Getting Help With Your Bankruptcy

Sued for Improper Child Supervision? 3 Things to Consider to Determine Fault

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sued for Improper Child Supervision? 3 Things to Consider to Determine Fault

If you are a teacher, babysitter, nanny, or are otherwise in charge of children, your primary job is to ensure that the children are supervised properly. If a child gets hurt on your watch, there is a chance that you can be held liable for his or her injuries. One thing that will need to be determined is exactly how much supervision is adequate for the children you watch to help decide how much fault is yours. The following are some things to keep in mind: The Child’s Age The age of the child you are watching is going to help determine how much fault is yours. When in charge of kids, you are in charge of their activities and are tasked determining whether or not they are in an activity that is appropriate for their age. For example, if you are leading a class of three-year-olds that you leave unsupervised with scissors, chances are you are going to be held responsible if an injury occurs. The same cannot be said for a group of 13 year-old kids. Skill Levels Another thing to consider is the skill level of the child with regard to the activity they are involved in. A child that has strong skills in an activity may not need as much constant supervision as a child with little exposure. If you are taking a child swimming who has is a member of a swim team will not need as much supervision as a child who has little experience in the water. Things Out of Your Control There will be some instances in which a child is injured by circumstances outside of your control. Location can be one example. Going to a water park or country fair could result in your not being able to watch every single move of a group of kids since the area is so vast. Without proper planning and more adult eyes on the kids, accidents can happen. However, they cannot necessarily be blamed on you. Keeping kids safe is the top priority of any childcare provider, but protecting yourself legally is also very important. Always provide as much supervision as reasonably necessary. Keep in mind that a child can still get hurt right in front of your eyes, so know that things will not always land on your shoulders. If an injury does happen and the parents place blame on you, be sure to call a personal injury...

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Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Protection In Maryland

Posted by on Jul 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Protection In Maryland

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed in federal bankruptcy court in the flier’s home state, but each state has its own rules concerning exemptions, or property that you can keep when filing for bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy allows a debtor to repay creditors according to their disposable income, or money that is left over after essential bills are paid. Debtors can keep nearly all of their property unless they have substantial assets than can be liquidated to help to satisfy their debts. This is where state exemptions can make the difference between keeping or surrendering property in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. How do exemptions work? Exemptions are essential assets that you are allowed to keep no matter how much debt that you need to repay. The exemptions are broken down into categories. While some states simply follow the federally mandated exemptions in bankruptcy cases, other states allow their own exemptions to be used. For example, the federal homestead exemption for equity in your home is nearly $24000. This means that this amount of your equity is protected from creditors’ claims. If your home is worth $200,000 but you owe $180,000 on your mortgage, your home is safe from liquidation to pay creditors. However, if the mortgage is only $150,000, You must either surrender your home or pay the remaining $26,000 in unprotected equity to your creditors. Maryland is one of the states that follow the federal exemption for home equity. However, Maryland has some state exemptions that provide additional protection for a debtor’s assets. What are some of the Maryland state exemptions that differ from federal exemptions? Exemptions related to personal property are the most varied between federal and Maryland state exemptions. The federal exemptions concerning personal property are most specific concerning the amount that is exempt for individual items. For example, you are allowed to keep up to $3775 in equity in your vehicle and up to $12,625 in aggregate value for other personal possessions. However, the value of each individual possession can’t exceed $600. This places some higher-priced personal items beyond the protection of exemption. Maryland doesn’t provide a specific exemption for a vehicle, and the aggregate amount for personal items in less than the federal exemption. However, Maryland’s “wild card ” exemption offers a total of $11,000 in exemption for any personal property. The only limitation on a specific item is that you are limited to keeping $6000 in cash. Any other individual item has no value restriction, so you can technically save a single item that is valued at $11000 or less. Maryland also offers a $5000 “tools of the trade” exemption for items needed for your work. the federal exemption is only $2375. You also get an extra $1000 exemption for personal property such as appliances and clothing in Maryland, with no restriction of the value of individual items. If you’re filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy on your own in Maryland, you can save additional assets by informing yourself of every Maryland exemption.  However, filing for bankruptcy is complicated and requires understanding of legal terms. If you can hire a bankruptcy attorney to lead you through this difficult time, you may be able to save even more assets. Always go with a professional if you can, especially when it relates to...

