In “Rich Famous, and Stars of Prime Time”, a recent U.S. News and World Report discussed Oprah’s success and quotes Oprah herself: “If there’s a thread running through each show we do, it’s that ‘You are not alone’.” Reporter Amy Bernstein comments, “It is OK for Oprah’s viewers …to share their pain with her and to divulge their weaknesses because there is nothing she has not seen…”

As a bankruptcy attorney in Indiana for almost twenty five years, I hope to bring that same message to my bankruptcy clients and blog readers. It’s absolutely true – it’s OK to share your pain and divulge your weaknesses because there’s nothing (at least it seems that way to me) I have not seen or heard in the area of finances and debts and the legal issues surrounding debts. I like to say I’m in the “fresh start” business, helping my clients focus on the future, on “What’s next?”, instead of focusing on regrets about the past. And, whether it’s about foreclosure issues, or car repossession, individual bankruptcy, small business bankruptcy, or student loan debt, the message is the same – let’s focus on the “now” and on the future.

The magazine story says that “For Oprah, Martha, and the Donald, their first names are enough.” Well, I know that even both names of Mark Zuckerberg aren’t enough for instant worldwide recognition, but that’s just fine. My professional life is devoted to working at bankruptcy court and counseling tens of thousands of people in my offices around the state of Indiana, very far from the Silver Screen and the Golden Stage. But my messages – they’re right up there along with Oprah’s: “YOU ARE NOT ALONE.” And “THERE IS HELP’.