Dallas, TX (PRWEB) September 15, 2011
Reed Allmand, the managing partner of Allmand Law (http://www.allmandlaw.com) was a featured speaker at the 29th Annual Advanced Business Bankruptcy Course in Houston, Texas which took place September 7, 2011 at the Westin Oaks hotel. Allmand, discussed the management basics of running a bankruptcy law practice, covering topics such as how to screen clients and effective organization strategies for bankruptcy attorneys.
“When attorneys first open their bankruptcy practice they have a lot of energy. Taking on challenging cases is invigorating for new attorneys,” Allmand said. “But after a few years attorneys can become drained by long hours and demanding clients if they don’t have the right management tools and skills.”
The most important skill, according to Allmand, is the ability to properly screen clients and their cases so that the bankruptcy attorney can take on those cases that offer intellection gratification for the attorney and effective debt relief for the client.
According to Allmand, the foundation of Bankruptcy 101 is knowing which types of information is golden and which is unnecessary when determining if bankruptcy is right for the client. New bankruptcy attorneys may fail to ask the right questions in the beginning of their career which can lead to case dismissals and financial loss for the client.
What To Ask When Screening Clients
How long have you lived in Texas? – Since a debtor’s ability to file bankruptcy in a particular state is based on their length of residency, a debtor who has lived in Texas for fewer than 2 years may need to file in their previous state of residence or delay their filing.
Have you filed bankruptcy in the past? – There are time limits on how often a debtor can file bankruptcy. If a debtor recently filed bankruptcy, they may need to wait to file again.
Did you transfer, sell, or give away any property in the last year? – Asset transfers made within a certain amount of time are disallowed in bankruptcy.
Did you sell, transfer or give any money or property to a relative or close friend in the last six years? – Any asset transfers made to a debtor’s relatives or friends may be illegal depending on the amount and timing of the transfer.
Do you have any relatives who are ill or expected to die in the near future? – The bankruptcy attorney needs to know if there is a possible inheritance coming to the debtor in the near future because this will impact the bankruptcy case. Any inheritance received by the debtor within 180 days of filing bankruptcy will become part of the bankruptcy estate. A debtor who expects to receive an inheritance within 180 days may want to delay their bankruptcy filing if the attorney finds that it’s in their best interests.
Were you injured in an accident recently? If so, are you suing anyone regarding the accident? -- The bankruptcy attorney must find out if there are any pending lawsuits. Failure to disclose a lawsuit in bankruptcy can end in the dismissal of the case.
Have you paid $600.00 or more on any debts in the last three months? – The bankruptcy attorney must find out if the debtor has shown any preference towards one set of creditors over another. If there are preferential payments made before filing bankruptcy, the trustee can disallow them.
When was the last time you used your credit cards? – If the debtor has recently used their credit card the bankruptcy attorney may advise them to delay their bankruptcy filing. Using a credit card and immediately filing bankruptcy afterwards could be viewed as fraudulent.
Reed Allmand is a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney, the managing partner of the law firm Allmand Law and NACBA’s State Chair for the Northern District of Texas. He has been practicing bankruptcy law for nearly 10 years and has handled more than 3,000 bankruptcy filings. Allmand has appeared on “Money for Breakfast” on Fox Business News and is the author of “The Truth about Bankruptcy.” To speak with Mr. Allmand or to schedule an interview, please call (214) 265-0123.