In the beginning, Omaha bankruptcy attorneys used typewriters
Not so many years ago, when George H.W. Bush was still president, most bankruptcy attorneys in Omaha used typewriters and a lot of carbon paper to prepare bankruptcy petitions. The year was 1989 when I prepared my first bankruptcy petition. I remember it clearly because I had to use pre-printed bankruptcy forms that were purchased from a legal supply company. I was really excited to put that first form into the IBM Selectric typewriter! When a typo occurred, the original and 3 copies of the carbon copy had to be corrected. What a joy! All that I could think of was how advanced this “technology” was. After all, this was an ELECTRIC typewriter with power backspace and carriage return!
Bankruptcy technology in Omaha advances! The first software programs
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the first commercially available bankruptcy preparation software started hitting the market. In my second year as a bankruptcy attorney, I forked out $300 for a single user bankruptcy program. It was very exciting and a 1000% better than using a typewriter! How could life get any better? It was an amazing advancement on preparing legal documents, let alone bankruptcy documents. Such documents are required to be in a certain order and the creditors must be alphabetized. Of course, the debts must be added up and the numbers compiled. Imagine how tedious that would be doing it manually? If your client gave you a few extra creditors to “throw in” at the last moment….go get the adding machine again! The first bankruptcy software program were, by today’s standards, unsophisticated, but their usefulness was amazing.
Omaha bankruptcy attorney harnesses Lotus 1-2-3 to the Chapter 13 practice
Yes, there was a period of time in which Lotus 1-2-3 was the biggest name in the spreadsheet world, especially in the accounting and finance departments. Microsoft Excel? What’s that? Truly, Lotus 1-2-3 was a Godsend for the Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney. Chapter 13 Plans are very technical and math sensitive. Moreover, there are a huge number of variables that are constantly in motion. Of course, if one of those variables changes, such as an the interest rate paid to a creditor or the agreed upon value of an asset, the required monthly payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee potentially changes. Having a sophisticated technological tool available at your finger tips to instantaneously see results of a change in a variable was an enormous step forward. Today, those original Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets inspired and evolved into even more powerful Microsoft Excel solutions for the Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney.
Bankruptcy technologies in 2012
Ironically, the commercially available bankruptcy software programs in 2012 are really inadequate on a number of fronts. They are dramatically better than those from 10 years ago, but there is so much room for improvement. Walking in lockstep with any particular software program handcuffs the Chapter 13 Omaha bankruptcy attorney from truly customizing a reorganizational Plan for his or her client. You simply cannot get the level of detail and tweaking that is necessary in so many Chapter 13 cases. Of course, you can hand script added details by manually computing the numbers and literally typing those words into your Chapter 13 Plan. But, then you lose the efficiency and accuracy that computers are best at. However, this is exactly how some Omaha Bankruptcy Attorneys compute their Chapter 13 Plans to this day!!
At John T. Turco & Associates, every Chapter 13 Plan (and every amendment to a plan) is created, edited, analyzed and produced from a highly customized and proprietary technological process that evolves on a constant basis as the bankruptcy laws and rules change. Yes, it can certainly be hand crafted and customized on the fly, but absolutely critical legal and mathematical variables are constantly being monitored to ensure that the Plan is viable, in compliance with the law and most importantly, serves the needs of our bankruptcy clients. When new variables or factors come into play as the Plan goes through the approval process, it takes just a moment to make the adjustment instead of starting all over again.
State of the art technology for development and implementation of Chapter 13 plans is, by definition, ever changing. Embracing and meeting those changes with an eye toward quality is what we do best!