Considering Filing Bankruptcy? Learn What Your
Experience Should Be Like.
Some people have bad experiences in bankruptcy because they either have a less than competent attorney or they do not know what the process should be like. We are going to cover what your experience should be like from when you first see the bankruptcy attorney to the completion of your case and beyond. If you have an attorney that does not spend the time with you to really go over your circumstances with you at your initial consultation or you feel like it was more sales pitch than good advise then it is time to look somewhere else.
Meeting with a bankruptcy attorney to learn if filing bankruptcy will help you?
I meet many people that come in my bankruptcy law office every day to see if filing bankruptcy will help them. Most are embarrassed to be there. They cannot believe that they would ever end up in my office. I have to explain that almost everyone that comes in feels the same way. The sad fact is that bad things happen to good people. No matter what you do you make choices based on your best guess as to what will happen in the future. Unfortunately. none of us has a crystal ball. (actually I do have one but it has yet to tell me about my future.)
I explain to them that they should not tie their self image to the fact that they had to file bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy does not make you a bad person, just someone who had financial reverses or got in a little over their head. The average family is one paycheck away from being so far under that they need to consider filing bankruptcy.
Filing bankruptcy, credit and your FICO score
Once we get over that issue, the next issue is explaining that they will survive this and it will not ruin their credit for 10 years. Often they say that they have an 800 (or whatever) FICO score and don’t want to file bankruptcy and “ruin their credit.” I ask them if anyone is willing to extend credit to them. Inevitably they say “no.” Then I ask what good is a high FICO score if no one will give you credit?
The next question is whether they can make all their ongoing payments and still cover living expenses. Again the answer inevitably is “no.” I explain that their credit is going to go down and STAY DOWN if they do nothing. Things will not get better, only worse. They are going to be harassed to death, sued and abused. This stress has killed many people. I explain that filing bankruptcy will remove the stress they are feeling by getting rid of some or all of the debts.
The typical experience for someone filing bankruptcy
My client’s typical experience that they get rid of the debt and completely rebuild their credit including their FICO scores within 3-5 years after filing bankruptcy.
Even before the bankruptcy process is done, clients are so happy they often send anyone they know that are in financial trouble to me. I often get hugs from both women and men. I see tears of relief even at the first consultation when they know that there is a way out for them.
I have one client that is Filipino. She brings us trays of lumpia (a sort of Filipino egg roll) for me and my staff to eat several times a year. Her case was completed 3 years ago. The people who were so scared when they walked in my door to discuss filing bankruptcy are free of the stress and moving on with their lives when the bankruptcy is over.
Filing bankruptcy and divorce
Some people come in and are afraid that filing bankruptcy will lead to their divorce. If they are alone I will point out that if filing bankruptcy is going to lead to a divorce than not filing bankruptcy and having all the debts hounding them is going to have the same result.
I have seen many people who come in on the edge of a divorce over the finances. They are sniping at each other. They are pointing fingers at each other and playing the “blame game.” It is astounding how many marriages that survive filing bankruptcy that would have failed otherwise. When the financial problems are solved, other problems that seemed to be mountains end up mole hills and solvable. Once they are no longer overwhelmed spouses often can deal with the rest and compromise as needed. There is a saying that “you eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
Yes, some marriages are just too broken by the time they walk in my door to save. However, filing bankruptcy does save many marriages. That is one of the greatest pleasures I have from helping people solve their financial problems by filing bankruptcy.
There is a saying “knowledge is power.” Isn’t it time for you to get your power back?
I’m Gary Fraley. I founded and own the Fraley & Fraley, Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorneys law firm over 35 years ago. I am a California State Bar Certified Bankruptcy Law Specialist. The Avvo.com attorney rating service awarded me a 10.0 (perfect 100%) rating.
Call me now at (916) 485-5444 to schedule your free attorney consultation to determine if filing bankruptcy could help you.