Coupons, discounts and two-for-the-price-of-one deals assault consumers in print, over the airwaves and on the web. Almost every business will offer a new customer special value to bring them in the door. Bankruptcy lawyers are no strangers to this reality: nearly every bankruptcy lawyer I know offers a free initial consult to prospective clients.
Even a superficial survey of law firms makes clear that this practice is universal. Indeed, free consults are so widespread that we all take for granted the exceptional value this information can be to the customer; and given that there’s no cost involved, it’s remarkable how many clients ignore these offers until far too late.
Most times, after 45 minutes an experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to tell an anxious client:
- If they can keep their home, car, bank account, household goods or other assets; if their business will likely survive;
- The right timing for a bankruptcy case, if any, to maximize discharge and minimize property loss;
- Whether the client should keep paying credit cards or hoard their cash; and
- Whether the client will be able to discharge their debts entirely or need to make a payment plan.
These are the worries that keep clients awake at night, and after visiting a lawyer they can sleep again – for free.
Without paying a dime a client will learn that:
- They should not invade their IRA or 401(k);
- They should not continue to pay on their exorbitant credit card charges;
- They should not transfer a valuable asset to a friend or relative in order to avoid seizure by a creditor; or
- They must immediately move their cash out of a vulnerable bank account controlled by their dominant creditor.
This is free advice that, if taken, may change the course of lives, families and even generations.
Why don’t more people take advantage of this opportunity? Is there a better way for bankruptcy lawyers to inform the public of this unparalleled value? Please leave a comment to tell us your thoughts.