Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us on; this needs to be said, our friend, attorney, Christine Kingston is here. And I, you know, I go through the interview is going to start out with the attorney, Christine Kingston, and then it’s going to be Christine by the end of the show, but she’s been with us. And I was just thinking how long we’ve been doing this. It’s been years actually. And, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to have these discussions with you and to get the information to people. And I’m like, I know who you need to listen to, or, you know, what area are you in You know, what are you doing You can call for a consultation. I can connect people. And that makes me feel good because I can’t necessarily solve these problems for them, but I can help them know who can.
So thank you for even having this with your company to expand your reach with being an attorney. Because I years ago, when I filed for bankruptcy, first of all, podcasts were not a thing. Blogging was not that big of a deal. You read an article maybe by dear Abby, you know, maybe, but not, not really. Maybe, maybe Dave Ramsey was telling us, you know, how to do our finances, you know, but for attorneys to say, let me get more personal let me let people know that we care about them. And some of the examples you’ve given, has been if the, if a person is not qualified for, or if they, if the qualified, it sounds like they’re being left out, right. But if a person doesn’t quite need bankruptcy, you guide them in another direction instead of just taking their money and saying, well, I mean, I know they don’t need it, but we’ll just do this.
Y’all don’t do that. And that was, that was like, aha. You know, because you’re nervous because we, we have things that happen in our lives. And we, we did this thing that got us into bankruptcy. And for me, I felt like, you know, I failed, I didn’t do something right. And I did some I’m just as bad. So if they tricked me, if the attorneys tricked me, then I guess I get what I deserve. So it was kind of that mindset going along with that, because this, this must be bad, but you’ve taught me that this is not bad. This isn’t bad, this is smart. And this is a way to reset your life. And I appreciate it, all of the conversations that I wanted to open with that. So thank you. Thank you. I love that Katherine. And I think that’s great.
I think, you know, when, when I can be a resource to others as well, right. And you know that over the years I’ve been a resource for you and your audience, making sure that they get, you know, accurate and truthful information. I mean, because I couldn’t agree more, not all lawyers are created equal. And I think that some people, you know, the consumers that are listening today, thinking about bankruptcy, don’t just call one lawyer, call two or three. That’s an out, you want to work with someone that you can trust and that you believe is tracking with you to get you toward your goals. These are not a one size fits all packages. I’m sure we’ve got to put them through the process and, and follow the law and the rules. and you know, it that’s scary enough. And then you want to hire a lawyer and we’ve got already a, a bad reputation before you even pick up the phone and call a lawyer.
And I know sometimes, yeah, right. Sometimes clients, by the time they come to me, they’ve already been raked over the coals by one other lawyer. And I have to earn that trust my challenge as an attorney, Right? So you want to make sure that your, you know, your, your, what are you looking for when you want to hire a professional and, and again, cult two or three, because we are all, like you said, you know, I think maybe in the past conversation before we came on the record today, you know, you could be talking to three different lawyers and get three different answers to the same elephant in the room, right Absolutely. You need to call more people and again, always a pleasure. We are resources to the consumers and to the public as bankruptcy attorneys. There are good ones out there and there are not so good ones out there. And I think that’s also important even in today’s COVID environment. You definitely want to make sure that you test your professionals before you pay them good money, because oftentimes they do not provide refunds and especially since they are working on the clock and, and our hourly rates are pretty high already any deposits that you make could be eaten up in a very short period of time. So before you pay money, make sure you’ve got the professional you want to work.
Speaking of COVID that does that slide those right into where we are in this moment. We’re magic. I chemistry is amazing. You know, so last year everyone was so happy, you know, to like let’s shut that year out and get, and get a reset. But it’s really not that simple. Yes, we flip the calendar, but we still have whatever affected us if we were struggling paying bills. If we didn’t have a job, if the work environment is different, if kids aren’t in school, whatever the mental health, whatever has changed has shifted us in a great way and no matter who you are, homeless or wealthy, everyone has been affected because, you know, COVID, didn’t choose to only take a certain group of people. It took who it took so wealthy and not wealthy. Everyone has been affected. We’re all in it. So looking at our finances because our finances could be, you know, at bankruptcy or we could be wealthy.
what, what does it look in like, for people Is it more people, are there more people filing bankruptcy during this time Like, I guess, tell me, tell me what’s going on in your world of bankruptcy. That’s a great question. Know because a lot of, a lot of times people think that, Oh, pandemic hits. And as a matter of fact, I was one of them, last year, in February bankruptcy cases were on the rise. And so what we noticed was the economy last year, before COVID hit the economy was due for a reset. And what that means is business cycles. And a lot of the general consumers re they don’t really, you know, people don’t pay attention to business cycles, unless you’re a self-employed business owner or you’re, you know, looking at, the economy news or things like that.
And so as business cycles go, you know, every, it used to be every three to five years, the business cycle would reset and then credit cards came on the scene and that extended it. And then again, when the mortgages came on, that made it even longer. So the last business cycle that hit the great recession was more than 10 years, right From 2019 98 to 2008, we didn’t have an economic crisis or crash or recession. And what I’m talking about is, you know, the soft landing would be a recession. A hard landing is the great recession. And even harder would be like the 1930 depression that we had and so the great recession of 2008, right, was that was, that was the last time we hit a reset on the economy. And so you think about that that’s 2008. We are now 13 years past that that means that we are due for a recession, except we got a virus in the way. Like literally COVID came on the scene and all of that has been stalled out. And, and it’s interesting, Katherine, because, you know, I thought the bankruptcy rate would rise. I thought maybe, maybe six months into it. Maybe it would come back at the end of last year. And I can tell you now that bankruptcy filings remained down 30% below where they were, before, and like back to some 1986 numbers, statistically speaking, bankruptcy filings are down. People are not filing bankruptcy. And I kept asking that question, you know, while I’m grabbing paycheck protection, while I’m trying to protect and reserve my team while I’m still handling the existing case load that I had, new case filings were not coming on and they still haven’t come back on. I am starting to see creditors and lawsuits rise. So be aware if you’ve fallen behind on credit card payments, those creditors are going to probably file suit.
Once they get a judgment, then they can garnish any wages, levy bank accounts and lien, any real estate so judgment creditors have a lot more power, once they, have a judgment in a court of law. So I know those are on the rise, but what happens now, they’re sticking the, the foreclosures or the moratoriums are going out until June the rent evictions are not coming back yet because we’re still trying to get everyone vaccinated so that we can get the economy to open back up. And I think that once that happens, I think that people will finally be looking at cleaning up the mess that this virus has left behind the financial mess that it’s, wreaking havoc on everybody but I see that lending is still continuing people are, you know, still able to get credit cards and, and loans and things like that. And everything’s being put on hold so I don’t think the case filings will come back until the economy starts opening up more. and, and that’s, you know, kind of a scary proposition, you know, for, for us bankruptcy attorneys who want to maintain, we want to stay available to the general public, and we’re all being financially squeezed at the same time, including the lawyers,
Everybody that creates
A big account, I’m going to stop right there. I want you to tell the audience how to get in touch with you outside of our discussion. And we’re going to come back with part two. So yes, I am Christine Kingston. I am at surf city lawyers located in Huntington Beach, California on the web @ www.surfcitylawyers.com. Or you can call the office directly at (714) 533-9210.
We’ll look for serving our community. Okay.
I’m looking forward to our next conversation already. So what we’re going to do is get out of here and audience, we’ll be back when you hear us again to finish this conversation, or try to, as we were talking about the economy is a huge, is a huge, scary thing. So until next time, Christine, have a super day. My pleasure .Thank you!