Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Not everyone can afford an attorney when filing for bankruptcy or divorce. Many people turn to a document preparation business for that kind of help.
Now the state is taking steps to make sure you're protected, when paying for those types of services.
"It certainly could help to protect consumers," said Michael Casler.
Casler has been in the document preparation services industry for more than a decade. He helps people file the right paperwork for everything from creating a living trust, to bankruptcy. He said he's seen clients get burned by other businesses similar to his.
"Fly-by-night people who come into this state and this city and they rip people off. And they're document providers like we are. But they're not honest and a lot of them don't know what they're doing," said Casler.
That's why he's happy to hear about Assembly Bill 74. It's aimed at making sure people in this industry are properly licensed.
"Unfortunately we've seen a number of document preparers preying on the community," said Secretary of State Ross Miller.
He said anyone providing these services will now be required to register with the State of Nevada, making it tougher for a crooked business to take your money and run. They'll have until April 1 to undergo fingerprinting, a background check and acquire a $50,000 bond.
"This industry will now be tightly regulated," said Secretary Miller.
Casler said he feels the state is taking a step in the right direction, "It's going to provide us with more legitimacy and let customers, prospective customers, know that we're going to do a good job for them and we are properly licensed."
Secretary Miller said businesses that fail to register could face criminal or civil penalties.