Welcome to the first radio show with Jeff Kelly featuring guest Patrick Matson. Today we debunk the fears surrounding bankruptcy and ensuring that your bankruptcy experience is one that goes smoothly.
Jeff Kelly: Hello, this is Jeff Kelly. And today we’re going to talk about how Filing bankruptcy is not scary. A few weeks ago, I was at a large local hardware store and I watched a young father and his three year old son walk into the store. I was in the lightbulb section, and they walk right up next to me. The father let go of his son’s hand and the son slowly started to walk away now, I’m 50 years old, and I’ve helped raise five kids. And I’ve developed some kind of sixth sense where I can detect when a drama episode is about to erupt from a child.
Jeff Kelly: Three year old slowly walked away from the Father towards a group of Halloween decorative which is for sale. And one of the witches had a lifelike size and a button beside it that said press here. I bet you can guess what happens next. After the curious little boy press the button, which came to life and let out some terrifying warnings along with some Halloween sound effects. As you can guess the little boys little boy belted out some shrill screams and he was shaking with tears is good father rush to his side and comfort him. Everything’s gonna be okay. So the good father the witches, not real, she can’t hurt you. You’re safe in my arms.
Jeff Kelly: And much the same way. Many people are as terrified of bankruptcy is that sweet little boy was the fake which, in my 22 years as a consumer bankruptcy attorney I’ve seen some people do some crazy things to try to avoid the inevitable bankruptcy. Personally, I think the worst thing a person can do is drain the 401k retirement account. To make payments on credit card debt until the funds run out. Your 401k is a protected asset. You get to keep all of it when you file chapter 7 and 99.99% of the cases. It’s frustrating to see people fruitlessly lose their retirement funds in an effort to avoid a clearly inevitable bankruptcy.
Jeff Kelly: Another common bad move to avoid bankruptcy is to pawn the title of a car, when you miss your payments have a title upon the title of your vehicle transfers automatically under Georgia law. And as a consequence of this automatic transfer, Chapter 13 is not going to save you from the clutches of a title upon creditor.
Jeff Kelly: I want to talk a little bit now about more about this this fear of bankruptcy. My my friend Richard James has a saying that goes like this fear equals false evidence appearing real.
Jeff Kelly: And so what I want to address now are the most common fears about bankruptcy that are not real.
Jeff Kelly: The most common fear is that lawyers are scary and not easy to talk with. And this is certainly not true about myself, or the bankruptcy attorneys at my law firm. Check out our reviews on Google. And you’ll see this is true. We also have some testimonials as well on our YouTube channel. We understand we’re on your side. Another common fear is that you will never be able to get credit again after you file bankruptcy. Yes, chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit for 10 years. And chapter 13 will stay on your credit for seven years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get any credit during that time period. The truth is that most people have no problem at all obtaining credit once their bankruptcy case is completed. Just ask your friends almost everyone has some connection to a friend or family member who has filed bankruptcy and recovered.
Jeff Kelly: If you were a lender, would you be willing to lend money to somebody who has a huge cloud of debt hanging over them and is going nowhere? Of course not. How about somebody who just completed their chapter seven bankruptcy and it was no one. If they had good income, how likely are they to obtain credit?
Jeff Kelly: Ask a car finance company because they make loans to people who have just obtained their chapter seven discharge all the time. Another irrational fear about bankruptcy is that some people believe the trustee is going to come to their house. I have filed a thousands of bankruptcy cases and I have never heard of a trustee going into a person’s house to look at their stuff. There are always exceptions to the rule. But I’m sure it’s a rare case. When Evander Holyfield filed for bankruptcy, he had millions of dollars worth of stuff. In his specific case that trustee had a duty to inventory his household items. In contrast, most people don’t possess anything of real true significant cash value.
Jeff Kelly: So what should you be afraid of? Well, personally, if you have financial problems, I think the thing you should fear the most is procrastination.
