The Yellow Pages that arrived at my door yesterday. This strange book is an object of great fascination to a generation that has grown up watching YouTube and relying on Wikipedia instead of World Book and Brittanica. It was pure Kismet, but when I opened the volume, it was to Lawyers-Bankruptcy. It turned out to be an enlightening experience. The Yellow Pages is perhaps the only place one can find concentrated advertising by bankruptcy (and other) lawyers. There might even be a good article in analyzing the advertisements.
I was surprised that a good third of them didn't have the requisite "we are a debt relief agency" language, while some of the others choose to repurpose the BAPCPA escutcheon by calling themselves things like "federally recognized debt relief agencies". Is that so different than the mortgage modification shops recently warned by the CFPB and FTC regarding misleading advertising for potential misrepresentations about government affiliation?
By far the best ad, however, was patterned on the Dr. Jonathan Zizmor, dermatologist, ad of NYC Subway fame, listing the various types of treatments available for consumers: instead of wart and mole removals, there are second mortgage and lien removals. Instead of chemical fruit peel treatments to reduce blemishes, consumers can get reductions in mortgage balances and taxes. Stop living with those embarassing acne garnishments and get on with your life.
I always thought of bankruptcy lawyers as the legal equivalent of ER docs: stop the hemorraging, stabilize the patient, move them to the ICU, and then on to the next one. But maybe we're really financial dermatologists.