Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Archive for September 15th, 2009

Debt, By Any Other Name

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Total Black: $137.54
Total Red: $227,685.50

Today at the temp gig, I got to talking with another contract attorney about the life of solo practitioners.  I touched on that option in a prior post, Hang a Shingle.  Seems like a brave new world out there.  Nearly everyone I know is starting a firm.  I’ve been asked to join one myself.  Oddly enough, I might even have a client of my own soon since my old law firm reached out to me about a case I worked on while at the firm.  I might need to take over as counsel of record.  Details still need to be worked out though.  One area that my quasi-officemate suggested I consider is loan modification and debt collection.  Naturally, I held my tongue.  I wasn’t about to come clean to a stranger about my financial woes.  Well, at least not without the cloak of internet anonymity.  And I’m glad I did because what she had to say about former clients and their financial habits was less than flattering.  She chatted at length about irresponsible clients who had lived beyond their means, leasing cars they couldn’t afford, mortgaging houses they couldn’t pay for.  She even commented about one client’s $500 grocery bill and claimed—incredulously—that they needed to put their kids on a diet because there’s no way they could possible need to eat that much food in a week.  She even pulled out the dreaded “welfare mom” analogy, albeit only to debunk that myth as being at the root of all our financial troubles.  Instead, as she summed it up, it’s solidly middle class people just living beyond their means.  Maybe.  But, as always, it’s not that simple. Keep reading . . .