The bankruptcy meeting was a mess.
I got to the place about 15 minutes late, after getting lost in Manhattan. It would have been easier to just walk from the ferry to get there, but I took the train to Canal and walked. I got thrown off course because I simply didn’t know the neighborhood and walked in the wrong direction as soon as I got out of the subway. Up a few blocks to Vandam, over a block to Hudson,thought I was going in the wrong direction, walked around a few blocks. Street names I don’t know I see in the distance, Sullivan, Thompson.
At 6th and Prince I ask 2 strangers where Broadway is, and they point me in a completely different direction than the one I was going in. And away I go. After walking 3 blocks, I am uncertain if I actually am walking in the right direction, so I ask a second person, this one a bike messenger. He’ll know. “Ya”, he says, “you’re going the right way, 2 blocks.” Excellent. I thank him and go. I think I am almost there. I See it! Broadway! I get to the corner… 590 Broadway. I am WAY north of where I need to be. 8 blocks north it ends up being. I pass canal after walking down about 5 blocks. I am sure there was steam coming out of my ears at this point, So unhappy was I.
Finally got there at about 10:10. I got off of the train, at canal and varick at 9:40. I could have walked from the ferry and made it in less time, and never would have gotten lost.
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I walk in the door fashionably late. And that is a joke btw, I HATE being late. I know how to read a clock, my time sense works just fine, and I have a basic understanding of what an obligation is. If I say I’ll be there by 10, I’ll be there by 10, and if I’m not, something happened, and NO ONE is happy.
After saying hello and signing in in the lobby, I take the elevator up to the office. I say hello to the secretary, tell her I had a helluva time getting there, with a sheepish grin on my face, and she says “you’re lucky you got here when you did, another few minutes and you would have been too late, we would have had to reschedule” What I didn’t say is “No, you wouldn’t, because I would have strangled your fat annoying lazy bitch ass to death and I would be up on murder charges. Ya don’t need a bankruptcy lawyer for that, now do ya?” What I said was:
Better to say nothing in some cases.
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I get in, and sit down, the lawyer hasn’t showed up yet. Three people walk in after I get there. “…” No worries. The lawyer, whose name I will not mention, walks in and starts his talk. He talks about what “Pro Bono” means. He talks about what “Pro Se” means. I know a bit about both, learn a little bit more. He goes over what they need and what they want. He knows his stuff, and after a few quick questions that part is done. Very basic stuff, takes about 25 minutes. Then he says we are going to talk to you individually. Excellent, for once the day is going right. I feel pretty damn good about that. Sit back and read a book.
There were 13 of us, 3 people walked in after I got there. It just the way my day was going that I got called to speak to an attorney last. No worries, although at one point a person who had already been called in was called again, and after I told this particular lawyer that (A different attorney than the guy who gave the speech), he says something about “something isn’t right” So my confidence isn’t exactly skyrocketing at this point. Especially not with the day I’ve had so far. But 2½ hours of waiting to get the help I need isn’t a big deal. It’s worth it. But I’m still gritting my teeth.
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I finally get into an office to talk to a lawyer. Nice guy, named Anthony as I recall, mid to upper 20’s, nice kid, doesn’t look like an attorney, too young, too relaxed looking. A few minutes in, after he says he wasn’t sure if I was eligible (despite the fact that my wife makes next to nothing and I have been until yesterday on unemployment) for bankruptcy, and we talk for a few minutes answering basic questions, “how much do you owe” “where are you from” ‘you only just started working?” he asks me for my questionnaire. For the following exchange my words are in italics:
So, did you bring your questionnaire with you?
You never received one?
“I’ve never seen that before, trust me, if I’d have seen something like that, I’d have remembered it”
“OK, “…” you’re going to have to fill that out and send it back to us.”
They never sent me one. That brings the meeting to a screeching halt. He doesn’t even look at all the stuff I brought in, all those bills, all the letters saying you owe us a gazillion dollars PAY US DAMMIT!, none of it. And he needs other stuff that I was not told he would need. He needs tax stuff for the last 2 years, which no one said I needed, if I had been asked I’d have brought it with me. He needs 6 months worth of bank account statements, which no one said I needed, if I had been asked I’d have brought it with me.
Or a cable bill.
Or my renters insurance.
Or my lease. None of these were mentioned when I spoke to them on the phone to make this appointment.
Ya know,YOU ZARKING ASSHOLES , the next time you want to meet with me, TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED FROM ME, AND PROVIDE ME WHAT I NEED TO GET THIS DONE RIGHT. Idiots, Lawyers are friggin idiots. I’ve worked with them for years and it’s always been true. Ask them case-law, and points of CPL, and they are great! Ask them to walk and chew gum at the same time and they fall the fcuk down.
Helpless am I though, what can I do? I must work with these people!
I walked in, completely unprepared, thanks to not getting what I need or proper instruction from these people. I’ll use the service, it’ll be OK (I hope), but it makes me wonder how wise a maneuver this is. I mean, if they can’t get a simple thing like “could you bring in tax returns and bank account statements” and mail me a questionnaire, then how the hell are they gonna help me to file for Bankruptcy, which is a helluva lot more complex than that, on my own?
The whole day was a snafu until I got home. Things got better when I walked in. They always do. And I have to tell you, I think it’ll be OK, we will get this done correctly, together. I have to mail or fax the stuff that I didn’t have (aka EVERYTHING) but they gave me envelopes with postage on them already (that was mighty nice of them) And I am sure we can expedite this and hopefully have this done before I turn 50!
Today’s nuggets, from Poor Richard’s Almanack, via wikiquote: Would you live with ease, Do what you ought, not what you please.
He that best understands the World, least likes it.
Distrust & caution are the parents of security.
The first Degree of Folly, is to conceit one’s self wise; the second to profess it; the third to despise Counsel.
Anger warms the Invention, but overheats the Oven.