Help Me to Help You


As a bankruptcy lawyer serving the Washington D.C. area, I have helped hundreds of businesses and individuals seeking debt relief. Most of my clients are a pleasure to serve, but sometimes communications issues arise. Here are some ways that you can help your bankruptcy attorney to advance your case. Help me to help you with these simple key communication tips.

Answer your phone

I promise only once in a while to call you when it’s not absolutely necessary. I admit that I do sometimes like to check in on my clients or former clients and have a chat.

In most cases, however, when I call a client it is because I need something. I need a document or some information to move your case along. I try to make calls between normal business hours. But I am flexible with calls because many of my clients work during normal business hours.

Calling is often quicker and easier than emails, especially with complex or fast-moving situations. If I call you, please answer. If you can’t answer and I leave you a voicemail, call me back as soon as you can.

Check your email

Instead of leaving you a voicemail, I may email you. You should always try to respond to emails from your attorney within 24 hours. Even if the answer is, “I won’t know until next month” that keeps us in good communication. Often, I need to draft a response or negotiate quickly and need your input. I also use email correspondence to track case history.

Quicker isn’t always better, of course. Sometimes, you might need some time to respond. That’s OK, too — just let me know.  An email with many, many words is not always better, either. Sometimes fewer words can accomplish more. Sometimes it just makes sense to pick up the phone and call, too.

Send your documents

In almost every case, at least a few of the documents that we need to finish your case will not be immediately available. Bank statements, payoff amounts, settlement figures, and P&Ls. I frequently request these and other documents weeks or months after we commence your case.

Help me to help you

I will do my best not to act like a schoolteacher if you don’t let the dog eat your homework. I know that you have a life outside of your bankruptcy case. But if you can try to keep these easy communication techniques in mind, it makes your case stronger and my job easier. Help me to help you help me. To help you!

About Brian V. Lee 393 Articles
Brian V. Lee provides bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, business turnaround, and litigation services to clients in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland. Brian was the Washington, D.C. state chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys from 2016 to 2018.