Jump to content
Invision Community
FORUMS BLOG/NEWS USER BLOGS USER MEDIA ADVERTS   ADD  MANAGE CHAT CLUBS & USER PERSONAL FORUMS LINK EXCHANGE
SMALL BUSINESS Small Business Online Home Based Business Small Business Finance Starting A Home Business Make Money Online Affiliate Programs Make Money With Pay Per Click AdSense Program Earn Money From Website

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Last week
  2. Choosing legal representatives is a very important part of any legal process. Your choice of solicitor can spell the difference between a thoroughly handled case and a ‘disaster-class’, success and failure, the right award for compensation and a missed shot at getting justice. A medical negligence claim is no different. The result of poor medical care can be devastating, potentially causing prolonged recovery period or long-term pain and suffering. This is why you must seek help and support from a specialist medical negligence solicitors. However, not everyone who claims to be a top medical negligence lawyer is an expert. Some lawyers may have been specialists in personal injury law for years and are now making a foray into medical negligence — a field where they are very inexperienced. Here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing a medical negligence solicitor: DO YOUR RESEARCH You may ask for recommendations from family and friends who have successfully managed medical negligence situations in the past. These recommendations are a good way to start. However, you must ensure the recommended solicitors suit your personal situation. Personal recommendations are very valuable when it comes to medical negligence, but you should still carry out your own research. The internet is one of the best research sources. Make a note of reputable medical negligence solicitors that appeal to you and look them up on the Law Society Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme. Under the solicitor’s entry, you will find a sub-heading titled ‘Areas of Practice’. If you do not find medical negligence in this list, then this is not a solicitor for your case. SPECIALTY AND EXPERIENCE Medical negligence is a highly specialized legal field. As a result, you should only consider working with a firm of medical negligence solicitors dedicated to cases like yours. When looking up a firm’s website, check if the solicitors there are accredited members of the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA). The AvMA is the UK charity set up for the safety and justice of patients. A solicitor who is part of the Law Society and AvMA is a strong fit for medical negligence cases. INTERVIEW Once you are done with your research, it is now time to get personal with your chosen solicitors. This is a crucial part of your decision making as medical negligence cases are usually long and complex. You must feel confident and comfortable with your medical negligence lawyer throughout this process. During the interview, try to discern how approachable they are, and if they are readily available to respond to your queries. FINAL THOUGHTS Choosing a medical negligence solicitor is a very crucial part of any medical negligence claims. Ensure you choose the right one so you do not miss out on an opportunity to seek justice and receive the compensation you deserve. Read More....
  3. Given the complex nature of medical practice, it is little wonder even seemingly small errors can have life-changing or even life-ending impact on the victims of negligence. In many cases, medical negligence victims are forced to deal with the physical and emotional consequences of a doctor’s mistake. Despite the life-altering effects of negligence, some victims do not pursue medical negligence claims. Many patients are simply unsure if the injury or illness they suffered occurred as a result of medical negligence. Some mistakenly assume that errors are sometimes inevitable in the hospital, so no one is responsible for any resulting injuries or illnesses. This is why knowledge of the most common types of negligence can help you determine if you have a case. Different Types of Medical Negligence Claims Misdiagnosis– Diagnosis is the first step after a patient is admitted to a medical establishment, and correctly diagnosing what is wrong is crucial to treating a medical condition. Sadly, some doctors make hurried conclusions because of a patient’s age or weight, even when these factors do not directly impact the patient’s current condition. If a doctor fails to recognize symptoms, makes assumptions or diagnoses incorrectly, misdiagnosis claims solicitors can help you file claim for compensation. Note: A doctor’s evaluation and recommendation may only qualify as misdiagnosis if he/she fails to do what other doctors would have done in a similar medical situation, causing the patient harm as a result. Delayed Diagnosis- Delayed diagnosis is similar to misdiagnosis. In this situation, the doctor may have made an inaccurate diagnosis at the onset before the patient eventually receives the correct diagnosis. Medical claims solicitors can help you pursue a claim for compensation in this case if it is determined that other doctors would have accurately diagnosed the same ailment in a timely manner. For instance, the doctor may have failed to recommend a test that would have led to the right diagnosis. The delay in providing correct diagnosis can worsen a patient’s condition, and have life-changing consequences. Birth Obstetric Claims– Birth injuries are one of the most painful types of medical negligence. Expecting parents wear joy on their faces; they invest lots of time and effort making plans for the baby’s nursery and what it will grow up to be. Every possible detail is planned. However, it is impossible for them to plan for the consequences of a birth injury caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider. Many