Knowing the type of bankruptcy that’s best for you

Feb 18

Filing for bankruptcy has never been quite appealing for most people. Some are hesitant to file for bankruptcy because of the stigma it may possibly bring. However, bankruptcy can be your best option in getting back on track. Furthermore, filing for bankruptcy can be your only way in securing your assets while trying to rebuild your finances.

According to the website of Hong Law, PLC, bankruptcy could be your way to re-establish your life and obtain financial freedom. Depending on your circumstances, there are different types of bankruptcy filings that would best suit your needs. We can group bankruptcy types into two: personal and business.

Personal bankruptcy

When you file for a personal type of bankruptcy, you are trying to deal with debts that affect you or your family. It can be student loans, credit card debts, car payments, home mortgages, and other personal debts. Personal bankruptcy offers two reliefs that you may choose from:

  • Chapter 7 – The main objective of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is to discharge or wipe-out unsecured debts, such credit card and personal loans. Chapter 7 is perfect for those with no stable source of income, or for those with a monthly income that’s within or below the median
  • Chapter 13 – Individuals with a stable source of income and with assets higher than the median may benefit more from Chapter 13 than from Chapter 7 filing. Chapter 13 offers wider range of protection than Chapter 7, and can protect the applicant from wage garnishment, foreclosure, and repossession.

Business bankruptcy

Businesses that are experiencing great financial hardships may benefit the most from business bankruptcy. There are three different business bankruptcy options: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 12.

  • Chapter 7 – This type of filing is effective in discharging or eliminating small business debts.
  • Chapter 11 – Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing may help large companies and businesses who are operating in the red to reconstruct their finances while doing business as usual.
  • Chapter 12 – Chapter 12 bankruptcy is particularly designed for family fishermen and family farmers to re-establish their finances. This is pretty much like Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but with additional benefits that are tailor-fitted for those engaged in farming and fishing operations.
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Do I have the right to sue if I was bitten by a dog?

Feb 17

Dog attacks and dog bites have been associated with numerous emergency department visits and hospital stays in different states across U.S. In severe circumstances, dog attacks have also been responsible to a number of deaths in the country. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, more than half of dog bite incidents in the country involve children, although anyone could be vulnerable to dog attacks.

Hospitalization and emergency department visits could be too costly for someone who’s been bitten by a dog. Furthermore, a person injured by a dog might even need to take several days off work, resulting in lost wages and productivity. In cases wherein a victim has been seriously and irreversibly harm, he may find it more difficult to perform the tasks he can previously perform with ease. Ultimately, injuries from dog attack may even affect your capacity to earn a living.

Being attacked by a dog can be emotionally traumatic, too. Some individuals may even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being bitten by a dog. Unfortunately, people living with PTSD may find it hard to get back on track without treatment and professional guidance.

These and more could be grounds of legal action against the dog owner involved. However, you should note that dog owners are not always responsible for the damages brought about by an animal attack. Dog owners won’t be liable for a dog attack if:

  • The person is trying commit a crime
  • The person is a trespasser, which means s/he is not allowed to enter the premises
  • The person is proven to hurt or attack the dog, or provoke the dog to do such action
  • The person is a practicing veterinarian or a dog professional
  • The person was bitten by a military or police dog while in duty

When attacked by a dog, it is important to seek professional guidance to know if you are eligible to claim compensation, and what legal option would best suit you.

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The dangers of texting while driving

Feb 15

Thousands of accidents that happen in U.S. roads each year have been associated with distracted driving. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,328 people have been killed in accidents involving distracted driving in 2012, while an additional 421,000 people have suffered from injuries due to accidents involving a distracted driver.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, car-related accidents caused by a distracted driver can wreak havoc on the victims’ lives. Car crashes may not only cause irreversible injuries, it may ultimately result in deaths. And texting while driving is considered among the top culprits that notoriously take the lives of many American motorists and passengers on the road.

