Interviewer: What are some of the things they need to do to make sure they get through it successfully and how do they move on?
James Logan: Number 1 is, be prepared with your documents, make sure you bring us all your pay stubs or all your tax returns, all your bank statements. Number 2 is we’ve talked about several times here; you got to be honest and open. Tell your bankruptcy attorney everything. That’s his job is to figure out how to protect it but if he doesn’t know about it, he can’t protect it. When we go to the meeting of creditors, be honest, be forthright, be short, be brief but be honest and forthright. If you do all that, your case will go smoothly. If you hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney and you have the documents and you’re honest, you’re entitled to a fresh start and you will get one.
The Court Randomly Appoints Trustees to Oversee Bankruptcy Cases
Interviewer: Are there any trustees that you try to — I mean can you try to get someone to not have a certain trustee if they’re particularly nasty? Do you have any discretion there or not?
James Logan: Unfortunately, the trustees are assigned randomly, so I don’t have any control over who the case is assigned to. There’s nothing you can really do to select a trustee except when you file the case and you get it assigned or who gets assigned to. Certain trustees are going to be very easy to deal with, other trustees are going to be more difficult and will prepare the clients ahead of time based on that and try to get any extra documents. Some trustees want more documents, so we try to get that to them to make sure the case goes smoothly but unfortunately, you’re at the mercy of the courts in the trustee assignment.
An Attorney Can Prepare a Client for the Meeting of Creditors in a Bankruptcy
Interviewer: Are clients terrified at the meeting of creditors, can you reduce the number of times they have to go to court or is it really only once?
James Logan: 99 per cent of chapter 7 cases, you’re only going to go to court once and it’s going to be with the trustee, so it’s not going to be in a courtroom with a judge or anything like that. I call everybody the day before the meeting of creditors and talk about what’s going to happen and try to prepare them and talk about which trustee they have and what they like to see and what they don’t like to see and again reiterate to people, just be honest, be brief and get it over with and we generally don’t have any problems.
A Competent Bankruptcy Attorney Provides Thorough Information to the Client Regarding the Bankruptcy Process
Interviewer: What is it about you and what you do that’s different or what’s particularly suited to helping people in bankruptcy?
James Logan: We try to give people as much information as possible. We have two different books here that you can download for free, or if you give us a call, we’ll be more than happy to mail it out to you. One book deals specifically with chapter 7, it’s called “Getting out of debt”, and the other one deals with chapter 13 called “Stopping Foreclosure in Maryland”, and these books are always available to you free to give you all the information that you need to make a good decision on whether bankruptcy is for you or not. When you’ll come in, we’ll tell you what your options are and sometimes, we get people who only have a few thousand dollars in debts and for them, it makes more sense, hey let’s just settle this debt and move on without filing a bankruptcy. So, we try to give them all their options and all the information and let them make the best decision.