Why You Should FIle Bankruptcy Now…and Why Delaying Makes You Feel Better

16 Oct Why You Should FIle Bankruptcy Now…and Why Delaying Makes You Feel Better

Delay, Delay, Delay

Courtesy Creative Commons

It’s an old saying among bankruptcy attorneys that their clients should have seen them at least a year ago.

If they did, they wouldn’t have done all of the things that cost them lots and lots and lots of money:

  • Taking money out of retirement programs to pay unsecured debt;
  • Borrowing money from banks, taking out cash advances from credit cards, dealing with payday lenders;
  • Selling real estate or other assets;
  • Borrowing money from friends and family;
  • Drawing down their bank accounts to pay dischargeable debt;
  • Getting sued, or garnished or attached;
  • Dealing with a year of unpleasant phone calls, nasty letters and stress.

So, given all of these problems, why don’t people speak with a bankruptcy attorney sooner? The answer lies in the legitimate and very real desire to avoid bankruptcy. By the time many of my clients first call me, they have already taken money out of their retirement, sold what they could, borrowed money from whomever would lend it to them, run through their savings, gotten sued, and been driven frantic by bill collector calls and letters. Most people going through financial difficulties believe that better times are just around the corner, and “If I can just get through things until…” it will be all better.

Unfortunately, it often does not get better.

Nevertheless, people who have done these things know, deep down, they they really did everything possible to avoid bankruptcy. Did it cost them a lot of money? Yes. Did knowing that they did everything they could tonot have to call me give them some degree of comfort? Probably. But I think that most of my clients would rather have the money back!

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Brett Weiss, a senior partner at Chung & Press, LLC, represents people and businesses in all phases of bankruptcy. He has experience in complex individual Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and in Chapter 11 small business restructuring and reorganization. Mr. Weiss lectures nationally on bankruptcy issues. He has testified before the Federal Bankruptcy Rules Committee, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and has twice testified before Congress on bankruptcy and credit issues. Brett Weiss is the co-author of Chapter 11 for Individual Debtors, and has written Not Dead Yet: Bankruptcy After BAPCPA, for the Maryland Bar Journal, as well as hundreds of blogs for the Bankruptcy Law Network. With his law partner, he recorded a 13-hour basic bankruptcy training series, and leads intensive three-day Chapter 11 training boot camps. Mr. Weiss has received international media attention in connection with his work. He was interviewed by Barbara Walters on The View, has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News with Peter Jennings, the Montel Williams Show, National Public Radio, AARP-TV, the BBC World Service, German state television, and numerous local radio and television programs, and been quoted in Money magazine, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, among others. Brett Weiss is the Maryland State Chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network, on the board of the Maryland State Bar Consumer Bankruptcy Council, and a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Bankruptcy Bar Association of Maryland, and the Civil Justice Network. He has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” every year since 2007 for Maryland and the District of Columbia, and in 2011 received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys for his work on behalf of consumers across the country. Mr. Weiss is admitted to practice before Maryland and District of Columbia federal and state courts, the United States Courts of Appeals for the DC, Fourth and Eighth Circuits, The United States Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and has been practicing law since 1983.
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