What is Bankruptcy?

When businesses go under, the word “bankruptcy” gets thrown around more in regular conversation. I decided to do some research, and it turns out that filing for bankruptcy isn’t as easy as just saying, “I declare bankruptcy!” There’s actually a lot more involved. 

A person may have to file for bankruptcy if they find it impossible to pay back the debts they owe to creditors. There are many reasons why someone might find themselves in this situation, including prolonged unemployment, a nasty divorce settlement, or insurmountable medical costs. No one plans on declaring bankruptcy, but sometimes it’s necessary for people who are drowning in debt. 

Types of Bankruptcy

When an individual is declaring bankruptcy, there is more than one way to go about it. These are all the different ways someone could file for individual bankruptcy:

  • Chapter 7, “liquidation bankruptcy”
  • Chapter 11, reorganization of assets, which is also used for businesses
  • Chapter 12, for family farmers
  • Chapter 13, a repayment plan
  • Chapter 15, which is only used in foreign cases

However, the most common types of an individual bankruptcy are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Chapter 13 is a “repayment plan” in which the person who is filing has to pay at least part of their debts back to their creditors. It’s harder to file for this kind of bankruptcy than it is to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what is known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” and someone declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy may have a no-asset or an asset case. A no-asset case is when the person who owes the debts keeps all of their property. In an asset case, the debtor would have to relinquish some of their “non-exempt” assets to help pay back the debts. Non-exempt assets are assets that are not necessary for living and working. Non-exempt assets might be things like expensive collections, musical instruments, family heirlooms, and second cars or homes. Debtors should probably work with a bankruptcy lawyer to make sure that they’re covering all their bases when it comes to keeping their assets. 

Specific Cases

According to bankruptcy lawyer Erin Shank, Chapter 7 bankruptcies also have special provisions for military personnel and veterans. Under these additions to the Bankruptcy Code that were passed in 2005, people who have served in the military now have an easier time declaring bankruptcy than before. 

I also learned that although many people think tax debt doesn’t apply to bankruptcy cases, it actually can! Some federal tax debt can be minimized or forgiven when you file for bankruptcy, but you need the right lawyer to make sure that you’re getting everything out of your case.

Declaring bankruptcy can be really beneficial and even life-saving to people who have too many debts. With the help of the right lawyer – someone who has their clients’ best interests at heart – filing for bankruptcy seems like it can be a really good option.

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Why You Need an Adoption Lawyer

I value self-sufficiency very highly. I have had multiple periods of my life in which I chose to be more stressed or to have my schedule even more packed, rather than offloading responsibilities or tasks to others. To be clear: I am not advocating for this personality trait or behavior. I am very aware that it has led to me to mess up some things or drop the ball.

However, I always assumed that the self-sufficiency was worth it. Relying on myself to take care of things gave me a certain peace of mind. I knew that no matter what, my work would align with my expectations.

I recently discovered an area in which my philosophy certainly does not work: adoptions.

A person cannot really “wing it” when it comes to adopting children. And that is because the adoption process requires a lot of hoops to jump through, including extensive background checks. These background checks dig deep into your life, including your criminal record and any other indicators of potential instability for the child you are seeking to adopt.

Additional, financial security is considered. That is not to say that only rich people can adopt children (though, the process is expensive). But rather, that adoption agencies want to ensure the children’s needs are met and that they do not go without important things that could affect the children’s success.

The most extensive aspect that most people do not know about before embarking on the adoption process, though, is the home study. As Maynard Law Firm describes on their website about adoptions in Fort Worth, the home study is akin to an extended interview.

Caseworkers go to your home and interview about meeting the needs of the child you are hoping to adopt, they look at your personality traits, and they discuss potential strengths and weaknesses.

This can be intimidating, to say the least. That is why I would recommend hiring effective legal counsel for the process. An adoption lawyer can walk you through the different steps of the adoption process, including deciding the nature of the adoption — open or closed — and other steps, like deciding on domestic or international adoption.

