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RISMEDIA, February 5, 2010—Real estate-related issues were the leading legal service request among members (customers) of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. during 2009 followed by 2) consumer finance, 3) family law, 4) collections and 5) estate planning. The top five legal service requests for 2009 is based on the total volume of 2.3 million member requests for legal services to the 40 independent provider law firms that assisted Pre-Paid Legal members throughout the U.S. and four provinces of Canada for calendar year 2009.

“The PPD legal service request list offers a unique perspective on the legal issues that Americans and Canadians face on a daily basis,” said Pre-Paid Legal’s Founder and CEO Harland C. Stonecipher. “Because these members have a Pre-Paid Legal plan, they have access to affordable legal service to help them manage issues such as foreclosure, credit issues, collections and other life events,” he said.

Of the total 2009 requests for legal services, the top five requests account for approximately 45% or approximately 1.1 million of the total requests. The remaining 1.2 million requests were for a variety of other legal services such as traffic-related matters, employment issues and civil litigation.

By category, the top five legal service requests include:

Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant Issues and Foreclosure – Approximately 358,000 requests for legal services that include residential and commercial real estate transactions, landlord and tenant issues and legal counsel related to foreclosure and short sales

Consumer Finance – Approximately 195,000 requests for legal services related to retail transactions for warranties, guarantees and other contracts

Family Law – Approximately 193,000 requests for legal services related to divorce, child support, child custody and child visitation

Collections – Approximately 162,000 requests for legal assistance to support members against other parties and to defend members from third-party debt collectors

Estate Planning – Approximately 160,000 requests for legal services for preparation of wills and other counsel related to final estates

Daniel F. Mantzaris, a partner with Orlando, Florida-based deBeaubien, Knight, Simmons, Mantzaris & Neal, LLP (www.dbksmn.com), believes that many individuals who face these common legal issues do not understand the implications of the legal issue nor their options for resolution.

“I can’t emphasize enough the value of early involvement by an attorney in legal matters such as those identified in this top five list of service requests,” Mantzaris said. “As provider attorneys, we work with our Pre-Paid Legal members to help them understand their situation and determine the best legal option to address that particular issue.”

Charles E. Davis, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Mesa, Arizona-based Davis Miles, PLLC (www.davismiles.com), said, “These 2.3 million requests for legal services represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the public need for access to affordable, routine legal services. Too often, people with common problems like foreclosure, credit or collection issues wait too long to deal with these issues. A preemptive approach sometimes saves a lot of money and much anguish and heartache.”

For more information, visit www.prepaidlegal.com.

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