According to the United States Department of Justice:
As a result of dozens of USTP actions filed since 2016, UpRight has paid or been ordered to pay almost $900,000 in monetary relief, including returning fees to over 500 impacted consumers and paying court-ordered sanctions, attorney’s fees, and costs. Additionally, bankruptcy courts have imposed practice bans against UpRight in at least four jurisdictions.
In the current matter, the USTP alleged that UpRight engaged in misconduct and misrepresentations impacting hundreds of Montana consumers, which came to light due to investigations by the USTP in two bankruptcy cases. In one case, UpRight substantially delayed filing its client’s bankruptcy case for almost a year after it misrepresented that it had a local attorney who was licensed in Montana available to file the case. UpRight’s delay resulted in a creditor garnishing more than $6,000 of the debtor’s wages. In the other case, UpRight obtained payment of its attorney’s fees by advising the debtors to participate in an improper scheme whereby they surrendered their vehicle to an out-of-state towing company. Another bankruptcy court previously sanctioned UpRight for implementing the towing program—which it used in more than 200 cases across the country—describing it as a “scam from the start,” and the towing company’s owners were indicted for their role in the scheme. UpRight’s advice resulted in the debtors being sued by their automobile lender for conversion of its collateral.
In the settlement, UpRight does not contest the USTP’s allegations that it engaged in misconduct in the course of its dealings with Montana consumers, including misrepresenting that it had a sufficient number of local Montana-licensed attorneys available to provide adequate bankruptcy representation, misrepresenting to clients the scope of legal services to be provided and the cost of those services, failing to timely provide its clients with written retainer agreements that clearly and conspicuously explained the legal services to be provided and the cost of those services, failing to discuss non-bankruptcy alternatives, failing to adequately supervise the firm’s non-attorney staff (some of whom engaged in the unauthorized practice of law), providing erroneous legal advice, and failing to adequately supervise its Montana “partner” attorneys.