factors can cause birth injury. The obstetrician may have provided inadequate prenatal care, even if the mother received treatment afterwards for her health and that of her unborn baby. There could also be negligence during childbirth, leading to injuries to the baby or its mother. If those injuries could have been prevented, it is likely that medical negligence has occurred. In this case, you can pursue birth obstetric claims to seek compensation. Appendix Negligence Claims– Statistics confirm that appendicitis is a relatively common condition that will affect six in hundred persons in the UK. Reports in the UK also show that appendicitis is the most frequent cause of emergency admissions in medical establishments for abdominal surgery. If left untreated, the inflamed appendix will rupture and spread infection into the abdominal cavity. Unfortunately, this condition is not always correctly diagnosed. While diagnosing the condition may be difficult in some cases since it is at a very early stage, there are often cases where healthcare professionals fail to identify the condition despite clinical examinations and the patient’s history strongly indicating the presence of appendicitis. In this case, delayed diagnosis may cause the appendix to perforate, leading to more extensive surgical process that would have otherwise been carried out. If you have suffered an injury as a result of failure on the part of a doctor to provide adequate advice and correct treatment options, you may be able to pursue a medical negligence appendix claim. Final Thoughts – Keep in mind that the list above is not comprehensive. However, medical negligence maintains a consistent theme: a healthcare provider fails to provide the expected level of care to his or her patients. Medical negligence takes place if the care provided falls short of accepted medical standards of care, and the healthcare provider may be held liable if this negligence causes injury or illness to a patient. For more read here...
  4. Earlier
  5. The Law Offices of Roger W. StelkKnowing what other couples say they wish they knew before getting divorced can help spouses prepare for financial setbacks and minimize damage to their long-term goals. The following are some changes divorced couples have experienced and things they say they wish they had known in advance. Federal Income Tax May Increase Federal income tax liability often increases significantly after a divorce. In many cases, it may have been years since the divorcee filed individual taxes, resulting in an unpleasant surprise when it comes time to pay federal income tax. Online tax calculators or financial advisors can help divorcing spouses compare married filing jointly to filing as individuals so they can make appropriate changes that minimize the shock of filing as a single taxpayer. Overall Costs May Increase Many couples work as a team when it comes to making payments and covering costs, whether for bills or leisurely activities such as dinner parties and vacation expenses. Individuals may find that many of these costs go up after a divorce. In many cases, divorcing couples may still opt to share a family phone plan, for instance, but if one party switches carriers, this could also increase costs for each party. Other expenses such as car insurance will also likely increase as plans change, discounts expire, and the general cost of living rises. Spousal Support Considerations Maintenance payments in Illinois are determined by evaluating each spouse’s income and the length of the marriage. In some cases, spousal support payments can account for 20% or more of a divorcing spouse’s income. Sometimes, however, the courts may determine that spousal maintenance is not appropriate. Since spousal support can significantly impact the financial future of both spouses, divorce lawyers often help their clients evaluate the probability of court-ordered maintenance in advance. Retirement Plans Could Change Significantly Individuals may find that, after a divorce, retirement goals may become more difficult, or easier to achieve. If costs increase, it may become harder to invest as much into a 401(k) account, making it necessary in many cases to change plans. On the other hand, divorce can improve financial situations for some people, putting retirement plans within reach. https://stelklaw.com/blog/
  6. Get an ERP software from Expedien eSolution at a very low rate
  7. Each year, tens of thousands of people throughout the U.S. suffer injuries on carnival and amusement park rides; many as a result of falling. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that amusement attractions, including fixed and mobile rides, inflatables, waterslides, and shopping mall and restaurant rides caused 42,329 injuries in 2018. Carnivals, fairs, and amusement parks are a popular entertainment source for people in Nevada. However, the fun may come to a frightening and often life-changing end when victims fall from rides. Causes of Amusement Ride Falls Falls and other amusement park ride accidents are caused by a number of factors. In some cases, these deadly accidents are caused by park owner or operator negligence. Poor maintenance could lead to mechanical failures that allow riders to fall. The employee running the ride may not have received adequate training on its safe operation and the potential hazards to watch out for. Defective safety features and ride design flaws, as well as actions on the part of ride passengers, may also result in falls from carnival and amusement park rides. When another party’s negligence contributed to their falls, those injured in amusement park accidents may have cause to seek compensation. Victims may recover damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other economic and non-economic losses. Common Carnival and Amusement Ride Injuries Adults and children may