When Do You Need to Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney?

Life comes with many twists and turns and most times we aren’t as prepared for the unexpected as we thought. There are times when bills are much more expensive than anticipated. Debts can be incurred for many different reasons. The reasons are as vast and varied as each individual that experiences debt. It can become a large amount of money in a short amount of time leaving consumers in a financial quagmire.

Medical Bills Are a Health Hazard to Your Finances

One of the more common problems people encounter are medical bills. Hospital bills can come through an accident or an illness that come on without notice. Medical care has become an expensive and costly expense for many. The cost of emergency rooms visits, surgeries, and needed x-rays are vast. Medical equipment has become so expensive for hospitals to pay for that the majority of the costs get passed down to the patient.

Falling into a Sea of Credit Card Debt

Credit cards are also a significant contributor to debts. Many consumers decide to get a credit card in order to build their credit. Also, people use them in case of emergency when they have no cash on them. They are convenient to use when the need arises. They do, however, come with a price. Interest rates can cause credit card debts to companies become outrageous. The interest rates and payments add up quickly and lead people to find themselves in an amazingly large amount of debt.

A Solution to Your Troubles

For those that find themselves in this situation, it may be time to consider hiring a bankruptcy attorney. These types of lawyers have experience in all aspects of bankruptcy laws. They have the knowledge, education, and experience to help their clients navigate through their bills and debts and get help. Bankruptcy can help consumers reconcile their debts through a court-approved payment arrangement that will help pay off bills in a way that is agreeable to all parties.

Make Sure They’re Experienced & Reputable

A bankruptcy attorney with years of experience is likely the best bet for moving forward with this type of financial situation. Their expertise will mean that they have seen and dealt with all types of clients and finance issues. They will know how to work with the various debtors that will need to be spoken with and get things accomplished. Bankruptcy attorneys know how to establish a rapport with the debtors and get the job done in helping their clients. Having expert advice during a stressful time such as this can be quite helpful.

Also, it would be vital to hire a lawyer in this field that has the proper law degree and licensing within the state. This is to ensure that they have the education and approval to practice law within the state. Lawyers are required to pass a bar exam and show that they are experts in their chosen law field. Interviewing a potential bankruptcy attorney is also a smart tip to take advantage of. This is to verify that there is good communication between both parties and that all expectations are explained and understood fully.

How Can I Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney If I Can't Pay My Bills?

When most people file for bankruptcy, they have already waited too long and are probably completely broke. In a perfect world, when times are getting tough, the smart thing to do would be seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney before their world is completely upside down. As Americans we tend to view the world through rose-colored glasses because of the way we were raised. Many Americans started losing their jobs during the economic downturn that began in 2008. The economy is still in the tank and so is the job market. Many people believed real estate and the economy would bounce back quickly and they could take their time looking for a job. Instead, many of these people waited too long and their unemployment insurance ran out leaving them with zero dollars income. This is when people typically start selling personal property and any valuables they might have to keep the ship afloat. The sad thing is, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy could quickly eliminate all the stress caused by the bills that are piling up. People don't need to worry about losing all their property by filing bankruptcy. The bankruptcy code allows for generous exemptions to protect a person's property. It would be pretty hard to give someone a fresh start if you took away everything they owned and sold it to pay off creditors. That's why Congress included bankruptcy exemption laws to allow a person to protect the necessities.

One problem many people have when waiting too long to file for bankruptcy is coming up with the money to pay the bankruptcy filing fees and hire a bankruptcy attorney. In some extreme cases, the people that bury their head in the sand might end up losing everything prior to filing bankruptcy making them essentially too broke to file. For this group, basically they have nothing to lose so why waste the money filing? Even if the creditors began suing them and got judgments against them, there would be nothing to attach.

