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Posted by on Jun 13, 2018 in Finances | 0 comments

How to Get Rid of Credit Card Debt

Once debts get out of control, you may be forced to declare bankruptcy. The most common type of debt to force families into bankruptcy is medical debt, but credit card debts can also be a significant burden. In Texas, there are a few ways to absolve credit card debt through bankruptcy laws.

Using Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Nearly any type of debt can be wiped out by declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The only exceptions to this would be:

  • Debt that was not declared at the time of filing for Chapter 7
  • Certain types of taxes
  • Any debt relating to spousal support, child support, or alimony
  • Debt that is owed to a former spouse or child
  • Student loan debt
  • Fines and penalties that are owed to government agencies
  • Amount the debtor owes to a victim of a car accident if they were drunk
  • Money that is owed back to some types of retirement plans
  • Homeowners association fees
  • Lawyer fees for child arrangement cases, such as custody battles and child support
  • Any fines the court deems necessary, such as criminal restitution

The first step of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to relinquish your rights to any property that is non-exempt. The bankruptcy trustee will sell this property for you as quickly as possible, and that money will go directly towards paying off your debts. Because credit card debt is an unsecured debt and low priority, it will be forgiven after Chapter 7 is filed.

Using Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Some people may find that filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better solution for their personal financial situation. When a debtor files for Chapter 13, they may repay some or all of their debt to certain creditors. These payments are first approved and then scheduled over the course of up to five years. However, this is usually only a small amount of the unsecured debt that is owed, such as credit card debt. If you have a high level of disposable income, this may be more difficult to achieve, but for most people, the amount they pay is considerably less than what they owe. After the payment plan has been completed in the eyes the court, any unsecured debt that is still left will be forgiven. 

Other Exemptions

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy works for a lot of people, but not everyone can qualify for these debt relief filings. If the debt was incurred because of an illegal activity, then the court will not grant you permission to declare bankruptcy. Some examples of fraudulent activity that can include:

  • Lying or misrepresenting certain facts on a credit card application
  • Spending more than $650 on luxury goods, vacations, or services within 90 days of filing
  • Taking a cash advance up to 70 days before filing that is over $925

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good way to find debt relief. The laws are tricky, and you should talk to a qualified attorney about your options.

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Posted by on Sep 17, 2017 in Car accident | 0 comments

Sacramento woman killed in Elverta area car crash

According to a story in the Sacramento Bee, a woman was killed on Saturday afternoon when her gray Toyota Camry crashed in the Elverta area of northern Sacramento County.  Members of the California Highway Patrol were on the scene and are investigating the cause of the accident. Right now, details are sparse, but authorities believe that she may have been speeding at the time of the accident and failed to notice a bend in the road. Her vehicle veered off the road when she over-corrected on the bend, which sent her car tumbling down an embankment and rolling over.

CHP authorities report that the woman likely died on impact, and she was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and they do not believe that she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash.

Car accidents like this one can have a devastating effect on the family of the person involved. No one expects to lose a loved one, and when someone dies as a result of a car accident, the grief can be overwhelming. The cause of accidents is not always instantly known, and while the CHP believes that the woman may have been speeding at the time of the accident, there are other factors that need to be considered. Did her car malfunction in some way? Was the bend in the road visible? Was there proper signage warning drivers of the upcoming bend?

If the city failed to install the proper signage or if there was a defect with her vehicle, the city or the manufacturer of the car may be at least partially at fault for the accident. That’s why it is important for the family to not take the police’s initial reports at face-value, and they may wish to consider hiring a car accident lawyer to investigate the facts of the case and let them know if there is legal action that should be taken.

If the city failed to install proper signage warning drivers, the family may be eligible for compensation including funeral costs and expenses. They may also have a case that the loss of their loved one caused extreme grief and suffering and the parties involved may be held liable for that financially. Only an experienced lawyer can tell the family what course of action they may take, but they may wish to consider legal action if it turns out that another party is responsible for the crash that claimed the life of their loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit can help hold the negligent party accountable and often forces them to take action to prevent loss of life in the future. Perhaps proper signage (if necessary) would be placed on the road warning drivers.

At this point, it is too soon to point fingers regarding this accident and it is important to wait until all of the facts are released. For more information, read the entire story at The Sacramento Bee and stay tuned to the news for more details.

 

 

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Craft Beer | 0 comments

American Beer History

With the recent increase in the number of craft beers available in the United States, many beer lovers are calling this the best era for beer. However, the production of beer in America comes with a long history that has led us to where we are now. Understanding this extensive history can help you better appreciate the quality of your beer and the pride that brewers take in their work. Craftbeers.com offers a brief overview of the changes in brewing over American history and the effects craft brews have had on the beer market

Although beer was made in the Americas long before European settlers came, the first true beer industry began in 1612 in what is now Manhattan. The industry did not take off until the 19th century, however, and even then the per capita consumption of beer reached less than one gallon. Many people across the country still brewed their own beer in their home, and they did not seek out commercially brewed drinks. However, as this industry slowly took off, the per capita beer consumption reached approximately 20 gallons. During this time, brewers were experimenting with different flavor combinations and discovered the recipes that consumers preferred. Unfortunately, the National Prohibition in 1920 effectively ended the mainstream beer market until the act was repealed in 1933. Once prohibition ended, many breweries became a part of larger companies, which swallowed the independent brewers. However, in 1965, this began to change as craft beers became slowly more popular. By the end of the 20th century, there was an explosion of interest in craft beers that permanently changed the beer industry. Today there are 5,000 breweries in the United States that offer a wide variety of different types of beers. Craft breweries are also able to provide a large and stable workforce, employing an estimated 129,000 individuals and significantly impacting the U.S. economy.

