Look to Houston Bankruptcy Lawyers For Advice
When people think of Houston they think of oil tycoons, cattle ranches, and cowboys – generally, people that you probably wouldn’t associate with having to stand in line at a Houston bankruptcy lawyer office, but there is much more to the city than oil and farmland.
Up until a year ago, Houston was a powerful, thriving big city that could have rivaled Los Angeles and New York City in terms of financial presence, but over the course of the last year the nation’s struggling economy has caused all of these cities to struggle immensely. No one is safe from the economic problems battering the country from coast to coast – big business executives, factory plant managers, and cowboys alike are all searching among the advertised Houston bankruptcy attorneys to find the right one for their particular situation. If you are a business filing for bankruptcy then you need to contact a lawyer.
A few years back, the attitude in Houston was that there was no financial problem, large or small that couldn’t be remedied by a little hard work, but no there is no work to be had and residents from this great hard working city are all crowding the offices of the Houston bankruptcy attorneys looking for another solution to their financial burden.
Though bankruptcy can discharge a person’s debt, it is by no means an easy way out. That hardworking Houston attitude will be a huge asset to any resident of the city that needs to overcome their financial burden. Some people mistakenly think that personal bankruptcy is like some magic wand that makes all of your debt vanish and that once the debt is discharged you can begin anew without any problems – that is simply not the case.
The filing of the claim and the discharge of the debt are only just the beginning, a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for seven long years before you are actually free. During that time, having filed can affect any number of things in your life – it can take a great deal of hard work throughout those seven years to effectively rebuild the credit and be able to do all of the things that you want to do again.
The most effective way to ensure that your bankruptcy goes the way that it should is to enlist the help of a professional during the filing process. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can make the journey from financial despair to once again solid credit, much easier than it ever could have been if you’d attempted to go it alone.
If you have questions or comments about this post please contact us at the Humanity On Hold Blog.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Checklist
Debtors seeking to file bankruptcy must now meet specific criteria before they are allowed to file Chapter 7, or absolute bankruptcy. Does the state even know when to give up? Vancouver bankruptcy lawyers can help you understand these new reforms and where they fit into your plans.
Here’s quick Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Checklist.
• If your average current monthly income over the last six months is below or equal to the median income for your state, in order to to fill bankruptcy form.
• If you are a disabled veteran whose debts were incurred during active duty, you may file up. One cannot file Chapter 7 if, in the last 180 days, either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing was dismissed because you:
- Requested a dismissal
- Committed fraud in your filing
- Violated a court order
• Before filing, mandatory credit counseling must be completed with an approved agency. Bankruptcy lawyers maintain a complete list of these agencies.
• A Chapter 7 filing will cost $274 and take about 4 to 6 months until debts are discharged. Attorney fees will be additional.
• A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to each case. This trustee has control over all assets and debts
• The trustee’s staff will determine if any assets should be nonexempt. Those assets must be surrendered or sold, the proceeds going to creditors.
• A creditor’s meeting, scheduled by the trustee, gives creditors a chance to question the debtor as to the condition of collateral for secured debts.
• Once all conditions of the bankruptcy are met, the debtor must attend mandatory budget planning with a government approved agency.
• When all counseling is complete, all remaining debts are discharged. At this point, the debtor is no longer legally responsible for those debts.When you submit an application for individual bankruptcy, you will find two methods which you should be aware of, and these are Chapter 7 as well as Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy lawyer will help you be in helpful positions to your recent circumstance. In the event you are arranging to file up the document, you might already have an idea that not all clients are fit. More to this, each various bankruptcy category gives different effects on your home interests. Does innocence matter on appeal? A bankruptcy attorney ought to be ready to explain all these to you before you come up along with your selection in filing for bankruptcy. The lawyer needs to be capable of tackling in-depth on topics covering Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 with the bankruptcy law.
One thing many people fail to do before filing for bankruptcy is consult with an attorney. A bankruptcy attorney is well trained in the ins and outs of the process, which can help eliminate any chance of error. They can review documents, help determine the best solution, evaluate qualification criteria and ensure the case gets completely with maximum success. Anyone considering filing for bankruptcy should take the time to consult with an attorney at least once before making any final steps towards the process.
