The Law Offices of Ken McCartney P.C.

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Anyone wishing to contact this law firm may do so using the biographical data listed on our home page.  Here are descriptions of firm policies that will assist you in the process.

You may CLICK HERE to send the firm an e-mail.

PHONE POLICY  Our office attempts to be available by phone during all business hours.  We are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Mountain Time  Monday through Thursday and from 8:00 to 4:00 on Fridays.  We close for all holidays that close the bankruptcy court, including Wednesday afternoon during Cheyenne Frontier Days.

        Currently, with three staff members and tone attorney, our phones are answered by a human whenever possible. Seven incoming lines mean you will seldom receive a busy signal, but the answering machine may pick up during the busy times of day.  Voice messages are given immediate attention.

        It is not possible for every caller to reach an attorney.  Unlike a civil law practice, where one client generates one defendant, one debtor may generate over a hundred creditors. This is why calls are screened.  Because our practice is limited to the area of insolvency, the experienced staff is able to handle many procedural inquires and provide information without practicing law. 

        We keep detailed time records on complex cases from phone messages, and it helps prioritize responses if you will leave a specific message.  "About my case" or "he will know" are returned after more specific messages.


NEW DEBTOR CLIENTS  These are the mainstay of our business.  We welcome contact from anyone even thinking about obtaining bankruptcy relief.

        In order to offer an  initial interview where no legal fees are charged if the firm is not requested to proceed, we request that a client prepare for meeting with the attorney.  Simple lists of creditors, assets, and answers to questions that can raise issues if a bankruptcy is to be filed make it possible to have a meaningful interview and obtain advice based on the client's particular circumstances.  We have a set of worksheets designed to help gather this decision making information  and that can be used by the firm's paralegals to prepare an actual bankruptcy petition.  Counsel's familiarity with this format makes it the accumulation of choice, but not exclusively. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWN LOAD OUR WORKSHEETS IN WordPerfect 12 or MS Word  Formats.  E-mail requests for other formatting. 

        Expect to be charged for an initial interview in the absence of preparation. An attorney must charge for his time, and an interview without preparation takes much longer.  Unfortunately, when dealing with troubled finances, the answers to "I have just one question" depend on dozens of factors.

 

        Here is a good example that we hear frequently:

 

"Can I keep my house (car, boat, horse, four-wheeler, motor-home, etc) if I file for bankruptcy protection?"

 

Calling in sounds simple enough that lots of potential clients want to just speak with a secretary and not even bother the lawyer.

 

Here is some of the information necessary to answer that question:

  1. Whose name(s) is (are) on the title?

  2. Is it leased or financed?

  3. Is any existing security interest reflected on the title?

  4. Where is the vehicle?  Is it being held by a foreclosing creditor or a mechanic who performed repairs?

  5. How much is the car worth, and how did you obtain that opinion?

  6. Do you have liability insurance coverage which is required by Wyoming and Colorado law?

  7. If the vehicle is collateral, and the creditor insists, (most of them do) does the vehicle have collision insurance?

  8. How much is owed against the car? On what schedule is it amortized and at what interest rate?

  9. Do you owe the creditor any other sums that the vehicle may cross-collateralize (common with credit unions)?

  10. Are you behind any contract financing payments?

  11. Do you own any other vehicles that you may wish to exempt ahead of this one?

  12. Is there an estranged spouse or perhaps a partner involved that may share your desire to have the car?

  13. Can you afford the contract or a Chapter 13 payment to keep the car?  This is not a yes or no question, it requires analysis of income and expenses, usually presented in budget fashion.

  14. Has anyone worked on it recently that may have lien claims?

  15. Do you use it in business?

  16. Do you live in it?

    This is not intended to be everything.  These questions are just to get the message across.

 

Now, rather than the lawlerly non-answer your question would have received-- "There are ways to keep a vehicle,"  with appropriate information, questions can be answered yes or no, for certain.  Most clients prefer real answers.

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