Since I started practicing law in May 1974, I have represented a lot of clients. I have handled every kind of case from murder to spitting on the sidewalk, and from million dollar personal injury cases to real estate closings on bungalows.
I now concentrate on consumer bankruptcy cases. Why? It's happy work. I can solve a real problem for people, in an orderly manner. I make it a practice not to do a bankruptcy for anyone who will not be happier for having done it.
Sometimes clients come in with real disasters. The first bankruptcy I handled was in 1974. I still remember it. I was practicing law in a general practice firm in Chicago in the Bridgeport neighborhood at 33rd and Halsted. A lady came in and said, "I need to file bankruptcy."
Bankruptcy was not taught in law school in the early 70's. The only thing I knew about bankruptcy is that my father was always talking about how we were too poor to file bankruptcy! So, thinking quickly, I excused myself and went to the law books in another section of the office. After finding nothing in the state law, I looked in the index to the Federal statutes. There it was. So I figured I could do it if it was in the book.
I asked the lady why she wanted to file a bankruptcy. She said that she was a recent widow, and she had a lot of bills she could not pay. She spread out the bills on my desk and said that the police had found them in her husband's truck, and he had shot himself in the head while parked by the lagoon in Douglas Park. She thought he was despondent about not being able to pay his debts. I looked down, and there were brown spots of blood all over the bills.
It made a big impression on me: someone was so upset that instead of simply eliminating their debt, they killed themselves.
So I found out how to file a bankruptcy for her, and she received a discharge: a fresh start. I went on to represent her in an immigration matter, she remarried, and I represented her in various matters for years. But I always remembe that case.
Most people are so conditioned by banks and lenders, with assistance from the media, that they actually do extreme things instead of simply seeing a bankruptcy attorney instead. They are so afraid of not being in debt. For no reason.
Newspapers and television "financial counselors" never mention bankruptcy. Nor do the high school textbooks used in the required financial course that every high school student in the country has to take. So it is hard to find honest information on one of the best laws in the United States. That is why I wrote this book.
Chapter 1 How to have a Happy Bankruptcy
Why would anyone be happy about having to file a bankruptcy? The answer is, you're not happy because you have to, but because you can. If there were no bankruptcy laws, you would have no way out of financial trouble.
The bankruptcy laws, and how they can help you, are not known to the general public. When a person finds out that they can get out of debt, and start fresh, without giving up any possessions, they are generally very happy. No one files a bankruptcy case unless they have to. If you have the money to pay your bills, pay them! If you don't, read this book, contact a bankruptcy lawyer, get the proper advice, and have a happy bankruptcy! It is possible.
Why would you be happier if you kept your house, kept your vehicle, kept your pension, kept your household furnishings, and had no debt, and could save money each month for retirement? Why wouldn't you?
Realize that if you have $20,000.00 in credit card debt at 18%, and just make the minimum payments at 2.5% of the balance, never using the card again, it will take you 37 years to pay it off. Go to our website, www.infotapes.com, and follow the links to msn.money, and bankrate.com. You will find useful financial calculators on those sites. Plug in your debt, and see that once you can pay only minimums, you have a life sentence of debt.
Why should you have a life sentence of debt? Be happy! Don't worry! If you can only pay minimums, collectors are calling, you have to charge necessities, you may be better off filing Chapter 7 and getting a discharge of that debt. You might also file Chapter 13, which is a no-interest debt repayment. You could take that $500 a month and repay it in full without interest over less than 48 months.