What To Expect With Your Bankruptcy Creditor’s Meeting

Many people are surprised by the idea of a creditor’s meeting when they learn about it; it seems both comforting and scary at the same time. It seems comforting because you don’t have to actually appear before a judge in a traditional court to have your bankruptcy case heard, but scary because the thought of facing people that you owe money to is quite intimidating. The good news is that a creditor’s meeting is nothing to worry about, as long as you are well-prepared. Read on to learn more about this event, and soon you will be on the other side of it.

1. You will learn of the date and time via mail, so be sure to know exactly where to park, where to go and what to bring with you. You will need to show valid photo government-issued identification, such as driver’s license or passport, as well as a copy of your bankruptcy paperwork (the bankruptcy petition). These meetings are usually held in a nearby city in a federal building, sometimes in a courtroom but just as often in a large conference room. Though it may be held in a courtroom, there will be no “bankruptcy judge,” as there is no such thing. Instead, the meeting will be presided over by the bankruptcy trustee.

2. You should plan to spend approximately two to four hours at the meeting, but don’t worry, as your time before the trustee will be extremely brief. It comes as a shock to some filers that their creditor’s meeting is not a private event but is instead in a room filled with other bankruptcy filers with the exact same appointment time. In fact, the proceedings are actually open to the public. Whether or not you remain in the meeting after your turn depends on local custom, but it’s a good idea to leave your children elsewhere just in case you have to stay the entire meeting.

3. If you are fortunate enough to have a bankruptcy attorney, you may not actually see them until your name is called. The attorney may have other clients present at the same meeting. Once called, you will be sworn to tell the truth and then the trustee will ask you the same questions that were asked of all the other filers, such as:

  • Have you ever filed for bankruptcy before?
  • Is the information on your bankruptcy petition accurate and is that your signature?
  • Have you filed your federal taxes yet?

4. You may be wondering, at this point, why the meeting is called a creditor’s meeting. It can be somewhat of a misnomer, since creditors seldom appear at the meeting. If there are any issues with your filing, however, you may encounter a creditor who wants to object or question you about your debt. Your attorney will have prior knowledge of any appearances, and you will have plenty of opportunities to be prepared for any issues that arise. It is in your best interest to ensure that you have not used your credit cards to run up debt for frivolous purchases in the last few month prior to your filing, however.

For more information, contact John D Rouse or a similar legal professional.

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3 Tips For Dealing With An Insurance Adjuster After An Accident

After a car accident in which you were not at fault, the insurance adjuster stands between you and your compensation for the damages you suffered. An experienced adjuster has most likely dealt with dozens, if not hundreds, of car accident cases. He or she knows the finer points of negotiating. Unless you are skilled at negotiating, it is possible that you could be bested. To help you avoid this, here are some tips for dealing with the insurance adjuster. 

Remember the Adjuster Is Not Your Friend

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that the insurance adjuster is your friend. It is not uncommon for adjusters to be overly friendly during negotiations. Adjusters know that some people are uncomfortable with haggling over the settlement amount with friendly and helpful people.  

It is important to remember that the adjuster is doing his or her job. Insurance companies want to make a profit, and paying large settlements is not the way to do it. As a result, part of an adjuster’s job is to negotiate for the best settlement possible for the insurance company. Giving you a large settlement is not going to accomplish that goal.  

Avoid Giving Too Much Information

Immediately after the accident, the insurance adjuster might contact you to learn the details of the accident. It is important that you limit the details that you give him or her.  

Any statements that you give the adjuster can be used to deny your claim or reduce your settlement amount. If you are contacted by the insurance adjuster, stick to the basics. The basics include verifying the cars that were involved, the drivers, and the date and time. Inform the adjuster that you need time to assess the accident and that you will provide a written statement at a later time.  

Do Not Sign a Medical Records Release

The insurance adjuster might try to pressure you to sign a medical records release form. The form would give the insurance company permission to view your medical records. Although the insurance company does have the right to see proof of your injuries, you should never give them complete access to your records.  

Unless the release form limits the insurance company’s access to certain records, the adjuster could request additional records. The adjuster could access records from five years ago to look for any past accidents in which you were involved. He or she could blame your injuries on that accident, and you could struggle to prove otherwise.  

Work with an experienced personal injury attorney at a law office such as Erickson Law Office to learn other tips for handling an insurance adjuster. 

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3 Things A Family Lawyer Can Do Besides Divorces

Many people are familiar with a family lawyer for divorces. In fact, when most people think of a family lawyer they equate it to divorces. Although family attorneys handle a lot of divorces, they are also able to handle a good deal of other cases as well. Here are some other things that family attorneys do as well.