Good advice would be to consult a bankruptcy attorney when times start getting tough. This will give an individual an out if things don't turn around in their financial life. Having that knowledge of options that are available to them can be invaluable to their recovery. Sometimes it might be as simple as some kind of debt settlement negotiated with the creditors. For those that have a large amount of unsecured debt, it's foolish not to consider filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At the end of 2011, it was reported that the average American has close to $ 16,000 in credit card debt. Considering this same person only makes about $ 35,000 a year, there is a good chance that they will never be able to pay this debt off in a lifetime outside of winning the lottery. Most Americans are kicking the can down the road and just getting by another month. At some point in time when disaster strikes, the wheels will fall off and the options will be much more limited for that individual. What does it hurt to take the time and consult a bankruptcy attorney before it's too late? There might not be anything there, but if there is it might be a lifesaver.

Hiring The Right Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Lawyers

It may have struck you that we utilized the phrase compassionate to describe criminal defense attorneys. That’s because while most criminal attorneys are experts in criminal defense law they should also be deeply concerned about you as a person and if they take your case, they will invest significant amounts of time on your behalf as a person as well as on your legal case. Most criminal defense lawyers don’t just want to win in court, they also want you to be left in a position to defend your reputation and to put your life back together.

You criminal attorney should desire that you conclude the criminal case as a tougher person. You should hire an attorney with the experience of having successfully represented people who have been charged with every type of felony and then restored their reputation in the community and helped them to put their lives back together. So rest assured that even though your case is unique the lawyer you hire has been there before.

If you are facing felony charges it’s serious business and you need a criminal defense attorney with a commitment to go the extra yard in fighting for individuals charged with offenses ranging from DUI and drug crimes to even more serious felonies like rape and murder. The attorney you choose must have the resources to investigate all aspects of the accusation, from the point of police suspicion, to the police gathering and handling of the evidence, and finally to your arrest and arraignment. There are a lot of questions that he needs the police to answer. Was there probable cause to suspect your potential involvement in this crime? Were your rights in any way violated by the police investigation or initial arrest? Was evidence gathered legally pursuant to the necessary legal search warrants? Was evidence handled properly?

So don’t for a second fear the process of defending yourself in the face of being charged with a felony. The states prosecutor is charged with meeting their burden of proof and our job is to rebut this proof with our own evidence to clear you of what you are charged with. Hire an attorney who will fight for your innocence going forward, never taking a step backward, and will keep fighting on your behalf until we have achieved a successful outcome of your case and a restoration of your good name amongst your family, friends and employer.

Five Common Misconceptions About Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a binding legal document, one that effectively allows someone you nominate to make certain kinds of decision and act on your behalf. Powers of Attorney are usually used if you either become unable to work for yourself, or you do not wish to act for yourself.

There are many reasons why you might choose to make one, including being out of the country or hospitalised for an extended period and you need someone to mind your assets while you are away; or to protect yourself and your assets should you lose mental capacity.

However, a lot of us put this job off due to, among other things, certain misconceptions.

This article aims to debunk some of the most commonly held misconceptions regarding a Power of Attorney.

Misconception One: Attorneys, once nominated, cannot do whatever they like

This is one of the main fears people have about giving someone else control over their assets. However, it is entirely unfounded as attorneys are heavily restricted in what they can and cannot do.

There are various checks and balances in place to make sure an attorney does not abuse their position, including a set of rules regarding getting the power registered so it can be used at all.

The first set of restrictions come from you. When creating a power, specifically a lasting power, there is an opportunity for you to put as many or as little restrictions on your attorneys. For example, if you are setting up a financial lasting power, to allow our relatives to look after your finances should you lose capacity, then you can state clearly on the paperwork that while your attorneys can do X, Y & Z they cannot sell your home, or they must all decide together before spending an amount over £X.

The second set of restrictions comes from the Office of the Public Guardian which lay down clear rules for how an attorney must behave, including preventing them acting outside the power given in the power and making sure they always act in the donor’s best interest.

Misconception Two: You must use the Power of Attorney the moment it is made, or You cannot make a Power of Attorney until you know you will need it soon.

A lot of us put this job off as we are not in the position where we need it now or (to our knowledge) in the imminent future.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always give you warnings and powers of attorney are not just for the elderly who may have concerns about dementia. Anything can happen that could cause you to need an attorney immediately, including a sudden and unexpected hospital admittance, an unplanned trip out of the country, or, tragically, an accident which causes you to lose capacity.

