Do the “New” Bankruptcy Laws Impact You?

  • What Constitutes Emergency Dental?

    Anytime you have severe pain on your mouth, you are at risk for losing a tooth or your gums or mouth are seriously bleeding, there is a chance that you have a dental emergency. A dental emergency is generally defined as any instance where there is a risk that you will lose a tooth, but it can also include other oral problems. Beyond tooth loss, most dental and oral problems are not so severe as to require immediate dental help.

    For instance, if your tooth is chipped and not hurting too badly, then you can often wait a few days to see your dentist. The dentist will be able to smooth out the chipped tooth or add in some filler material to regain its form.

    With a tooth that is knocked out or nearly knocked out, though. You do need to see an emergency dentist or your regular dentist right away. Your dentist may not be available right when you need him, which is why it is often better to use an emergency dentist. A tooth that is knocked out or loose needs to be attended to within 30 minutes in order for you to have your best chance at saving the tooth. If it isn’t treated as soon as possible, the tissue in the gums and the bones of the jawline may change and not accept the tooth. It may be impossible to get the tooth to take and be inserted properly back into the gum line and jawbone.

    If the tissue of the mouth has been damaged, such as the gums or tongue, an emergency dentist can help you with that. You should wash the affected area with warm water until you see the dentist. Be sure not to take ibuprofen or other pain relievers, as they can cause excessive bleeding.

    Any time you are not sure whether you have a dental emergency, you should see your dentist just to be safe. You never know how severe the problem is until a trained professional has a look at it. It’s better to be safe and take the extra precaution than to risk severe damage to yourself because you were not sure if you have a real problem. Emergency dentists are able to provide help to you at any hour of the day, and they are your best option when you have a dental emergency.

  • What Factors Does a Court Consider When Determining Child Custody?

    is-there-a-time-limit-on-divorce-paperworkChild custody issues are clearly complex and the stakes are so high that you should have an excellent firm with solid legal advice to help you through.  That being said, here are some general things to note. Based on a number of key factors, the judge will make a decision as to who receives custody of their child in a divorce. These factors may not apply to every case, but they will all be considered each time.

    Safety

    The judge is looking for a home that’s safe for the child. If there has been a history of domestic abuse or if the child demonstrates that they don’t feel safe with one of the parents, then custody isn’t likely to be granted to that parent. Safety concerns also extend to financial security. The judge is more likely to grant custody of the child to whomever has a more financially stable home, and proof of steady income and a reliable work history will factor into that.

    The judge may weigh certain factors more heavily than others, though and determining custody is not simply a process of checking off boxes for each parent then counting those up to see who has the most points.

    Emotional Well-being

    What tends to weigh most heavily with the judge is the promise of the child’s emotional well-being. Generally, the mother is seen as the nurturer and the one who can provide the most emotional security for the child. The judge will consider who the child is most attached to, who they have spent the most time with and who is most able to provide for their needs at the child’s stage of development.

    If the child is of age to make an informed and intelligent decision, the judge may take into consideration any decision the child makes concerning their preferred parent.

    How much time was spent with the child before separation or divorce will also be factored in, as this shows to some degree who cares more for the child or who the child is more attached to.

    Other Factors

    There are a number of other factors the judge may consider when making the decision for custody. The number of children and their age can make a difference as to who the child or children go with. How fit each parent is and their ability to care for the children needs to be considered as well.

    In the end, the judge will always look toward the best interests of the children. That is the final and overriding consideration and it determines the importance of all the other factors.

  • How Do You Bail Someone Out of Jail?

    need-a-bail-bondsmanIf your mother was to be arrested tomorrow, would you know the procedure to follow, to get her released from Jail as quickly as possible? Would you have $25,000 in cash available to pay the bail if that was the price set by the judge? I don’t imagine there would be many families with that sort of capital lying around for just such a situation, but on the other hand, the thought of leaving your mother in jail for even one night doesn’t bear thinking about. Unless you have a wealthy family member, who can just pay that sum of money, the best option for you may be to employ the services of as bail bonds company.

    Irvine is a very different city than most, so I retrieved some information from this local Irvine Bail Bondsman to help me explain the process of what to do.

    What Is A Bail Bonds Company And What Do They Do?

    A bail bonds company is a business that assists people to cover the bond costs so that their friend and relative can be released from jail. In most cases, they provide a 24-hour service (people don’t only get arrested between 9 and 5), and they have an in-depth knowledge of the judicial system, which means that they can generally shorten the length of time your loved one spends in prison.