1. Adoptions

Adoptions are one of the most rewarding cases a family attorney can do. If you are adopting a child, you will need to meet with an attorney. The attorney will help to ensure you are a foster parent, all of the state requirements are met, and that the child’s biological parents have terminated their parental rights.They will then represent you in court when the time comes to make the adoption final. Since there are so many different legal requirements that must be met before you can legally adopt a child, you should meet with an attorney early about your adoption.

2. Prenuptial Agreements

Since divorce rates are so high, it is important that you are realistic about the possibility of divorce. Many people make the choice to get a prenuptial agreement before they take their wedding vows. For many individuals this is a great idea. If you have children from a previous relationship, you have a good deal of wealth, or if you have been married before, you should consider getting a prenuptial agreement.

A family attorney is uniquely prepared to help you construct a prenuptial agreement that will protect you and your interests. Since the family attorney has seen so much divorce, they know what to include in the agreement so that it is thorough and will protect you in the case that the marriage dissolves.

3. Domestic Violence

If you have been the victim of domestic violence or know of someone who is in a dangerous situation, you should talk to a family attorney about getting the individual to safety and protecting the victim’s rights. The family attorney can help to get the children and spouse out of a dangerous situation, can issue a restraining order and can help them get in a safe situation while protecting them legally. A family attorney can also help you put evidence together to give to the state prosecutor if charges are filed and there is a criminal case against the abuser.

As it has been shown, family attorneys do much more than just divorce and can handle any of your needs with legal issues pertaining to the family and marriage. For more information, contact Knollmeyer Law Office or a similar firm.

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Making Sense Of DIY Divorce

Filing divorce paperwork against your future ex-spouse doesn’t necessary mark the end; it could carve out a bright, new beginning. While the road ahead won’t come without its fair share of bumps and surprises, being well prepared helps to make the process bearable. Here are four crucial steps for making your DIY divorce as civil, amicable, and fair as possible.

Submitting Your Divorce Petition

In order to get the process moving along, you will need to formally submit your divorce petition in the appropriate court. Divorce petitions can be lengthy, but are generally easily navigable. After you have completely filled out your divorce petition, you will then need to ensure that your spouse is served with a certified copy. 

Understanding Legal Separation

Legally married couples who intend to divorce must also file separation paperwork. Divorcing couples can continue to live together, but they must acknowledge that they are living their lives separately. Filing for separation enables divorcing couples to request financial support, which can be vital if the other party is not being cooperative. Legal separation is often the first required step in formally filing for divorce.

Division Of Marital Assets And Debts

All assets acquired during the course of a marriage are subject to division. What this means is that property, pensions, businesses, income and even inheritances can be divided between yourself and your spouse in the manner that the court deems appropriate. Disclosing all of your tangible assets and financial obligations early on in the process will help you to get a fair divorce settlement.

Transitioning Into A New Life

Many divorcees are able to anticipate the drastic lifestyle changes that often come as a result of divorce, but even the most well prepared parties need time to adjust to living independently again. Consider whether or not you will need to downsize in order to maintain your standard of living so that you can plan to move, sell property or look for better employment opportunities. Having a set budget will aid you in making major life decisions related to your divorce.

Signing On The Dotted Line

Until all involved parties have signed off, your divorce paperwork will not be final. The good news is that you can always amend your divorce petition and submit new supporting documentation if you feel that a modification would be beneficial. Once your divorce decree is final, you will have the freedom to take complete control over your life again.

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Going For More Child Support

You’ve been divorced for years, and most of the hard feelings are long gone. You really appreciate the fact that things are on an even keel. However, your ex is making a lot more money than they did when the child support agreement was made. Things are only getting more expensive, so should you ask for a child support modification? It may be worth making waves to financially protect your children. Here are some things that may impact future child support payments.

Qualifying Circumstances

Just because your former partner has had some financial luck doesn’t mean you can automatically raise the support payments. States have different criteria for raising child support. In a few states, your former spouse winning the lottery would be enough for your support to increase. However, many states have a two-prong approach. You have to prove your ex is making more money and that you are making less. Or you may need to show that your child’s financial needs have increased or demonstrate some combination of different financial changes.

Fortunately, you may be able to avoid formal court proceedings by negotiating with your ex and their lawyer. If you have a good relationship, simply showing financial need to your children’s other parent may be enough to convince them to cooperate. Most parents want their children to be adequately supported.

