Law Office of Dawn Papaeliou, P.C.

Law Office of Dawn Papaeliou, P.C.




Firm Overview

I opened this law firm in early 2008, in an effort to offer the Las Vegas community an alternative to the Las Vegas Bankruptcy mill. I drew from my prior employment within the bankruptcy field to establish a firm focused on clients' needs.

The firm's emphasis on accuracy and quality stems from the realization that there is much room for improvement in the work product of many local firms. Time and time again over the last six years, I have seen "corners cut" and "shortcuts" taken by other bankruptcy professionals who clearly do not have the best interests of their clients in mind. Mistakes hurt not only an attorney's reputation, but may affect the outcome of a client's case. At this firm, cases are always handled by the attorney from case opening to case closure. Because paralegals and legal assistants are prohibited from providing legal advice, this firm does not employ paralegals or legal assistants.

My experience with the Office of the United States Trustee (OUST) impressed upon me how important it is to uphold the integrity of the bankruptcy system. I learned the necessity of serving as a consumer advocate in order to balance out the inequities within the bankruptcy process which inherently favor creditors. Oversight of the system ensures that the system remains accessible to all and works for everyone, not just those who can afford expensive lawyers.

As an associate attorney representing hundreds of debtors in bankruptcy, I learned that every client is unique. I have seen firms lose sight of the client's needs and resolve not to let this firm fall victim to the same mistake. This firm offers free comprehensive consultations based on the belief that attorneys providing only canned or boilerplate advice cheat their clients out of valuable information. Only an educated client can make truly informed decisions about his/her finances and financial future.

My experience has also shown me that a large caseload is harmful to the client for numerous reasons. A large caseload requires tremendous resources, and things can easily slip through the cracks. Firms with large caseloads batch file cases, which means cases, although ready for filing, are shelved until the next filing date. Your case should not be just another file. The Law Office of Dawn Papaeliou, P.C., offers a limited caseload to ensure your case gets the full attention it deserves. This firm also has individual filing dates so your case gets filed when it is ready.

The firm's primary focus is always the client. This law firm proudly offers comprehensive advice, discreet representation, and individual attention. I am committed to helping financially distressed individuals obtain a fresh start through bankruptcy relief. My practice is limited to Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 13 reorganizations. This law firm is a Nevada debt relief agency serving the Las Vegas, Henderson, Green Valley, North Las Vegas, Spring Valley, Sunrise, Boulder City, Pahrump, and Mesquite communities.

Example cases: One client did not immediately clear the Means Test and therefore did not appear to qualify for Chapter 7 relief. I explained the client's option to file for Chapter 13 relief and also explained that I would gladly complete a more in-depth Chapter 7 analysis if he was willing to provide additional documentation regarding his monthly expenses. Upon further analysis, it became apparent that the client had the evidence necessary to claim allowances in excess of the IRS Standards. The client ultimately cleared the Means Test and filed for Chapter 7 relief. We provided the supporting documentation to the trustee and the United States Trustee to substantiate the additional expenses, and the client testified about his monthly expenses at the Meeting of Creditors. This client received a discharge under the bankruptcy Code.
Main Office

1489 W. Warm Springs Road
Suite 110
Henderson  NV  89014

  • (702) 566-0015


Free Initial Consultation?

All initial consultations are free.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

This firm offers low flat fees and payment plans. I also offer pro bono services to select low income individuals or families as time permits.

Chapter 7 fees start at $1,200.00, which include attorney fees and the $335.00 court filing fee.

As far as Chapter 13 fees, it is important to understand how Chapter 13 fees are charged. Attorney fees vary depending upon an attorney's hourly rate. Attorney fees consist of an "upfront" filing fee and a large balance of fees which are incorporated into the chapter 13 plan. Since Nevada is a "no look" jurisdiction, the Court has pre-approved fees based on a standard 16 hours of work at an attorney's hourly rate. Attorneys routinely charge additional fees for work performed in excess of 16 hours. Additional fees must be approved by the Court. Read your retainer agreement carefully and understand specifically what fees your attorney charges. By law, you are entitled to a copy of an attorney's retainer agreement.

This firm's Chapter 13 fees are consistent with or cheaper than other bankruptcy firms. The typical Chapter 13 fees are $4,310.00, which is not paid directly by the client but rather through the Chapter 13 plan. The upfront fees to file a Chapter 13 case start at $1,310.00, which includes the court's chapter 13 filing fee of $310.00.

Credit counseling and financial management fees can be paid directly to the approved agency or can be paid through this office for the client's convenience.

Hourly Rates

Flat fees rather than hourly rates are charged in most cases. Call for further details.

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
I am on-call after hours and on weekends.

