Note From the Team
While summer is a great time for rest and relaxation, it is also a great time to prepare for your future filings. The NextChapter Team has been hard at work with new features and tools within the app to set our customers up for success in the second half of the year.
We have just recently wrapped our Docs Academy Webinar series on our new document automation feature NextChapter Docs. Check out the sections below so that you don’t miss out on our future live webinars, software update announcements, industry news, and real customer stories.
Upcoming Webinars and Blurbs
Join us today for a free webinar at 12pm EDT to learn about NextChapter’s Virtual Paralegal offerings.
This is a great webinar to learn in-depth about on-demand paralegal support on a per case and hourly basis. The Virtual Paralegals can help with tasks such as paperwork, research, client intake, and anything else you might need. We will also go over pricing, show you how to get started, and answer any questions you have!
By no means are we looking to replace any of the paralegals we know and love, and work with every day! But we understand firsthand the various situations our attorneys find themselves in. Whether they need extra help on a few cases, don’t have an in-house paralegal, business is picking up but they can’t justify full-time staff yet, or they simply want some help with admin tasks so their in-house paralegals can focus on clients, etc. We’ve got you covered!
*Note: If you are a paralegal interested in joining our network please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to apply! Currently, we are actively seeking Spanish-speaking paralegals with bankruptcy expertise.
Doc Creator Updates:
The capitalization tool in the Doc Editor is now available for use on all merge tags
You can now select pronouns for your clients that will be available as merge tags in Doc Creator. Learn more about using those roles here.
Bug Fixes and other Updates:
We implemented a new process for importing PACER notices that will prevent future bugs
The Liquidation Analysis has now been added to our North Dakota Chapter 13 plan
We have updated the New Mexico Chapter 13 plan for changes that went into effect on 7/1/22
Wildcard (Unused Homestead) exemption updates are now live
US Foreclosure Rates in 2022: In the first 6 months of 2022, the mortgage default and foreclosure rate is climbing slowly but with 41-year high inflation rates, the rate is starting to climb back to the normal rates seen pre-pandemic. According to ATTOM, the rates in the first half of 2022 are up 153% from the same time a year ago but down just 1% from the same period two years ago.
Buy Now Pay Later Loans: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) loans became a popular option for consumers to purchase necessities such as groceries with interest-free plans. This loan modal originated during a time of very low-interest rates which allowed the BNPL firms to offer the loans at low cost to the consumer, usually interest-free while charging online retailers a fee for each transition. However, the convenience of these loans creates a greater risk for consumers to overspend or obtain multiple loans creating a strain on paying the loans back in time. According to Newsweek, there is a growing concern about the way in which these loans are regulated and reported as they are not tracked by the Federal Reserve since BNPL data is not typically provided by non-bank sources.
Rose Bourdouille is a paralegal at Dwyer & Knight, which is located in Flagler Beach, Florida. Dwyer & Knight was founded in 2004, and they focus their practice on Personal Injury, Bankruptcy, Family, Criminal Defense, and Estate Planning. Rose began her career as a litigation paralegal, but once Dwight and Knight began practicing bankruptcy, she saw how much it helped families in need, which inspired her to move into that area of law. Although she still does litigation, bankruptcy is becoming a big part of what she does at the firm.
Dwyer & Knight have been NextChapter users since 2020, and Rose started using NextChapter in 2021. The firm decided to make the switch to NextChapter because it’s web-based instead of server-based. Rose loves NextChapter’s DebtorCC integration because it is already integrated and nothing has to be uploaded by their firm. She also appreciates that NextChapter is very user-friendly, and provides great features that many other bankruptcy systems are lacking.
When Rose is not working on cases, she is out jogging or spending time outdoors with her children and husband. She is also a Family Life Director at her church and teaches the Youth class, where she can positively influence younger people.
Team Building Ideas
2020 left many offices working remote or hybrid, making it more difficult to connect with colleagues. Here are a few great team bonding ideas you can implement at your firm, even while working remotely! (These will also work even if you are back in the office!)
Take the office and enjoy a sports outing! This does not have to be an expensive professional tear game. Minor league baseball teams will often host business day games specifically for team outings! This can be enjoyed by sports lovers or anyone who just wants an excuse to get together and enjoy a cold beer and hot dog!
EOD Virtual Team Happy Hour
Whether weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, an End of Day Virtual Happy Hour is a great way to catch up with colleagues and wind down from a busy week. To show appreciation, mail happy hour kits, ice cream, charcuterie boards, or just something the entire team can enjoy together, even while virtual.
City History/Educational Trip
Check out your city tourist websites and see what they offer! A canoe ride in a city river, a city tour/scavenger hunt, or a museum. This is a great way to bond with your coworkers and learn something new!
Community Service Day
Check out your local food pantry, animal shelter, soup kitchen, etc., and take an afternoon for team bonding and giving back to your community!
What better way to bring the office together than a little bit of friendly competition? The NextChapter team took a city pedal wagon with trivia near downtown Columbus. Don’t have a pedal wagon? Try putt-putt, ax-throwing, bowling… the possibilities are endless!
Keep a Fun Team Chat
Create an office chat group for entertainment and keep work out of it! This is where people can share what movies they’ve watched, what books they are reading, their Wordle scores, new places to go out and eat, and anything else non-business-related.