Reductions

This process works both ways, however. If your income has also increased or your former spouse’s has decreased, they can petition for a decrease in child support. Before you instigate these proceedings, consult closely with your lawyer to make certain you are not opening up the proverbial “can of worms.” If your circumstances indicate that you can benefit from a child support modification, go ahead and seek one.

Relationships

Requesting a child support change may not be worth pursuing if the amount of money is not going to be significant. Some states actually require that the change will be over $50 or more per month. Your legal fees might end up being more than you recoup. More importantly, court proceedings of any kind can strain family relationships. Make sure the process will be financially worth it.

Remember, your children will only be entitled to support until they are 18, or in some cases, until they graduate college. You won’t have too many years to get them the financial backing that they deserve. If they need the support money, and it will make a significant change in their lifestyle, pursue the child support modification. Contact a firm like Novenstern Fabriani & Gaudio, LLP for more information.

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You’re Green Card Is Expiring – What Next?

If you currently hold a green card or permanent resident card, sometimes referred to as a USCIS Form K-551, you are living in the United States legally. Without this document, you will not be able to re-enter the country should you leave. Unfortunately, these cards are typically valid for only 10 years at a time. If you realize that your card is expiring soon, you may be unsure about how to proceed in getting a new one.

What Happens If You Fail to Renew Your Green Card?

If you do not renew your green card quickly, you could find yourself having trouble entering the country again if you choose to leave. Additionally, you will not be allowed to live or work in the United States unless the card is valid. For this reason, you should begin the process of renewing your green card six months before it expires. In order to keep your legal status intact, you must also renew your card when you turn 14 years old.

What Is the Best Way to Renew Your Green Card?

One of the best steps you can take in renewing your green card is to speak with an immigration attorney. These attorneys are situated all around the country, ready to help you renew your card seamlessly.

Some people have cards that are valid for only two years. If this is the case, you must ensure that you file a petition for a new card within 90 days of the expiration date. Following this process, you should obtain a card that is good for 10 years. If you do not see an expiration date on your green card, you should be aware that it is likely no longer valid. You need to seek the assistance of an attorney immediately.

What If You Lose Your Green Card?

If you lose your green card or your current card becomes damaged, you can seek a replacement. You can also get a new card if you need to change some of the information. If you fail to complete the steps to get a new card, you could very well lose your right to be a permanent resident.

The only way to work legally in the United States is to obtain a green card that is valid and unexpired. Failure to do so may result in deportation. Regardless of your current status, consulting with an immigration attorney is a smart way to get the process started. Contact a business, such as The Law Office of Israel S Hernandez, PLLC, for more information.   

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Four Situation In Which Workers’ Compensation Insurance May Cover Your Auto Accident

Most people file accident claims after getting injured in automobile crashes. However, it’s also possible to file workers’ compensation claims for car accidents that occur on the job. Here are examples of situations in which you may file a workers’ compensation claim for a car crash:

Driving Is Your Job

You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your car accident if driving is a normal part of your duties. The most obvious example for this is a commercial driver hurt involved in a crash. However, there are other people who aren’t drivers per se, but their work entails a lot of driving. For example, a risk consultant isn’t a driver in the strictest meaning of the title, but their work may involve driving to clients’ locations.

You Were Running an Errand

Workers’ compensation is meant for injuries incurred on the job irrespective of the nature of those injuries. Therefore, if you are hurt in a car crash, you can file for workers’ compensation benefits even if you were running an errand. For example, if you are a secretary and your boss asks you to pick up a client from the airport, you can file for workers’ compensation claim if you get into a crash on or from the airport.

You Were Hurt on Your Company’s Grounds

You may also be covered by workers’ compensation if the car crash occurs in your employer’s parking lot. This might be the case even if the injury occurred while you were leaving for home, reporting for work or going to or from lunch. However, you may have a hard time getting the compensation package if the parking lot isn’t employer controlled. In such a case, your claim’s settlement may depend on the wording of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance and your state’s laws on the same.

Making a Choice

Workers’ compensation benefits are likely to be lower than personal injury claim settlements. One reason for this is because workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t cover all the damages a personal injury claim may have. For example, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover pain and suffering while personal injury claims cover the damage. Therefore, it’s wise to evaluate the two and follow the path of maximum benefits.

However, you may not always have the option of choosing which claims to make. For example, if your employer is responsible for your injury, you have no option but to go the workers’ compensation route, unless you can prove that your employer’s actions were intentional.

Lastly, it’s advisable to file a workers’ compensation claim if you caused the accident. This is because workers’ compensation claim benefits are paid to all injured workers regardless of fault.

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