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Exploring Your Bankruptcy Options

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Exploring Your Bankruptcy Options

If you are drowning under a sea of debt, then you might be seriously considering bankruptcy. However, there are actually two different kinds of bankruptcy, and they are very different in how they play out. To help you decide which is best for you, here is a comparison of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. What is the ultimate result? With Chapter 7, some of your assets will be sold off and all applicable debts will be erased. Debts that are not erased include mortgages, which tend to stay with you after bankruptcy. However, this only applies if you actually keep the home. If you do not keep the home, the burden of paying the mortgage may be removed. With Chapter 13, you will participate in a repayment plan, where the terms of your debts will be renegotiated. You will make scheduled payments that will be distributed amongst your creditors. How long do they take? Chapter 7 is often completed in well under a year and can be as short as a few months. Chapter 13 can take several years, and will end once you have met your repayment requirements. How much impact will they have on your life? Chapter 7 is quite intrusive and involves a detailed examination of your assets. The court will want to know how much money you have so that they can sell off your non-essential assets to appease your creditors. Some examples of essential assets include a car for transportation, a home, and a small amount of money to cover food and unforeseen circumstances. The exact determination of what you are allowed to keep often varies from case to case and will be based on an extensive examination of your financial means and assets.  Chapter 13 involves a similarly deep inspection of your financial affairs and it does last longer than Chapter 7, but you will also be allowed to keep your assets. With Chapter 13, you will need to continue to participate in the repayment plan for years and you will need to actively work towards paying off your debt instead of having an external party work towards that goal in your stead. What are the requirements for each? In order to qualify for Chapter 7 by default, your income needs to be lower than the median income for your state. If you make too much money, then you will either need to pass additional requirements or be directed to file for Chapter 13 instead. As for Chapter 13, you mostly just need to prove that you make enough money to participate in a repayment plan. How long will each stay on your credit score? Bankruptcies can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, but there are some exceptions. If you file for a particularly large loan or apply for a high-paying job, then your bankruptcy may be visible for longer than 10 years. To learn more, contact a bankruptcy...

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3 Advantages Of Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Advantages Of Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You may be in a huge financial bind for a number of reasons–a job loss, huge medical bills, or even just spending beyond your means. If you have reached a point where the debt you owe is far beyond what you are able to pay back, and you can’t afford to make monthly minimum payments on that debt, filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a solution. There are many benefits to filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy when the debts you owe are overwhelming, such as: Most Debts are Wiped Clean When you go through chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a good chance that the majority of your unsecured debt will be discharged and you will be relieved of the burden of paying it back. This includes credit card debt, medical bills, any accounts that are in collection, past due utility charges, and any money owed on lease agreements. It may take you a while to build up your credit score after filing for bankruptcy, but if you have been living with huge amounts of debt there is a good chance that your credit is already suffering. When your debts are discharged, you will no longer have to live with the stress of trying to figure out how to make the minimum payments on different accounts. No More Harassment from Creditors When you fall behind on payments, creditors and collection agencies can be ruthless in trying to get you to pay up. During your financial crisis, you probably get multiple calls a day from creditors, and some creditors may go as far as contacting your place of employment, which can be disruptive and embarrassing. As soon as you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, an automatic stay will be put into place, which makes it against the law for creditors to continue to contact you. You Can Most Likely Keep Your Home and Vehicle When you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, items that are high in value may be seized in order to be sold and the profits are used to pay off some of your debts. But the courts don’t want a person who files for bankruptcy to be left with nothing, which is why there are property exemptions. If you do not have a large amount of equity in your home (equity exemption amounts vary from state to state), you will be able to keep it a long as you continue to pay your mortgage.If your car is worth less than the exemption amount for vehicles in your state you will be able to keep it too; in the event that your vehicle is worth more than the exemption amount and is seized and sold, you will be paid the exemption amount which you can use to purchase a new vehicle. For professional legal help, contact a lawyer such as Richard S. Ross – Bankruptcy...