experience a range of injuries after falling from an amusement attraction. Some falls result in less serious injuries, including bruises, cuts, and broken bones. Others, however, may leave people with severe brain, head, neck, or back injuries. Many rides are fast-moving and take passengers to significant heights. Consequently, the injuries suffered due to falls from such attractions may be fatal. Just last year, for instance, a 10-year old girl suffered fatal injuries when she was ejected from a New Jersey amusement park ride called the “Xtreme.” As cars spin and the ride rotates in the opposite direction, a lap bar is all that protects passengers. Although the accident is under investigation, the lap bars have a history of failing. Staying Safe Many amusement ride falls could have been prevented. Following posted safety instructions as well as those verbally provided by ride operators, reading warnings, and reconsidering taking the ride when medical conditions exist can help riders stay safe. By Bradshaw Law LLC
  8. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers a website, Nursing Home Compare, that enables consumers to view inspection reports on safety violations for abuse and neglect in certified nursing homes. Abuse and Neglect Violations Nursing Home Compare allows people to search by location and/or nursing home name for facilities with Five-Star Ratings on quality care. Facilities with less than 5-Star Ratings or citations for abuse and/or neglect are marked with specific red icons that alert consumers to safety violations. Nursing Home Compare provides consumers with valuable information on the quality of care in Medicare and Medicaid funded facilities across the country. It allows consumers to select multiple nursing homes and compare their reports and ratings on health inspections, staffing levels, and resident care which are the basis for quality ratings that range from 1 to 5 stars. Ratings and reports are updated monthly, so consumers have the latest information available. By comparing information, families can choose a nursing home with better care and fewer injuries caused by abuse and neglect cases seen by nursing home abuse lawyers each year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented Nursing Home Compare in 1998, but new information is added continually. Recently, five new quality care measures were added to the Nursing Home Compare website to clarify how quality care ratings are calculated. The Five-Star Quality Rating is based on Medicare and Medicaid claims for the percentage of: short-term residents discharged successfully back into the community short-term residents admitted to outpatient hospital emergency departments short-term residents re-admitted to hospitals after nursing home admission short-term residents with improvements in normal function long-term residents with worsened abilities to move freely or function independently A sixth quality care measure is based on the use of anti-anxiety or hypnotic medications given to nursing home residents. It is not presently included in the Five-Star Quality Rating calculations because of difficulty establishing benchmarks for acceptable use of these medications. Nursing Home Compare information only applies to Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities. These facilities are regulated at the federal level by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In Illinois, state nursing homes are regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Strom & Associates
  9. Cook County first installment property tax bills which are due on March 3, 2020, are now available online. This year’s first installment bill was calculated at 55% of last year’s total bill. To find the property’s tax bill on the Treasurer’s website, a property owner will need to know the 14-digit Property Identification Number. Property owners can pay the property tax bill in installments as long as the full amount is paid by the March 3 deadline. Northern Suburbs Properties Re-Assessed Cook County is divided into three regions for assessment purposes, and re-assessments take place every three years. This year, the northern suburbs will receive tax bills that reflect their region’s re-assessment. This the first time property owners will see the outcome of the new assessment methodology. Property owners can appeal their tax bills regardless if it’s their region’s turn for re-assessment, but there is only a month-long window for each town. Owners can check the deadlines on the Cook County Assessor’s Website. Appealing in the year the property was re-assessed maximizes the potential savings. The current tax bill is for the previous year. While the appeals process is taking place, property taxes will still need to be paid. If the appeal is successful, the adjustment will impact the second property tax bill that will arrive later this year. Property owners can also file a Certificate of Error if there is a factual inaccuracy, like the wrong property classification or incorrect square footage. Appealing Property Tax Assessments Before a Cook County property tax lawyer appeals the assessment, he or she will typically review various types of property data, including the current market value, use of the property, recent improvements made, and other characteristics. Commercial properties are handled differently because more documents are necessary, including a Real Estate Valuation Appeal form. This form contains the owner’s estimate of the current fair market value of the property, as well as a description of the basis of alleged overassessment. Commercial property owners might also need to include a property summary sheet, owner/lessee verification affidavit, detailed income and expense data, vacancy affidavit, and more. Documents can be submitted through the Cook County Assessor’s website. Law Offices of Gary H Smith, P.C.
