Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

According to the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, “If you are facing overwhelming financial difficulties and don’t know where to turn for help, you may need the assistance of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. Chapter 7 is one of the most commonly sought forms of bankruptcy because it provides individuals with a way to discharge, or completely eliminate, many of their existing debts. If you are suffering under the weight of unmanageable debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be able to provide you with much-needed relief. However, pursuing this debt relief option can be complicated, so it is important that you secure professional assistance if you think that Chapter 7 may be right for you.”

Bankruptcy is one legal solution available to individuals and businesses with overwhelming debts. Besides helping them regain control of their finances, the bankruptcy law also ensures the immediate cessation of whatever form of harassment law firms and debt collectors use to force debtors to make payments – this starts as soon as a declaration of bankruptcy is filed in court. (Forms of harassment employed by law firms and debt collectors include e-mails, phone calls, letters, text messages, lawsuits and others).

Specifically, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy method that is best for people who have properties, but whose salary or income does not go above the limit stipulated by the chapter. As the definition suggests, this law will require the liquidation of a few of your properties (you can choose specific properties that should not be sold, though). The selling or the liquidation of your properties is to be done by a court-appointed trustee who will also distribute the amount earned to your creditors. Debts to be paid are only those categorized as non-dischargeable, such as court fines, alimony and student loans. Medical bills, business and personal loans, and debts due to use of credit cards are called dischargeable debts, meaning, the court may free you from the obligation of still paying these.

To determine eligibility under Chapter 7, an applicant will have to take and pass the means test. This test is a way to determine if your income is low enough to qualify you to seek protection under this chapter.

Long Term Effects of DUI Convictions

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has the obvious consequence of fines and jail times. But there are other consequences that are not as obvious, and some of them can even linger for years or even a lifetime.

License Revocations
Getting convicted of DUI can get your license revoked for up to 10 years, depending on the gravity of the offense and the consecutive times you have committed it. Having no license greatly affects your mobility and quality of life. If you have no license, you will have a harder time going to work or school, accomplishing errands such as getting groceries, and other tasks that may be more convenient if you have the privilege of driving.

This is not just an issue about convenience. It can also be an issue of responsibility. Without a license, you won’t be able to take the kids to school, and you won’t be very reliable on emergency situations. These may result into significant compromising and arguing within the family.

Employment Issues
If you have a job, your schedule may be compromised because of wasted times in court, jail times, and community service hours. You are at risk of losing your job because of your inability to show up at work and deliver your service. Some companies also fire those who have convictions. This is especially true if you are working on a company that involves driving, such as trucking and delivering companies.

If you do not have a job, you may have a hard time finding one because of the inherent bias against those with convictions.
Because of employment issues that can result from DUI convictions, you may have financial problems. They will affect the quality of your life and may even warrant significant lifestyle changes.

It is important to note that not because you have been arrested for DUI it already means that you are convicted. You can defend yourself, and there are lawyers out there who specialize on DUI defense, such as those from Truslow & Truslow.

But at the end of the day, prevention is always better than defense. Avoid driving under the influence by controlling yourself and knowing your limits.

Serious Water Accidents due to Reckless Operation of Water Vessels

After a 14-year-old Thai boy, who was declared world jet ski championship in 2015, fell into the water while training in a lake in Muang district in Thailand, another jet ski that was operated by a 9-year-old boy hit him on the head, causing in him a deep cut to the left side of his face. This head injury killed the jet ski champion: he was pronounced dead in the hospital where he was rushed.

Three years earlier (here in the U.S.), sometime in August or September of 2012, a fatal brain injury took the life of a 16-year old female after a vacationing 20-year old Australian male tourist rammed into the former’s jet ski.

Thousands of dreadful jet ski accidents occur in the U.S. every year. Records from the United States Coast Guard say that at least four thousand jet ski accidents occur each year. These accidents result to about 600 deaths and more than 2,600 injuries.

A jet ski has the power of a real boat, despite its small size, and can now run up to 70 miles per hour. Designed to run at high speeds with its drivers and passengers not wearing any form of protection, no wonder they are vulnerable to many different kinds of serious and life-threatening injuries.

States vary with regard to rules and requirements for operating a jet ski. The most basic ones say though, that one needs to: prove that he or she is at least 16 years old (some states have 12 for base age limit); hear a safety lesson, which takes only some minutes; and pay $95 per hour rent fee.