The laws, rules, and regulations around the adoption process are simply too complex to understand on your own. As I said, I value self-sufficiency. But on this issue that is both life-changing and difficult, the necessity for expertise cannot be overstated.

Caseworkers are not out to “get you” or make things more difficult than necessary — they just want the children they oversee to go home to a loving and capable family.

But the criteria for deciding those concerns requires knowledge of the adoption process’ norms and customs, knowledge that you likely do not have. So if you want to have a successful, efficient, and transparent adoption process, it is in your best interest to hire an adoption lawyer with experience adopting domestically and internationally, as well as in closed and open adoptions.

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Recovering Money Lost in LJM P&G

As someone who is new to the world of investing, I have never thought about all the ins and outs and legal rules that an investment broker must abide by. When brokerage firms sell investors on a certain mutual fund, they have a responsibility to disclose the risks that are associated with that fund. The LJM Capital Preservation and Growth Fund is in a lot of hot water right now because they failed to warn their investors of the risks associated with their investment strategy. Most investors tend to put their money into relatively safe mutual funds or stock options. Investors that are looking at the long term are looking for stocks that will remain relatively stable of the course of twenty or so years. This means they’re looking for growth to be somewhere from 2-5% on a year to year basis. They’re okay with a small growth rate because they have a very low chance of losing their money in the long run.

The LJM Preservation and Growth fund worked by essentially betting that the market would remain stable over a certain period of time. This sort of investment option is incredibly complex, and it opens up investors with the possibility of losing quite a bit of money. It is perfectly legal to bet on things like this, but funds are required to be open and honest to investors with their strategies. LJM was not honest about their tactics, and it is going to cost them big time in the long run. Earlier this year, during the first week of February, the stock market more than doubled in its volatility index, moving from 17 to 37 in terms of volatility. Since LJM P&G fund had put its money into the market remaining stable, it suffered huge losses. On February 6th, the fund dropped more than 45% in value but did not report this loss. The next day, the fund dropped even further, losing 80% of its value in just two days. People who had put millions into the fund had their investments turn to pennies in a very short amount of time. These catastrophic losses were devastating to the people that had trusted LJM P&G to handle their money responsibly over the long term.

Thankfully, all hope is not lost for the people that end up in situations like this. There are lawyers that represent people who lost money investing in the LJM Preservation and Growth Fund. LJM was deceitful in not disclosing their investment strategy to investors. They were experimenting with incredibly complex and risky tactics in order to make a quick buck. Luckily for investors, they have a legal recourse that may allow them to recover a portion of their losses. This is excellent news, and puts a new investor like me at ease. If I ever am unlucky enough to lose money by investing in a negligent hedge fund, I will definitely speak to a lawyer about my recourse in order to recover the losses.

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Motorcyclists Need to Champion Following the Speed Limit

Its likely that most motorcyclists got into riding because of an interest in breaking the rules. After all, the motorcycle is perhaps the greatest American symbol since the cowboy of someone truly living their life to the fullness of their freedom. Its exceedingly unlikely anyone ever took up even the thought of buying a motorcycle while assuming theyd be following all the rules of the road at all times.

Motorcycles are about breaking free, getting away from the confines of life, and expressing yourself in a daring, breathtaking way. And yet, no motorcyclist can ever completely ignore the more dangerous side of riding. Thats part of the charm of the bike, but its also something bikers have to remain aware of as they ride.

Thats why bikers need to come to the forefront of standing up for following the rules of the road. Sure, it takes something away from the charm of riding, but it also keeps every biker safer.

According to the McCutcheon & Sexton Law Firm, a full 20% of bike accidents are because of speeding, and it is usually the other vehicle doing it. What that means is the biker is following the rules, and someone else is breaking them.

That fact right there illustrates why bikers have to become the voice for following the law on the road. As the most rebellious, thrill-seeking group in America, if bikers stood up as one and demanded more drivers of all vehicles follow the rules, it would make a substantial difference.

