Georgia C&F and Debt

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lionqueen

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Georgia C&F and Debt

Postby lionqueen » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:18 pm

I'm planning to sit for the February 2020 Georgia bar, so I'm doing the C&F application right now. I turned in the first part of the application in early July and am now turning in the additional documentation (birth certificate, driver's history, etc.). I was a little concerned about my application because I had a bill that went to collections a few years ago - a $50 utility bill that I missed when I moved to a different state, since paid back. I do also have two speeding tickets, and perhaps stupidly disclosed my history of depression (with an explanation of my current medication & therapy).

Then a couple days ago, I got a notice in the mail that a medical bill has gone to collections. The total amount is around $3000, and I have contacted the collections agency and worked out a payment plan. I do sort of have an explanation - I had a pretty severe medical crisis last year that resulted in a pile of medical bills. This summer I'm working an unpaid public interest position, finances are tight, and one of the medical bills got away from me through a combination of panic and forgetting. It's not a great explanation.

How screwed am I? I know the bar cares way more about recent events and I'm panicking.

HairySmokeball

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Re: Georgia C&F and Debt

Postby HairySmokeball » Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:42 pm

You are not screwed. A couple of folks I went to LS with got the C&F with Georgia with some really bad collections on their credit but were in payment plans that Georgia was satisfied with. One even had a judgement that was a recent as 3 months prior to submitting her C&F application. She did have to pay off the judgement to get certified, but got it done. I remember her showing me her credit report and it was in the low LOW 500's. She is now a practicing attorney.

b290

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Re: Georgia C&F and Debt

Postby b290 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:30 pm

lionqueen wrote:I'm planning to sit for the February 2020 Georgia bar, so I'm doing the C&F application right now. I turned in the first part of the application in early July and am now turning in the additional documentation (birth certificate, driver's history, etc.). I was a little concerned about my application because I had a bill that went to collections a few years ago - a $50 utility bill that I missed when I moved to a different state, since paid back. I do also have two speeding tickets, and perhaps stupidly disclosed my history of depression (with an explanation of my current medication & therapy).

Then a couple days ago, I got a notice in the mail that a medical bill has gone to collections. The total amount is around $3000, and I have contacted the collections agency and worked out a payment plan. I do sort of have an explanation - I had a pretty severe medical crisis last year that resulted in a pile of medical bills. This summer I'm working an unpaid public interest position, finances are tight, and one of the medical bills got away from me through a combination of panic and forgetting. It's not a great explanation.

How screwed am I? I know the bar cares way more about recent events and I'm panicking.

You're not screwed. The applicants that get denied (because of debt) usually either rack up too much (usually we're talking eye-watering amounts) and/or make no effort to pay them. This is nationwide - not just Georgia. The amounts you're talking about are nowhere near that.

My app was for a different state but what saved me was my efforts to pay them - I meticulously eliminated the debts one-by-one. I'm much more financially responsible now, but given the history, it's understandable for my application to be flagged. To put it in perspective, I had a medical bill (still paying for, but almost paid off), old utility bills, a closed checking account (insufficient funds), student loans that were in default at one point, tickets (parking and speeding), tax debts (due to our HR dept mis-characterizing my tax status), a repossession (with an accompanying civil judgment and tax garnishments), and even an eviction (I'm still living at the same place and I paid off the balance shortly after). Almost all of which happened after law school when I didn't pass the bar and lost my job. What made it worse, the job I ended up getting didn't pay much, so I had to eliminate them over time. Currently, I have the auto loan to be paid off, the medical bill, and I'm paying the student loans. Everything else is gone. I'm getting sworn in (after my vacation).

You will get flagged, and you'll probably do an interview. Own up to your debts - make sure you know every one that you have - and show attempts to pay them. If you can't pay them now, show a plan on how you will pay them. Those reviewing your application are human beings and understand when you're in a bad situation.

In short: it's not the situation that sinks you, it's what you do about it that does.

My $.02



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