The law firm Ritter & Associates says that accidents on the open water can cause not only significant damage to your vessel, but these can also cause devastating and possibly life-altering injuries, even death, simply because someone has acted in a negligent or reckless manner. The laws governing accidents that take place on water, however, are different from the laws that govern accidents occurring on roads and highways, making seeking compensation more difficult as a result. Accidents involving jet skis or other types of recreational boats, therefore, can be better handled by legal professionals whose expertise include maritime law. It will definitely be in the best interest of a victim if he/she would consult with a maritime lawyer immediately after an accident occurs.

The DIY Homeowner’s Guide to Roofing Tools

There are plenty of people who find satisfaction in working on home improvement projects on their own. If you are among these do-it-yourself homeowners, even the most challenging repairs are jobs you won’t shy away from. One such job is roof repair. Minor issues like leaks and clogged gutters can be easily solved without the help of experts. All you need are the proper tools to ensure your safety and the quality of your work.

Repairing a damaged roof requires you to stay hunched over and on your knees for quite some time. Roofing experts make use of knee pads to protect their knees, ensuring they are comfortable and are able to keep their balance for the duration of time that they are working from great heights. In addition to knee pads, wearing a tool belt can also help ease the discomfort of roof repair and make the process a lot more efficient.

What you’ll need to consider next is what to put inside your tool belt. Some of the most essential tools to roof repair include pry bars and hammers for removing damaged shingles from the roof, hammer staplers and roofing nailers for installing shingles into place, utility knives and shingle saws for cutting pieces into size, as well as layout tools and brackets to ensure that the new shingles are symmetrical and in place throughout installation.

You can find these tools in hardware stores at a variety of price points. Finding the specific tool for the job will only be a matter of considering the quality and affordability of the item. Once you have these common roofing tools on hand, fixing leaks and replacing broken shingles can be an easy task to accomplish. Take note, however, that not every roofing issue can be addressed with DIY solutions. The more complicated problems will have to be solved by expert contractors, such as those from Best Roofing working in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida.

Spousal Rape: A Criminal Offense in all U.S. States

Under the English common law, which is the source of many traditional laws in the U.S., it was not legally possible for a man to be accused of raping his wife. In support of this position, then jurist Sir Matthew Hale explained in 1736 how marriage implied permanent consent that could not be retracted.

The belief that a man could never be held guilty of raping his wife stood for centuries until in 1979, when legal attitudes about the concept changed due to a pair of separate cases. One of these cases, which may have been the first case that led to a spousal rape conviction, involved a bartender in Salem, Mass., who broke into the house that he used to share with his estranged wife and then forced himself on her. Since the incident involved invasion and sexual abuse while in the middle of a divorce, it was not hard to judge the case as one incidence of marital rape; regardless, this case was a precedent to so many other spousal rape convictions during the 1980s and the 1990s, and the major reason why today, spouses are no longer excluded in state criminal codes’ definition of “rape,” why saying “no” to one’s husband is no longer a ground for divorce, and why spousal rape is declared illegal in every state in the U.S.

According to a criminal defense lawyer from the firm Horst Law, married individuals may be charged with spousal rape if they engage in sexual penetration that is unlawful because it is alleged that the defendant was armed with a weapon, caused serious bodily harm, or the couple has been separated and at least one partner has filed for either divorce or separate maintenance. A charge of spousal rape can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the defendant was particularly vile, cruel, or otherwise inhumane and either caused serious bodily harm or was armed with a weapon.

To be accused of a crime can change your life forever. A conviction is so much worse for, besides the penalties, it will also affect your future personal, community and professional life. You should realize, however, that an accusation simply means that you still have the time and any means accessible for a strong defense that will enable you to protect your rights and future and which may even help you earn a verdict of “not guilty.” Being defended by a highly-competent criminal defense lawyer, who knows what evidences to gather and how to gather these, may just be what you need in a case as serious as spousal rape.