Jeff Kelly: If you put your head in the sand and ignore the problem, in Georgia, your creditors will obtain judgments against you. And in Georgia, they’re going to use these judgments to completely clean out your checking account and take 25% of your paycheck. In addition, if you have a house, they will put a lien on it.
Jeff Kelly: Let’s talk about some other fears. The court hearing, there’s no need to be afraid of a court hearing. Currently, bankruptcy court hearings are virtual. And this reduces a lot of stress. This is about the only good thing I can think of that has come from COVID-19. And this may change once we find a cure for COVID-19, or the infection rate rate drops dramatically. But until then, I think this is the way it’s gonna be for the foreseeable future. Even the signing the petition, we can do that virtually with a program called zoom. So you don’t you don’t actually have to ever come to my office, you don’t have to ever actually physically appear in court. The bottom line is this.
Jeff Kelly: If you have financial issues, you should take advantage of a free consultation and talk to a bankruptcy attorney as soon as you can call us today at 770-881-8449. Thank you.
Jeff Kelly: All right, I’m really excited to bring our very first guest on the show, that attorney that I have known for years. Patrick Matson. Welcome to the show.
Jeff Kelly: How’s it going?
Patrick Matson: Thanks for having me, Jeff. It’s a privilege. I’m the very first one, I can hardly believe that that you would choose to pick me But anyway, I appreciate it. It’s good to be on. So!
Jeff Kelly: Well. I really want my clients, we have a lot of former clients that you know, sometimes are in need of a good personal injury attorney. So you were one of the first people I thought of talking to you. Because, you know, a lot of people they don’t know about personal injury.
Jeff Kelly: A lot of people will see commercial and the person with the biggest ad. And unfortunately, I don’t I don’t think that’s always the best decision.
Jeff Kelly: So!
Patrick Matson: Yeah, I think that’s right. I think, you know, unfortunately, for a somebody who gets put into that position, um, you know, as far as somebody becoming a person that would be in need of a personal injury attorney, it’s something that they’ve never had to deal with. Or it’s, it’s completely unexpected, right? I mean, you don’t wake up in the morning. That person doesn’t wake up in the morning and say, Well, you know, this is part of my schedule, I’m gonna get into a car wreck today at 2:30. So it’s completely unexpected, and it catches people off guard. And if, you know, if it’s, if it’s something that’s more serious in particular, it certainly can create a lot of, let’s just say seismic waves, whatever you want to call it, maybe tidal waves in a person’s life.
Patrick Matson: Really,
Jeff Kelly: Imagine when you’re in the middle of a crisis. That’s your you’re desperate, and you might hire an attorney that you otherwise might not the normal circumstance.
Patrick Matson: That’s right. That’s right. That’s absolutely right. And actually, I it’s not very uncommon for me to get a call from somebody here. That’s a local locally, here in Rome or wherever. And they have done exactly what you just said, you know, they hired the a billboard lawyer for that there’s somebody that they saw on TV.
Patrick Matson: Usually those folks are down in Atlanta. And, you know, I’m not. I’m certainly not tutoring on any of those people. I don’t want to sound like that.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah, I understand
Patrick Matson: that that person will call in, and they’ll just, you know, they, you know, they’ve gotten into a situation where they’ve hired them, and they, you know, essentially or not, that law firm is either not communicating with them, or that person doesn’t know what’s going on with their case.
Patrick Matson: Any any number of things? And so, yeah, I mean, people, people will hide, you know, essentially, that lawyer is advertising was successful in that it got the person to call him But yeah, I mean, that happens quite a bit. People get it, people get into uncertain situations, and they’re, and they’re desperate. And they, you know, and they do that, but they also call here too. And so we we get it both ways.
Jeff Kelly: So what I’d really liked for my listeners to get to know you, so tell us a little bit, you know, about yourself personally, when did you know that you wanted to become a lawyer? At what point in life?
Patrick Matson: That’s a good question give I, you know, I certainly was not one of these types that say, Yeah, I wanted to be a lawyer when I was 10 years old, or whatever.
