There is a bit of advice often given to attorneys, especially young attorneys. I think it’s important that clients understand this advice. So, here it is: “Never let your client’s emergency become yours.”
Clients and potential clients frequently come to me on the eve of some disastrous event such as a garnishment, foreclosure, loss of security clearance, or court date. They need help and they need it right now. And for most attorneys, the urge is there to help. That is what we do. We help people. We want to help. “Never let your client’s emergency become yours.”
This doesn’t mean we don’t help. It means we don’t compromise our principles. It means we don’t take shortcuts just to get the job done on the emergency schedule the client or potential client presents us with. Quite often, this requires up front money and a client willing and able to provide a lot of detailed information. For the attorney, it can mean rescheduling other items for the day. And where that’s possible, I’m more than happy to do.
Here’s what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to file first, ask questions later. I’m not going to rush out a petition and schedules just to beat the fall of the hammer at a foreclosure sale when it means I don’t have the chance to do due diligence.
So, what’s the take away? Well, we already know that many people in debt live with their head in the sand, so this is going to be difficult for that group to grasp. Don’t wait. Consult with an attorney who specializes in consumer rights. Just talking to someone doesn’t mean you have to file for bankruptcy. What it does is gives you knowledge and as they say, “Knowledge is power.” It’s the power to make the best decision for you at every step of your struggles.
If you’re falling behind on bills, don’t wait. If you have to use your credit cards because you sent your food budget to them as payment, don’t wait. If your phone is ringing off the hook, and your mailbox is choked with collection notices, don’t wait. If you get sued by a creditor, stop waiting. If you get a foreclosure notice, stop waiting. If you get a default judgment or a court grants an order against you, stop waiting and reach out for help.
Take control of your life. Stop waiting. Your desperation, your emergency won’t be mine. I will do everything in my power and within my personal and professional ethics to assist you, but the first step is yours.
We are the Grafton Firm. We are Baltimore Bankruptcy Attorneys. And we promise to care as much about your case as you do.