Unsung Hero Chad Van Horn, Esq., Founding Partner Attorney, Van Horn Law Group, P.A.
Chad Van Horn, Esq. is a South Florida business leader and founding partner attorney of Van Horn Law Group, P.A., headquartered in Fort Lauderdale with satellite offices in Miami, Doral, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Miramar and West Palm Beach. The firm’s success rests on its staff’s legal expertise and client-oriented mission: to restore peace of mind to individuals in financial distress by providing first-rate, affordable legal services with compassion, understanding, and respect. This philosophy filters down into all practice areas, including personal and corporate bankruptcy, student loan consolidation and litigation, estate planning/asset protection, LGBT estate planning/asset protection, foreclosure defense, corporate representation, debt consolidation, civil litigation, debt relief and consumer law. Van Horn also is well known for his proficiency in business and real estate transactions, commercial and real estate litigation, loan modifications, and landlord-tenant disputes.
“I believe the overall improvement of our community starts with giving our citizens – people who make up the foundation of our community – equal access to the legal system,” said Van Horn. “This serves as a stepping stone for their future accomplishment, opens doors to success, and strengthens the fabric of our society.”
In support of this view, Van Horn wrote and published Everything You Need to Know About Bankruptcy in Florida, a roadmap to bankruptcy outlining options available to those deep in debt. The book is free and available by visiting www.freebankruptcybook.com. He also published a second book titled The Debt Life, a collection of true stories that illustrate tactics to lift the burden of debt and the spirit-crushing stress it causes. The Debt Life is available at www.tinyurl.com/DebtLifePaperback.
Helping people, especially those facing hardship, is a way of life for Van Horn that extends far beyond his law practice into all of his community and civic efforts. He applies his resources and network to helping others through a combination of spirited entrepreneurship, dedicated philanthropy, and legal expertise. Put Something Back is grateful to Chad Van Horn for accepting numerous pro bono clients for struggling residents including Veterans. Recently, he handled the following pro bono cases for individuals in need:
- Van Horn filed Chapter 7 for a 94-year old woman who served in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps during WWII. This woman survives on social security with no assets or family support and had amassed significant credit card debt. All the harassing calls that were causing this vet terrible distress have now stopped, and Van Horn expects that her overwhelming debt will be discharged.
- Another WWII veteran, a 92-year old man, also surviving alone on social security, found himself behind on his car payments. Mr. Van Horn filed Chapter 13 for this gentleman, which enabled him to keep his car and remain independent.
– He also handled a Chapter 11 case for an elderly gentleman who ran a restaurant with his wife for more than 30 years. His wife, who had handled all the business operations including taxes, passed away two years ago. While the husband was proficient in running the food operation, the business side of restaurant languished. He fell behind on both state and federal taxes until the Florida Department of Revenue froze his bank account for past due tax payments. Mr. Van Horn immediately was able to unfreeze the restauranteur’s bank account, freeing him up to operate the business, and then filed Chapter 11 to reorganize the business. With the help of his son, who moved to Florida with his young son after his own wife passed away, the gentleman hopes to bring the restaurant back into good standing and successfully run his restaurant for years to come.
In addition to pro bono legal work, Van Horn gives generously to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County, serving as current board chair and board member since 2013, sponsoring and participating in the organization’s events, and as a Big Brother mentor since 2012. In addition, he provides significant volunteer pro bono services to Veterans through Mission United and helps children in need by consistently supporting the OJ McDuffie Foundation.
Van Horn has been recognized for his efforts by multiple organizations. In 2021, he received the Put Something Back Outstanding Bankruptcy Attorney Award for handling dozens of cases. Also in 2021, his firm was named Law Firm of the Year by Legal Aid Service, and Van Horn was named a Florida Legal Awards 2021 On the Rise honoree by the Daily Business Review. In 2020, he received The Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Award from Legal Aid Services of Broward County, the Up & Comer Award from South Florida Business & Wealth, the National Philanthropy Day Individual Hero Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Legacy Builder Award from Legacy Lives Here, Inc. In 2018, he received the prestigious 40 Under 40 award by the South Florida Business Journal and was selected for Leadership Broward Class XXXVII. In 2017, he was named Florida Big of the Year out of 15,000 mentors statewide and 2017Attorney of the Year by Legal Aid Service of Broward County.
In 2005, Van Horn moved to South Florida and started working as a bankruptcy law clerk while attending law school at night. He earned his Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law School in 2009 and was elected graduating class speaker, a vocation which he still avidly enjoys. Van Horn, a Fort Lauderdale resident, was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2009 and the United States Supreme Court in 2014. He is a certified expert in both consumer and business bankruptcy by the Association of Boards of Certification and has appeared in over 4,000 bankruptcy matters.