I look at fall as a time of transition. On one side, there are the laid-back, sunny days of summer, and on the other is the cheerful chaos of the holidays. That chaos kicks off with Halloween, which my three girls have been looking forward to for months. At 13, Emmie just wants to go off with her friends to trick-or-treat, but Gigi and Sloane need us with them every step of the way. If they weren’t so cute in their costumes — last year they chose an “Alice in Wonderland” theme and went as Alice and the Mad Hatter — it might get a little tiring, but Lyn and I usually enjoy taking them from house to house. Last year, hero that she is, Lyn even managed it on crutches.
Of course, before that holiday fun arrives, there is some serious business to take care of. From a legal and financial perspective, fall is a really important time of year — it’s a brief window you can use to evaluate where you stand and take action before the holidays hit, if necessary. If you’re facing a legal issue that will hang over you and your family during the holiday season, now is the time to ask for help. Wait too long, and you’ll be inundated with Thanksgiving and Christmas obligations. Time will pass in a flash, and before you know it, it will be too late for us to help you without accruing extra expenses.
Think of legal obligations just like you would medical ones. If there’s a problem on the horizon, the best thing you can do is get it taken care of today, before it spirals out of control. For example, I just turned 50, which means that I have to take care of a whole lot of medical stuff I’d rather not deal with. I might have fallen into the temptation to put it off, but when I was chatting with a friend recently, I found out he’d just been to the funeral of a man who’d died from colon cancer. As soon as I heard that, I knew it was time to call up my doctor before I was next. Legal problems are the same way — your best bet is to deal with them now because you never know what they’ll be like next year.
If you’re facing foreclosure litigation and know that you’re in trouble, make it your priority to get help. That way, it will be easier to deal with the problem. The earlier you retain us, the less expensive your initial retainer will be. If you wait until the last minute, we can still help you, but the expenses will go up significantly to cover the added work to save your home. This is true for real estate litigation as well. One general contractor I worked with, who was in a dispute over a job, waited until just before the arbitration to retain us. If he had retained us earlier, we could have tried to settle the dispute prior to a costly arbitration. Because he had waited so long, he ended up owing more in legal fees than he hoped to win!
Being proactive will also help bring you peace of mind. Every night, our firm gets emails from people needing help at 3 a.m. because legal issues are keeping them awake. The last thing you need when you’re dealing with the holiday stress of in-laws and buying presents is to be short on sleep.
In my experience, people get into these problems because they bury their heads in the sand. Don’t fall into the trap of doing that — or if you already have, consider this your wake-up call to stop. Avoiding an issue won’t help you or your family, but if you call us now, we can help you navigate the legal waters and address your real estate problems. All you need to do is take that first step and reach out because it’s much harder for us to find you than it is for you to find us. If you’re reading this and need help, call us today at 510-982-3001 for a free consultation, and we’ll do our best to get you some peace of mind before the holidays.