Data from Avvo reveals that consumers still struggling
Seattle, Wash — Avvo, Inc. (www.avvo.com), the only free website that empowers consumers to handle their legal matters with confidence, today released usage data indicating that the recession is far from over.
“Despite stories of economic rebound and forecasted financial growth, at Avvo we are still seeing dramatic increases in the number of people seeking help for money-related issues,” said Mark Britton, Founder and CEO of Avvo. “Whether it’s asking questions or hiring lawyers for troubling issues such as collecting unemployment, handling a foreclosure summons or dealing with burglary charges – Main Street is still struggling.”
Top-searched legal issues among Avvo’s industry-leading lawyer directory, questions and answer forum and legal guides dealt directly with the recession including,employment/labor, landlord/tenant, bankruptcy/debt and real estate. Additional top-searched issues derived from financial hardship, including criminal law, family law and divorce.
The data taken from Avvo activity over the course of 2009, showed a startling 85% increase in employment related page views, 60% growth in real estate traffic and nearly 50% increase in the number of people searching on foreclosure related issues. The most foreclosure searches came from Florida, particularly among Broward, Miami-Dade, Maricopa, and Palm Beach counties. Los Angeles County logged the highest activity for employment legal issues.
Search traffic also escalated among issues derived from financial hardship. Divorce and family law related queries skyrocketed 58% over the course of 2009 and criminal law related activity was overall most searched terms for the year.
Putting a face to these persistent recession struggles are some of the 20,000 legal questions Avvo’s Q&A forum receives each month:
- What can I expect if my ex-employer claims bankruptcy and owes me back wages?
- My husband was charged with burglary. He’s in custody and has no prior convictions. Can he be released with no jail time on any program?
- Our home is in foreclosure, I am laid-off, My wife’s hours have been cut. Should we file for bankruptcy??
- My husband is asking for a divorce and is asking for the engagement ring back? Can he?
- My husband has not worked for two and a half years. If I file for divorce, can he sue me for alimony?
- I filed for Chapter 13 before I got married. And then after I got married, I was laid off (3 years later). Can I file for Chapter 7?
- Unemployed right now and can’t pay full amount of my credit cards. I need something cleared up…..help!
“While we remain optimistic regarding the economy’s recovery, the Avvo marketplace with its consumer focus tells a different story,” added Britton. “Our data says that the road to recovery is still a long one; and, in the meantime, Avvo will do its part by continuing to help Americans make better decisions regarding their recession-borne legal matters.”
Avvo is the only free website that empowers consumers to handle their legal matters with confidence. The world’s largest legal directory, Avvo offers ratings and profiles for every lawyer, as well as client reviews, peer reviews and attorney disciplinary records. Avvo also offers Avvo Answers, the world’s largest question and answer forum where people can ask real attorneys – anonymously if desired – any legal question and receive personalized answers. Additionally, Avvo Legal Guides are a resource of lawyer-generated best practices for consumers seeking guidance on their legal issues. The website currently covers 90% of the lawyers in the United States, including profiles and ratings for every licensed attorney in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin; and partial coverage in limited release states including Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, South Carolina and Wyoming. Founded in early 2006, Avvo is privately held, with funding from private investors, Benchmark Capital and Ignition Partners. For more information, visit www.avvo.com.