How To File For Bankruptcy: The Basics
The “B” word is shunned like the plague and is responded to almost like foul language when uttered from one’s mouth: bankruptcy. Unfortunately, filing for bankruptcy is unavoidable in some circumstances. No matter how hard an individual may try to stay above water financially, debt can sometimes become a runaway train. A better analogy might be that debt can start as a snowball and become an avalanche as it continues to roll downhill. If you are falling behind on your bill obligations, if your credit card debt has become ungovernable, if you do not have adequate health insurance to pay large medical bills, if creditors are starting to call you at home or work, if you’re “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” and debt is generally starting to become an unbearable burden in your life, then maybe it’s time to consider contacting a lawyer to make an initial inquiry and get your bankruptcy questions answered.
Here are some basic steps to follow if you decide to file for bankruptcy: 1. Yes, technically you may file for bankruptcy on your own, but the new law passed in 2005 make it virtually impossible to do without hiring a good bankruptcy attorney. Once you retain a lawyer, all debt collection calls, and inquiries can be directed to him or her, thus alleviating some of your burdens right away. Not only can bankruptcy lawyers protect you from harassment, but they will make you aware of your rights, and inform you of the laws and requirements surrounding the type of bankruptcy for which you may file. 2. Since 2005, when the bankruptcy laws changed, the process is much more involved. For instance, in either kind of personal bankruptcy case you are required to undergo pre-bankruptcy consumer credit counseling. This must be done within the 180 days before your filing bankruptcy. Your lawyer will usually have a list of counselors they use for these purposes and it can be done on-line if you choose. 3. Chapter 7? Chapter 11? Chapter 13? Which one is right for you and your situation? Your bankruptcy attorney will assess your case and will advise you on the best route for you to take about the type of bankruptcy to choose.
If your annual income is over a certain amount, you may not be eligible to file a Chapter 7. During your first meeting with a lawyer, you will also discuss fees and methods of payment. The attorney will give you a list of documents and information they need from you to proceed. For example, tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, copies of your deed, mortgage, car title, a list of your debts and assets, etc. At some point during the process, after your petition is filed by your attorney, a meeting of creditors will be set up. This is to make sure that the information you have given is honest and legit, that you understand everything that is involved in the bankruptcy process, and that you know the consequences of agreeing to file for bankruptcy. This meeting of creditors is conducted and presided over by a bankruptcy trustee. The administrator will review your case and determine an outcome. Any final instructions or additional requirements of you will be conveyed to you at this time. There are many fickle that can come into play within the bankruptcy process. It is critical to have a good bankruptcy attorney representing your interests.
The Hard Legalities & Facts of an Unsecured Personal Loan
An unsecured personal loan allows you to borrow money without having to offer a security on it like your home or car. Application for this loan is mainly based on your credit rating, the amount borrowed and financial status. Upon acquiring the loan, one is legally bound to repay the loan as agreed. Unsecured loans have become popular due to the increased competition among lenders who want to attract customers they deem as least likely to default.
Before deciding whether or not to advance an unsecured personal loan with Click Finance, the lender usually looks at the credit history of the borrower. This may be done by using an approved credit reference agency. The agency make a search based on the borrower’s name and address as indicated in the loan application form. This credit check shows how risky it is to give the borrower the unsecured loan based on his/her credit history. In case the borrower has no past credit issues like loan default, he/she is eligible for an unsecured loan. Most lenders also ask for income information of the borrower and other credit reports. Borrowers with strong credit rating normally get unsecured personal loans quickly, with less paperwork and at a relatively low interest rate.
An Unsecured personal loan can be used for several purposes including: buying a car, taking a vacation consolidating debts into a less expensive loan or renovating a home. In case borrowers default, their credit rating weakens which negatively affect their future borrowing. Legal action may also be taken against defaulters but they do not have to surrender assets because unsecured loans are not backed by collateral.
Unsecured personal loans have several benefits to the borrower. To start with, the loans do not require collateral/ security. They are hence attractive to borrowers who lack assets to pledge as security for a loan. Secondly, borrowers with strong credit rating can get the loans promptly and can hence fulfill urgent financial needs. Thirdly, lenders advance unsecured loans at relatively low rates to reliable customers. Therefore, customers with strong credit rating can save a lot of money in interest charges over time. Fourthly, interest rates for unsecured loans are normally fixed. This is unlike the credit cards of which interest rates may fluctuate. However, when borrowing an unsecured personal loan, one should compare the interest rates as offered by different lenders. Finally, if the borrower services the loan appropriately, it may increase his/her credit rating hence making him/her attractive to other lenders. This enables a borrower to get unsecured personal loans easily in future.
