Do it Yourself Section
But I Can't Afford an Attorney:
I KEEP MY FEES LOW BY KEEPING EXPENSES LOW. Call me. If you get voice mail, leave a message. I will try to work with clients to agree upon reasonable fees and payment arrangements that most working people can afford. If I were to charge more than people could afford, I would not make money. I encourage you to call me and see if you can afford my fees.
Why Don't I Try to Work This Out Myself? I Can Always Call You if Need Help Later.
Sure, you have the right to represent yourself, and you can call me if you have been representing yourself. There may, however, be opportunities which could be exploited early that may not still be there later. You could miss chances to raise things.
Think of your case like a flowchart, or perhaps even a maze. The bank has their attorneys who are trying very deliberately to move the case in the direction they want it to go. The longer you let them work towards their objective the closer they will usually come to it.
Isn't There Some Free Legal Help Available?
There may be, although oftentimes there are stringent residency and income requirements attached. Good Luck finding a free attorney who'll stand next to you before the judge or write up paperwork tailored to the precise facts of your specific case. Good Luck finding a pro-bono attorney with the time to discuss your case and all of your options in detail.
This is your House on the Line. How much is Your Home Worth? Think about what you have to lose and ask yourself: Do you REALLY want to gamble YOUR HOUSE on representing yourself with some "fill-in-the-blank" forms and a 15 minute consultation with some pro-bono who doesn't even have time to learn the specifics of your case and who isn't even going to stand next to you before the Judge?
You could cut your own hair, but do you?
How Do I Know if You're REALLY an Attorney?
That is a legitimate question. Call me. I can tell you where you can go on-line to verify my admission to practice before the Courts of the State of New York. That is an official court website. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you spell the name correctly when you type it in. If you are considering hiring me for bankruptcy or some other federal matter I will tell you how to check me out with the appropriate federal court. I will take no offense at any such inquiries.
I've read all your stuff, I'm as smart as you are, now I can go do it myself:
Representing yourself is called proceeding pro-se. You have the right to represent yourself in court if you wish, but there are a few things to consider. Experience is one important factor. With your home on the line, can you afford to learn-as-you-go? There are other factors too.
Professional Courtesy: Why don't sharks eat lawyers? Professional courtesy. When I was in law school I got a traffic ticket and I wanted to fight it. I went to Traffic Court and I sat near the front and listened in on what the lawyers were doing. I figured I could learn quickly. Many times when the case was adjourned the new date was inconvenient for the attorney. The attorney would tell the Judge. The Judge would then hand him a small calendar and tell the attorney to pick out a date that was convenient. When it was my turn and they gave me a date that was inconvenient, I tried the same thing. I spoke to the Judge respectfully, just as the attorneys did. But the answer I got was "If you are not here on that date a warrant will be issued for your arrest." I accepted the adjournment, left the building and hired an attorney.
Nobody Likes a Wisemouth: If your attorney raises some intricate and complicated aspect of law in your defense, they look like a smart attorney. If you try to raise the same exact thing in your defense you may look like a wisemouth. Nobody likes a wisemouth.
Attorney-Client Privilege: Communication between attorneys and their clients are generally privileged. That means if the Lender's attorney asks me for privileged information I can tell him that the information is privileged. The Lender's attorney, being an attorney, will understand that privileged communications cannot be shared. If you proceed pro-se and the Lender's attorney asks you something and you just say "I don't want to tell you that", you risk looking like an uncooperative wisemouth. Having them form this opinion of you is detrimental to the achievement of a negotiated workout.
It's Not Personal, It's Just Business: If you try to negotiate with your Lender they may try to play an intimidation game on you. They are less likely to try that against another attorney. If your attorney contests the matter, that is understandable to the Lender's attorneys. It's just business. It's what attorneys are paid to do. It's not personal. It should be no barrier to a future settlement.
Business Entities Cannot Proceed Pro-se: If your property is owned in the name of a Corporation, LLC or similar entity, the courts prohibit such entities from representing themselves. It doesn't matter if you're a 100% shareholder and founder of the business.
Provided By The Law Office Of:
Michael Kennedy Karlson, Esq.
212-569-9597 or 212-567-1545
No statements or facts found on this site are to be mistaken for legal advice. Any information on this site may not be up to date. The information on this site pertains to New York law only. Foreclosure law and practice in other jurisdictions is different, and generally happens faster. I practice in State and Federal Courts in New York State. I do not practice outside New York State. This site in no way establishes an attorney/client relationship. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. We also handle many cases that never involve bankruptcy. The choice is for the client to make.