Advertising by Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys after BAPCPA
Posted: 19 Jan 2007
Date Written: March 2, 2007
Section 528 of the Bankruptcy Code ("Code"), added to the Code by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BAPCPA"), requires that debt relief agencies disclose specified information in certain advertising directed to the general public. Many consumer bankruptcy attorneys have not yet attempted to comply with the advertising disclosure requirements in their Yellow Pages advertising or on their web sites and some attempts to comply fall short of the statutory requirements either for lack of required language or for failure to disclose the required information conspicuously. This article summarizes data in support of these conclusions, gathered from a review of advertising by consumer bankruptcy attorneys in fifty-one AT & T Yellow Pages directories published online after the April 2005 enactment of BAPCPA and from a review of some web sites to which some of those advertisements referred. This article also provides examples of complying, possibly complying, and non-complying advertisements, speculates about the possible reasons for non-compliance, discusses the possible consequences of non-compliance, and highlights some of the legal and practical issues posed by application of the statutory requirements to Yellow Pages and web site advertising. This article will first appear in the 2007 edition of Norton Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law, published by Thomson/West, and this abstract is reproduced with the consent of the copyright holder, West Services, Inc.
Keywords: BAPCPA, attorney advertising, debt relief agency, consumer bankruptcy attorney
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