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When To Hire An Attorney If You Are Facing Foreclosure

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When To Hire An Attorney If You Are Facing Foreclosure

If you find yourself at risk of losing your home, hiring an attorney can be a practical option when you are trying to avoid or fight foreclosure. An attorney can explain your legal rights and obligations, negotiate new loan terms with your lender, assist you in completing the paperwork necessary to apply for a loan modification, or delay the foreclosure sale by helping you file for bankruptcy. When you are facing foreclosure, it pays to know in what situations hiring an attorney like Jeffrey S Arnold Attorney At Law P.C. can help. 1. You are confused about your legal rights. Although state laws regarding foreclosure vary, in most states, the lender must give you notice that you are in default. The notice must also explain the steps you need to take to get your mortgage loan out of default. If your mortgage loan documents include an acceleration clause, the lender has the legal right to demand full payment of the debt you owe as soon as you miss a single loan payment. You will be given a limited period of time to bring your mortgage loan current, which includes paying all interest, late penalties, and other fees due. 2. The lender made a mistake. An attorney can help you if the lender made a mistake and you did not default on your loan. You may have to take the lender to court to prove you are not in default. However, you must provide documentation to prove the lender made a mistake on your account and that you paid the principal and interest on time. If the bank or mortgage company is foreclosing on your property, an attorney may be able to stop the foreclosure by filing an order showing that the lender failed to give you adequate notice of the default or foreclosure proceedings. This may delay the foreclosure, but the lender can issue a new notice and start the proceedings again. 3. You were a victim of mortgage fraud. An attorney can help if you think you were the victim of predatory lending practices. The attorney will review your loan documents to make certain the lender complied with state and federal laws related to mortgage lending. If a forensic loan audit spots a problem, you can file a lawsuit against the lender. 4. You want to know if you qualify for bankruptcy. You can stop the foreclosure temporarily by filing for bankruptcy before the foreclosure sale. A bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if you are financially eligible for bankruptcy. Since filing for bankruptcy stalls the lender’s foreclosure action, it gives you time catch up on missed payments or negotiate new loan terms with your lender if you want to keep your home. 5. You need to stop the foreclosure proceedings. An attorney may be able to stop the foreclosure process without filing bankruptcy by successfully negotiating with your lender to: refinance your loan at a lower interest rate; lower your payments and extend the length of your loan; or give you time to sell your home and pay off the mortgage loan. Many attorneys have established relationships with area lenders and real estate agents so they know what people to contact. 6. You need help with a loan modification. Although not everyone seeking a loan modification needs an...

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5 Questions Concerning Chapter 7 Bankruptcy And Your Car

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Questions Concerning Chapter 7 Bankruptcy And Your Car

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often used when an individual has enough assets to liquidate to cover at least a portion of what they owe to debtors. This form of bankruptcy can bring about a lot of worries when it comes down to what will happen with your vehicles. Here are five typical questions people who file chapter 7 bankruptcy have about their automobile. 1. Does it matter if you only have one vehicle for your family? This can depend on where you live and if there is a vehicle exemption for bankruptcy allowed in your state. If you have a vehicle that is valued below or at the exemption amount, the one vehicle may be left in your possession as long as you are not still in debt for it. 2. What happens if you are still making payments on your vehicle? If you re still making payments on your vehicle, the equity that you have in your car may be more than what is allowed and your car may still have to be liquidated. However, this can depend on several different factors and should be further discussed with your attorney. 3. How do you determine how much equity you have in your vehicle? If you do not owe on the vehicle, the equity is simply the amount the vehicle is valued at currently. On the other hand, if the vehicle in your possession is not paid for, the amount of equity will be determined by the car’s value, but the amount you owe will be subtracted. 4. How do you go about surrendering a vehicle? When you are notified that you must surrender your vehicle to the lender, talk with your attorney about the specific date that this should occur. In some cases, you will return the car directly to the lender, but in others, you may be required to give the car to your bankruptcy trustee who will then surrender the car on your behalf. 5. Will you be informed before the car is taken from your possession? You will usually know in advance if you will be forced to give up your vehicle simply because the terms of the bankruptcy and what will happen will be specifically laid out by your attorney. However, you may not know the exact date that a vehicle will be repossessed by a lender if you do not go ahead and surrender it. It is much easier if you can arrange to surrender the vehicle instead of waiting for it to be repossessed. Your car is likely one of the possessions you have that you do not want to lose. Be sure to discuss in great detail what your options will be once you file with your chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney (such as one found through...

