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Belly Up - National Giant Binder & Binder Files for Bankruptcy

Posted on Mar 01, 2016

Most people have seen Charles Binder on TV. He was the cowboy hat wearing spokesman for the national Security Firm Binder and Binder (B&B). They were an American success story and a wildly profitable national phenomenon. The firm was started in the 1970s by a couple of guys on the East Coast. Due to an amazing marketing and advertising platform, they grew to employ thousands of people in offices in many major metropolitan areas all over the country. In 2010, they reportedly grossed eighty million dollars (twenty mill of that being spent on national TV advertising). So why did they recently declare bankruptcy?

Well, to me this is a cautionary tale about buying local. If you hire an out of town firm, you get what you pay for. Here in Northern California, if you hire an outfit like B&B, or a Workers’ Compensation firm you found on a glitzy internet sit out of Southern California, you will most likely sign up over the phone. You will normally not have an opportunity to meet your attorney (if one is in fact working on your file) until the date of a hearing. You will not ever have a face-to-face with the person that is preparing your hearing brief. All meetings are over the phone, and in my humble opinion, this is a very poor way to do business. Sadly, people don’t do the research to find solid, competent, local help.

I attended the seminar put on by NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives) last October in Denver, Colorado and found out what caused B&B to declare bankruptcy. The bottom line was that the awards for benefits have been significantly reduced in the past few years. Some unscrupulous attorneys and doctors banded together and started qualifying claimants that should not have qualified for benefits. The scandal had some serious blowback for legitimately disabled claimants. NPR picked up the story, ditto 20/20, and suddenly the issue went viral. Everyone wanted a piece of the Social Security Administration. The other issue here concerns the viability of the Social Security Trust Fund. An aging population is putting serious pressures on the system. It was the perfect storm for significant reductions for favorable decisions on such claims. This caused earnings to go south for B&B, hence their financial collapse.

There are many qualified attorneys here in Northern California that can get the job done for those in need of these services. People that will meet with you, shake your hand, and help you through the system. Something you will not get from out-of-towners is thoughtful advice on the local judges, how the systems work here in Northern California and advice for surviving the process locally.

Here at LLG, we offer very handy survival kits on both disciplines. They include our survival manuals – books that really lay out the systems you will be up against. They also provide important information on collateral cash and educational benefits someone can avail themselves of while they are trying to secure benefits in either the workers’ compensation or Social Security Disability systems. You can obtain one of our survival kits by contacting: thomasledgerwood.com.

The greatest complement you can pay us is a trusted referral. If you know someone who needs help in either Social Security Disability or a Workers’ Compensation claim, send them our way. If we find out who referred a client to us, they will be sent our almost-famous LLG “Muscle Cup” or our equally famous “Lawyer Up” cup. These are all hand-thrown by those incredible glazers at Deneen Pottery in St. Paul, Minnesota.  

Warmest Regards,


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Thomas Ledgerwood
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Proprietor Ledgerwood Law Group