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You caught this a day ahead of me.

The whole thing's so incoherent. "Doesn't deter filings" though they're way down? Doesn't force as many 13s as "expected"? Who expected?

I've got a deferred post for tomorrow I think in the morning that's basicially going to say it's WAY too early to tell anything. Maybe we'll have a clue about the long-run 5 going into 13 and the long-run filing rate after the backlog gets worked out, which I don't anticipate until at least the end of Feb. and which I don't expect stats for until the end of March.

I just grabbed two paras from your take for an update to tomorrow's post.

You're right, Tom, that it's way too early to decide whether BAPCPA has been a failure. In any case, the Washington Post has offered a stunningly shallow analysis of the situation.

I was interviewed for this article by Caroline Mayer. In our first conversation we spoke about service activity stats and I emailed her some stats we had compiled (# of sessions, # of free sessions, etc). Then, a few weeks later, I heard from another counseling agency that the story was getting finalized and that it featured my quotes. I thought, "what quotes"? I hadn't provided any. We spoke again during the week right before Christmas to go over my quotes and during our conversation I became alarmed at the so-called quotes because they were unrecognizeable to me and told her these did not represent me at all. One quote was close to "It's not working!" (meaning the new law) and she had another alarming quote that I had never said. She became very indignant and insisted I had said these things - "it's right on my screen!"...and then said "this is the last conversation we're having", after which she HUNG UP abruptly.

I wrote her editor, Martha Hamilton, to complain about Mayer's unprofessional treatment and to request that any Springboard information be withdrawn since it appeared that an obvious preconceived notion would be driving the reporter's story and I didn't want our data to be misused. Here's her response:

"Ms. Wilkman:

Thanks for your e-mail. I apologize for Caroline's hanging up on you, and I expect she has already called to do the same. I think it is a mark of professionalism, rather than unprofessionalism, to call and make sure that quotes are accurate and correctly attributed before a story appears in print. That is what Caroline was doing, but I can understand that it would be upsetting to find a quotation misattributed to you, however inadvertently. I can assure you, having worked with Caroline on the story, that she didn't go into it with a preconceived notion. But she shouldn't have hung up on you, no matter how contentious the conversation. My apologies."
Martha Hamilton

To her credit, Caroline Mayer did call later and left an apology message.

She was also pursuing the free session issue intently and it was my sense - and I may be wrong - that she was pushing the "agencies should be doing most or all of these sessions for free" meme. This is a big inside baseball sort of subject that we should get into more detail some other time, but it is part of the nit-picking of credit counseling agencies that bk reform opponents pursue.

So, we were not mentioned in her article, and that's fine with me.

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