Texting is considered a complete driving distraction, as it takes all your attention away from the road and into texting. Here is how texting can profoundly impact your focus in driving:

Texting is a visual distraction

Texting requires you to see the screen of your mobile to obtain and send information. Unfortunately, taking your eyes off the road even just for split seconds may trigger life-changing accidents. Also, the visual distraction brought about by texting makes you less vigilant of road hazards, making youyou’re your occupants more prone to crashes.

Texting is a manual distraction

When driving, it is important that both your hands are on the wheel to ensure complete control. However, because texting requires you to take one of your hands off the wheel, you are reducing your control of the car, making you more prone to road-related accidents. Texting while driving can be especially dangerous for those whose car is in manual transmission, as it can cause you to lose control of both the wheel and the gear.

Texting is a cognitive distraction

Reading SMS or responding to one can make you think of something else other than driving. Unfortunately, a driver whose focus is not on driving could endanger his own life, the lives of his occupants, and the lives of anyone sharing the road with him.

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Divorce and credit card debts: Can they go together?

Feb 14

While some couples believe that the only option out of a dysfunctional marriage is a divorce, a few of them are quite hesitant in filing their legal papers because of one thing: credit card debt. Some are apprehensive that when they get divorced, they could bear sole liability of the debt, or at least be ordered to pay larger sums. But according to the lawyers of Holmes, Diggs & Eames, PLLC, proper legal guidance is all what it takes to file for divorce even if in debt.

First, it is important to note that most financial planners would advise that you get out of joint credit card debt first before ending your marriage. This can be done by dividing the debt and paying it off completely, or transferring it to your individual cards. However, for some, these options are not always available.

In the U.S., there are two systems in classifying marital properties and liabilities. Most states implement common law rules, wherein a married person solely owns the property s/he acquired, unless s/he expressly stated that his/her spouse would hold the property jointly. This same legal principle rules for credit card debts: if a married couple acquired credit card debt under his/her name, s/he will be the one to pay for it.

The scenario is different when you are living in a state where community property rules are implemented. In a community property state, any property acquired by married couples during their marriage is considered communal, and should be owned jointly by both. This principle can also be applied to credit card debt, which means any credit card debt incurred by either couple during their marriage are considered shared, and should be paid jointly. However, there is also a possibility that you will not be responsible for a debt incurred by your spouse that did not benefit your marriage in any way.

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Avoiding motorcycle crashes

Feb 13

Every year, thousands of people are being injured due to motorcycle-related crashes. According to the website of Green Bay personal injury lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, incidents involving motorcycles could be a result of almost anything: poor road condition, DUI, reckless and distracted driving, defective motorcycle components, among many others.

In most cases, drivers could get involved in a motorcycle-related incident if he is still developing awareness of the risks associated with these two-wheeled vehicles. So, it is important for motorcycle drivers to recognize risks that could trigger injurious, sometimes deadly, motorcycle crashes:

A vehicle switches lane into you

When on the road, some car drivers are ‘programmed’ to watch out for and react to cars, but not to motorcycles, possibly because motorcycles are smaller and are harder to notice. There are instances when a car veers towards your lane without you being noticed. To avoid rear hitting the car in front of you, always maintain safe distance. That way, you are allowing yourself enough time to react when such scenarios happen.

A vehicle turn left towards you in an intersection

Again, because motorcycles are more difficult to notice, drivers turning left in an intersection may fail to see you or may misjudge your distance and speed. When entering into an intersection, remember to slow down by covering your brakes slowly. You should also be aware of any signs that could indicate that a car is turning in front of you. Signal lights are the best way to determine what direction the car will take in its turn. Also, a gap between the car and the center gutter might indicate that it is preparing for a left turn.

Road obstruction in a blind corner

Some motorcycle-related accidents are triggered by road obstructions ahead of a blind corner. Because of too much speed, it can be too late for motorcycle drivers not to hit the obstruction after rounding a corner. To avoid this situation, always enter a curve slowly, so as to give yourself enough time to react to road obstructions.

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When do you need to outsource?