  10. Workers who report workplace incidents create a paper trail; a record that analysts and regulators can use to determine ways to improve safety conditions around the country. Each report provides details that regulatory bodies can use to identify potential threats so that other workers don’t suffer injuries or wrongful deaths. Root Cause Analysis When OSHA receives reports of hazardous workplace conditions, they compile this data to identify the root causes of workplace accidents. The more information individuals include in their reports, the easier it is for investigators to establish the root cause of the accident. Similarly, employers can use this data to identify the root causes of accidents within the facilities and worksites they maintain. The more information available, the easier it is to determine what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and what needs to happen to correct the problem so that it doesn’t happen again. Thorough documentation includes photographs and video evidence, as well as witness statements, maintenance records, technician reports, etc. Finding Fault, Not Assigning Blame Incident investigations are about finding faults in workplace conditions and processes. They are not intended to assign blame to any particular individual. The goal of the investigation is to find ways of improving safety standards within the facility so that workers don’t suffer the same types of injuries in the future. Most incident investigations are undertaken by supervisors. These individuals often bring together other supervisors and employees to determine potential threats in the workplace. Together, these groups can make corrections that can benefit everyone in the workplace. Often, these investigations uncover safety rules that are ignored, machines that go unserviced, and deficiencies in safety training programs. What Happens When Workers Don’t Report Workplace Accident or Incidents When workers don’t report workplace incidents and injuries, they leave the door open for another worker to suffer an injury or wrongful death. When problems go unrecognized, they create a pattern of injuries across the industry. Whether it’s scaffolding problems, failures of a particular type of flooring, electrical hazards with a particular type of machine, etc., the sooner these problems are reported, the fewer individuals will suffer serious, career-ending injuries. Kathleen A. Sigurdson Attorney At Law
  11. Workers who report workplace incidents create a paper trail; a record that analysts and regulators can use to determine ways to improve safety conditions around the country. Each report provides details that regulatory bodies can use to identify potential threats so that other workers don’t suffer injuries or wrongful deaths. Want to read more into the article? Go to this page. Kathleen A. Sigurdson Attorney At Law
  12. People who suffer from epilepsy may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures or periods of unusual sensations or behavior. Those with epilepsy may suffer from a range of symptoms, including loss of awareness or consciousness, staring spells, temporary confusion, uncontrollable jerking movements of the upper or lower extremities, fear or anxiety.
  13. Workplace safety violations contribute to thousands of yearly on-the-job accidents that result in injuries and fatalities for workers. Workplace Safety Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the 10 top workplace safety violations that put workers at risk for injuries and occupational illnesses. The top 10 safety violations include: 1. Construction Fall Protection Construction workers must be protected from potentially fatal falls from heights of six feet or more. Employers must ensure that workers have adequate fall protection when working on equipment, roof tops, elevated platforms, excavation sites, and underground tunnels. 2. Scaffolding Scaffolding equipment must be strong enough to support the weight that is at least four times its maximum intended load. Guardrails must be installed for proper fall protection. 3. Ladders Ladders must provide maximum safety with adequate rungs covered in non-slip materials. Ladders must be able to support at least four times their intended load. 4. Fall Protection Training Employers must provide proper training to workers on how to recognize and avoid fall hazards, as well as the proper use of provided protective equipment and systems. 5. Machine Guarding Workers must be protected from equipment injuries caused by moving parts, flying debris, and sparks. All equipment must contain proper guards to prevent severe injuries. 6. Powered Industrial Vehicles Workers who operate powered equipment such as cranes, forklifts, and hand trucks must be protected with proper training. Lack of safety training can result in crushing injuries and fatalities to other workers. 7. Equipment Maintenance Employers must have lockout/tagout safety procedures in place to protect workers who are performing maintenance on workplace equipment. 8. Electrical Wiring Workers must be properly trained in the use of electrical wiring to prevent severe burns, fires, and electrocution in the workplace. 9. Respiratory Illness Employers must provide state-approved respirators to workers who face health hazards from dangerous materials such as toxic fumes, chemicals, and silica dust. All workers must receive written worksite procedures for proper equipment use. 10. Hazard Communication Workers must be informed of hazardous chemicals or toxic substances in the workplace. All hazardous substances must be clearly labeled, and workers must be given proper training on the use of protective equipment, safe work practices, and emergency procedures. Workplace safety is essential to prevent employee injuries. If they occur, workers must be informed of their rights to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering through a worker’s compensation claim. By: DePaolo & Zadeikis
