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Helping Clients Get Control Over Their Financial Situation: John Scura

May 20, 2013 04:07pm  

Wayne, NJ—“I've known bankruptcy for a long time before I was a lawyer,” attorney John Scura told islaws.com in a recent interview.

Scura, whose father was the Chapter 13 standing trustee in northern New Jersey, has now been practicing in the area of bankruptcy law for nearly two decades.  In that time, he has become one of the foremost bankruptcy lawyers in his area and, like only two percent of New Jersey practitioners, has attained certification from the New Jersey Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney.

(More on  News at isLAWS.com)

When people with financial issues come into Scura's office at Scura, Mealey, Wigfield & Heyer, they are often confused or fearful about their options.  “A lot of people who come in need guidance and just aren't sure what's going on,” he says.  “As an attorney, I take it for granted, because I do so much of it, but you really have to put yourself in their seat and be mindful of their situation.”

After Congress passed bankruptcy reforms in 2005, many attorneys worried about the effects that these reforms would have on their practice.  However, Scura says that in his practice, “we looked at 100 cases and determined that the law would only affect five—in other words, just 5 percent.”  

Although the vast majority of cases today look about the same as they would have before the passage of the new reforms, Scura believes that the law “just created more paperwork and cost for the consumer.  The goal was to get more money to banks and credit card companies, and that goal was not achieved.”

One of the biggest issues for filers, according to Scura, is the means test, which only allows filers to get a fresh start with Chapter 7 bankruptcy if their income is not above certain maximum levels.  “The way that the robotic, mechanical figures work can tend to hurt someone who is more deserving of relief and help someone who may not be as deserving of it,” he says.

Today, Scura says that some clients are also unable to file for Chapter 13 because of debt limits, which forces them into Chapter 11 filings.  “It's a real challenge, because Chapter 11 is not really geared towards an individual,” he says.  “We tend to handle more difficult cases than, say, your average consumer firm, because we get a lot of business cases and individuals who will be business cases.”

Anyone trying to become a bankruptcy attorney today should try to learn as much as they can about both the business and consumer aspects of bankruptcy, Scura believes.  He says: “It makes you more marketable if you're trying to get different jobs.  You should know it all anyway if you're going to do bankruptcy work, because the issues invariably overlap, especially today.”  Young attorneys should also take care to be “selective in the types and amount of cases that they take in.”

Helping his clients to get control over their financial situation is a rewarding experience, says Scura.  “I always feel good when a case goes through—no matter if it is big or small.  I've done a service for these people.”

When you do business with Scura, Mealey, Wigfield & Heyer, LLP, they know that you have an important legal matter to resolve. For nearly 40 years, their firm has been meeting the legal needs of individuals, families and business clients throughout the Hoboken metro region and eastern New Jersey.

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