What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
We have been offering our most successful payment program for the past year and we will be continuing forward with it for the indefinite future. We call the program “file now pay later” and it is essentially a zero down, with monthly payments for up to 12 months. This plan covers everything so it is kind of a “no brainer” for most: -Attorney’s fees for document preparation and filing petition -court filing fees -credit report if needed -credit counseling classes (2 required) -Appearance of attorney at the 341 hearing. All you need to qualify is a job and a bank account. If you have those two things and you need to file bankruptcy right now call today. We also have some great cash programs for anyone who actually has cash to pay for their bankruptcy. Fees are all flat fee based unless the case becomes contested, which happens about 2% of the time (very infrequently).
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We like to meet face to face if possible on our FREE initial consultation so that our potential new client can see just how comfortable and at ease we will make the process of filing for bankruptcy relief. We really do empathize with our clients and their current, oftentimes stressful circumstances. However, if we have to conduct much of the business over the internet and telephone that works too, especially in outlying areas like Vernal, Duchesne, Vernal, Brigham City (you get the picture).
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I was born and raised in SLC. I decided to go to law school in California. I earned my Juris Doctor at McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific in Sacramento, California in 1995, and then returned to Salt Lake City and I have been practicing law, including bankruptcy ever since. I am a member of the California, Utah and Colorado Bars. One of my favorite electives in law school was bankruptcy law. When I started my law practice it just made sense to focus on bankruptcy. I don’t think everyone appreciates how great it is that we have bankruptcy relief available in this country. Many years ago racking up a bunch of bad debt would land you in debtor’s prison.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
As I said before, bankruptcy was by far one of my favorite courses of study in law school, so it was a natural for me to make that a focus of my practice. I can honestly say that my experience as a bankruptcy practitioner has been pretty amazing. I have helped literally hundreds of clients received a discharge of the debt that they never thought they would never see go away. There are plenty of folks out there that are maybe less than enthusiastic about my clients getting a discharge of their debt. I look at it differently. Every client I have represented had a story behind their need to file for bankruptcy relief. I think high interest rates, high insurance premiums, job shortages, home foreclosures and it goes on and on is to blame for our national bankruptcy epidemic. Maybe the future will be different but for now thank goodness we have the bankruptcy laws we have.
What types of customers have you worked with?
We have clients from all walks of life. We have had clients who have been devastated by the loss of a job, terrible accident or sudden illness. We have clients who were real estate developers worth millions of dollars who lost everything during market crashes. You name it and we pretty much have seen it. I think the interesting thing about bankruptcy is that it can affect anyone quite literally. I think the biggest thing I have to overcome with clients is their thinking that they have somehow failed to be in this position. I can honestly say that, that is not my experience. If I have had as many as 5% of my clients try to get a bankruptcy who did not really qualify or deserve the relief I would be surprised.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I can’t think of one specific case that I enjoyed working on more than any others, but I think helping people save their homes or cars is pretty satisfying. Honestly, the cases where the client(s) has a lot of property that they don’t want to lose are the biggest challenges and so they take the most thought process for us to prepare correctly. We file Chapter 13 cases in those situations and a Chapter 13 plan can be any where from 1% return to unsecured creditors to 100% + interest return.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Meet them first and make sure that you are comfortable with their personality as well as their advice. Not all attorney’s are a good fit for the client. Some attorneys are “all business” and if your personality is “all business” you will get along great. However, if you feel like you are being belittled or talked down to run (don’t walk) away because the relationship will only deteriorate further from the initial consultation. On the other hand, if you can appreciate a friendly, compassionate, low key, caring, non-judgmental law team then you should come in and see us. We are not here to judge anyone, we are all about helping you get a discharge of your debt as painlessly as possible.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I think most people want to know first of all if they can keep their property, real estate and personal property. They should also ask what they stand to lose, if anything, because not all bankruptcies fit every situation. For example, if you could lose your home in a Chapter 7 you may want to consider a Chapter 13 instead. Many want to know what debt is never dischargable in bankruptcy, which involves tax debt, student loan debt and family obligations like alimony & child support. Another important thing to really consider involves secured debt: -home – how far behind are you? Can you catch up the arrearage or no chance. –automobiles – are you behind? if you so can you catch it up before we file? Are you sure you really want to keep the car?? (Hint: We can help you get into a new car loan as soon as we file so you don’t have to keep a bad car loan deal where you are upside down).