    To continue with the example of a mother who has been set bail, the procedure would work something like this:

    1. You approach your bail bonds company of choice and explain the situation. In general, it is probably best to use a local company, as they will know the intricacies of each local jail, who to contact or speak to. They will also know how quickly you can expect your relative or friend to be released. In some cases, that can be up to one hour, in others, it could take 24 hours.
    2. They will discuss all the details of the case with you and normally their fee will be somewhere in the region of 10 to 20 percent of the bail amount that has been set. For this example, we will assume that it is 10 percent and therefore the fee is $2000.
    3. Once this fee has been paid, and be warned the fee is non-refundable, then the bail bonds company will contact the jail and arrange to pay the $20,000 bond.
    4. Your friend or relative will then be released from prison, on the understanding that they will turn up as promised on the date and time of their next court case.
    5. If they do not turn up, then in the first instance the bail bonds company will have to forfeit the $20,000 in total.
    6. In Irvine under United States law, in this situation the bail bonds company are allowed to employ the services of a bounty hunter to track your friend or relative down and return them to court.
    7. Once the person has returned to trial, they bail bonds company will get their bond money refunded, but may then decide to sue your friend for the additional cost of the bounty hunter.

    A bail bond company can and generally will dig your family out of a big hole. It is always a good idea to turn up to court as promised when you are released on bail, as otherwise, you are only making a bad situation worse.

  • Urgent Care Centers May Become Even Larger Chains Soon

    As widespread as urgent care centers are becoming, we haven’t really seen any of them develop into chains. But that could be on the way very soon.

    urgent care helps to contain emergency care costsThere is definitely an appeal to taking this very profitable business model and turning it into a nationwide chain with a recognizable brand and streamlined services. It’s appealing to a lot of investors who are right now looking into setting up chains of urgent care centers. There is definitely a push to make the MacDonald’s of urgent care. It isn’t a matter of if it is coming but when.

    That’s because the urgent care business model has proven to be a major moneymaker. Millions of dollars in profit are being seen each year in this industry, and that’s something that investors are going to want a piece of. All that profit comes from the way these centers do business. They treat a lot of customers each day- around 30-40 per center. They treat them quickly so they can fit in a bunch of customers each day, and that allows them to offer lower prices than doctor’s offices or hospitals.

    They are in direct competition with other types of medical facilities, but they offer their services at a lower price and on a shorter timeframe, making them instantly appealing to people who are tired of the long waits and high prices they suffer from other medical treatment facilities.

    It shouldn’t be too long before some investors take the initiative and start branding many of the urgent care centers out there, taking the business across the nation and making a number of unconnected centers into an instantly recognizable business. This may help to further drive down the prices for consumers, as those urgent care centers that are part of the chain would want to distinguish themselves in some way. But if someone wants to unite urgent care centers as a chain, they should do it quickly before there isn’t much room left for more care centers.

    That’s a concern because maximum penetration will be reached at some point, and there won’t be much space to add new centers without hurting profits for all other centers in an area. For now, there’s enough for everyone, and most of the urgent care centers in the country are seeing a lot of growth each year. But that is what makes them ripe for turning into a franchise.

  • What Is the Impact of the New Bankruptcy Law Climate?

    In 2005, The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act went into effect with the goal of preventing abusive bankruptcy filing practices.

    The truth about the “new bankruptcy law”: Bankruptcy still helps millions of Americans clear their debt and stop foreclosure and repossession. Most people who want to file bankruptcy still can. The new law hasn’t stopped many people from filing who would have filed before the law went into effect and continue to file bankruptcy in 2014.

    Ask a local attorney how the bankruptcy laws may help you. Fill out this quick bankruptcy case review form to connect with a lawyer for a free consultation.

    The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005

    The consumer credit industry lobbied Congress for nearly ten years in an effort to pass the kind of bankruptcy reforms adopted in 2005.

    The industry went to great lengths to paint a picture of consumers using bankruptcy as a means of financial planning, running up huge credit card bills with complete disregard for their ability to repay them, and then discharging them in bankruptcy when the well ran dry.

    On October 17, 2005, the changes they’d been pushing for more than a decade took effect. But the impact hasn’t been quite what the credit industry intended.

    Filing Bankruptcy Under the New Bankruptcy Laws in 2014 and Beyond

    The bankruptcy laws haven’t seen much update since the 2005 BAPCPA reform, and filing bankruptcy in 2014 is virtually no different than any other recent year.

    In order to file, you must take a credit counseling course. If you intend to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must qualify under the means test, which compares your disposable income to your total amount of debt.

    Is it harder to file bankruptcy under the new law?

    Not really. It’s certainly “harder” in the sense that it takes more work. And that may work to the advantage of the credit industry, since some consumers will be discouraged by the additional requirements. However, with the assistance of a local bankruptcy attorney, the process is still quite manageable.

