351 Pleasant Street, Suite B-348
Northampton, MA 01060
People often ask me why I do what I do. Why I am a bankruptcy attorney. Why I focus my practice on the representation of individuals, families and small businesses struggling with debts. Admittedly, it’s not typically my clients who ask, but the other lawyers I see at the seminars, cocktail parties and rubber chicken dinners who ask. To a lot of lawyers bankruptcy is something very foreign. They know it’s out there, but they typically don’t know much about it, or how it works. It’s usually just something that gets in the way of what they do, or is a “trap” waiting around the corner for their clients and them. What it isn’t is like any other area of law, though it touches on virtually every area of law.
So, lawyers often wonder why I am so interested in this odd area of law, and why I am so interested in focusing my practice on representing those people who have, let’s face it, the most trouble paying me.
Really it comes down to this: People come to see me during one of the absolute worst moments in their lives. They are struggling with debt that they cannot pay, they are facing the loss of their house and/or the loss of their business. The greatest satisfaction that I get from my job — and because of my particular set of skills and my knowledge base — is being able to look those people in the eyes and tell them that I can help them. I am proud of what I do. I am proud to be able help people to get a fresh financial start.
Prior to opening my own law firm, I worked in a (relatively) large firm. I represented bankruptcy trustees, commercial lenders, commercial landlords and a variety of institutional creditors in bankruptcy cases of all sizes. I worked as creditor’s counsel in some of the biggest bankruptcies of the last decade. I also worked in some very small bankruptcies. I represented banks and other lenders trying to recover commercial loans in default. The “people” I represented had no difficulty in paying me. I was a cog in a huge machine. I told myself that my job was important in order to help the economy in order to keep lending available, so that small businesses could get a start. I told myself all of that, but it didn’t change the reality of what I saw on a regular basis.
While it was true that the institutions I represented had a real need for representation, and there is, in a real sense a need for collection and creditor’s counsel — even for banks — I wanted to represent people who I often saw as not having adequate representation. I wanted to be on the side of people who desperately needed my help. I wanted to help people get a fresh start. I wanted to stand on the side of the people who couldn’t afford the big firms.
I took my knowledge of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and added to it a lot of learning on Chapter12 and Chapter 13 (as I had only touched on those in the past). I started looking at the Automatic Stay as a strategic tool to help my clients, rather than an obstacle; and the discharge as a goal, not something to avoid. My mindset as a lawyer had to morph into that of a debtor’s attorney, but one with the inside knowledge of a creditor’s attorney and a trustee’s attorney. My background brings something to the table that other debtor’s attorneys may not have.
All of that is why I do what I do. The United States Bankruptcy Code defines me, as a debtor’s attorney, as a “debt relief agency“. The designation was originally put in place in order to discourage lawyers from representing individual debtors in bankruptcy. I, however, am proud of the designation. The Law Offices of James Wingfield is proud to be a debt relief agency, helping individuals, families and small businesses to file for relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code. It is not something I am looking to hide.
If you are struggling with debts, do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of James Wingfield, to schedule a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who understands the strategies and point of view of all parties in a case. Call 508-797-0200 today or visit the contact page of our website.
The Law Offices of James Wingfield is proud to be a debt relief agency. We help the individuals, families and small businesses of the Worcester area file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Law Offices of James Wingfield serves Central and Western Massachusetts clients in Worcester County, Hampden County, Hampshire County and Middlesex County including Worcester, Shrewsbury, Springfield, Westborough, Southborough, Framingham, Northampton, Natick, Amherst, Fitchburg, Leomister, Douglas, Uxbridge, Gardner, Belchertown, Holyoke, Wilbraham and Chicopee. The information contained and obtained in this website does not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Contacting us, be it through this website, via email of by telephone does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only created upon execution of an engagement agreement or fee agreement.