The Bankruptcy Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah.

30 Jan The Bankruptcy Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah.

charle brownWhen you go to an attorney for a consultation do you hear Charlie Brown’s Teacher in your head? You are NOT alone. I too sometimes hear the wah, wah when I speak to other attorneys. My staff often tells me that I presume that everyone else in the world is just as excited as I am about bankruptcy presuming it is second nature to them. This assumption is often wrong.

The second consideration is that attorneys, much like physicians, are trained to think that their opinion is correct. We debate (argue) even the most inane detail to prove a point home. Being trained in both medical and law school I know of what I speak. Therefore sometimes when I speak to another attorney I hear the wah, wah as they attempt to argue a point in an area that I have no training in.

You know the above statement is true if you have spent anytime at all speaking to an attorney or a physician. We as attorneys and medical personnel sometimes become so comfortable in a state of chaos we forget how stressful situations can be for people. We take for granted our years of experience and training. Bottom line is we often forget the first time a patient had died or the first home we were saving from a foreclosure.

For example; taking care of a sick child was not as stressful to me because it became second nature. You learn to focus on the task and stay in the moment. This training makes you accustom to what is a medically critical and what isn’t. However you forget that the parent does not know what is going with their child and generally has no medical training. Therefore to a parent a bout of RSV is a huge deal and they are worried that their child is going to die. Rational or not this feeling is very real and legitimate to the person who is experiencing it.

The medical staff attempts to explain in medical terms what is going on but the bottom line is the parent just wants to know if their child is going to be okay. So the parent only hears Charlie Brown’s Teacher until the doctor says “we will admit your child for a couple days and he/she will be fine and up and running around soon” This scenario is also true when you go to an attorney for a consultation.

Sometimes attorneys forget just exactly the level of stress that a client is going through and the courage it takes to seek counsel about filing bankruptcy. We as attorneys must step back and consider the individual situation that you as a debtor are experiencing.

I am fortunate because my staff is able to keep me in check with reality. One of my staff members is also a client. I will often go to her and ask, when I explain this what does it mean to you? If I get the deer in the headlight response I know I have to change my explanation.

You can help avoid the deer in the headlight and Charlie Brown’s Teacher response. Before you speak to an attorney or a physician, write down your questions. Be honest with these people and provide all the facts. An attorney or physician cannot diagnose the situation properly without those facts. Help us help you by providing as much information as possible and being prepared with the documents requested.

Be prepared to write down the answers to your questions and the information that you seek. This is a stressful time and you may not remember all the information that is provided. Writing down the answers allows you to review your notes at a later time.

If you do not like or feel comfortable with that attorney or physician then do not stay with them. You do not have to stay with anyone who you do not like or trust.

For goodness sake, ask questions. It is your health and your financial well being. Ask questions so that you can understand what is going on. Keep in mind that most attorneys have at least 7 years of higher education under their belt. Most bankruptcy attorneys have been studying the new law since it came out in 2005 and we continue to study the changes everyday. A bankruptcy attorney generally lives, sleeps, eats and breathes the bankruptcy code. You are NOT expected to know everything. However, I cannot educate you or assist you if you do not tell me whether or not understand the information that I have given. Again help me to help you.

My mom explained once that if you have a teacher who is generally a very fine teacher but there is that one student who just cannot understand, this does not mean that the teacher is bad. The answer is simply that the teacher is not the right one to teach this particular student. Not everyone learns in the same way. Not everyone gets along with each other and this is okay.

Just keep in mind you have the right to be comfortable with your attorney or your physician and you always have the right to ask questions. Take control of your financial future and ask those questions and be informed to avoid the wah. wah response in your head.

The lawyers associated with Bankruptcy Law Network care about you as the individual. We strive to push the envelope of the Bankruptcy Code in order to protect your rights under the law. We have chosen this line of work not because we are chasing the almighty dollar but because we want to make a difference in your life. This is why we take the time to write these articles.

Remember that knowledge is power. Knowledge once gained can never be taken away from you and only serves to light the darkness of the unknown thereby giving you power over your life.

If you wish to contact an attorney who cares about you as the individual click here to begin your journey to regaining financial control today.


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Former Bankruptcy Attorney to the Kansas City UAW: Ford and GM workers, now assisting the general public in Missouri and Kansas with regaining financial control using the Bankruptcy Code. 816-472-HELP (4357).

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