Patrick Matson: You know, I probably would have said at that time, you know, I wanted to be a professional baseball player or something like that. But that, that plan, or that goal just didn’t work out. I know, a lot of people can relate to that. Butyou know, the, I essentially started to get the um, I think the desire to go to law school, sometimes, right? It was after I graduated, undergraduate, which went to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, had an economics degree, started working in business, and essentially, you know, was just trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. And the law was something certainly that interested me at the time. And I just started to, like, a lot of other people go through that process of where you’re growing up, and you’re kind of trying to figure out how to try to figure out how to be an adult, right?
Patrick Matson: You know, how, what you’re going to do with your life. And I was just trying to add that point where, you know, I kind of had to make a decision, and just really started hunkering down on doing research on looking at law school and what that would entail, and you know, what the law would entail and what that meant. It was really something that interested me and it’s I’ve always been kind of like a learner type of personality, I love to learn, and I love to research and I like to, you know, really dive deep into topics. And, you know, certainly this is a profession that allows you to do that. So that was a long process coming to that point where it was a several year process. I’ve come to the point where I decided, yeah, I’m gonna take the job and go to law school.
Jeff Kelly: Excellent. Where did you go to law school.
Patrick Matson: I went to law school in Virginia, Regent University, in Virginia Beach.
Patrick Matson: I had the good privilege and blessing of meeting my wife there
Jeff Kelly: wonderful.
Patrick Matson: Emily Madsen, who is actually my law partner. She is the other half of Madison and Madison, which is the name of our firm. We’re here located in downtown Rome. She is the other half of our law firm. We met actually, when we were in law school, and she she was a year ahead of me. And so she graduated year ahead of me, she came back here this is before we got married.
Patrick Matson: She came back here started working at a local firm here in town, and I still had another year up there. And came came back to you’re actually grew up in Georgia, I’m from Roswell, Georgia, which is suburb of Atlanta. Okay, so I looked at that I wasn’t that far away. And so you know, maybe a year or so after I graduated school, we got married in 2008. And approximately 2010 we started our law firm, you know, the old saying that Necessity is the mother of invention, and we, you know, kind of, in some ways the start of our law firm us going out and taking the step to hang our own shingle was, you know, born out of necessity, let’s just say that I won’t. I won’t bore you with all the details, but it it, she was coming out of that for this local firm here in Rome and I had been working for a couple of Superior Court judges, here in Floyd County.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah,
Patrick Matson: have had the good privilege of having that job coming out of law school learned a lot working in the courts, and but knew that I wanted to go into private practice. And you know, if you can remember 2010, this is like, that’s like post Great Recession, right? You know, there weren’t a lot of law firms that were hiring at the time. Let’s just say that.
Patrick Matson: Again, so that’s kind of that’s kind of the genesis of our firm. Going, it’s really going back to 2010. Justin, so we’ve, we’ve been together ever since. And we’re located here in downtown Raleigh.
Jeff Kelly: Wonderful. So now you’ve got some unique legal experience from that clerkship job, correct? I mean, what what type of stuff Did you see in a courtroom?
Patrick Matson: Well, I’ll tell you, the, you know, the most valuable thing for me as a lawyer was that, I’ll tell you the things that probably the most valuable was seeing how judges do things, and how they process like, what’s on their schedule, judges have super, super busy schedules. And you can imagine, you know, the time that we’re in right now with, you know, the shutdowns and, you know, the shutdowns have affected the courts as well, not just, you know, private businesses, but the court systems have been dramatically affected by, you know, the COVID situation and all the shutdowns and essentially, what that’s created is created a giant backlog. And so, you know, our superior court judges, we’ve got four Superior Court judges here in Floyd County, I’ll just use as an example, they’re gonna have a huge backlog of cases that they’re going to have to deal with.