While many of the nationally-known beer companies are still popular today, due to their price and their availability, many American are more interested in trying craft brews. These beers offer more intense flavors and different flavor pairings that national brewers simply cannot provide. Although these large companies were a necessity for re-growing the beer industry post-prohibition, they are falling out of favor for the better. The current industry allows for more brewers and gives them the license to be creative with their work. This gives consumers more and better choices of beer and has greatly increased the national interest in beer.

One of the benefits many people still see in national beers, however, is their availability. Craft beers are difficult to find in stores, and the bottled or canned versions of these beers cannot offer the same freshness that you would get on-tap. However, companies like Growler Chill are aiming to fix this problem. Their product allows you to keep craft beers fresh and on-tap in your home for an extended period of time. With inventions like this, craft beers may be able to become a standard part of every home.

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Posted by on Jun 10, 2017 in Business Law | 0 comments

Can You Hold a Broker Liable for Your Losses?

People who invest their hard-earned money do so for various reasons. Some want to protect their financial future, especially after they retire, some want to make a major purchase, like a home, some need to prepare for their children’s educational opportunities, while some others do it just for the fun of making profits. Whatever the reason is, all investors have only one goal – make money, not lose it. But what if, rather than making money, investors actually lose everything or a huge amount of their investment? Can they blame anyone for their loss, their financial advisor or broker, for instance, in order to recover those losses?

Financial advisors and stockbrokers and are held to a high degree of care in their dealings with the clients or investors they serve. Because these people look to their financial professionals for advice on how they can reach their goals, they, therefore, trust their financial professionals to give them the right recommendations. When brokers or advisors fail to meet the standard of care, however, and cause investors to lose money due to bad advice, an action for negligence or breach of fiduciary duty may be appropriate.

Considering financial advisors’ and stockbrokers’ legal duty towards their clients, the answer to the question above is, therefore, a “yes.” Yes, but only if their financial losses are the result of wrongful or negligent acts by their financial advisor, broker or an investment firm. This means that any unethical, negligent or fraudulent act their trusted advisor commits can be ground for them to pursue damages through a lawsuit or through Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) arbitration. (FINRA is a private corporation that operates the largest securities dispute resolution forum in the United States, and has extensive experience in providing a fair, efficient and effective venue to handle a securities-related dispute.)

Before filing a lawsuit against a broker, a financial advisor, or the firm for which this broker or advisor works, an investor may first need to review the contract he/she signed with the investment firm when he/she first became a client. This is because most investment firms mandate that, in the event of losses due to any form of wrongful acts, then damages may only be sought through arbitration. If this is what the signed contract says, then what must be filed is a Statement of Claim in arbitration rather than a lawsuit.

It is pointed out by Erez Law that broker negligence has many types, including: breach of fiduciary duty; failure to diversify; failure to supervise; Ponzi schemes; suitability claims (which is one of the most common claims of broker negligence. It refers to a broker mishandling a client’s money by purchasing securities that were unsuitable for the client’s portfolio and investment goals); and, churning (the act of making an excessive number of transactions so the broker earns more money on commissions).

In the event that a financial advisor fails to meet the appropriate standards of care resulting in significant financial losses, it would be a wise decision to talk to an attorney immediately to determine if you may be eligible to make a financial recovery.

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Posted by on Feb 26, 2017 in Storage | 0 comments

Self-Storage: Extra Space Where You can Safely Store Your Stuff

In 2010, two new television programs that featured storage auctions were released: Auction Hunters and Storage Wars. Three other programs, which also featured the popularity of storage auctions aired soon after: Storage Wars: New York; Storage Wars: Texas; and, Storage Hunters. Though the programs centered on storage auctions, a more basic fact was implied – the popularity of self-storage or mini storage among Americans.

Self-storage, which is a shorthand form for self-service storage, is one of the flourishing industries in the U.S. It involves the renting out or storage spaces, like rooms, containers, outdoor spaces or lockers, to individuals or businesses. Duration of rent can be short-term, like a month long, or long-term.

About 58,000 self-storage facilities were made available in 2010 to anyone who needed extra space. A self-storage gave individuals and families an extra space where they could keep things that they have outgrown but cannot part with; for firms, it was an additional safe shelter for temporarily unused office equipment or for whatever purpose they would need extra space.

Self-storage facilities began in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1958; the business opened next in Texas in the late 1960s. From 2000 to 2005, more than 3,000 new facilities were made available in the U.S. every year. The need for self-storage space can be based on three things: American consumerism; American mobility; and, according to some property analysts, older houses, which were built with smaller closets and rooms.

During the holidays, people love to fill up their home with new things, such as new furniture. Purchase of new things, however, meant need for space. With no extra room in the house, old stuffs had to be removed for new ones. Re-placement, though, does not necessarily mean throwing out the old things, which many people are not prepared to part with; thus, the need for self-storage or extra spaces, where people can keep some of their household items safely.

Self-storage are in demand typically during summer, the time when relocating to a new house is at its peak and, if the new residence cannot house all of one’s belongings, things of secondary importance are rather kept in a self-storage.

Aside from the smaller houses, there is also the case of the totally new house design: houses with no basement and/or attic. Though American houses have gotten much bigger from 2004 onwards, those built in temperate states, like California, Florida and Texas (the three states that also happen to have the most self-storage facilities), were designed as ranches or bungalows. These did not have a basement or an attic where old stuff can be kept.

Those in the self-storage industry say that one in every ten U.S. households is renting a self-storage unit. Though self-storage units guarantee safe storage of belongings, not all facilities offer the same features. Some are more spacious, allow drive up access, fence protection, resident managers, personal access codes, have remote cameras, and climate controlled units wherein items can be kept totally safe from the weather regardless of how hot or cold the weather is.

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