It is wise to create a power long before it is needed, especially a lasting power of Attorney (expressly designed for a loss of capacity).

It is entirely possible to write and sign a lasting power but keep hold of it until you need it or want to use it. This is because for a Lasting power to be used it must be registered until it is registered it is just a piece of paper with no power or purpose, and it can sit in a drawer until needed.

You could easily create and sign a Lasting power when you are in your 30’s and not register it until you need it in your 70’s.

Misconception Three: You can wait until someone loses capacity before making a Lasting Power of Attorney

This ties in with the above misconception and is completely wrong. Making this mistake can cost you and your loved one’s thousands of pounds.

To make a lasting power or a general power the person making it must have capacity. There is no way around this. If you lose capacity, you cannot make a Power of Attorney and your loved ones must apply for what is called a Guardianship of you and your assets, which costs over a thousand pounds and takes several months to sort out.

Considering that you could put together a power yourself for free or use a solicitor for £200 (depending on the firm, shop around) it should be a no brainer that this is the superior document.

It is also worth noting that if you make a general power and then lose capacity your general power loses all its power. If you had made a lasting power when you had capacity then subsequently lose capacity your attorneys can register the Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian immediately and start helping you with your finances and care.

Misconception Four: A Power of Attorney is for Life

This simply is not true.

There are different types of Power of Attorney, Lasting and General. Lasting powers (you might have guessed from the name) are usually long term. However, a general power is not.

A general power is a document that you can set up to allow someone to look after an affair of yours while you are not able to, if, for example, you are out of the country, hospitalised for a few months or unable to leave the house for a while. A general power gives someone else authority to act on your behalf for a particular reason, to perform a specific task or for a specific length of time. As soon as you become able to manage your affairs again, you can destroy the general power.

Misconception Five: You can only have one attorney

The role of attorney is challenging at times, and there is a lot of responsibility.

So rather than put all of that responsibility onto one individual you can spread that about by having more than one attorney. This second person is called a joint attorney.

You can appoint any number of attorneys in the same power, and you can specify if they can act on their own separately or if they must cooperate and come together to decide. You can have them act jointly on some issues such as sale of property but have them work singly on all other matters there is a lot of flexibility, and it is entirely up to you.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is a lot to consider when making a Power of Attorney, but it is not a decision that should be put off.

Know About Attorney in DUI Cases

DUI prosecutions are motivated by issues that are not based upon constitutional fairness or equity. Like all attorneys, they are bound by ethical duties and a high standard of “fair dealing” with all litigants in our adversarial legal process. Often, the heat of battle causes these officials to become both political and competitive. When this occurs, justice does routinely suffer at the hands of a prosecutor’s vanity or ego, or outright criminal misconduct.

Lawyers must periodically stand for election. Many are first appointed to their posts by the governor of their respective state to act as the county or state attorney given the responsibility for accusing and prosecuting crimes within their jurisdiction. When it is time for re-election rolls around, an opponent seeking to replace the prosecutor may investigate the actions of the incumbent in dismissing cases, reducing cases or noteworthy cases at trial. A high profile trial can end the tenure of a successful and diligent state or county attorney. Los Angeles County, California is probably the best known place for this to occur in the United States. Hence, the pressure to “win” will always loom over the lawyer’s office. Case dispositions are public records, for mostly all criminal cases. Combing the prior files for unusual or inexplicable outcomes favoring persons charged with DWI can be a large part of an opponent’s political attack on the current office-holder. This political tension, coupled with attorneys’ inbred desire to “win”, creates a rocky slope for defense attorneys to negotiate as the case goes to trial. In the late 20th century and in the current century, numerous states have passed legislation that intends to create a crime for prosecutors within the state to reduce or dismiss a DUI-DWI charge. Kentucky and Oregon have such statutes, and many cases are needlessly tried due to the legislative edict that threatens any prosecutor who negotiates a marginal case with becoming a criminal defendant from doing so. Such legislative overreaching is an improper misuse of the legislative process, and a constitutionally a questionable practice. To say that every DUI-DWI case made by the officers of these states is a good, solid case is ludicrous and yet such laws are politically expedient.

