Firm Overview

We start with the belief that it is not the client's fault that our legal system is difficult to navigate. We assist our clients in the St. Louis area with all types of consumer cases, including foreclosure prevention, bankruptcy

Main Office

Main
2700 Macklind Ave. First Floor
St. Louis  MO  63139

Phone
  • (314) 802-8328
Fax
  • (314) 802-8327

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

Yes, we offer a free one-hour "conversation." I call it a conversation, because if it goes over the one hour, you won't be penalized. We like to take our time and get to know you and your situation before giving you legal advice.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

We have flat fees on all cases. Our typical Chapter 7 costs $1,250, inclusive of all filing fees and credit counseling fees. Chapter 13 fees are fixed by the Court in our district and are $4,000, unless an attorney chooses to charge hourly, which we do not. Our office charges $880 to file a Chapter 13, which includes $450 of the $3,000 upfront, plus the filing fee and credit counseling. The remainder of our fees are paid through the bankruptcy plan on a monthly basis. We do not charge hourly fees in Chapter 13 plans, as other attorneys sometimes do.

Hourly Rates

All of our fees are flat fees, and are charged up front. It typically breaks down to an average of $200 per hour.

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Closed on Fridays and Saturdays by appointment. We also offer limited evening appointments.

Office Manager

Steven Skelton.

Emergency After Hours

Yes

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

Bankruptcy chose me, not the other way around. When I started practicing law, I was a "general practitioner," but originally I was going to focus on estate planning and business law. However, I had a friend that needed to file bankruptcy and so I helped him, and soon I realized that speaking with people and helping them solve their problems was what fit me best. And you can't beat the feeling of someone telling you that you saved their lives. I guess that's a little self-serving, but it does feel good!

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

Knowledge is power. It is a very good idea for a client to read up on bankruptcy or any other legal issue that affects them. I am actually impressed when a client comes in armed with the basic knowledge. Our firm philosophy is that our clients need to know the process and what to expect, and we do our best to educate our clients accordingly. Sometimes our clients come into the office with what we call "urban bankruptcy myths"

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I will always review anything that my client brings into me and give advice accordingly. However, ultimately, if a client wants to hire me, they must trust that I have the education and background to give them the best advice and the documents they prepared may not be what are ultimately used. We are not a document preparer, we are a full service law firm, here to assist clients who are lost in the legal system. Just as I wouldn't expect my doctor to rely solely on my opinion of what is wrong with me, my hope is that my client's understand I need to look at the whole picture in forming my legal opinion of their situation.

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

There have been small matters in which I have given my clients the necessary tools to take care of a matter without my hands-on assistance, when both they and I believed it was best. There are also matters I believe a client can take care of without my assistance. However, when it comes to bankruptcy, I believe that having an informed advocate on your side is the best option and rarely do I stray from that belief.

Susan E. Skelton

I worked my way through college and most of law school as a nanny and legal secretary, along with more odd jobs than I care to remember. I spent a semester as an intern for the Indiana House of Representatives, where I learned quickly I did not want to become a politician. My only other previous legal experience prior to starting my first law firm was as a glorified legal secretary/law clerk for a small collections firm in St. Louis. I gained valuable insight into the "other side" of consumer law and made the decision that I would rather protect the consumer than the creditor in legal battles.

As I've said, I grew up rather poor, but I had parents who worked very hard to give my four brothers and me a wonderful life. They instilled in us a great work ethic, a desire to learn and empathy toward others less fortunate than us. I have worked in a variety of areas in life, including as a waitress, babysitter/nanny, secretary, even in a factory in Indiana one summer. Each of us is the sum of all of our experiences, and mine have prepared me to see the world from my client's eyes and help them see a better future for themselves and their children.

Our office tends to be more casual than the average law office. We definitely have a family-friendly atmosphere. I always strive to make my clients feel as comfortable as possible and I think that the easygoing attitude of our office goes a long way toward that goal.

Personal interests:

My husband and I like to go hiking when we get the chance. I enjoy scrapbooking and spending time outdoors. When we have time off, we tend to gravitate toward spending time with family and friends. We have plans to travel the country and visit as many states as possible and hopefully even expand to Europe.

License
  • Bar Number: 55027
    Missouri , 2003
Education
  • St. Louis University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2003
    St. Louis, MO
  • University of Evansville
    Bachelor of Science , 2000
    Evansville, IN

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