|Katherine:||Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today. Our friend, Attorney Peter Daigle, is here to talk with us. More bankruptcy talk, and I, personally, feel the more I hear the conversation… not that I want to have to, but now that I have a better understanding, relationship with an attorney, I feel more confident, if I find myself in this spot, I won’t knock it away from my list. I won’t hide from it. I won’t make matters worse, because the more I hear him talk about bankruptcy, and who’s affected by it, and what the outcome will be once you make the step, it makes it easier, because it takes some of the unknown out of it. Not all of it, because it’s different for each person, but the overall idea is that bankruptcy is not a bad word. It’s actually your American right. So, we’re going to welcome Attorney Peeger, Peeger? I gave you a new name. We’re going to welcome Attorney Peter Daigle into the conversation, and we’re going to talk more about bankruptcy. And I guess today is going to be like if we did an avatar, who would come to see?|
|Peter Daigle:||Yeah. Well first of all, thank you, Katherine, yeah, for inviting me into the call and-|
|Katherine:||And your new nickname.|
|Peter Daigle:||Always your kind words. Yes, thank you. My nickname.|
|Katherine:||All right. Go ahead.|
|Peter Daigle:||Yeah, so today, I guess, what I want to talk about, is nobody wants to even Google bankruptcy. It’s almost like a pain in your chest to even think about that word at all, right?|
|Katherine:||I don’t want no one to find that in my search engine.|
|Peter Daigle:||Yeah, right.|
|Katherine:||I don’t want anyone to find it in my search engine.|
|Peter Daigle:||Yeah, so the thought, usually what happens, these thoughts come into your mind at about 3:00 a.m. Where, during the daytime, you work hard to keep everything in line. But yet, those dark hours of the night, all of a sudden, your fears come up. So, it’s usually something that you’ll feel a sense, your body that, “This is not going to work out for me.” And so that’s when, usually, the process starts of considering it.
And so, today, I just want to talk a little bit about the fact that it’s okay to feel that way, and you’re not alone. Okay? And over the course of doing thousands of cases, I can tell you that I, pretty much, hit every possible scenario of individuals that we’ve helped. And I’m going to give you a few examples of some of the ones that are most prevalent. Okay?
|Katherine:||All right. I have my pen and paper out.|
|Peter Daigle:||Sure. Again, they’re not in any certain order, and so they’re not from most to least, or least to most, but they’re just some things I want to talk about. The first thing is getting divorced. It seems to be an absolute killer, in terms of finances. If the husband and wife are on thin ice while they’re married, meaning they’ve got credit card debt, kids in school and activities, and babysitters, and daycare and all that, their finances are stretched fairly thin. But when they get divorced, it’s like dropping a bomb into the finances, because now, there’s two households, there’s child support, there’s also childcare, without both parents.
So, it has a tendency to wreck, havoc on finances. And so, we see a fair amount of people here that are going through separations or divorces, in which they come to us because the thought of living alone, independently, financially, is a burden that they can’t carry. And so, bankruptcy is an option for them, number one.
Number two, the loss of a job, either by an individual or by a husband and wife, if one of them loses their job, for whatever reason, the company closes, cut back hours, laid off, whatever the case may be, that is also another reason why we see a lot of folks, because again, they’ve got their budgets stretched in which all of their income is accounted for. And then, when there’s any kind of a dip at all, they can’t make the car payment, they can’t make the mortgage payment, they can’t make the credit card payment, and then they’re here. And so, we see a lot of people, based upon having lost hours or a job, as a result of it.
The third reason folks will come see us is health reasons, in which they’ve had an extended health issue, in which they’ve been unable to work, or had to retire from their job. It was too physical. So, if was a job that was physically demanding on their feet, or moving around,, and they had a health issue they had to not work any longer. And so that, also becomes an issue. We see a lot of people who go through that, and that loss of income, either individually or with a spouse, causes their finances to go amuck. So that’s another reason.
The fourth reason is death. We see a lot of, mostly elderly, people that come in and their husband or wife passed away.
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|Peter Daigle:||And either they were the bookkeeper, kept the finances, and also they’re not getting the social security check anymore, the pension check or whatever. And so, they come to us as senior citizens, in which they were just getting by week-to-week with the both incomes being received, and now one of them has been cut, and they can’t live on what the one senior… his income isn’t… they don’t have family or anybody in their life that would be able to assist them. And so, we see a lot of individuals like that, which need to seek relief.