  14. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule regarding changes to the EB-5 Immigration Investor Program that applies to immigrants who want to become U.S. investors. The rule became effective on November 21, 2019. What Is the EB-5 Immigration Investor Program? The EB-5 program allows individuals to apply for conditional lawful permanent residence within the United States if they make a qualifying investment in a U.S. commercial enterprise and either preserve or create 10 permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers who are also qualified. As of November, USCIS made changes to this program, including: Increased Minimum Investment Amounts The USCIS’s final rule for the EB-5 program raised the standard minimum investment level from $1 million to $1.8 million to account for inflation, which is the first time it’s seen an increase since 1990. This rule also maintains a 50% minimum investment differential between a targeted employment area (TEA) and non-TEA, increasing the TEA amount from $500,000 to $900,000. Subsequently, the minimum investment amount will further adjust for inflation once every five years. TEA Designation Reform The final rule also outlined certain changes to the EB-5 to cover the gerrymandering of areas with high unemployment, i.e. manipulating electoral constituency boundaries. Historically, gerrymandering of these areas was achieved by merging a number of census tracts in the attempt to link prosperous project locations to less prosperous communities in order to achieve the qualifying average unemployment rate. The rule would ensure that the Department of Human Services (DHS) would directly make TEA designations to help maintain fairness and consistency. Detailed Procedures for Removing Permanent Residence Conditions The final rule also revised regulations to clarify that derivative family members who are also lawful permanent residents are required to independently file to remove permanent residence conditions. This requirement isn’t applicable to family members who appear in a principal investor’s petition for the removal of conditions. Enabling Petitioners to Maintain the Priority Date The final rule grants more flexibility for immigrant investors with an EB-5 immigrant petition that’s already been approved. When filing a new petition, these individuals will now be able to keep the priority date of the previous petition with a few exceptions. Individuals interested in becoming immigrant investors in the U.S. can visit the USCIS website to learn more about the changes that the new EB-5 final rule will bring. Law Offices of Cheng, Cho, & Yee, PC
  15. People who suffer from epilepsy may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures or periods of unusual sensations or behavior. Those with epilepsy may suffer from a range of symptoms, including loss of awareness or consciousness, staring spells, temporary confusion, uncontrollable jerking movements of the upper or lower extremities, fear or anxiety. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 3.4 million people across the U.S. suffer from the condition, and one in 26 people in the nation will develop epilepsy during their lifetimes. For some, symptoms may be controlled through medication, allowing them to continue to live their lives as normal. For others, however, their symptoms may be so severe that they affect every aspect of their lives and keep them from working. The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book lists epilepsy as a benefit-eligible medical impairment. To qualify under the official listing, applicants’ conditions must be severe and uncontrollable through medical treatment. Additionally, their medical evidence must come close to or meet the criteria outlined in the SSA’s official listing. The criteria for applicants suffering from convulsive seizures include experiencing nighttime seizures resulting in significant daytime impairments, such as difficulty thinking clearly, coordinating physical movements or staying awake, or experiencing daytime seizures that cause a loss of consciousness or convulsions. The seizures must persist and occur at least one time per month after people have been on anti-seizure medication for three months or more. SSDI applicants with non-convulsive epilepsy must experience seizures occurring at night or during the day that cause significant subsequent issues, including difficulty thinking, trouble staying awake, lack of energy or other unusual behaviors. Those with anti-convulsive epilepsy must suffer seizures at least once a week despite having consistently taken anti-seizure medications for at least three months. SSDI applicants with epilepsy who do not meet the medical impairment criteria may still qualify for benefits under the SSA’s medical-vocational guidelines. Based on the records and other documentation they submit, Social Security determines applicants’ residual functional capacity, or the work they can still perform given the limitations imposed by their medical conditions. Taking this into account in relation to their ages, education and the transferability of their job skills, the SSA may find that applicants with epilepsy who do not match the listing criteria still qualify as disabled.
