Archive for June, 2019

Why I Provide Free Consultations

I provide free consultations and I schedule 90 minutes for each.  Some go longer, others shorter.  My philosophy of the free consultation is that calling the bankruptcy attorney is one of the most difficult phone calls to make, and then showing up for the appointment is the next difficult thing.  I believe it’s difficult because there is much anxiety and fear of the unknown – and for many folks bankruptcy is the unknown.  Thus I try ease that anxiety by giving prospective clients free access to information about bankruptcy and how it may improve or hinder his or her situation.  I schedule my initial consultations for 90 minutes so I can learn from the prospective client what I need to learn in order so the prospective client can learn what he/she needs to learn about bankruptcy.  No matter how typical, each case is unique to each client.  Some times the prospective client does not come back and that’s okay!  I feel that at least I imparted some information about bankruptcy on another citizen; and the more I do that, the less “unknown” bankruptcy becomes not just to the prospective client, but those with whom he/she speaks and mingles.

The debtor.

In most cases, the debtor is the one who files the bankruptcy petition.  Yet that definition does not apply to involuntary bankruptcy cases.  Therefore Congress defined the term “debtor” to mean the “person or municipality concerning which a case under this title has been commenced.”

Seems simple enough, right?  Well, I guess that depends on your definition of a “person.”  Probably shouldn’t surprise you that according to the Bankruptcy Code a “person” is not just you or me.   It’s a little broader than that:

(41)The term “person” includes individual, partnership, and corporation, but does not include governmental unit, except that a governmental unit that—

(A) acquires an asset from a person—

(i) as a result of the operation of a loan guarantee agreement; or

(ii) as receiver or liquidating agent of a person;

(B) is a guarantor of a pension benefit payable by or on behalf of the debtor or an affiliate of the debtor; or

(C) is the legal or beneficial owner of an asset of—

(i) an employee pension benefit plan that is a governmental plan, as defined in section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

(ii) an eligible deferred compensation plan, as defined in section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

shall be considered, for purposes of section 1102 of this title, to be a person with respect to such asset or such benefit.

11 U.S.C. § 101

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