Omaha resident frustrated with lengthy wait for refund from bankruptcy service

“I paid $1,700 upfront and then everything that you pay is on your phone.”
An Omaha senior citizen facing bankruptcy spotted an advertisement for legal advice.
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha senior citizen facing bankruptcy spotted an advertisement for legal advice and faced some issues.

Although the government provided help during the pandemic, some people faced financial hardship

An online bankruptcy service called UpRight Law told Sam Parham they could help relieve debt, but he says he would have to go deeper into it.

“I paid $1,700 upfront and then everything that you pay is on your phone,” Sam said.

The service did connect him with a local lawyer who helped until Sam decided he could solve debt issues on his own. So UpRight Law promised him a nearly $400 refund on Aug. 4.

Sam has been waiting for a check ever since.

“It’s not a lot of money for a law firm, $385 I would think. But for me, it’s a fortune right now.”

A Better Business Bureau report gives UpRight law an “F” rating after almost 400 complaints in three years.

“In some cases, they’re saying they’re not going to provide any repayment, in some cases they say it’s coming, it’s coming and it takes forever for that payment to arrive in your account,” Josh Planos with the BBB said. “And for a lot of these folks, time is of the essence.”

Green Credit of Omaha helps 5,000 customers manage their overdue bills, and credit expert Gale Streff says to be cautious when any advisory service has you paying up front to pay down debt.

“Let them earn your business,” Streff said. “A couple of hundred dollars to start with. Give them a couple of hundred, let them settle that debt out and see how well they do with that and you’re not knee deep.”

6 News asked Sam to call UpRight Law to find out why his month-overdue refund hasn’t been sent. We’re told it’s because the company mistakenly misspelled his Ames Avenue address as ‘Fames Avenue.’

An alleged mistaken spelling has Sam asking what caused a delay in his refund.

“We went over this address twice, I’m sure twice.”

UpRight responded to the issue, outlining a series of miscommunications leading to the delay in a refund.

According to UpRight Law, a check was sent earlier, however, it went to the client’s old address before his new address had been updated in the system. But that new address was listed as ‘Fames Avenue’ causing further delay.

So a new refund has been sent to the correct address and should arrive by Tuesday.

UpRight Law also says the Better Business Bureau rating is not relevant to this in this case and the firm has no further comment.

Read the full statement from UpRight Law

“The client confirmed that he wanted to terminate UpRight Law’s representation in late June 2022. Within approximately 30 days, a refund check was issued through UpRight Law’s check payment system.”

Unfortunately, the check was sent to the client’s former address, which is the address we had on file at the time of his cancellation. The former client did provide an updated address following his cancellation. However, this was after the refund check had already been requested through the firm’s payment system. The address was not updated in that system before the check was sent.

Last week, on August 23, 2022, the former client contacted the firm about his refund check. The person with whom he spoke determined that the check had been sent to the wrong address and requested that a new check be issued. A new refund check was sent to the client’s current address last Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. It likely will arrive today or tomorrow.

As for your inquiry regarding UpRight Law’s Better Business Bureau rating, it is not relevant to the former client about whom you wrote to us, as we timely issued a refund check and simply sent it to the wrong address. We have no further comment beyond that.”

Michael K. Bane, vice president of client engagement