Denver is a great place to live. Our vibrant city offers incredible opportunities to enjoy the arts, an eclectic mix of people with varying interests, and easy access to the soul food which is the Rocky Mountains. I’m lucky to live here. When people hear I represent consumers in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases as a Colorado bankruptcy lawyer, many friends, family, and clients wonder why I chose this type of law to practice.
Income inequality is a huge problem in Colorado.
I feel strongly that one of the biggest problems we face as a community is income inequality, and that I can make my biggest impact by representing consumers against big banks and other institutional creditors. While Denver’s economy is booming today, not everyone is benefitting. High-income earners continue to do well in 2018. However, many hard working consumers struggle every month trying to figure out which creditors to pay, when to pay them, and which collection calls need to be answered. For them, the economy is not booming, and creditors continue to reap the benefit of their financial pain.
Why am I struggling financially?
Usually, bad luck. A recent study proved that over 95% of people struggling financially have suffered from medical problems, job loss, or divorce.Those three life events are the result of bad luck or unfortunate circumstances, not from laziness or an unwillingness to do the work necessary to live comfortably. Almost everyone would pay their bills given a second chance for financial success. Moreover, many potential clients explain they have been paying credit card monthly minimums or on other debts for years in an effort to pay them off but have barely made a dent because of interest and late fees. While these clients need to continue to work hard, they also need guidance on a better strategy to make their hard work pay off in the form of better housing, higher quality food, better healthcare, and lower cost loans (better credit scores). As a bankruptcy attorney, I embrace the opportunity to help consumers who’ve been hit with bad luck overcome that adversity.
Should I listen to debt collectors when they demand payment?
Generally, no. Its a bad idea to pay the loudest creditor first without a coherent plan in place. As background, delinquency rates on consumer debts soared during and after the mortgage crisis from 2008 through 2011. People lost their jobs and their home equity was wiped away. Without steady employment or a safety net, many Coloradoans were simply unable to pay their debts. This led to a steep increase in the number of lawsuits filed by large institutional consumer lenders and the growth of “debt buyers”— companies that purchase consumer debts from credit card companies, banks and other creditors for pennies on the dollar and then use legal proceedings to seek payment against consumers.
Frequently, debt collectors use unethical and illegal techniques to misinform consumers because the collection companies are paid a commission if they can successfully coerce a voluntary payment from their consumer. In my bankruptcy law practice, I have seen firsthand the damage this kind of financial stress can impose on a family. When someone falls behind on bills, and people begin to receive collection calls, the anxiety can lead to broken marriages, a feeling of hopelessness, and even suicidal thoughts. Debt collectors pressure consumers with bad information in an effort to increase profits. As a bankruptcy attorney, I get to call out deceitful creditors who are using misinformation to prey on unsuspecting victims.
Become informed about your rights…and your creditors’ rights.
One of things I like most about my job is delivering correct information in an initial bankruptcy consultation. Information is power. I frequently am able to debunk threats delivered by creditors or debt collectors, and explain how a potential client’s dire financial situation can be improved dramatically by properly exercising their legal rights. I get to see clients’ eyes light up with excitement when I suggest a different path which is both available and workable. As a bankruptcy attorney, I get to deliver hope and a second chance to succeed to people who are in need of a good break, financially.
Sometimes this means filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case to eliminate unsecured debt while protecting their important assets (house, car, personal belongings, etc.). Sometimes a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case makes the most sense. Sometimes, the best course forward is not filing a bankruptcy case, and simply changing which creditors get paid and when. I only recommend filing a bankruptcy case if its in the best interest of my client.
If you would like to talk about the specifics of your financial situation, do not hesitate to contact me. A free, initial bankruptcy consultation takes about 30 minutes and we can take care of it over the phone or in-person.
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