    In the more significant sense, it’s not much harder to file for bankruptcy. The new legislation was supposed to weed out “abusive” filers-the ones the credit industry thought were running up credit card bills knowing that they could “always file bankruptcy”.

    But the industry (and Congress) overlooked some very important information-information that consumer bankruptcy attorneys and other consumer advocates attempted repeatedly to share with them.

    Those “abusive” filers made up a very small percentage of bankruptcy petitioners. The vast majority of people filing bankruptcy do so because of huge medical bills not covered by insurance, divorce, job loss, or a death in the family.

    Early reports from credit counseling agencies indicated that fewer than 4% of prospective bankruptcy petitioners had any other realistic options.

    Fortunately, many people are not disqualified from filing for bankruptcy protection under the new law.

    The Chapter 7 Means Test

    The Chapter 7 means test was much touted as the means by which the bankruptcy process would weed out those abusive filers, people who didn’t really need to file for bankruptcy protection and just didn’t feel like paying their bills.

    And perhaps the means test does that, but the overall impact is very small because there are (and always have been) so few bankruptcy petitioners in that situation.

     

    The means test is a two-step process. The first step compares the debtor’s income to the median income in his state. If his income is lower than the median income for his family size, the test ends there. There is no presumption of abuse, and the debtor can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    For most Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitioners, the means test ends there. However, even when the debtor’s income exceeds the median income in his state, he may still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy depending upon his expenses.

    Will the Law Impact My Bankruptcy Filing?

    There are some new requirements for bankruptcy petitioners. First, you’ll have to complete an approved Credit Counseling Briefing before you file for bankruptcy. If you’re planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll have to “pass” the means test.

    Your attorney has new obligations to verify the information you provide, which makes the bankruptcy process a bit more expensive and time consuming. Your bankruptcy lawyer will have to obtain valuations on some of your property, your credit report, tax transcripts, and other documentation.

    Before you receive your discharge, whether you’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll have to complete an approved Debtor Education Course.

    The Bottom Line: Can I Still File Bankruptcy?

    Probably. A small number of potential bankruptcy filers are impacted by the Chapter 7 means test.

    For everyone else, bankruptcy works pretty much just like it always did, except that there are a few extra steps involved. And even those few people who might be disqualified by the Chapter 7 means test may still be able to opt to file under Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

    A local bankruptcy attorney can assess your situation specifically:

    This page was updated on Jan 9, 2014. Remember, every person’s bankruptcy case is unique. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney in your area to learn how bankruptcy may help you.

    The above summary is not legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on bankruptcy laws, speak to a local bankruptcy lawyer in your state.

    Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on the site are paid attorney advertisements. Your access of/to and use of this site is subject to additional Supplemental Terms.

  • Green Card Numbers Could Be Doubling

    filing for permanent residencyFor those immigrating to the United States, the lack of available Green Cards each year is a major hurdle. Only a limited number of applicants can even be approved each year, no matter what their qualifications or reasons are for applying for a Green Card. This means that many people are turned away every year who are pursuing immigration to the US.

    What this means is that there are long lines at immigration centers and that many people are simply turned away every year without even getting a chance to present their case. This makes the immigration process frustrating for many people, as they continually have their hopes dashed and they have to try again another year.

    But that could be changing soon. President Obama has vowed to make changes to the Green Card program. More specifically, he has promised to try to expand on the number of available Green Cards each year by doubling the current total. That’s a lofty goal, and it may not be one he will be able to attain. But even if some progress is made and substantially more Green Cards become available annually, that will be excellent news for those people trying to move into the country.

    It presents an opportunity that is unlike any before, and the changes could be coming as soon as this summer. But those who want to take advantage of the opportunity are going to have to do something about it. They can’t just wait for a Green Card to be handed out. They need to make their case known and make sure they have a compelling case to present.

    This means getting their paperwork in order, meeting the proper prerequisites and getting in touch with immigration to file their paperwork.

    With so many more people trying to file for immigration each year, the workload placed on the immigration officers will be overwhelming. Potential immigrants will have to stand out from the crowd and make sure all their paperwork is in order. One of the best ways to do that is to hire an immigration attorney.

    Many of them will be turning to Carson City’s premier immigration attorney. That’s Cristina M. Hughes Esq, Immigration Law. Her track record handling immigration law case is impressive. For those who are not sure what their chances are to be approved for a Green Card, they should be getting whatever help they can. It’s not enough to simply file an application and hope for the best. Having an immigration attorney on their side can make a huge difference in determining if they are actually going to be able to immigrate.