  16. A typical construction project ― whether commercial or residential ― requires the collaborative efforts of multiple parties. General contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, materialmen, delivery truck drivers, property owners and other parties in any combination can be on the job site on any one particular day. When an individual is injured in a construction accident arising from a third party's negligence, that individual is entitled to seek damages. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish has in-depth knowledge of construction law and knows how to hold parties responsible when they fail to properly maintain equipment, employ unsafe methods and practices, or keep a construction site in safe order. Were you injured by faulty construction equipment? Our personal injury attorneys are experienced handling third-party construction accident claims arising from defective products. These types of personal injury claims are pursued as product liability claims. Heavy equipment is often found to be unsafe because of a lack of guarding on machinery, inadequate warnings on machinery, a design defect or a manufacturing defect. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish represents construction workers who have been injured in construction accidents involving equipment such as the following: Forklifts Cranes Scaffolding Ladders Backhoes Saws Nail guns Falling objects Construction Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries Steinberg Goodman & Kalish is dedicated to protecting the rights of those who have sustained brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other life-altering injuries. We strive to obtain justice for our injured clients in the form of fair compensation. For people suffering serious injuries as the result of a construction accident, compensation can be used for future medical treatment, future surgeries, physical therapy and special accommodations for your home. We want our clients to have peace of mind knowing they will not have to worry about having money to meet their physical needs. Fatal Construction Accidents Our personal injury attorneys also represent immediate family members who have lost loved ones in fatal construction accidents. Please contact us to schedule your complimentary case evaluation and learn how we can help.
  17. Modern businesses like yours are reliant on their IT systems and need around-the-clock support. With ExternetWorks Network Monitoring, that’s precisely what you get. Our dedicated Network Operation Centre monitors your network twenty-four-seven, helping you deal with whatever technical challenges you face. With us, you get assistance whether you’re embroiled in a full-blown IT crisis or just need to patch your current software.network monitoring tools
  18. Workers in Chicago and throughout Illinois may suffer from back pain at work. Many occupation types, from construction and factory work to office work and nursing, place demands on workers’ backs, which commonly contribute to back pain or injuries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 38.5%, or 134,550, of the 349,050 total cases of musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace in 2016 involved the back.
  19. The family business atmosphere has a charm hard to find in other, commercially driven, travel sectors. An industry dominated by small businesses causes a unique technology problem, though. With less properties owned by corporations, there's less widely dispersed booking technology. That's why there isn't an Expedia for campgrounds and RV parks. RoverPass is here to solve this problem with easy-to-use, free rv campground software along with travel agents to help RVers.
  20. 7. Mail Documents to Your Trustee The bankruptcy trustee is a official appointed by the court to oversee your case. Pay attention to mail you receive from the trustee after filing. The trustee will send you a letter asking you to mail them certain financial documents, like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements. If you don’t mail the the trustee the requested documents, you will not get a discharge of your debts. 8. Take Bankruptcy Course 2 As soon as possible after filing your bankruptcy forms, you also need to take your second mandatory bankruptcy course. The second course, called the Debtor Education Course, is similar to the credit counseling course. But it is designed to educate you on making smart financial choices so that you won’t have to seek bankruptcy relief in the future. Course 2 can be completed online or by phone and takes at least 2 hours to complete. The fee for the course ranges from $10-$50. But the fee may be waived if your household income is under 150% of the federal poverty level. If you don’t complete the course, you will not obtain a fresh start. So make sure to complete the course as soon as possible after filing. 9. Attend Your 341 Meeting Finally, you need to attend your 341 meeting. The location of the 341 Meeting depends on where you filed your bankruptcy case. Usually, the 341 Meeting takes place about a month after filing. The main purpose of the 341 Meeting is to ensure that you are not hiding any expensive assets that should be distributed to creditors. If your papers were done correctly, you should have no trouble answering the questions. Most meetings last only about 5 minutes. Creditors are allowed to attend, although they almost never do. Important note: You must bring your government-issued ID and social security card to the meeting. If you don’t bring them, the trustee cannot verify your identity and the meeting cannot go forward. You should also bring a copy of your bankruptcy forms to the meeting, along with your last 60 days of pay stubs, your recent bank statements, and any other documents that your trustee has asked for. In most cases, the trustee “closes” the case at the end of the meeting. In that case, unless something very unusual happens, you get a letter two months later from the Court stating that your debts have been discharged. 