We often hide from the things that frighten us, and while financial issues may seem far from ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night they have one thing in common: they’re all a little less scary once you bring them into the light.
If you’ve been hiding from your mounting debt, it’s time to tackle those fears! Avoiding debt is a lot like driving with your eyes closed: what you don’t know can hurt you.
If you cringe at the thought of estate planning think of it this way: a well-constructed estate plan will eliminate future fears of providing for your heirs and estate.
It’s unfortunate but true that our firm sees people during some pretty terrifying financial times. Our focus on bankruptcy, debt settlement, and estate planning means that we hardly ever get to meet clients under the best circumstances, but it is always a privilege to get to know our clients as individuals, to learn about their struggles and concerns and help them achieve their goals.
Here are a few recent Financial Fears our attorneys have assisted clients in solving:
Stories from Chris Sisk– Metairie Attorney
Earlier this year we had a client come and see us after she had been served with a lawsuit filed on behalf of a student loan company. Our client had co-signed on her daughter’s student loans, and when they went unpaid following her daughter’s college graduation, the private student loan company decided to sue. She was distraught when we first met with her, as she had heard the stories of how student loan debt is a type of debt that will never go away. Within months, we had negotiated a settlement on behalf of our client that paid the student loan company only a fraction of what was owed, and released our client and her daughter from the lawsuit and any further liability with respect to that student loan debt.
We regularly meet with individuals who, due to circumstances beyond their control, have had their family home placed in foreclosure due to non-payment. Meeting someone who is being kicked out of his or her home because of a sickness that subsequently caused him or her to miss work is heartbreaking, but helping that person come up with a plan and a strategy that allows him or her to keep their home is a special aspect of this job that is not offered in most other professions. All kinds of debt has the potential to be horrifying, but we offer a way to navigate those issues in order to offer our clients a fresh, debt-free start.
Stories from Robert Hoke– Baton Rouge Attorney
A client was trying to work out a mortgage modification on his home. The bank seemed willing to work with him, however, after a few months; he realized that the bank had continued to request forms and documents that he had already provided, often numerous times. The bank stalled until the point that foreclosure was imminent. We filed a chapter 13 case on behalf of the client and stopped the foreclosure. While in bankruptcy, the bank was finally willing to work with our client to enter into a loan modification on his house, and roll the arrears back into the mortgage. Once this was complete, he was able to dismiss his bankruptcy and resume making mortgage payments.
A client of ours had gotten a divorce 8 years prior to retaining us. He and his new wife were going to finally purchase a house together, but, an old judgment against him and his ex-wife was preventing the sale. We were able to reach out to the judgment creditor and work out a settlement for thirty cents on the dollar. The creditor released their judgment and our client and his new wife were able to go forward with the sale
Estate Planning Fears:
Death is a common and rational fear, so it’s perfectly understandable that many of us avoid even thinking about it let alone planning for it. The most terrifying part of estate planning is facing the unknown, but the best part is that, through estate planning like creating a Last Will & Testament, and Trust formations and Power of Attorney documents you are able to take that great unknown and control it. Estate planning is just that: a plan for your estate, including disbursement of property, possessions, and funds, as well as giving you the opportunity for you to leave instructions for funeral arrangements and more. These plans allow you to do something that no other documents can because they allow you to control what happens after your death, which is pretty powerful when you stop and think about it.