Now, all those scenarios that I’ve given you, really may not be some of the ones that people think about, not paying their debts. We don’t see people who just don’t want to pay their bills. It doesn’t usually work that way.
|Peter Daigle:||Most people come to us with a reason, you know?|
|Peter Daigle:||And they just have a different circumstance, you know?|
|Katherine:||And it seems like this… how do I get my words together? As an adult, my dilemma has been being an adult, because as a kid, I figured adults had it all figured out. They have all the answers. So, you must have done something wrong, that’s why you’re in that position. So, yeah bankruptcy without knowing, without having conversations with you, without tuning into the show or reading your blog, without that knowledge, honestly, the smartest person does feel dumb because one, bankruptcy has to be a bad word. Just on our game when Monopoly, you go bankrupt, that’s bad. You lost the game.|
|Peter Daigle:||I know, right?|
|Katherine:||So in real life, well, in adult life, it’s much different from how easy it looked. My youngest son, who is now 18, told me, he said, “Mom, I thought life was going to be chicken Supremes and video games all my life. Where did these problems come from as an adult?” And I said, “Oh, you, you’ve just begun.”
So, when we think about bankruptcy, without having the knowledge, it does come across as you’ve done something wrong, or it’s a punishment, or there’s a shaming. And even if no one even knows about it, because you’ve taught us that it’s public information, but it’s not public. Like it just happens to come across your news feed, “Oh yeah, Katherine filed bankruptcy.” It’s not like that. It’s not out in the open.
|Peter Daigle:||No, not at all. Not at all.|
|Katherine:||But the shame we feel, makes it feel out in the open. And you understand that. So, yeah-|
|Peter Daigle:||But the idea that you’re not alone, though. And one of the reasons why people come to us, also, is that being disciplined with your finances is tough. A lot of times, you haven’t been either trained with it, grew up with it, and so, those credit cards are easy to use. It’s like we put out a bowl of peanut M&M’s in our reception.|
|Peter Daigle:||And they sit there, and they watch. And then, it’s funny to watch the people. They look at them and they say, “I can’t eat that, and I shouldn’t eat them,” and yet they’ll have one. And then, they get one, and they go into the meeting-|
|Peter Daigle:||And they grab some more, and then… So in other words, it’s like the credit cards where it’s like, they look at them, and they know they’re not supposed to take them. It’s like the dog with the piece of steak in the floor, don’t do that. But anyway, sometimes, if you’re not super disciplined, and you’ve got some needs… And children also put a lot of demands on families. We see a lot of people come in here with families that the child wants to play hockey, he wants to go to gymnastics, and they want to go to the school trip, and they want to do this, they want to do that. And then, the family budget, you can’t really support it, but yet they don’t want to disappoint the child. And so, the next thing you know, they’re use the credit cards to pay for the school trip, or to pay for, even the new pair of latest Nike sneakers that come out, because the 10 year old, 11 year old just has to have them.
So, we see a lot of individual and families that just have a hard time saying, “No.” And even seniors, too. They get lonely, they sit at home, they go on… We have a lot of Home Shopping Network-
|Peter Daigle:||Seniors, and before they know it, they’re just bored and they want to order up some stuff. And they talk to the UPS guy when he comes and they’ll get some social contact there, with putting these orders in. So anyway, that’s the general course.
And then, obviously, there’s a few other people that just… But more likely than not, they’re not responsible. And they’re generally responsible through some kind of a substance abuse or a mental health issue. We see people that come in and that have bipolar, that they use the cards for on a manic spree. We see people that have suffered substance abuse in which they can’t work, or are unwilling to work, or whatever the case may be, they get into debt. And so, this is a segment of the population, too, that relies on those cards to get from day-to-day, based upon something that they can’t seem to get under control, whether it be substance abuse or mental health.
|Katherine:||And also, it could be… well not, it could be. I’m going to ask you and not tell you. Could it be a lot… because when you said, “haven’t been trained,” I’m thinking that people are more emotional in our spending, so whether it is a mental illness, or it’s, “I don’t know not to do this, not because I’m stupid, but,”… I, actually, was just talking with my mom before we started doing our interview today, and I said, “I’m reading, The Richest Man in Babylon, and it makes sense, however it didn’t. And I’ve heard everything that this book has said before, in somebodies speech, or talk, or at some conference. And I’m saying, “But now, when I’m reading this book, it just makes perfect sense. It’s like a light bulb went off,” and we never know what it’s going to be, that’s going to trigger the understanding that we need, but I didn’t know, to know, or to understand that it’s a lot simpler than I’ve made it. Because there was no formal training for how to be an adult, and how much is enough money.