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How To Protect Yourself From Fake Debt Collectors

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Protect Yourself From Fake Debt Collectors

When you fall behind on your bills, every ring of the phone can cause anxiety. The actions of collection agencies are aggressive by nature, and even those who follow the laws about bill collecting will disrupt your life with constant reminders of your bad financial state: Collection agencies are hired by your creditors, such as a credit cards, banks or loan companies and are allowed by law to contact you an unlimited number of times about a debt, however they can only contact you between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.  Recently, scams involving fake debt collectors have surfaced. These fake collectors have somehow accessed your credit report, so they have the same information that a real collection agency has, such as the exact amount of your debt to a certain company, making them seem legitimate. It’s in your best interest to know the facts about these fake debt collectors, so read on for information on dealing with this alarming situation. Warming signs that indicate that you are dealing with a fake debt collector: Real collection agencies never tell you to contact your creditor for information. Once a real collector has the debt, it is their responsibility. If there is a question about the debt, a real collection agency will contact the creditor themselves. Many times fake collectors cannot answer detailed questions about the debt, because they don’t have all the information. The caller demands payment that same day, and will threaten to file suit if payment is not made immediately. Real agencies will work with you and be somewhat flexible on payment arrangements. The caller only accepts a single form of payment, such as a credit card, wire transfer or money order. When you call the agency back, the same person you previously spoke with answers the phone immediately. When this occurs, it’s likely that a single individual with a cell phone is harassing you. You cannot find any information on the collection agency. Either you cannot get any information at all or you are given fake names and addresses. You should always contact the original creditor if you have doubts; they should be happy to tell you the exact name and address of any legitimate collection agency. The caller threatens you with arrest. You cannot go to jail for owing money (with the exception of child support and tax debts). Legitimate collection agencies never resort to threats, rudeness, cursing, insults or other unprofessional behaviors. If you use the guidelines above, you can help ensure that you are dealing with only legitimate debt collection agencies.  If you are having trouble paying your bills and feel a mounting sense of hopelessness about your financial situation, contact a bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney will meet with you and help you to decide if filing for bankruptcy is right for you. You can get immediate relief from debt collection actions, and begin to make plans for a fresh start. To learn more, contact a company like Dennis Lee Burman Attorney at Law with any questions you...

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Involuntary Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: 3 Requirements Of Being Forced Into Bankruptcy

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a difficult process, but sometimes, those doing so have come to the conclusion that it is the only solution to a very complex situation. Other times, those with debt try as hard as they can to repay the loans and credit lines they’ve utilized. However, in certain instances, you could potentially be forced into a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Although there are certain rules that apply to this type of ‘creditor-initiated’ bankruptcy, it is a legally valid tool that creditors can leverage in an attempt to collect on past debts. This article outlines some of the intricacies of chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy proceedings. Exempt Parties Not all debtors are subject to an involuntary bankruptcy. Banks, credit unions, savings and loans institutions, non-profit organizations, insurance companies, and farmers are all exempt from the threat of involuntary bankruptcy. Creditor Requirements If you have more than eleven total creditors, then it will be necessary for at least three to collaborate in filing a petition for involuntary bankruptcy. Eleven creditors might seem like a large number, but when you take into consideration simple things like electric and gas utilities, cell phone bills, and credit cards, it is easy to see how one can accumulate multiple creditors. If you do have less than eleven total creditors, than it is possible for one creditor to initiate the chapter 7 bankruptcy process against you. However, in many instances, the courts will regard this kind of two-party dispute as inappropriate for bankruptcy court, and insist the resolution be taken elsewhere. Regardless of the amount of debt you carry, it is unlikely that a single creditor will initiate an involuntary bankruptcy claim against you. More importantly, there are minimum debt requirements pertaining to the amount of money each creditor is due before an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding can commence. Debt Requirements You are at risk of having your creditors initiate an involuntary chapter 7 bankruptcy against you if you owe more than the sum total of $15,325. However, so long as you do not owe an amount in excess of this figure to any one creditor, than the only possibility of an involuntary bankruptcy is when three or more creditors jointly file a petition against you. If you have fewer than eleven total creditors and your cumulative debt is less than $15,325, creditors have no legal basis via which to pursue an involuntary bankruptcy. Overall, a creditor-initiated bankruptcy can bring about much turmoil in one’s personal and financial life, and enlisting a qualified bankruptcy attorney such as Morrison & Murff can ensure that creditors are operating within their legal...