10. Optional - Dealing with Your Car Finally, there’s an additional step in the bankruptcy process if you own a car with outstanding debt. If you want to surrender the car to the lender, the lender will file a motion with the bankruptcy court to ask permission to retake the car. Alternatively, you might choose to keep the car by “reaffirming” the car debt and continuing making payments on it. In that case, your lender would normally send you a reaffirmation agreement that you would need to sign and return within 45 days after your 341 meeting. The lender would then file the signed reaffirmation agreement with the court for approval. If the judge approves your reaffirmation, you would get a notice of reaffirmation along with your discharge. And you would be able to keep the vehicle as long as you stay current on your payments. Finally, you may also have chosen “redeem” the car by buying it back from the lender in one lump sum, usually obtained from a lender like 722redemption.com. If you chose redemption, you will be required to filing a motion in the bankruptcy case. upsolve.org
  21. 3. Complete the Bankruptcy Forms This is the most time-consuming step. The Bankruptcy Forms include 23 seperate forms totalling roughly 70 pages. The forms ask you about everything you make, spend, own and owe. If you download and print out the forms online, you will have to enter repetitive data and make lots of math calculations. So if you’re not able to hire a lawyer, you probably want to buy a bankruptcy software program or use Upsolve.org’s free online bankruptcy service. 4. Get Your Filing Fee Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy normally requires a $335 filing fee, which must be paid to the court in person in exact change. If you don’t have the funds to pay the filing fee now, you can complete a special form, asking to pay your fee in installments. You can ask to pay the $335 fee in up to 4 payments within 120 days of your filing date. If paying in installments isn’t even possible, you can submit another form to apply for a fee waiver. To qualify, your total household income must be under 150% of the federal poverty line. The court will decide whether you get a fee waiver after you file. If your application is denied, the court will order you to pay the fee in installments. 5. Print Your Bankruptcy Forms Once you have prepared your bankruptcy forms, you will need to print them out for the court. You must print them single-sided. The court won’t accept double-sided pages. You will also need to sign the forms once they are printed. Most bankruptcy courts require just 1 copy of the petition, but some courts like the bankruptcy court in Manhattan require 4 copies. So call your local bankruptcy court to find out how many copies you will need to bring. 6. Go to Court to File Your Forms Once you enter the doors of your local court house, you will be greeted by security guards, who will ask you to pass through a metal detector. Once you pass security, you will go to the clerk’s office. And you will tell the clerk, “I’d like to file for bankruptcy.” You’ll hand the Clerk your bankruptcy forms, along with your filing fee of $335 in exact change. Or if you are filing a fee waiver or installment plan, you hand the clerk the fee waiver form or fee installment form instead of the cash. The clerk will take your bankruptcy forms and ask you to take a seat in their waiting room. It shouldn’t take long for the clerk long to process your case - about 15 minutes. During this time, they will scan your forms and upload them to the court’s online filing system. As soon as they are done processing your forms, the clerk will call you back to the front desk. The clerk will give you: Your bankruptcy case number The name of your bankruptcy trustee The date, time, and location of your meeting with your trustee (this is called the “Meeting of Creditors” or “341 Meeting”) At this point, your case has been filed! Congrats! Something very important has just happened. Your debt collectors are now legally prohibited by bankruptcy’s Automatic Stay from contacting you to collect your debts, from garnishing your wages, or foreclosing on your property. This lasts until the end of your bankruptcy case, at which point most, if not all, of your debts will hopefully be erased. But you’re not home yet - there are other steps you need to complete to get a fresh start! upsolve.org
  22. 1. Collect Your Documents Before getting started, you need to collect all your financial documents so you understand the current state of your finances. First, you need to obtain a copy of your credit report from Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax to learn how much debt you owe. You can obtain your credit report from all three at AnnualCreditReport.com. Some of your debts may not be listed on your credit report, like medical bills, personal loans, or tax debts. Make a list of any missing debts as you will need to list all of them on your bankruptcy forms. In addition to your credit report, you will need the following documents: Tax returns for the past 2 years Pay stubs or other proof of your income for the last 6 months Recent bank account statements Recent retirement account or brokerage account statements Valuations or appraisals of any real estate you own Copies of vehicle registration Any Other Documents Relating to Your Assets, Debts, or Income. Having these documents next to you will help you get an accurate picture of your finances. 