Friday, February 5, 2010

Decisions

They sit across from me, looking nervous and a bit ashamed. I do my best to set them at ease while reviewing the papers they have handed me. They are both impeccably dressed—as usual. I have known them for years. He is a businessman, and she is a medical professional. Each has years of experience in their field and both work steady jobs. They own a gorgeous house on an enormous plot of land just outside of town, and drive relatively new vehicles.


I review their documents and slowly begin to peel away the facade. Like a polished waiter balancing a large plate, they have been the picture of grace and success. But under the charade, all is not well. The waiter is starting to slip, the plate beginning to tip.

Their mortgage payments are several months behind and their house is facing foreclosure. Their vehicles are financed at unbelievably high interest rates and are also in arrears. They owe on their furniture, their electronics, and even their funeral plans are on credit. They have dozens of credit cards, with over $100,000 in credit card debt alone.

There has been no sudden job loss, nor any unexpected medical issue. This has been the result of years of living beyond what they make. They worked hard, played hard, charged hard, and paid hard. But now, creditors have lowered their credit limit, doubled their minimum payment, and the entire operation—waiter, plate and all, is coming down. A few attempts at several get-rich-quick rip-offs have compounded the problem, and they now find themselves at my conference table asking for a lifeline.

My work begins…

2 comments:

Did it MY way said...

I don't envy your job, with clients like those.

I have always said if you make a bill you pay the bill. I have lived the high life at times when the money flowed in. When my business would be in the hard times I sold my toys. Got then bad when the good times came back.

If you do what they have done I believe if going bankrupt is the only option fine. But I believe that NOTHING should be protected. Make them sell (or the court sell) everything they own except their cloths. They both still have jobs, and can start over. Hard lesson? It should be! Just my two cents worth.

See Ya

Lawyer said...

Since I'm back in the business of law, I thought I'd share some stories. This was indeed a difficult case, for more than one reason.