Like other jobs, relationships are built and experienced DUI lawyers can approach an ethical and principled district attorney or state’s attorney with a proposal for a reduced charges or dismissal of charges in a pending DUI case. Knowledgeable attorneys in the drunken driving defense field will know which prosecutors to trust and which ones not to trust. Being able to find a “winning” defense or a flaw in the prosecution’s case, and then to be able to use that as a negotiating tool to avoid the risk of trial is generally limited to DWI lawyers who work in this field on a daily basis. Some prosecutors would listen to the presentation once and immediately “fix” the problem by amending the accusation or information or possibly by locating an essential witness whose name was not known prior to the conversation with defense counsel. They know no loyalty and will not have moral compass. They want to win more than they care about fairness, much less their tarnished reputations in the future. Criminal defense lawyers who handle criminal law matters every day quickly learn who these people are, and never trust them with any pre-trial “disclosures”. Other prosecutors are highly honorable people who will “do the right thing” when confronted with a loser of a case, based on some latent flaw or defect in the case.

Real Estate Attorney Fees – How Will Your Attorney Charge Fees?

Hiring a property attorney without knowing about the real estate attorney fees system may lead to a big financial mishap. To make a better decision in terms of hiring a lawyer, we must be aware of the fees generating system, as their cost can be substantial. The amount alone can wreck your bank account, if you are not prepared for that. When you have decided to take legal support from a lawyer, you must be eager to solve any property related issues that leave impacts on your finances too. Therefore, are you ready to attract another financial difficulty with little knowledge in lawyer fees, which may make or break your financial condition?

Basic Factors Working Behind High Attorney Fees

You must have a clear cut communication and negotiation with your real estate attorney regarding his/her fees before signing a legal agreement. So how much do you expect and have kept aside from your expenses to pay for attorney fees? Many of the attorneys possessing high repute in their field of operation may charge higher fees than their counterparts.

However, real estate attorneys take account of multitude of conditions and factors to decide on their fees. Following factors are usually considered by them –

1. How complicated is the case?

2. Span of time that the legal representative is likely to spend for resolving or settling the disputes, including time required for researching, interviewing all the witnesses, gathering facts, preparation of the documents etc.

3. Emerging of newer and sudden developments during the trial period may extend the case longer and this may extend the number of digits in the lawyer payments.

Different Categories In Attorney Fees

A client can be charged with attorney fees for the first meeting. Following amount charged for first meeting, your legal representative may charge you a fixed rate price or on the hourly basis or retaining, statutory or contingency fee. A lawyer may charge you more money for the time spent in the trial period in the courtroom than the time spent in the research and other jobs pertaining to your case that he performed while sitting in offices or libraries. You may as well agree to pay either anyone of these two or a combination of these two. Discuss about the cost, along with your case, when you find a legal representative. Online real estate lawyer databases listing top notch lawyers in the country include their payments system and amount, if fixed. Investing a little time in browsing these directories and databases will be worth the trouble because it will help you save your pocket.

A Social Security Disability Attorney May Be Necessary to Protect Your Rights

Consulting a Social Security disability attorney is a smart move for workers who’ve become incapacitated due to injury or illness and are no longer able to do their previous jobs. Applying for support is a five-step process that can be complicated and cumbersome. Having sound legal advice can help make the process less confusing for claimants and their families.

The claim should be filed as soon as possible after the accident, illness, or injury. The qualification process can take a year or more, and the sooner a claim is filed after the disability occurs, the better. It’s important to establish a timeline early on so that it’s clear that the incident or illness caused the disability. The applicant will need to prove that they are no longer able to perform the main duties of the previous job and that the disability prevents them from gaining meaningful work in another or related field. Information like doctor’s reports, an official job description, and specific details about the illness, injury, or accident can help establish the validity of a claim. All of this information will be useful during the initial application process and interview.