Patrick Matson: And they’re, they’re doing a fantastic job of coordinating all that and trying to get it to a place where they can get the engine running again, so to speak, and they’re already doing that in a lot of respects. But there are other things that they’ve been, you know, caught up in that have, you know, again, caused them to be backlog. So, but going back to what we were talking about, I think the probably the biggest thing, that one of the biggest things was just seeing how judges handle things, how they look at cases. And I just knew that if I was going to be a private practice lawyer, and I was, you know, practicing in front of those judges, which is what I do, you know, I primarily practice in Superior Court, state court, things like that.
Patrick Matson: You know, I want to know, how it was just, you know, fantastic experience, I would say, seeing how judges, you know, the type of work that they expect lawyers to produce for the court, what they because, you know, as a lawyer, as you know, you’re an officer of the court, and, you know, you’re you’re held to, you know, a lot of standards that, you know, that there are expectations of how you have to come in and, you know, present somebody’s case, or represent somebody in a case to, I think, learning how judges deal with things and how they, what their expectations were was certainly invaluable.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah. And along those lines, do you feel like, you know, since you’ve had so much time in court, and you’ve had that experience, that it gives you an edge of where, let’s say, Well, you know, I’ve noticed a lot in, you know, in the bankruptcy world, that you’ll have these large Atlanta firms and hire these young associates that are being green as grass ever got no experience and you know, like, all of my associates, every one of them, they’re more than eight years experience. They they know everything there is to know about bankruptcy, I would imagine personal injury. having that experience, knowing your way around a courtroom and knowing what to file would give me huge edge over, you know, say some TV future TPP offer and was just basically hiring lawyers straight out of law school in a green grass and have no clue what they’re doing. Would you agree with that?
Patrick Matson: Well, yeah, I mean, I think that there certainly is truth to what you say they’re the, you know, certainly the ones that, you know, I don’t, I’m never on the other, because my practice is, as you said earlier, you know, I’m, I’m 100%, focused on representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases, and that, that, that those are individuals who have suffered injury because of some other person, or some entity, say a business has either actively done something to injure them, or they’ve failed to do something that they were supposed to do. That leads to my client getting injured. So I’m the ones that you see advertising on the billboards, they’re doing the same type of work that I them, so I’m never on the other side of them.
Patrick Matson: But the, you know, yeah, let’s just say you got to start somewhere, you know, because I was in that place, too, at one time, where I, but again, going back to what I was saying earlier, you know, I certainly had the, the good fortune of having that background, working for a couple of judges. But I will, I will also say this, though, Jeff, as you know, when I, when I started doing personal injury work, you know, if I got into a more complex case, you know, I would associate, a, because it can be very complex cases, let’s just say that. procedurally, and, you know, if you don’t make the right move, or you don’t file the right thing, you know, you can, you know, the case can be can be lost.
Patrick Matson: And so, you know, if I got into a more This was at the beginning of my career, when I started doing these types of cases, if it was a bigger case, and I knew that it was going to be more complex, I would associate a lawyer that I knew, would, you know, would would walk through the, you know, that they had the experience to deal with any of those issues, I didn’t just jump out there, you know, you know, thinking that I was going to completely handle it myself, because, because, again, that, you know, the complexity of these, you know, I’ve been in cases, Jeff, where the, you know, the litigation has gone on with between the time that the case got filed, and the time that the case actually ended, was almost six years. So, you can imagine how much stuff with documents, work product, you know, just different things that get exchanged and emotions that get filed. That’s a lot of stuff going on a case like that. So yeah, certainly at the beginning of my career doing personal injury cases, I would, I would associate other attorneys on cases if I, if I needed to, but I’m at the point where I don’t do that anymore.
Patrick Matson: The, so the experience factor? Sure. That’s, that’s hugely important. And having the background with working in the courts. Fantastic. Let me just say the other thing, that’s fantastic. And that is, you know, my law partners, my wife and I, we are not do the same areas of law. She, she works in a different area of law, which is great.