Bikers as a community could lobby for more expensive speeding tickets or more points per violation. Since bikers are a symbol of being against such demands, it will surely garner a lot of attention and perhaps make a real difference in the law and on the street.

The sad fact is, bikers are by-and-large very responsible with their vehicles, but they are the ones who suffer most because others are not nearly as careful. If it isnt speeding, its vehicles making illegal moves in the intersection or driving unsafely when road conditions are poor.

Bikers already take care of their end of things, but others, who feel safer within their vehicles, dont do the same, and the biker is the one who ends up seriously injured or worse.

To stop that trend, bikers need to band together and sacrifice a bit of the reputation for improvements in how other drivers think of the road and how the police try to keep those roads safe.

While a safer road might remove a little of the mystique around riding a bike, motorcyclists can take consolation from the fact that at least theyll be around to enjoy riding, mystique or not.

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Don’t trust your boss

Don’t trust your employer. I don’t care where you work, just don’t do it. This is the second job I’ve had where I’ve had my boss make promises he wasn’t willing to fulfill.

The job before this one promised me four weeks off each year. I was a full-time employee at a pizza place. I made pizzas and took orders. I need four weeks off because I have family on the other side of the country, and I have to have time to visit them. So, last year, I tried to take time off, and I was denied, multiple times. At the same time, I saw my boss grant other people time off, sometimes even for up to a month all at once. I asked about this, and the boss said it just wasn’t a good time, that I was too valuable to the company. All of that stuff. I said, if I’m valuable, you should let me take the time I need so I can work even harder. He laughed at that and said he would find a good time “soon.” Soon never happened, so I quit.

Now the same thing has happened again. I moved into retail, thinking that since it was a little slower during some parts of the year, it’d be easier to take time off. I worked every holiday for half a year. I worked every big shift during the Christmas rush. I worked on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Then, this past February, I asked for two weeks to visit family. The same thing happened! My new boss, just like the last one, said I was too valuable, that they couldn’t get by without me. I told him to hire more workers then, but he said he couldn’t afford it. Then, once again, he promised me he’d find time for me to go. I waited for months, and that time never came. I asked, and I asked, and I asked.

Finally, I just went. I put a note on his desk, and I went for two weeks. I didn’t answer my phone, and I didn’t check my email. When I got back, my boss fired me. He shouted at me and said I was irresponsible. When I pointed out he had promised me time off, he gave me some stupid excuse that it was coming and there was paperwork or something. He said he was going to hire more people anyway, and now he’d just fill my position.

I felt awful, of course, but more than anything, I feel angry. I’m searching around for a lawyer to see if I can sue him and my last employer. Hopefully, I can run them both out of business. If nothing else, I hope I can get enough out of them to cover a bit of vacation time so I can go back out and relax with my family.

So, to all you people out there, I’ll keep you updated, but in the meantime, don’t trust your employer. No matter how nice they seem. They’re just going to try to work you to death. Don’t let them do it!

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Why You Need Adequate Sleep

Many people think that sleeping is just not worth it. If a person sleeps, he or she is wasting precious time that can be dedicated to productive activities, such as education or work, or to recreational activities, like sports and video games.

But it can be argued that sleeping is also productive and recreational. It is productive because you are not wasting time, as you are repairing your body from the damages it has sustained all throughout the day. It is recreational because it is a form of rest and relaxation.

There are two main reasons why getting adequate sleep is important. The first one is already stated above – it rejuvenates the body. The second one can be more complicated – it prevents the effects of sleep deprivation.

Your body is not invincible. Like tools, equipment, and machines, it is prone to wear and tear. So, if you do not maintain it properly, it is going to have defects and malfunctions.

Physical Problems

Not getting enough sleep results into physical and mental problems. In the physical aspect, it can result into fatigue and excessive sleepiness during the day. This can compromise your productivity and safety. Your productivity is compromised because you can’t really move adequately when you feel exhausted. Your safety is compromised because you may fall asleep on the worst scenarios, like when you are driving.

