When I worked full time as a Paralegal for a small downtown Leesburg law firm, I handled most of the bankruptcy paperwork. We had an appointment that ended up changing everything for me. A lady came in and explained that her and her husband both had one of their parents pass in the same week and Husband lost his job during that week also. They were already 3 months late on the mortgage due to the wife being laid off before. They just could not get caught up and was going on 4 months late. She wanted to file bankruptcy. I told her that she may have value in her house and she can sell the house and move somewhere cheaper because they did not want to be house poor and wasn't sure when things would be back to normal because it was difficult to find a job. Since there was no foreclosure notice yet with a sale date, just a threat, I called the mortgage company and asked them to hold off while they put the home on the market. The mortgage was $250K. The home value was more, but I wasn't sure, since I was not an agent so I asked her to contact a real estate agent and sell the home and in the meantime, we will hold off your mortgage company from foreclosure, just send us a copy of the listing agreement so we can show good faith to the bank. Within 2 days, she said a real estate agent said she will buy my house for $400K because that is all it was worth (This was by a well known brand real estate company, so she trusted the agent). I said, great that will get you out of the mortgage and have some money in your pocket. The sale took place. Within the same month, the agent that bought the home had the house listed for $750K and it went to sale for $735K. Our client found out she was taken advantage of because she was going through a bad time. I felt sick to my stomach. Within the next month after all of this happening, I signed up for real estate classes and decided no one will ever take advantage of anyone I know or anyone that crosses my path asking for help. I became an agent then a broker and have always taken care of the law firm's clients and today, I take care of more than one law firms clients needs. My real estate business is mostly referrals from the law firms that I work with. I feel this career path was meant for me and I have helped so many people during the worst times and made it easier to deal with through bankruptcy sales, short sales, etc. The more complicated, the more rewarding at the end. So one failure turned into a great thing.
p.s. By the way, the real estate agent that took advantage of our client, did not get away with that, she was sued and reported to the board and her license was revoked.