When attorney Xenophon Peters opened his law firm with partner Judah Zakalik five years ago, the pair figured they’d have to shift the focus of their practice within a couple of years.
Peters and Associates helps clients deal with bankruptcy, debt settlement, home modifications, short sales and foreclosure mediation. Las Vegas was in the midst of the recession when the firm opened its doors.
Today, the demand for legal help for debt relief has only increased, said Peters, a Boyd Law School graduate who grew up in Las Vegas after his family moved from Madrid. He spoke with VEGAS INC about the economy and its impact on his practice.
How has the economy affected your clients?
Very negatively. Every month, we just keep getting busier and busier.
The economy obviously has a drastic impact on people who have to deal with possible bankruptcy or settle their debt because they can’t afford it anymore. We notice a lot of people want loan modifications.
Where do you see the economy going?
The stock market is going to an all-time high, home prices are going back up, but we still meet with clients who either just recently got laid off or are still on unemployment, have furlough days, have their pay decreased.
What’s the first thing you want your clients to know about your firm?
They always get to meet with their attorneys, and they always have an attorney representing them. There are a lot of firms that do what we do that have salespeople or paralegals helping clients. Any time a client comes into our office, from the first consultation until we’re done with them, they have an attorney assigned.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen over the past five years in relation to your practice and clients?
Prices are going up, so we’re seeing a lot more clients who probably a few years ago would have been completely fine dumping their homes in a short sale now wanting to retain them.