The application will be reviewed, and the Social Security office will determine:

– Whether the applicant is able to complete his or her former job functions.

– How the work the applicant did compares to how the job is done nationally and whether the applicant can complete the same job in a different way.

– How the injury or illness has affected the applicant’s ability to do his or her job effectively.

– Whether the applicant can be trained to do a different job.

In order to determine the answers to these questions, the office will look over medical records, laboratory test results, and other information provided. A Social Security disability attorney can help the applicant understand what is necessary. It’s important to turn all forms and information in on time. The applicant is responsible for ensuring the disability office gets all the information it needs to make a determination.

Once the application is accepted, an interview will take place, either by phone or in person. The application process can take three to five months. It’s an arduous process, but a necessary one if one is disabled and unable to work. Once the application has been fully processed, the office will make a determination based on whether the applicant’s condition matches one on an existing list of disabilities, and the individual’s ability to work, either in the previous job or in another job.

Seventy percent of claims are denied, which is why it’s important to have an experienced Social Security disability attorney on hand to answer questions and help with the appeals process. Once the claim has been denied, the applicant can file an appeal, either online or by mail. New and updated information from doctors, physical therapists, and others may be helpful when filing an appeal. A Social Security disability attorney can advise claimants on the proper steps to take and documentation to provide when appealing a denial.

Who Pays For Visitation? And Other Questions A Family Law Attorney Can Answer

Legal proceedings for a divorce can be an arduous and highly emotional experience, and adding children into the mix can make this time nearly unbearable. To alleviate some of the stress, it is imperative to hire a family law attorney. They are experienced and equipped to answer the hard and fast truths about divorce and custody. Here are a few of the tough questions an attorney can handle.

Can I Modify a Court Order or Judgment?

Under certain circumstances, a judgment can be changed. Custody arrangements can be altered if the child’s needs change or if one of the parents has to relocate. If there is a difference in income or employment status, the court can address a previous order as well. As soon as there is an indication that a court order needs to be modified, contact a lawyer.

Will I Have to Pay My Spouse’s Attorney Fees?

Whether or not one spouse would have to pay for the other’s family law attorney fees varies from state to state. In some cases, if one qualifies as a dependent spouse, he or she would be entitled to lawyer fees. The status of “dependent spouse” is determined by several factors-mainly how much disposable income the person has, and whether he or she depends substantially on the other person for financial support. The traditional example of a dependent spouse is a stay at home parent. However, working parents can also qualify.

Who Pays the Travel Expenses for Visitation?

When parents live in different states, the cost of travel can become a huge expense. Judgments will differ by state, but in most cases, the non-custodial parent will pay for the child to go for court-ordered visitation. In some instances, if the custodial parent has made the decision to move out of state, the judge may order the custodial parent to handle the travel expenses. It is also possible that the court will ask both the parents to create a trip trust fund to ensure that when visitation is needed, there are resources available.

If I Lose My Job, Do I Have to Continue to Pay Support?

If a party’s financial circumstances have changed in any way, they are still required to pay the agreed upon amount of support. However, it is encouraged that the affected party notify the court as soon as possible and pursue a modification to the court order. Financial hardship is a valid reason to ask for an adjustment to items like the amount of payment or payment schedule. It should be noted that until the court approves the modifications, all persons should continue to send support in compliance with the original order.

Going through a divorce or custody battle is not only emotionally taxing but also very complex. Laws differ from state to state, and they can also change. It is important to hire someone who is knowledgeable of the most current legal proceedings in the jurisdiction of the case. A family law attorney can help to navigate the proceedings and make way for a clearer and more effective experience.

The Best Spousal Support Attorney

As happy as one is when they are getting married, it’s ten times more depressing when the same marriage falls apart. It is not only stressful for the parties involved but there are a number of legal formalities that only increase once the case engages children as well. However, with the breakdown of a home the financial position of the partners are also affected. In this regard, one of the parties that are most affected financially due to the divorce are give the latitude to apply for spousal support that is also known as alimony. This article will enlighten you with all the important things you need to know before hiring an Albany attorney.

