Pro bono attorney helps families struggling with debt


Frank Eaton

Frank Eaton has been practicing large, complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases around the country since 1990, based first in New York and now in Miami. While attending a bankruptcy conference where the Chief Bankruptcy Judge extolled the importance of pro bono assistance for general consumers who need — but can hardly afford — counsel, he decided to find a way he could help. Paul Singerman recommended that he contact Legal Services of Greater Miami to do pro bono work.

Eaton honed up on consumer Chapter 7 law, and jumped in to help a family in dire straits. A nurse making less than $20, 000 a year and her recently laid-off husband were suffering from her wages being garnished, credit card debt and an underwater house. They were living so hand-to-mouth, they could not even afford the $303 Chapter 7 filing fee. Eaton was able to get them a full discharge, removal of the garnishment and a complete fresh start for the family.

In another case, a 17-year-old became involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, his father had forgotten to mail in his check for car insurance, and it had lapsed the day before. Eaton was able to negotiate a settlement down from $37 to $10K, payable at $100 a month, which the family was able to afford.

“As an attorney who has enjoyed a financially rewarding life, it has truly been an education to represent individuals who don’t have the financial means to hire an attorney – and get them great results,” said Eaton. “It’s my way of paying it forward,” he added.

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