Cynthia first came into my office early last Winter with a plucky attitude, but a mountain of debt. Unfortunately, Cynthia was a single mother, having been abandoned by her ex-Husband when she suddenly fell ill in late-2016. Cynthia had an enormous amount of medical bills, a few credit cards that were maxed out, and a payday loan. The debt was crushing her, and she saw no way out. One creditor was even threatening to garnish her wages. In addition to the stress of having so much debt, Cynthia was receiving over 15 calls per day from debt collectors looking for money she just didn’t have. But Cynthia was proud. It took all of her strength and wisdom to call me, and I met with her the same day we initially spoke.
Once in my office, I was able to evaluate Cynthia’s debt, her assets, her income and her expenses right on the spot. I offered her options, including debt consolidation and filing for bankruptcy relief. Ultimately, we decided that bankruptcy was the right option for her. She had very little in liquid assets, her income was not enough to support a debt consolidation plan, and she was concerned about being tied down to a repayment plan that stretched many years.
Cynthia and I worked out a reasonable payment plan for my fees, one that she found she could afford because she no longer had to pay her other debts. I gathered all of Cynthia’s information, and pulled all 3 of her credit reports. Cynthia did not have to fill out a huge packet of information for me, I obtained everything I needed from interviewing her, researching her assets, scouring court records to find out about any lawsuits pending against her, and just generally keeping things stress-free for her. Cynthia only had to review and sign all of her paperwork, provide me with a few simple documents, and she was ready to file.
I prepared a petition for bankruptcy relief, attended a brief hearing with Cynthia, and in 90 days, all of her debt was gone. At the hearing, Cynthia only needed to answer a few questions, and mostly just confirmed that all of the information contained in her documents was true. The bankruptcy Trustee signed off on her case, and by summer of 2017, Cynthia was debt free.
Cynthia called me today, not only to thank me for helping her, but to ask for copies of her paperwork. Cynthia was being pre-qualified for a mortgage, and needed her paperwork as the final step. You see, Cynthia’s credit score had risen over 120 points since she was discharged from her bankruptcy, and her debt to income ratio had improved dramatically. Cynthia was on her way to home ownership, and her bankruptcy filing helped get her there.
Note: Cynthia is not my client’s real name, and identifying features have been omitted from her story to protect her privacy.