By Christopher C. Carr, Esq., Chester County bankruptcy attorney

(Now gee why did he pick that letter to start with?)

The “C” in the bankruptcy alphabet ought, in my opinion, to actually stand for two interwoven concepts: attorney COMPASSION and COMPETENCE. Let’s talk about the second word COMPETENCE first: In this free fall economy, too many fly by night attorneys who have never done bankruptcy work before and non-lawyer “preparers” are emerging from the woodwork. We see them offering to do a “cut rate” Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for $700. Well, if you as a consumer are tempted by this you had better check the fine print to see what that payment really covers. It is very likely that you will be very unpleasantly surprised when you find yourself paying extra for things that better lawyers include for no extra charge.

Bankruptcy is tough hard work that requires a lot of different skills. You have to understand the law first and foremost and not just the law of bankruptcy but a whole host of state laws since bankruptcy law while federal gives the nod to state law in so many areas; you have to have common sense and a good head for math and you must be reasonably detail oriented. But that’s really just the basic skill complement. The best practitioners add to this a level of creativity and insight that can mean thousands of dollars saved for you.

In addition, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for in bankruptcy as well as the rest of life. Consider also that the average lawyer bills at around $200 per hour. At $700, that means he or she will be spending a grand total of 3 and a half hours on your file including the intake meeting, assembling your documents; preparing and reviewing your petition and then attending the 341 hearing. In perhaps all but the very simplest “no asset” case that is not enough time to do a competent job.

Most consumers and even unfortunately most non bankruptcy lawyers think that we bankruptcy practitioners are just a bunch of pencil pushers who fill in simple forms like it was your 1040 EZ or something. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. I myself have been practicing a very sophisticated type of business law (Computer Law) for 20 years or more and have an MBA in Finance from one of the finer business schools in the US. Yet I am constantly studying and keeping up on the changes in the bankruptcy law and practice so I can do the finest job possible for my clients.

Let’s talk about the other C word….COMPASSION. What does that word mean and why is it important? Well according to Webster’s it refers to a “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” FINANCIAL DISTRESS is one of the great banes of our existence and it also causes or contributes to a good deal of the physical ailments facing our society as stress causes our bodily systems to break down. Actually, I cannot think of a better way to describe the emotional makeup of a good consumer bankruptcy advocate.

COMPASSION is an important attribute because even the finest technically learned lawyer cannot represent you properly unless he/she understands your situation in detail and most importantly is aware of your GOALS.  It is not enough to know that you will obtain a discharge in bankruptcy. Most everybody who starts a Chapter 7 obtains that. The attorney should ask about important things like “where do you expect to be 5 years from now” and how will the “fresh start” you achieve in your case assist you to get there.

What I am saying is that when you hire bankruptcy counsel it does not really matter whether the surroundings in which he/she practices are grand or humble or how many gilt edged diplomas hang on the wall. What you really need to feel is that this person will be a trusted and highly skilled member of your financial advisory team. That is, you need to feel a connection with or rapport with this practitioner as well as believing that he or she is competent to represent you. If on the other hand, all you come away with is that he or she is just in it for the money then move on to someone you feel will really go to bat for you!

©Christopher C. Carr, Attorney at Law, 2011, All Rights Reserved

Law Offices of Christopher C. Carr, MBA,  P.C., is a quality bankruptcy and debt relief practice, located in  Valley Township, west of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, where Attorney Christopher Carr, a Chester County bankruptcy attorney, who has over 30 years if diversified ;egal experience, concentrates on serving the residents of and businesses located within Western Chester County and Eastern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, including the communities in and around Atglen, Bird in Hand, Caln, Christiana, Coatesville, Downingtown, Eagle, Exton, Fallowfield Gap, Honeybrook, Lancaster, Lincoln University, Modena, New Holland, Parkesburg, Paradise, Ronks, Sadsbury, Thorndale, Valley Township, Wagontown & West Chester,  Pennsylvania. If you reside or do business in the area and need assistance with a legal issue, please call Mr. Carr at (610)380-7969 or write him at today!  

Other Attorneys playing the bankruptcy letter “C” game:

C is for Creditor

C is for Credit Counseling in Bankruptcy

C is for Counseling

C is for Chapter 7

C is for Credit Union

C is for Conversion

C is for Cram Down

I also provide Mortgage Modification Services.


  1. […] C is for Competence and Compassion […]

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  3. […] Competence and Compassion […]

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  5. […] The “C” in the Bankruptcy Alphabet by Christopher Carr, Suburban Philadelphia […]

  6. […] Kempinski Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Lawyer Bob Doig Cleveland Area Bankruptcy Lawyer, Bill Balena Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr Taylor Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer, Christopher […]

  7. […] of Relief Collection Agencies Competence and Compassion Conversion Cosigner Counseling Cramdown Cramdown Credit counseling Credit counseling Creditor […]

  8. […] of Relief Collection Agencies Competence and Compassion Conversion Cosigner Counseling Cramdown Cramdown Credit counseling Credit counseling Creditor […]

  9. […] is for Collection Agencies. C is for Competence and Compassion. C is for Conversion. C is for Cosigner. C is for Counseling or credit counseling or credit […]

  10. Chris this is a very consumer friendly page its great !! I offers consumers lots of great information and I am certain will answer many questions people have about their financial problems. I will offer it as a link on my page and continue to refer people to work with you to help solve their problems so they can best move forward in years to come. Thank You !!

  11. […] Christopher Carr is all about compassion and competence. […]

  12. […] C is for Compassion and Competence […]

  13. […] Competence and Compassion – Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr […]

  14. […] Competence and Compassion-Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr […]

  15. […] the debts do not happen to “belong” to the debtor. This then is another illustration of how competent counsel, by properly identifying and claiming this benefit for you, can save you far more than any legal […]

  16. […] far behind on you payments and/or your credit cards your credit has already been affected… and, a good bankruptcy lawyer can show you ways to rebuild credit even while in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan period (3-5 […]

  17. […] Competence and Compassion- Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr […]

  18. […] a good deal of time between the time they come in to meet with me for the first time and filing. A good bankruptcy lawyer will examine your most recent tax return to see if your refund is too high. If so, I will advise […]

  19. […] look at what this incredible power in general terms allows competent and compassionate counsel to do for […]

  20. […] Competence and Compassion    Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr […]

  21. […] are in addition certain “tricks of the trade” that a competent and compassionate bankruptcy attorney can impart to you once you have retained him or her which will speed up the process of restoring […]

  22. […] is supposed to be because of the complexities and pitfalls involved, it is advisable to consult a competent and compassionate attorney who has experience in bankruptcies and/or in negotiating modifications to guide you through the […]

  23. […] for zealous representation is competence: RPC Rule 1.1 states that a lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal expertise, skill, […]

  24. […] completes the 24th and final letter in the ABC’s of bankruptcy which I commenced with the letter C on November 22, 2012,  Who would have thought it would take me a year to get through the alphabet […]

  25. May I just say what a relief to find someone who genuinely knows what they’re talking about on the web. You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people really need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you are not more popular given that you most certainly possess the gift.

    • What a fine compliment especially considering the source. It may seem like I know what I am talking about but I really use blogging as a way to expand my comprehension. I usually do not know the first thing about the topic when I start but I break it down into its constituent elements which allows me to understand by teaching. I was accepted for PhD work in Philosophy at U of Chicago lo these many years ago and have always thought that I missed my calling.

  26. […] C is for Compassion and Competence […]

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