Lack of sleep can also result into medical conditions, such as how your exhaustion and lack of physical activity can lead to obesity. Also, according to the website of Silent Night Therapy, untreated sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and even stroke.

Mental Problems

Sleep deprivation can limit your mental capabilities. This is especially true on specific mental aspects, such as alertness and assertiveness, comprehension and concentration, learning and memorization, and reaction time.

Lack of sleep may also lead to psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, and increased irritability. These issues may lead to other behaviors, such as escapist tendencies like overeating and violent tendencies like wanting to start a fight because of increased irritability.

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Motorcycle Accidents and Road Defects

Motorcycle Accidents and Road Defects

Motorcycle accidents happen because of rider errors and reckless tendencies, but there are instances where they happen because of third parties, such as dangerous road conditions. Those who are responsible for the construction and maintenance of the road that has caused an accident may be held liable. In fact, according to the website of Mazin & Associates, PC, those who have been hurt in motorcycle accidents may get compensation.

Defective traffic lights and signs

Traffic lights are there to ensure that every motorist is passing without obstructions. If the lights are not functioning properly, motorists may get involved in accidents caused by right-of-way issues. Warning signs, such as about speed limits and construction sites ahead, may also put motorists at risk if they are absent, incomprehensible, or not effectively visible. Motorcyclists are particularly at risk because they are not wrapped in metal chassis like car drivers. They may sustain more serious injuries when they get involved in accidents.

Lack of barriers and dividers

There should be proper barriers outside of the roads, so motorists who veer off roads will not crash down embankments or fall from elevated spaces, such as in freeways and mountainous areas. Barriers can also be placed between the opposite lanes to prevent motorists from swerving into oncoming traffic.

If these barriers and dividers are absent or not strong enough, they may result into head-on collisions, rollover accidents, and even deaths. Since motorcyclists only have limited protections, like helmets and pads on the knees and elbows, they may be more vulnerable to bodily damages.

Potholes, cracks, and other dangerous road conditions

Motorcycles have less traction on the road because they only have two tires and these tires are thinner compared to those from vehicles. This means that they are more prone of crashing because of defects on the road, such as cracks, debris, potholes, slippery materials like rainwater and ice, and trash.

Visibility Issues

Road visibility is an important aspect of safe riding. Anything that can affect visibility, such as unmaintained trees and bushes and poor lighting, can compromise safety. What makes this issue more dangerous is the fact that motorcyclists have the tendency to be less visible on the road, because they are smaller, have less effective lights, and often weave through traffic.

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Common Ways Businesses Are Violating the Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted for the purpose of protecting employees so they could get the right overtime pay they are entitled to. To ensure that employers will comply with the FLSA, the US Department of Labor established the Wage and Hour Division. Unfortunately, Williams Kherkher lawyers will tell you that many businesses have been violating the law and not giving employers their overtime pay.

Companies have been using a lot of strategies in order to avoid paying overtime wage. Given its costly nature, employers will exert all effort in trying to avoid paying overtime wage. This is an illegal practice and employees who have been denied their overtime pay can file a claim with the Department of Labor. Here are some of the common strategies used by companies in avoiding overtime pay:

1. Making Workers As Salaried Employees

There is a common notion that salaried employees are exempted from overtime pay when in fact, they are not. A salaried employee needs to meet the requirements for exempt status Likewise, the salary must be more than a fixed amount per week.

2. Misclassification

In order to avoid payment of overtime, employers change the classification of an employee to independent contractor thus disqualifying them from receiving overtime pay. But if the company still has control of the time and manner of work of the employee, they cannot be considered an independent contractor.

3. Inside Sales

Compared to outside sales people, inside sales personnel spend most of their time in the office making calls or online. While they are entitled to overtime pay, companies frequently classify sales people as exempt from overtime.

4. Assign Outside Work

When an employee is assigned to do work at their home, they expect their employer to fully compensate them.

