Is Bankruptcy Only Filed by People Who Are Inept at Managing Their Finances?

Interviewer: Are all people who file for bankruptcy just hopeless at handling their own money?

Many People Are in Situations beyond Their Control, Such as a Protracted Illness, Death of a Spouse or Divorce

Vance Truman: You have people who are divorced. Clients are coming in after going through a divorce. At some point, you have two incomes, and all of a sudden, you're down to one. Or, there are unforeseen scenarios such as when people become ill.

Some people that are filing bankruptcy are bad with managing money; but, most times, there are legitimate reasons why they're in the situation they're in. The situation they are is through no fault of their own.

Many People Are Embarrassed about Their Financial Situation before They File for Bankruptcy

Interviewer: What have you learned about people's mental state? What sort of insights have you gained about human psyche when they're working with you?

Vance Truman: Most of them that come in here are very upset. They're embarrassed. I can see that. If you sit down and discuss with them and let them know that this is not the end of the world, that they will recover, they do get a lot of relief. I provide a lot of assurances to them that they will recover from this situation.

Your Bankruptcy Attorney May Run a Credit Report before Filing the Bankruptcy Petition to Ensure That the Creditor Information Is Complete

Interviewer: How do you go about getting information about your client's creditors?

Vance Truman: For anybody that comes in, I do run a credit report. I get all three bureaus. I do ask them to bring in any bills that they have. I do like to have actual copies of the bills, if possible, as well as a credit report.

That way I'm making sure everybody's included. It's just a questionnaire that I've developed and I've used and changed over time as I saw fit. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to go through the questionnaire and ask all the questions. It's about 25 pages.

Your Bankruptcy May Be Able to Handle an Emergency Bankruptcy, in Order to Forestall a Garnishment or a Foreclosure

In a Chapter 7, the process is finished in about 5 months. In a Chapter 13 it can be anywhere from three to five years. If someone comes in, it takes me about a week to go through a questionnaire, get a bankruptcy petition prepared and filed. I can do it quicker than that if needed.

I prefer not to but sometimes people have garnishments or repossessions or foreclosures that are occurring within two days of the first time I meet with them. I do handle emergency bankruptcies, where I can have a bankruptcy filed within two or three days and sometimes even faster.