I Provide Solutions, But I Can’t Make You Follow Through

I just got a recent call from a woman who has been a client for approximately 9 months. She was set up on a payment plan, however has not made a payment in over five months. It turns out that one of the creditors has obtained a judgment and has now served her employer with a wage garnishment. She is obviously concerned because she feels that her wages are going to be garnished and she will not have enough funds to make her rent payment. She wanted to know what I could do about it. So,  I checked her file.

I found out that she has not taken the credit counseling session as of yet. Until she takes the credit counseling session, there is no possible way to file her case and get an automatic stay created. I also noticed that she has not paid in over five months and that she does not have enough of a down payment to even pay the $335.00 court filing fee. So she is in a terrible position in that she will be garnished and she will have a hard time paying her rent unless she can rectify some of these issues that have been lingering for months.

First, she needs to take a credit counseling session. The company that we recommend charges $11 or $15 or something in that general area and it takes about an hour and a half. This is something she needs to do immediately to get that requirement checkbox filled. Second, she needs to come up with additional funds so that the court costs are satisfied. A bankruptcy attorney is not going to pay filing fees on behalf of a client in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. A bankruptcy attorney is also not going to extend a post-petition retainer agreement if the client is already breached a payment plan and is now seeking to have a case filed immediately due to a garnishment.

I can only provide great solutions for people. I can’t force them to take the advice and I never will. However, when one actually signs up for the service and the representation and knows all the facts on how to get from step A to step B to step C and does nothing, I can only throw up my hands and say “you allowed this situation to fester, I provided a pathway and a solution for success.”

There is nothing that I like more than helping someone who is struggling with debt and helping them find financial peace. What a great service to be able to provide to someone to eliminate debt and improve their life. By the same token, how frustrating it is to give advice, provide the pathway, only to see somebody stuck in their tracks. Regrettably, sometimes the only way to get somebody to move forward is to have a portion of their wages garnished every pay period.  That is the wake-up call in this situation.

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