5. Comp Time

Some companies have a policy called “comp time” offered to employees who work overtime. Instead of money, employees are given time off in the future. This is an illegal tactic since the law requires employees to be paid for timed work.

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Negligence: A Major Cause of Surgical Errors

Believe it or not, but some of the worst errors which result either in injuries or death are committed by some of the most intelligent and well trained individuals, and in places where safety and quality care are supposed to be priorities, especially for those suffering from serious illnesses. The persons guilty of these grave mistakes are doctors, some of them have been practicing for decades, while the places where the mistakes are committed are hospitals, particularly surgery rooms.

Though absurd as it may sound, but a case actually happened wherein three different doctors committed the mistake of operating on their respective patients’ wrong side of the brain. While leaving a medical instrument inside a patient’s body is already a very common surgical error, ever heard about a patient who, while being operated on, was accidentally set on fire? What about a patient, whose healthy kidney, instead of the damaged one, was removed, or a man who suffered the removal of the wrong testicle, or the wrong leg of a person getting amputated?

Surgical errors are real and at least 200,000 thousand cases are committed every year, some of these resulting to more serious injuries, while others result to patient death. These errors are registered in the list of medical malpractices every year, according to an article posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, due to hospital administrators concealing many other cases of surgical mistakes, it is believed that the actual number is much higher than 200,000 thousand.

Doctors who have been reported as having committed, and still continue to commit, medical errors, likewise number to thousands. Many of these doctors still have pending cases which will determine whether they are guilty of the malpractice they are being accused of.

Surgical errors, as discussed in one law firm’s website, called Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., also include surgery on wrong patient, incorrect surgical procedure. mishandling of surgical instruments, improper suturing, and post-surgical complications. The said firm also says that, due to the life-altering effects of surgical errors, victims should never hesitate pursuing a legal action against the negligent medical professional.

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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage now also required by a Number of States

Showing proof that you have auto liability insurance in necessary each time you to re-register your car and renew your driver’s license, besides these, it will also save you from having your license and driving privileges suspended, and from being issued a traffic ticket for violation of the insurance law which may be mandated in your state. However, if you get involved in a car accident which is the fault of another driver who happens to be uninsured, then you may end up facing financial problems because the auto insurance coverage that you carry is not for your own sake, but for the sake of the victim of an accident wherein you are the one at fault.

Cost of medical treatment and hospitalization, lost wages due to absence from work, and pain and suffering, are almost always the results of car accidents. To cover these cost and losses, the victim is legally allowed to claim compensation from the at-fault driver (this compensation is supposed to be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider). However, if the liable driver is uninsured, then the victim has no other choice but to file a civil lawsuit against him/her for the purpose of seeking compensation (unless the at-fault driver makes an out-of-court settlement with him/her). Meanwhile, as the court case or settlement progresses, payment for all expenses resulting from the accident will have to come from the victim’s own pocket.

With more than 29 million drivers who freely drive on US roads and highways without carrying insurance, the scenario above is a common incidence. So many drivers who comply with the insurance law are being made to suffer more because of other’s non-compliance with this same law. However, instead of solving the issue by punishing the guilty, making them pay for the damages they have caused, and making sure that they purchase insurance coverage, the solution (which is actually more of a punishment) is passed back to law abiding citizens – by requiring them to get additional coverage, namely, the Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to pay for all economic losses and damages suffered by victims of accidents that are blamable on uninsured drivers; this coverage also serves as a perfect financial safety net in accidents involving stolen vehicles or in hit-and-run accidents. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is designed to supplement any insufficiency in the policy limit of the driver at fault. A policy may be insufficient to cover all damages if it amounts only to the minimum liability coverage required by the state.

Regardless of the limit of policies purchased, one thing remains to be factual – these added coverages are additional expenses for drivers; but since these are mandates, drivers can only comply. However, complying does not mean paying high premiums.

Drivers to seek help from independent car insurance companies before purchasing auto insurance. These companies readily provide drivers with insurance quotes from different firms to allow them to compare prices and find the rate that best suits their budget and individual coverage needs.

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