The Different Types of US Visas

Immigrating to the United States provides people with many opportunities for improving their lives. However, these immigration laws is quite complex that it creates plenty of confusion. According to the website of the AmLaw Global, there are different visa options that are available for individuals who desire to migrate to the United States. Here we will look at the different types of visas that applicants can consider:

1. Family-Based Visas

The US immigration policy places a huge importance on family unification. Immigration laws permit US citizens as well as lawful permanent residents to bring their family members to the country. There are 480,000 family-based visas available per year. They are accepted as either immediate relatives or via the family preference system. The former includes the following:

  • Spouses of US citizens
  • Unmarried minor children of US citizens who are less than 21 years old
  • Parents of US citizens who are at least 21 years old

The latter, on the other hand, includes the following:

  • Adult children both married or unmarried as well as brothers and sisters. However, the petitioner should be at least 21 years old to petition for a sibling
  • Spouses and unmarried minor and adult children of lawful permanent residents

2. Working or Employment-based Visas

There are two categories of working visas namely Temporary and Permanent Immigration. It is issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and is also called Employment Authorization Document (EAD). It is shown to employers to show their eligibility to work. All employes are required to request for the Ead or face sanctions.

For temporary visas, there are over 20 types that are available ranging from intracompany transfers (L-visas), athletes, entertainers and skilled performers (P-visas), and others. The applicants are normally sponsored by an employer or certain job offer. Permament working visas are limited to 140,000 a year and are divided into 5 preferences, each with a yearly numerical limit.

3. Refugee Visas

Refugees are individuals who are unable to return to their home country for fear of getting persecuted as a result of their race, membership in a social group, political opinion, and others. Application can be done from a “transition country” outside of their home country. Admission to the United States depends on various factors such as the degree of risk, membership in a group that is of special concern to the United States and whether or not they have families in the country.

4. Lottery System

Established under the Immigration Act of 1990, the Diversity Visa Lottery serves as a dedicated channel for immigrants from countries with low immigration rates in the United States. Every year, 55,000 visas are randomly allotted to citizxens of countries that have sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the previous 5 years. Originally designed for immigrants from Ireland, the program has become the lone channel for individuals from certain regions in the world to become a green card holder.

5. Humanitarian Visas

There are also visas that are issued on special cases.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This is given to individuals who are in the United States but unable to return to their home country due to “natural disaster,” “extraordinary temporary conditions,” or “ongoing armed conflict.” It can be granted for 6, 12, or 18 months, or longer as long as the unsafe condition in the country is still present.

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). DED provides protection from deportation for people whose home countries are unstable which makes return risky. However, DED is authorized at the discretion of the executive branch.

Parole. These are individuals who do not qualify as a refugee or to immigrate using other channels. They are admitted to the United States on a temporary basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.

Porch Collapses

Porches are large traffic areas and are frequently used during social gatherings. The truth that porches are often simply extensions of the home and may as well not have exactly the same load-bearing capacity as the house itself might be the reasons why there have been numerous examples of a porch falling causing severe injuries and possibly even fatalities.

This may be a premises liability situation, should you or someone close to you suffer injuries because of porch collapse. Premises liability in a porch failure continues to be definitely established in the circumstance notwithstanding architectural issues since the landlord had control on the usage of the construction. Under normal use, the porch fall wouldn’t have happened in the event the sociable gathering had not been permitted by the landlord.

An incident in IL where two porches collapsed underneath the weight around 30 people, leaving the remainder hurt and also 13 dead, is said to have been due to structural flaws in the verandas rather than negligence or lack of upkeep. There have now been some concerns concerning if the town inspectors’ lack of citations involving this structural dilemma could be among the causes for the failure. But, the tribunals did not provide any credence to this theory, as well as the landlord of the condominium complex, bore the brunt of the liability via the building’s underwriters.

In this incident, the landlord should have known that there was a threat of damage if the verandas were subjected to loads beyond what they can safely tolerate. Based on the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., porch owners have to be sure of the safety of individuals on a veranda or otherwise not allow them to be on the unstable porch.

Truck-related Federal Laws: Mandates Trucking Firms Should not Fail to Comply With

Due to the enormous size of freight trucks, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers, the government passed federal laws which everyone in the trucking industry, from owners to all truck-related workers, should strictly observe. These laws address different issues, such as proper truck maintenance, hiring and training of qualified drivers and other workers, and maximum number of hours of service.

There are thousands of big rigs, tractor trailers and semi-trucks that are driven on US roads and highways every day, making it quite impossible for anyone not to share the road with a few of these whenever he or she drives.

Because of the many accidents reported to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute and the US Department of Transportation and the large number of lawsuits (both) involving trucks, it is common for drivers of smaller vehicles to feel uncomfortable and threatened driving alongside these huge vehicles. A valid emotion, considering the fact that close to half a million accidents involving trucks occur every year – accidents that injure about 130,000 drivers and other vehicle occupants, and which cause the untimely death of more than 5,000 others.