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3 Mistakes To Avoid During The Bankruptcy Process

Posted by on Apr 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have already started the process of filing for bankruptcy, you may be eager to get the bankruptcy behind you. However, you may be making mistakes that could jeopardize the discharge of your debts, which would mean that you would still be responsible for paying them back. Here are just a few mistakes to avoid making while going through the bankruptcy process. Trying to Pay Creditors with Retirement Funds Most of the time, your retirement savings do not need to be affected by your financial problems. You may get the idea to liquidate your retirement savings to pay creditors, but that is a mistake for a number of reasons. First, you may be subject to taxes on the amount of money you remove from those savings prematurely. Secondly, you will not have as much money for your retirement and older years. Lastly, your Bankruptcy Trustee can recover that money and use it for other purposes anyway. Therefore, once you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, avoid touching your retirement funds to pay for any of your debts. It will not affect your credit score or make a substantial impact on whether your bankruptcy is discharged. Repaying Family Loans You may think that family is important, and while you’re waiting for your bankruptcy to go through, you may choose to repay family debts instead of your other debts. However, this could land you and your family members in legal trouble. In fact, in some states, your Trustee may be able to sue those family members so that the money can be taken away from them and put toward your debts. Selling Your Property for Less Than It’s Worth As you’re waiting for your bankruptcy to discharge, you may choose to sell your home and move into a smaller place. To help out a friend or someone you know, you may opt to cut your asking price without thinking twice. However, this can arouse the interest of your Trustee and become a dangerous situation for you. You may be charged with bankruptcy fraud or making an attempt to hide property from the bankruptcy court. If this happens, you may end up losing your house and so will your friend. Not only that, but you risk having your bankruptcy discharge denied. If you want to sell something while you’re waiting for your bankruptcy to go through, talk to your bankruptcy lawyer first so you know whether you can make a sale in a first place.  Now that you know what you should not be doing, sit down and talk to a lawyer like Schneider Steve, Atty At Law about what moves you need to make next. Follow the advice of your attorney so that you can successfully make it to your bankruptcy discharge date without getting yourself in...

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Handling Three Potential Issues When Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You may run into one of these three issues when filing chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are ways to handle each one so your bankruptcy can be successfully discharged. 1. Nuisance Filing on Your Record If you filed bankruptcy twice in one year but the first time your case was dismissed because you failed to do all the requirements (such as completing the credit counseling class), when you file the second time a judge could lift the automatic stay within 30 days on your creditors. This is to discourage people from filing merely to avoid something like being evicted or having their wages garnished, when they have no intention of following through with the bankruptcy. To avoid this issue, you should wait a full year before filing again and carry it through to discharge. If you need to go on and file, your lawyer will need to file a motion to get the stay extended and you will need to convince the court of your good faith. 2. Consumer Credit “Fraud” Naturally a credit card company or a store that has issued you a charge account is going to look askance on your buying a new flat screen TV on credit two weeks before declaring bankruptcy. A credit card company/business may challenge the discharge of your debt with them if: You lied about your income to get the credit card or to get a higher credit limit. You purchased big items or services, or took large cash advances, within 90 days of filing. You increased the amount of borrowing or purchasing with your card/account even if the individual amounts were small. The card company/business can file an adversary proceeding action against you because it would appear you didn’t have good intentions towards them and had no intention of paying the debt you were accruing. Knowing this, you may need to delay filing for at least 3 months if you have been using your credit a lot in the recent past, or you could consider switching to a chapter 13 bankruptcy. 3. Need to Amend Your Petition If you forgot to include a debt with your original creditor mailing list and your petition has already been filed, you will need to inform your attorney right away. Your petition will need to be amended and you may have to pay an additional fee for this. To avoid this problem, it would be helpful to get a copy of your credit report to use as a reference when filling out your forms. Correcting any omissions is necessary so that you can avoid appearing dishonest about your intentions, and you will also want this debt to be properly discharged with your bankruptcy. If your bankruptcy has already been discharged, some courts will allow your case to be reopened and your papers to be amended, when a creditor is still trying to collect from you. Other types of amendments that may need to be made before discharge include: Adding or deleting an asset you claimed or want to claim as exempt Adding or deleting property you received or lost as result of divorce, inherited, or received in an insurance settlement. Changing your intention towards a secured asset, such as working out a loan modification to keep your car, or to cancel an arrangement and give the car up. Needing to add...

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