Feb 12

Outsourcing has profoundly changed how people do business nowadays. In this day and age where employees value technical know-hows and personal growth rather than company loyalty, more and more employees are offering their services as freelancers. But how would you know if outsourcing will benefit your business? Here are some of the circumstances when you need to seriously consider outsourcing.

The project is seasonal or short-termed

According to Pinoy Partners Outsourcing Center, Inc., (click here to view their website), committing to employees long term for a short-term project could cost you a lot. With short-term outsourcing, you get to enjoy the services you need without committing to long-term contracts that demand benefits and annual salary increases.

The project requires specialized skills

There are skills that are difficult to replicate in-house. This can be especially true if the nature of your business is not in line with the service that you temporarily need. With outsourcing, you get to enjoy specialized service that has been honed with experience in working with different businesses other than yours.

The project needs special equipment

Buying your own equipment for temporary, seasonal, and short-term operations could be capital-intensive. Instead of buying expensive and highly-specialized tools and machineries, businesses now have the option to outsource, allowing them to focus their resources on things that matter more.

The drawbacks

Ultimately, the goal of outsourcing is to give you the highest quality possible without having to spend too much time and resources reproducing the service you need in-house. You should also note, however, that outsourcing has its own set of challenges. For instance, some businesses may find it difficult to find an agency that’s both affordable and can deliver high quality outputs. Some agencies, on the other hand, are too busy that the turn-around time can sometimes be compromised. Problems with communications may also arise, especially if you are trying to outsource services from countries with different time zones.

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Understanding the differences between invitees, licensees, and trespassers

Feb 10

Premises owners have the responsibility to ensure that visitors and occupants in his establishment are safe from any injurious accidents arising from any hazard. If a plaintiff successfully proved that the injuries he sustained were a result of the property owner’s negligence, the owner could be liable for the damages the victim incurred. This legal doctrine is called premises liability, and this set of rules may vary from state to state.

But if you will ask a Des Moines personal injury lawyer about the duty of care a property owner has on the victim, he would say that it varies depending on the status of the injured occupier. In premises liability, there are three types of occupiers: invitees, licensees, and trespassers:

Invitees

Invitees are occupiers that have been invited by the property owner for legal purposes. The invitation can either be expressed or implied, and is usually for the benefit of the property owner. Store customers are typically categorized as invitees. Contractors who the property owner contacted to do some repair works are also regarded as invitees. Property owners have the highest duty of care for invitees. It means that property owners have the responsibility to eliminate hazards that could endanger invitees.

Licensees

Licensees are occupiers who have no obligations whatsoever for the property owner, but are explicitly or implicitly welcomed by the owner to enter the premises. A neighbour who frequents a property owner’s home can be classified as a licensee. Unlike invitees, licensees enjoy less duty of care from property owners, although owners are expected to warn licensees about the dangers in his premises to avoid injurious accidents.

Trespassers

Trespassers are those who are not lawfully allowed to enter someone else’s premises. Although the law typically does not protect trespassers from inherent dangers, property owners are not allowed to create traps that would intentionally hurt them. However, circumstances could be completely different if the trespasser is a child. Because young children oftentimes don’t have an idea what could hurt them, an owner could be liable for failing to secure attractive nuisances that have put the child in danger.

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Why do brakes fail?

Feb 09

Every year, numerous car-related incidents have occurred due to brake failure. Unfortunately, car accidents involving faulty brakes can be debilitating, and at times, fatal. West Palm Beach car accident attorneys would probably point out how some instances of brake failure are a result of faulty brake components that have been manufactured below quality standards. In most cases, however, brake failure is a result of poor car maintenance. Here, we’ll get to learn three of the most common causes of brake failure:

Brake oil leak
Brake oil serves as the ‘cable’ which connects your brake pedal to your pistons. When you slam your brakes, brake oil applies pressure to your brake pistons and callipers to initiate the whole process of braking. However, when brake oil leaks into your brake components, it may interfere with friction, causing your brakes to fail. Before hitting the road, check if your brake components are leaking oil. If so, contact your mechanic for a brake repair.