Patrick Matson: I don’t think we would be able to handle it if we were doing the same thing. But you know, I’m not sure let’s just say that, but the it’s good to have her, you know, her legal mind to bounce stuff off of, and, you know, ask her opinions on things. And, you know, certainly just this week, you know, she gave me her advice on something, and it turned out to be, you know, the correct advice. And so, you know, based on some research that I did I followed up with is like, yeah, that’s exactly what she said. And so, it’s good to have that person in your corner, who’s not only like a cheerleader, but also is somebody there that, you know, can you can bounce stuff off legally and say, What’s your opinion listen to, you know, experiences, experience support, and yeah, as you know, you know, being in this profession, you believe networks with other lawyers. And so I’ve got networks of other lawyers like all over the state, you know, basically all over all over the country practically.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah.
Patrick Matson: Where if I get into a situation, you know, I can, because again, you know, the cases can be very complex depending on what you’re dealing with. And so you know, you, there are times where you just have to say what you have to ask other lawyers and say, What do you think about this? You know, and
Jeff Kelly: Sure.
Patrick Matson: Yeah, that’s just part of what we did.
Jeff Kelly: Yeah. I’ve always felt like your experience, clerking for superior court judges is just incredible, because I can remember very early on in your career, you know, I practice only in, in bankruptcy court. That’s, that’s the sole focus of our firm, but every now and then we we get tripped up and have to wander into Superior Court now, I would call you. And, you know, ask you what kind of crazy cockamamie motion Do I need to come up with here? And you’ve always had an answer. So I’ve always felt like that, that gives you a huge edge over your competition that you you know, your way around a spirit courtroom front way sideways, backwards and forwards. And if you don’t know, you, you know, the person to call them to find out.
Patrick Matson: Right, right. Yeah. I mean, I think our profession, Jeff, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s you as a lawyer, what, you know, and how, you know, to what, how, you know, what, you know, is your intellectual property, right. I mean, and that’s, that’s not something that belongs to the general public.
Patrick Matson: And it’s taken you years, to accumulate the knowledge that you have, or disseminate the knowledge that I have to, to, you know, to move a case and to make it successful. Um, and, you know, that’s, that’s our intellectual property is to to know exactly what type of steps you have to take to, you know, to maneuver through the legal system. And the, anyway, yeah, that that’s just, you know, it’s something that you just build up through experience and time, and it becomes your intellectual property. And it’s, you know, so and that’s one of the reasons that I decided, probably 2013, you know, I had been doing personal injury cases, between 2010 and 2013. I did other types of law. I mean, I did Family Law, I did some criminal defense, things like that, just kind of like a general practice.
Patrick Matson: But also was doing some some personal injury. And that was the time when I decided to make the leap to completely go 100% into personal injury practice, because it’s just too deep of a knowledge subject, the type of things that you have to know.
Patrick Matson: You know, you really want somebody that’s a specialist. That is.
Jeff Kelly: Absolutely. Excellent. Well, hey, Patrick, I appreciate you taking the time to come on the show. And I look forward to getting the word out there about you. And I get a lot of a lot of good clients.
Patrick Matson: Jeff, I appreciate it. I appreciate what you do. And I look forward to here and your your radio as your guests. You’re doing this on radio.
Jeff Kelly: Yes sir.
Patrick Matson: Yeah, that’s good. I’m looking forward to hearing and I hope you have great success with this. And I know you’ve had so much success with your practice. And, you know, certainly, anytime I ever, anybody ever mentioned something about bankruptcy or whatever, always point them to you and your law firm because they know that it’s, you know, they’re going to get taken care of. They’re going to get treated well and they’re going to get, you know, quality representation. So!
Jeff Kelly: Well, thank you, sir. I appreciate you and we’ll talk to you soon. You have a good.
Patrick Matson: Yeah, thanks Yeah.
Outro Speaker: You’ve been listening to KellyCanHelp with Jeff Kelly reached out to the law office of Jeffrey B. Kelly today by phone 7062950030 in Rome or visit Kellycanhelp.com