Lawyer Eric Kornblum Speaks Live From The Western Mass News Studio, With “Better Western Mass” About Filing Bankruptcy And The Many Misconceptions That Surround It.

Announcer:

Live from the Western Mass News Studios, this is Better Western Mass.

Chris Pisano:

And welcome back, everyone. We are talking now about filing for bankruptcy and many of the misconceptions that surround it.

Lindsay I:

And we are learning that there are quite a few. Joining us now is Eric Kornblum, a lawyer that helps clients file for bankruptcy, and he’s also the author of a new book called Stress Ends Here, so Eric, let’s hold that up just so we can show them what we’re talking about. Very handy- dandy book there.

Chris Pisano:

It’s a fascinating read. I think a lot of us think we know what bankruptcy is, and in a general sense, we do, but as a lawyer, there are many things we need to consider if we’re going to go through bankruptcy, what chapter bankruptcy, and even making … You said the hardest thing for most people is just making the initial call saying-

Lindsay I:

Admitting.

Chris Pisano:

… “I need help. I can’t pay my bills.”

Eric Kornblum:

True, many people are scared to file bankruptcy. They think it’ll be the end of their financial life, thinking they might lose their home or their cars. There’s so much misinformation or old information, and that really prevents people from moving forward to explore some of their options that bankruptcy might provide.

Chris Pisano:

You say old information. Is there a new form of bankruptcy we’re not aware of?

Eric Kornblum:

The bankruptcy laws were revised back in 2005, so it’s been quite a few years ago, but we still look at it as the quote unquote “new bankruptcy laws,” which essentially made it more difficult, more expensive for people to file bankruptcy, but bankruptcy really is still there for most people that are seeking it.

Lindsay I:

One of the questions that I had for you before, of course, is people are afraid to admit this, but I think part of that is because they’re afraid that it’s going to be the end of their credit and it’s going to ruin them financially.

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Eric Kornblum:

That’s a common statement or question they ask, “What is this going to do to my credit score? Will I ever be able to buy a car or buy a house?” And the answer is that it will be … Bankruptcy is a negative, but many people, by the time they come to see me, already have pretty bad credit, frankly. The bankruptcy filing can eliminate or discharge all of the credit card debt and some other bills so that, by filing bankruptcy, their debt to income level changes. And there is credit after bankruptcy, and actually, people can take steps to rebuild their credit.

Chris Pisano:

We were just looking at some of the benefits of … We’re talking about the negatives of filing for bankruptcy, but there are inherent benefits, like protecting assets for instance. Take us through what we’re looking at on this screen here.

Eric Kornblum:

Many people forget or don’t know that bankruptcy is there to help them, and even our Founding Fathers realized that people run into financial difficulties. So in the Constitution, there’s a provision that authorizes Congress to come up with uniform laws of bankruptcy throughout the states, so a few 100 years ago, people were suffering financially as well. Bankruptcy’s supposed to help give people a fresh start. You’re able to keep many assets.

Chris Pisano:

I saw, for instance, “Stops foreclosure.” You can keep your house?

Eric Kornblum:

Yes. When a bankruptcy petition is filed, that invokes something called the automatic stay in the bankruptcy code. So immediately, creditor action has to stop in most cases. There are a few exceptions, but we’ve stopped foreclosure sales, where the attorney was on the doorstep. I’ve had people who their vehicle had been repossessed, we filed a bankruptcy, and they were able to get the vehicle back from the yard.

Chris Pisano:

Wow, I’d say that’s a benefit.

Lindsay I:

Absolutely, absolutely. So these are all the things that somebody can find in your book, and we are running out of time, Eric, but if somebody wants to get your book, they can get it for free, right?

Eric Kornblum:

Yes they can. I have 47 copies, I think, still available in my office, and we’re giving them free. They just have to call the office, and we have a toll free number that we set up: (888) 736-0909, and I think there’s a slide also.

Chris Pisano:

Thank you.

Lindsay I:

Perfect.

Chris Pisano:

Attorney Eric Kornblum.

Lindsay I:

Awesome, all right.

Chris Pisano:

We appreciate it.

Eric Kornblum:

Thank you.

Lindsay I:

Thank you.

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