Inadequate brake oil
A brake pedal that’s too soft could mean that the level of your brake oil is too low. Inspect brake oil level before leaving your driveway. Also, brake oil should be replaced every four years or 48,000 miles whichever comes first.

Worn out brake pads
Brake pads are important brake components that initiate friction. If you hear a squeal every time you hit your brakes, chances are your brake pads are so thin that the friction is now being initiated at your brake’s rotor. Brake pads should be regularly replaced, usually every year, to prevent wear out.

Hard spots in brake rotors and drums
When your brakes overheat, your brake drums or rotors may develop hard spots (or hot spots) in which friction is lesser. Decreased friction could mean less braking power, increasing your risk of car-related incidents.

Vigilance is always the key in preventing brake-related accidents. By properly maintaining your brakes and inspecting them before you hit the road, you are significantly reducing your risk of getting into a road crash.

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Why many Americans are choosing mediation to reach divorce arrangement

Feb 08

Getting out of marriage can be an emotionally-charged experience. The uncertainty of parting ways and living separate lives can be very daunting. However, for some couples whose marriage has completely been torn apart, divorce could be the healthiest option in getting their lives back on track.

The most challenging part in a divorce is obtaining an arrangement that’s beneficial to all parties involved. Deciding who’s going to pay who, who’s going to get what, and who will take care of the kids are almost always the points of contention among divorcing couples. That’s why it is so important for divorcing couples to seek help from a third party that would help them decide what will work best.

A Monmouth divorce mediator will probably be aware of how practical and handy it is for divorcing couples to seek mediation while undergoing divorce. Here are just some of the many reasons why more and more divorcing Americans are seeking help of third-party mediators:

It keeps the costs down

Mediation sessions are far cheaper than a series of legal hearing. Also, lawyers are not required to attend mediation sessions, which can greatly cut legal costs. However, if one spouse insists on attending a mediation session with his/her legal representative, it is advisable that the other party should do the same.

It keeps everything personal

Mediation allows the divorcing couples to do the talking, not the laws. Legal principles have the tendency to be stiff and impersonal, and may give unsatisfactory results. Mediation, on the other hand, gives both couples a chance to arrive at a settlement that’s tailor-fitted to their own needs and circumstances. It also allows the couple, not the court, to control the whole process of settlement.

Mediation is confidential

Because mediation is done between you and your spouse with the help of a third-party mediator, sessions will not go into public record. This would allow both couples to take care of their privacy while dealing with their divorce.

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How a single criminal charge may haunt you for life

Feb 07

Merly Haggard, in his song “Branded Man,” told a story of how a convicted man was trying to “hold his head up” after serving his sentence in prison. But as the man tried to live a normal life after jail, he still can’t, as if stigma follows him everywhere he goes. True enough, being branded with a criminal charge can leave a permanent mark on your name, and this mark can stain you for life.

According to the website of the Law Offices of Richard A. Portale, P.C., charges such as drug possession and use can haunt you for life. People convicted of drug charges may find it difficult to get back on track and turn their lives around. Ironically, this stigma is still prevalent even if President Obama has heightened his efforts in restoring the rights and opportunities for those who have previously been charged guilty and are now trying their best to return to the society and live normal lives.

Criminal charges and family rights

If you have previously been convicted of a criminal charge while in the middle of a child custody case, chances are the court would provide you less custody and visitation rights. Furthermore, if the charge is related to drugs and domestic violence, visitation might be more limited, stringent, and sometimes even monitored. This is because the court assesses your capability of taking care of your child with different factors, and that heavily include criminal charges.

Criminal charges and access to other rights

Individuals who have been charged with misdemeanor may find it more difficult to apply for housing and car loans. Restricted access to rights such as these could make it more difficult for them to rebuild their lives and start over again. And because life choices are limited due to a crime conviction, individuals who have been previously charged are at higher risk of committing crimes again.

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