Emergency After Hours


How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

It actually chose me. Since completing the bankruptcy law course in law school from the Honorable Bankruptcy Judge Bruce Markell, opportunity after opportunity has arisen in the bankruptcy field. I also became interested in bankruptcy law because it is heavily reliant on mathematical and analytical analysis, which has always come naturally to me. Bankruptcy law, which is based upon codified rules found within the United States Bankruptcy Code, is an area of the law that seems less arbitrary and abstract to me than others. When I need answers to a bankruptcy question, I go straight to the source: the Bankruptcy Code.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I feel that educated clients make more sound financial decisions. For this reason, telephone inquiries are always welcome. I encourage the open exchange of information because it alleviates anxiety. I believe that uncertainty causes much of the anxiety and stress that debtors typically feel. People armed with information are also better able to cope with and avoid creditor harassment.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I am willing to review documents subject to some limitations. Please understand that there is a fine line between providing legal advice and actually legally representing clients. For this reason, I reserve the right to ask a multitude of questions, or in the alternative, to limit my services. It is also important to understand that the information contained within the bankruptcy schedules is interconnected. In other words, an omission or addition on one schedule may necessitate an addition or the omission in another part of the petition. Because of the complexity of the bankruptcy process, I strongly encourage debtors to seek full legal representation unless the case is the most basic Chapter 7 case.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I have coached people in the past through the bankruptcy process. Even though these people were ultimately successful in obtaining the relief they sought due in large part to their own resilience and determination, I do not recommend filing a bankruptcy case in this manner. There are simply too many schedules to prepare and file, too many documents to provide to the trustee, too many deadlines to miss, and too many issues that can arise in a case. It is really a testament to the individual(s) I helped that they were able to follow explicit directions to the "t" and did not give up out of utter frustration.

Dawn Papaeliou

After graduating from law school, I joined the office of Las Vegas Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee Yvette Weinstein. With the trustee's office, I acquired extensive experience in bankruptcy law, which laid a solid foundation for my subsequent positions as debtors' counsel. I assisted the trustee in the administration of Chapter 7 bankruptcy estates, liquidation of debtor's assets, and distribution of estate funds to creditors. I also reviewed debtor's financial documents and bankruptcy schedules to detect bankruptcy abuse and fraud, as well as for grounds to pursue non-dischargeability actions. Ultimately, I gained insight into the role and approach of trustees in the bankruptcy process.

In 2006, I operated the Law Office of D. M. Papaeliou, P.C., and provided free legal services to senior citizens through the City of Las Vegas Senior Citizen Law Project. Thereafter, I joined the Department of Justice Office of the United States Trustee in Reno, Nevada, which is charged with overseeing Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. While employed with the Office of the United States Trustee, I investigated the eligibility of debtors in Chapter 7 cases, examined Chapter 7 debtors under oath at creditors' meetings, and pursued the dismissal and/or conversion of cases to Chapter 13 relief. My duties also included providing oversight of Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees, monitoring Chapter 11 reorganizations in the Reno area, and otherwise ensuring compliance with the United States Bankruptcy Code.

My work experiences have solidified my commitment to helping people through financially difficult times and offering people a better financial future.

All my work experiences have made me a better lawyer because every experience has given me an opportunity to learn more. I am always amazed at how jobs I had or activities I partook in years ago have helped me down the road. Even a bad experience can be seen in a positive light.

My greatest strength is thoroughness. I believe that this attention to detail sets me apart from other attorneys. Here is why thoroughness is so important: When the United States Trustee (UST) has to decide whether to look into a particular case, they will not pick the case where the information is complete and consistent throughout the petition. Instead, the UST will come down on the client whose lawyer filed sloppy paperwork and leaves the UST wondering what the lawyer is not disclosing. Simply put, cutting corners or taking shortcuts is bad for my reputation and for the client.
Another strength is my resourcefulness and persistence, which means I go "above and beyond" for every client.

Personal interests:

I am always driven to learn new things whether it means learning to play guitar or piano, learning to speak a foreign language, or learning how to install tile or hardwood flooring. My "to learn" list is endless. I am rarely without a book of some sort in my hand.

I look forward to the cooler months in Las Vegas when I can enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, and rollerblading. I spend the hotter months in the swimming pool or improving my pool game and my bowling average. And whenever possible, I lend a hand at Habitat for Humanity and Clark County READS.

  • Bar Number: 8219
    Nevada , 2002
  • University of Nevada - Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2002
    Las Vegas, NV
    Focused on Bankruptcy Law, Secured Transactions, and Uniform Commercial Code Sale and Leases of Goods.
  • University of Nevada - Reno
    B.S. , 1997
    Reno, NV
    Majored in pre-veterinary medicine and was granted admission at multiple veterinary schools in the United States.

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