1430 Broadway, Suite 1802, New York, NY 10018 • 8605 Santa Monica Blvd #47620, Los Angeles, CA 90069

J Is For Your Personal Finance Lawyer

When going through the bankruptcy alphabet we often forget the person who’s going to help you puzzle through the money problems and see the light at the end of the tunnel.  For over 15 years, I’ve been that attorney.  For the uninitiated, here’s why I do what I do.

When I was a kid my  Dad worked, Mom stayed home and took care of me.  We lived in Brooklyn in the 1970s, a place that was a far cry from what things are like today.  Though the family didn’t have a ton of money, the rent got paid and there was food on the table.

We didn’t have enough for new cars or vacations, but being on the low-end of the financial spectrum meant there were things we didn’t have – not things we had but couldn’t afford to pay for.

Personal finance wasn’t part of the conversation, in part because things were simpler for us.  Credit cards weren’t so widespread, and getting a car loan or mortgage was out of the question.

When I went to college (first in my family!) I wanted to be an economics major.  Unfortunately, that was in 1987 – the same year the stock market tanked and Wall Street stopped hiring fresh-faced graduates.  Faced with a choice of being unemployed or continuing my education, I chose law school.  Once there, I discovered I was good at it – really, really good at it.  So good, in fact, that I scored a spot as an editor of the Buffalo Law Review, had my work published, served as President of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Board, and graduated cum laude.

I could have worked at one of the biggest law firms in the nation, but decided to help people instead.  On December 19, 1995 I opened my office in lower Manhattan with the goal of helping real people rather than corporations.  An economics degree coupled with a background in knowing where every penny went led directly to an interest in personal finance and how it impacted my clients.

Over the past 15+ years I’ve had the good fortune to meet with some of the nicest people out there.  Single parents in the Bronx, truck drivers in Staten Island, families in Brooklyn, and mom-and-pop business owners in Queens.  Black, white, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and everything in between – all walks of life are represented in my file cabinets.

These are the lives I’ve seen impacted by greedy banks, mortgage companies and credit card issuers.  These are the people I’ve been able to help.  People who didn’t have a lawyer, and who never thought they’d need one.

The Creation Of A Personal Finance Lawyer

I started off doing solely bankruptcy work – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases to help people wipe out or reorganize their debts.  Over time I realized that some problems required other solutions.  A lawyer who deals in matters of personal finance, credit and debt needed to have a deep understanding of more than just one solution.

With that in mind, I began to help my bankruptcy clients with other personal finance problems.  First it was their credit reporting problems after discharge.  Then other people started calling about bill collection abuse and credit reporting errors that weren’t connected with a bankruptcy case.  Fraudulent civil lawsuits filed by debt collection agencies.

I found so many problems that I found myself digging into the world of the sale of debts after bankruptcy, zombie bill collectors, credit report errors after bankruptcy, collections and lawsuits that violated the bankruptcy laws, and a host of other consumer problems.

Turns out, the bankruptcy is only the first step in solving your bill problems.  People needed a personal finance lawyer, so that’s what I became.

A Teacher And A Practitioner

Eventually, people started to ask me to talk about what I knew so I could educate other lawyers.  The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the New York City Bar Association, and a host of local lawyer groups came calling.  I was invited to join the staff of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp.  And ultimately, I became partners with Cathy Moran in Bankruptcy Mastery, a prestigious training seminar series for bankruptcy lawyers.

Type Of Problems I Solve

Ultimately, your problem may be solved in a variety of ways.  Here are some of the things I do:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help discharge (wipe out) unsecured debts
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy to help bring you up-to-date on your mortgage and car payments, reorganize your finances, and improve your personal financial future
  • lawsuits against creditors and bill collectors for violating your rights in bankruptcy court
  • defense of credit card collection lawsuits
  • correction of credit reporting errors
  • lawsuits against bill collectors who harass you and violate your federal and state consumer rights

Need Help?

All you need to do is drop me a note here, or call the office at 646-722-8649.  We’ll take some time to talk by phone and see if there’s a good fit between us.

Other Lawyers Playing The Bankruptcy Alphabet:

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By |November 10th, 2011|

About the Author:

I've been a consumer protection lawyer since 1995, working to help people end their bill problems. I'm a faculty member at the Student Loan Law Workshop, a nationally recognized speaker, and a long-time member of both the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.
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