Spousal Support or alimony are monthly payments that one spouse is supposed to give to another one who is in a financially inferior position. The payments are court-ordered and the payments continue until the other party finds a stable job to support their household or their remarriage can also end the support. The laws regarding spousal support may vary according to the State and in order to gain the prior knowledge regarding the paperwork and documentation it is always best to reach an Albany Spousal Support Lawyer or an Albany attorney.

Once the parties are through with the dissolution of their marriage, it is very normal for the legal professionals to discuss the dynamics of alimony. Many legal experts sort this out by discussing some of the important questions such as the amount that both parties must agree on to, the length of support, the method through which the amount will be collected and finally if any changes to the agreement are to be made is usually discussed with both parties and then the paperwork is done accordingly.

There are some implications in the matter that every individual must understand. When it comes to alimony the legal expert first assess the length of time the marriage lasted and the assets that were acquired during this period. The financial assets of both parties are then evaluated and if proper assessments of the assets points towards the fact that one of the parties may be unable to support the same post-divorce lifestyle and the marriage lasted for a longer time then the alimony would be a long-term one. On the other hand, it is completely the other way around if the marriage lasted only for a brief period of time.

However, it must be further noted that when spousal support proceedings are in progress all assets including estate and even your liquid assets can become a major risk; therefore, a spousal support lawyer should be by your side to help you protect your investments. It is further important to carry out proper research before you hire an Albany Attorney to represent your case; usually an inexperience lawyer can only worsen things up for you for both parties who are either seeking spousal support or giving one. Hence, always exercise caution in such matters and do not make the split more distressing than it already is.

Four Reasons It's Cheaper to Hire a Real Estate Attorney

People who are embarking down the complicated road of property transactions often question whether they will need a real estate attorney to get them to closing. Individuals on the buyer side typically wonder whether they can simply rely on their realtor and avoid the additional cost of a legal expert. Although every state has different requirements, here are four universal reasons why having a lawyer to guide you to the end of your realty deal may ultimately be more cost effective.

1. You Are an Out of Town Buyer

Buying a house when you're from out of town and unfamiliar with the regulations and local customs in your new city can be overwhelming. Once you find your dream home, a real estate attorney can be essential in negotiating and executing the contract, assisting you in finding the best mortgage, and also helping you to close the mortgage. Errors that occur during the buying process always have the potential to result in the loss of your deposit and could even cause you to incur substantial legal fees if litigation were to result.

2. You Are in a Hurricane, Flood, or Tornado Zone

If you're located in a hurricane, flood, or tornado zone, you may need a lawyer to walk you through the terms of any required supplementary homeowners insurance. The amount of forms that need to be signed when you're purchasing a house can be daunting, and if you're not careful, you may overlook something important. For example, in some cases you could be required to buy supplemental homeowners insurance, such as flood insurance. Hiring someone with legal expertise can help you avoid confusion that could potentially derail your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

3. The Land Is Owned by the Bank

If you're trying to buy something that is bank-owned, you may be excited by the prospect of getting a great deal, but contract negotiations can be lengthy and complex. A lawyer can be essential during these negotiations and in making sure the home you're looking at is competitively priced. In addition, bank-owned houses are generally sold "as is" and can have defects that would be expensive to repair. Working with a legal advisor can help you investigate the bank's price as well as the potential costs involved with repairs.

4. The Property Has Exterior Improvements

If the house you're pursuing has had any improvements to the lot, such as a pool, fence, garage, or an outdoor shed, it may be necessary to have a real estate attorney review the deed and conduct a survey of the lot. A survey can make sure that all improvements were built properly and according to code as well as ensure that nothing is encroaching onto your neighbor's property. Without a survey, you may incur expenses after you move in and realize you are infringing on your neighbor, or you may need to rebuild something that is not up to code.

Considering all of the complexities involved with becoming a homebuyer, once you have begun the process, you will likely be relieved to have a real estate attorney on your side.