2. Take Credit Counseling An important first step to the bankruptcy process is credit counseling. Everyone who files for bankruptcy is required to take a credit counseling course that is approved by the Department of Justice. Credit counseling courses like this one give you an idea of whether you really need to file for bankruptcy or whether you could get back on your feet through some type of informal repayment plan. You will provide the credit counseling agency with your income and expenses. Together, you will review the options for repaying the debt, like debt consolidation, or debt settlement. In many cases, this exercise only confirms that you don't have any feasible options for addressing the debt other than bankruptcy. But it’s a valuable exercise even still. The course takes at least one hour and can be completed online or by telephone. The course fee ranges from $10 to $50, depending on the provider. But if your household income is under 150% of the federal poverty line, you should be able to get this fee waived. Once you complete the course, you will receive a certificate of completion. Keep it. You will need to give a copy of this certificate to the court when you file your bankruptcy forms in Step 5. upsolve.org
  23. 13. You’ll have to go to class. Before you file, you’ll be required to take a 90-minute credit counseling class, says Mark. Later, before your bankruptcy is officially concluded, you’ll take a second, two-hour session. You can attend in person, by phone or online. Cost: no more than $50 per class. And if you’re receiving free or discounted legal services, or you’re living on Social Security disability payments, you can get the fees waived. 14. It can pay to be proactive. If you’re considering bankruptcy, it pays to get advice early — especially if you’re getting notices of foreclosure or lawsuits, says Sommer. Having that information early can help you make strategic decisions. For instance, many experts recommend waiting until the situation causing your financial crisis (job loss, medical problem) is over or at least stabilized before you file, so that you don’t just rack up more bills. In some situations, consumers need the immediate protection from foreclosure or collection that bankruptcy provides. Knowing your options early can help you better navigate your situation. creditcards.com
  24. 11. A bankruptcy doesn’t protect joint account holders. A bankruptcy dissolves your obligation to a creditor. But if anyone else is also on the hook for one of your debts, such as a joint account holder or co-signer, your bankruptcy makes that bill his or hers alone. And that’s a situation that commonly occurs after a divorce, says Rick McElvaney, program director for the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center. Best bet: Before you finalize a divorce, pay off bills or have the obligations transferred into the name of one party or the other. 12. It’s public. “Many people believe that since bankruptcy involves personal financial information, it involves privacy,” says Jack Williams, co-author of “Tax Aspects of Bankruptcy Law and Practice.” “It’s public information. The world, if they’re interested, can see everything about your financial situation in the last few years.” On the plus side, unless you’re a famous name, few (if any) will care. creditcards.com
  25. 8. You may be able to get free or low-cost legal help. Some law firms may have discount programs, so ask about the option, says Mark. In addition, the bar association might have a list of firms that do low-cost or pro bono work. And your local legal aide office might be able to help. Some cities, including Philadelphia, have organizations such as the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project, which help low-income consumers. One tip: Avoid nonlawyers who say they can help with a bankruptcy, says Sommer, who is a supervising attorney with the project. Instead of saving money, “you can end up losing several times that amount,” he says. 9. Bankruptcy goes on your credit history. The safe rule of thumb: A bankruptcy will stay on your credit history about 10 years, says Mark. But the older that bankruptcy is, the less power it has to scare lenders and impact your credit score. 10. It may not make your credit any worse. If you’ve had financial problems (chronic late and missed payments, charge-offs, etc.), it might not have much of an effect. And you could actually see your credit improve a year or so after bankruptcy, says Sommer. In general, you can be considered for an FHA loan about a year after a Chapter 13 and about two years after a Chapter 7, says Mark. For a conventional loan, it would be about twice that, he says. creditcards.com
  26. 6. You have to qualify for a Chapter 7. Consumers must show through income (if they are below the state median) or through both income and expenses (if they are above the state median) that they can’t repay their debts. But since bankruptcy is often a last resort, filers who need Chapter 7 are having no problems qualifying, Sommer says. 7. Bankruptcy is not cheap. Costs vary depending on your attorney and location. But in general, a Chapter 7 can run $1,500 to $2,500, while a Chapter 13 can run $2,000 to $4,000, says Sommer. One source for local bankruptcy attorneys: NACBA.org. With a Chapter 13, you can include bankruptcy costs in your plan and pay them over three to five years. With Chapter 7, that’s not an option. And initial consultations are usually free, so don’t be afraid to interview several attorneys and let them know price is a factor, says Todd Mark, vice president of education for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas. creditcards.com
  1. Load more activity
×
×
  • Create New...