, Lowenstein, Shimanovsky & Moscardini, Ltd., recently drafted a letter on behalf of a client requesting proof of debt, which resulted in the legal action being dropped because no such documents could be produced. "In all too many instances,” he noted, “these debt buyers and their legal counsel are counting on uninformed consumers to simply pay up whether the debt is authentic or not."

In other Pre-Paid Legal news, the company recently launched a 30-minute promotional and recruitment program on the Fox Business Network and reported that additional segments featuring various legal eagles are in development.

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