Word has it that Bankruptcy Judges have lists of attorneys that perform bankruptcy pro bono. Not sure what planet the spokeswoman from Senator Grassley's office is on, but it is not in the 7th Circuit. Exactly how many clients does she think attorneys can take pro bono? ALL OF THEM?
Yesterday we were at 341 hearings. A pro se (without attorney) bankruptcy filer was in front of the Chapter 7 Trustee. Almost every schedule and form necessary for the filing of the bankruptcy was either completely blank or incorrect. The Trustee adjourned the meeting and told the debtor to find an attorney. His response: "I was told that filing bankruptcy was easy". I laughed out loud, the Trustee smiled at me and said, "if you know what you are doing". The man had ONE creditor and $10,500 in unsecured debt to it.
We were covering for another attorney and the client said, "I got this in the mail last week but don't know if it is important." It was a statement, an account with $35k in it....something she conveniently forgot to inform her attorney about. Under the new law, that attorney would be in very big trouble right now...as it is, the debtor is in deep do-do.
Finally, in the same MSNBC report quoting the Grassley spokeswoman, an attorney insurer suggested that liability rates would not be adjusted until after 7 years of experience under the new law...we are unsure what he is smoking but we can be sure that if he was speaking the truth, I'd sell his stock now....