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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Phreedom, Sep 22, 2003.
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My company offers pre-paid legal some of the services they offer are:
Unlimited phone consultations
One letter or phone call per personal subject
Unlimited contract and document review
Will and Trust creation for the family
Minor legal expenses for traffic violations excluding DUI/DWI
Major legal expenses for manslaughter, and homicide
60 hours of trial time
50 hours of for IRS issues
25% off any other legal needs not listed above.
So if you have upcoming judgement(s) against you and wish to have a professional opinion. This should only cost a few dollars a month. But if you are not in that deep yet, you could post all your problems and letters here and the "experts" here can give you their opinion for free.
IMHO Pre-Paid legal is really for people with issues, tax liens, judgements, being sued personally or even professional. There is so much that we can do for ourselves if we take the time and have a bouncing board for our problems and being able to find situations that work.
Why pay for things that you can do for yourself. Unless you really have issue that only a lawyer can help I think Pre-Paid Legal is a waste of money.
It's not a bad concept in theory, but many who use these services expect more than what they actually get.
I've had PPl for a few months now. Overall I'm satisfied with the $25/month family membership and the $1/month "show to the nice officer when he pulls you over so he knows you have 24hr/365 attorneys" card.
Each year the amount of hours you get go up. It's kind of like insurance, but your coverage increases instead of your premiums.
I've used them a number of times for things like phone bill screwed up for the past year (AT&T Broadband/Comcast Digital phone over cable), that was and is a nightmare. I'm going to end up suing them for $4000, but that's another story.
My PPL lawfirm out of Denver, CO is great for sending letters, and a letter from an attorney has more weight than a letter from Joe Consumer. I've called them on the problems I've had with Equifax sending me a CR, I think I knew more than they did.
Basically, for the more advanced topics they will have to do some research and get back to you. Generally they get back to your initial call the same day. I don't know that I'd trust the local Denver, CO law firm to sue someone for me... not before I did all the research myself.
You do get a free will out of them, they will go over any contract you want looked at, they will call or send a letter (once per issue) for free, and they will answer any legal question... how good they are on a given issue varies.
They're good for traffic tickets.
In general based on the local lawfirm they're on the "err on the side of caution" type.
If you have a will and it costs you $300 per year then they're worth having for that. I spend all day driving for my job in my personal car, so I like having the card to show the officer (Legal Shield) if I get pulled over. I like getting a legal opinion that's already paid for. I like knowing they're there in case I need them. Are they the best? No, they are generalists in my opinion. However, they do research questions for you, so they can give you a general idea of what to expect. If a letter from an attorney costs you $50 and you send out 6 per year then they're worth it. So far, they've broken even and I've had good results so far.
So I think they're worth what you pay for them. You may get an awesome law firm in your area. You can go to www.prepaidlegal.com and find out who your local firm is and then do some research on them. Look at it this way, if it costs you $312 per year for a family membership (can also be live in girlfriend or other if you're not married but are living with them) + the Legal Shield card to show to cops and you nevr need it then you wasted $312 for the year. If you get sued this year and need to pay an attorney for 4 hours, no matter which way you cut it PPL would cost you less than 4 hours at average lawyers fees per hour. What's an average lawyer run an hour $150-$250 on average?
Filing a small FCRA/FDCPA case. If your state allows lawyers present in small claims (Colorado does) you can always bring your PPL lawyer. It's not going to cost you anymore (I don't think anyway), and at the very least they can help you with procedure issues. And you can always agree to pay them their normal hourly rate should you win.
Basically it's legal insurance. It's piece of mind that you have an attorney, and with Legal Shield should the authorities detain you in the middle of the night you have an attorney to call 24hrs/365 (all for an extra buck a month). It's not for everyone.
If you have it at work, talk to people at work that have it, do some research, decide if you want the piece of mind and can afford the monthly membership fee.