It is very common for trucks to be driven for thousands of miles at a time, an activity that results to two major concerns: fatigued and sleepy drivers, and essential truck parts (like the brakes and tires) that are subjected to greater wear and tear. These situations make it a must for trucking companies to: regularly check their vehicles to make sure that these will never be threats on the road as soon as these leave the (truck) depot; and, never require their drivers to drive more than the maximum 11 hours of service. These requirements are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the US Department of Transportation agency that is tasked to ensure that crashes, injuries and deaths due to large trucks (and buses) are reduced.

Despite the FMCSA mandates, many trucking companies still remain negligent in their duty of making sure that their trucks are properly maintained. This negligence often leads to brake system failure and/or tire failure which, in turn cause tragic road accidents.

To many an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer, negligence is synonymous with potential dangers. In any type of profession, if there is someone negligent in his or her duties, then another, more likely than not, is bound to get hurt. Even courts see negligence as the common cause of all personal injuries and, since negligence can easily be dispelled by simple diligence, then personal injuries are always preventable occurrences.

Trucking firms are guilty of grave negligence whenever these, intentionally or unintentionally, fail to comply with federal laws aimed at keeping trucks from getting involved in tragic road accidents. This is why these are legally required by courts to compensate anyone who gets injured because of their irresponsible acts.

Product Recalls: Should you be Worried?

There were no less than six products recalled in a single day, April 16, 2015, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for various reasons. These are all household or clothing products that anyone may have in their homes right now. These include:

  • Children’s Sensory Grab Garb Blankets by Goochie Goo Garbs (laceration hazard)
  • Electric Blower Vacuums by Homelite (fire and burn hazards)
  • Electric Blower Vacuums by OWT Industries (fire and burn hazards)
  • Hyland Bicycles with Aluminum Civia Fenders by Civia Cycles (fall hazard)
  • Walk Power Mowers by Toro (injury hazard)
  • Women’s scarves by Gena Accessories (burn hazard)

In most cases, there was a defect in the design, which could cause injuries. In others, there appears to be a manufacturing defect. Whatever the cause of the recall, it has historically been very difficult for people to keep abreast with what products should be avoided or returned, based on the CPSC’s recommendations. It is perfectly possible that one or more of the items above is currently in someone’s home just waiting to cause injury.

According to the website of the Sampson Law Firm, product manufacturers have an ongoing responsibility to make sure that the products they sell are safe to use. People are, of course, expected to exercise reasonable caution, especially when handling an inherently dangerous product. However, if the product is dangerous because of design or manufacture, then it will not matter if the consumer is careful.

The company may argue that they issued a recall, and it is the look out of the consumer to find out about it. This is not at all true. Consumers have a right expect that the products they buy are safe to use or consume. Even if the product has been recalled, the manufacturer still remains liable for any serious injuries that may ensue.

If you have serious injuries from unknowingly using a recalled product, you should consult with a product liability lawyer in your area. Manufacturers would like to get away with their negligence; do not let them.

Did You Know Filing for Bankruptcy Could Help You?

Find yourself in quite a bit more than a pickle, financially? It might not surprise you to know that you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of Americans who find themselves financially struggling. Whether this is due to a further legal matter, medical expenses, student loans, mortgages, credit statements, or something – there is almost always something that holds your average citizen back. Some of the time, these debts can get a bit overwhelming. This can even go to the point where you become sleepless and anxious over every little phone call and every ring of your doorbell, thinking it’s someone to come to take everything you’ve worked for away. Well, there is a solution for that – and it might not be the road you thought you would ever be willing to go on.

Filing for bankruptcy has received quite the negative reputation. A lot of people think that when you file for bankruptcy, that that’s it – it’s all over and bedrock from there on out. Well, that is simply not the case at all. When you are financially struggling, whether you are filing as an individual citizen or as a business owner, this legal pursuit could be the only thing holding your head above water among these debts that threaten to drown you.

Ask any Waco bankruptcy lawyer, even, as some of the best ones know exactly what it is like to be in your position. Just be honest with your lawyer and tell them everything that is needed for this kind of claim. Having legal assistance can help you be properly represented in a court of law, giving you the best possible chance at having a financial plan that could get you financially stabilized faster and more efficiently than you ever thought possible. It is a pressuring, complicated procedure to decide on your own, given all the intricate details that do make a claim like this so complex, and so it is advisable for you to seek legal expertise for your individual case with regard to filing for bankruptcy.

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