I was laughing to myself, I said, “Okay, this book talks about saving one month’s salary if you take a certain amount throughout the year,” right? So by the end of the year, you should have one month’s salary. Well, nobody ever said that to me. That would make me love saving money.
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|Katherine:||Because I would’ve loved the freedom that, that told me I have. But then I said, “Wait a minute. What if one month’s salary doesn’t equate to one month’s living expenses?” So while that made sense to me, somebody else says, “Okay, yeah, I’m going to have that, but I’m still going to be in debt. I still don’t the freedom to take off.” So, I’m fresh off of reading this book, and I’m thinking about this. And we have our mind. We’ll talk ourselves out of it. “Well you can’t do that because of this,” and, “Oh, that simple. But if it’s simple, why isn’t everyone doing it?” Because it’s live, and we weren’t trained, and everyone doesn’t know all the answers on your path. And it’s okay. You’re not alone. You’re not the only person that doesn’t know all the answers. And that’s a great big old general statement, but I think that, that’s a great way to embrace life and say, “Hey, be gentle on myself. There are things out here for me, to help me.”
And knowing that bankruptcy is my right, I mean we stand up, we’re proud to be an American. We have our opinions. “There should be war, there shouldn’t be war, but it’s my right to even say that,” you know? To even have an argument over what I think is right and wrong. So, bankruptcy is another one of those things that we should be fighting over to make sure that we use it. Make sure that I speak up loud enough, and I can use my rights.
And while we may not want to, for someone who carries a gun, you may not want to use the gun, but if someone puts you on the defense, and your family, you have to protect them. You have the gun for that reason. You get what I mean?
|Peter Daigle:||Exactly, yeah.|
|Katherine:||So, while you may not agree with having a gun, but for those who carry it, if they’re responsible, they’re not using it all the time either. They don’t want to use it. We have some people who do, but these aren’t the people I’m talking about in my story here. The people who, they don’t want to, we don’t want to have to file bankruptcy, but because it’s a right of mine, and I can protect myself by doing so, I can pull that gun out when I need it.|
|Peter Daigle:||Absolutely. Well said.|
|Katherine:||I can use that resource. See, I’m learning. You’re teaching me. But that’s what… it all comes together. And then, here’s the other thing, too, Peter, that I’m noticing the more I talk to you, just as I said, I talk with my mom, talked with my son. We weren’t talking about bankruptcy, but it still applies. There are so many things that we are nervous about, scared about, don’t want to approach, don’t want to face. And bankruptcy is one of them. Growing up is another one. Not understanding or not knowing why you don’t know why, it all goes in the same bowl.
So, I think this is a good place to start, because I don’t want to give away our next interview discussion, but the emotions are very real. So, I would like-
|Peter Daigle:||Right. That’s well said.|
|Katherine:||for me to shut up there, and let you finish. How would you like to-|
|Peter Daigle:||I think that’s really all I have. I mean, I think I’ve gone through all the different categories of people that would consider bankruptcy. And I think if you look at your situation, you’ll fall into one of those categories. One of those people who lost their job, or health issues, or divorce, or a senior passing away, or just some type of a bad stretching in life, which is-|
|Katherine:||Life change. Yep.|
|Peter Daigle:||So yeah, well thank you, Katherine.|
|Katherine:||Tell people how to get in touch with you. You’re welcome.|
|Peter Daigle:||Yeah, sure. So, you can reach me… the best way is through daiglelawoffice.com. D, A, I, G, L, E Law Office.com, and you can request a copy of my free book. You can send me a request for information, set up a telephone conference with me, however you’d like to do it. And I’d love to help anybody who would be interested.|
|Katherine:||Thank you. Thank you so much. And I want you to know that you continue to help every time we have our discussions, on my end. So, I know that it’s working, and it is taking the scary out of having to pull out that gun. So, until next time, Peter, have a wonderful day.|
|Peter Daigle:||Thank you.|
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