Still, unsecured personal loans have some potential demerits. To begin with, lenders can report borrowers who make late payments to credit reference agencies. This lowers the credit rating of the borrower thereby limiting chances of getting other loans and attractive interest rates in future. Secondly, borrowers can get better deals in loans backed by security. For instance, home equity loans which use the home as security normally charge lower interest rates than unsecured loans. Finally, unsecured loans are not appropriate for customers with minor credit problems as they would end up paying relatively higher interest rates.
Where are the human rights for immigrant communities?
From the gates of Europe, to the border along Mexico, the rights of migrants are being violated and put on the side line. Many important have been deported even after they have arrived on European soil which violates EU laws.
The liberties are important for the wellbeing of any person, they are a fundamental human right.. They are important for the complete and free development of one’s personality. The important thing with this is that they make sure that there is a some level of economic welfare. When the social, economic and cultural rights are mixed collectively, they are called as security based human rights. The reason for this is they offer you with the protection that you require in the life. Human rights professionals called them as the second generation of human freedom. The human rights in the 20th century ensure that you can participate in the growth activities in the society. The rights are like the environmental rights that let you to enjoy the gifts of nature like water, air, food and natural resources. These are something that all people must have!
You must remember that you must enjoy the presents that are free from contamination. They are called as solidarity rights because their execution is based up on the international cooperation. These are necessary for developing countries because the countries are improving and are still attempting to get international order. By this method the human rights are classified. Keep in mind that no person must break your rights. If you think that the rights have been broken you must contact the tribunal in your local state or country. It is advisable to contact an adviser. They will support your human rights and developments by putting new strategies and policies for original alterations. If you are planning to enter the UK, you are likely to need advice for UK immigration. It is always best to seek knowledge from someone with experience. Immigration Solicitor Help are a very good company for this. They work all over the South East of England, but you can find their office in Slough.
The Best Business Attorneys In Houston
One of the wisest things a fledgling entrepreneur can do is to hire a business attorney, before situations demands you hire one As a business owner, there are numerous challenges like lack of capital to run operations. However, having a business attorney at your disposal will make most things so much easier when running a business. More information about Houston business attorneys below:
In today’s competitive business environment, having a business attorney will have a positive impact on your business. An experienced attorney will not only guide you away from future disputes, but can also assist you in negotiating more lucrative business deals. Finding a good attorney sometimes can be a daunting task, but we have made it easier here in Houston, Below are some situations that might require a business owner to hire the services of a business attorney.
A Houston business lawyer can actually help not only in propelling your business to the next level, but also in saving you money, efforts and precious time, to enable you focus on your core business with little to worry about. We are the best to conned and consult with here in Houston because, we understand the inside and outs of business law. We will handle all your business legal matters.
Along with the legal handles that are paramount in making your business succeed, there are other concerns that might require some legal assistance such as settling business disputes, negotiations, and litigations among others. These different situations require a thorough preparation beforehand, to avoid any serious implications that will affect your business negatively.
A business attorney is the right person to consult, you will gain meaningful opinions and ideas, that can prove beneficial to you business. Especially, in your business formation structure. For instance, if your business is receiving external funding, a business attorney will be the best person to handle such transactions on your behalf.
No one is more qualified to handle the legalities involved in making a contract, signing crucial deals that can make or break your business, lease negotiations, hiring processes, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property protection than a business lawyer. Business attorneys in Houston will ease up complications for you.
In conclusion, from these mere fads, there are several business laws that must be followed besides the state’s rules and regulations. It’s therefore absolutely a necessity, to hook your business with an outstanding business attorney. If your business is in Houston and the surrounding Areas, we will guide you on things to avoid as they might jeopardize your business. At the same time, we will offer you valuable information, that will prove useful in the long run.
New York Business Attorneys
New York City is not only a very large city but also a fast paced one. Business too is flourishing, from entertainment, manufacturing to the hospitality industry. Whichever industry one would desire to ply their trade provides endless possibilities. The city’s legal structures are well defined and laid out for all to read and understand. New York businesses should always have corporate lawyers in New York on retainer to prevent many major legal issues form arising.
Given its cosmopolitan populace this city tends to serve the needs of diverse cultures. Because of this the rules and regulations of running a business provides for such diversities. To accommodate this laws have inculcated provisions of dealing with these diversities if and when the need arises.
More often than not one is bound to fall into the hands of con artists. New York is not an exception to this. Dotted all over the city are numerous quakes posing as lawyers. It is therefore recommended for you to do your due diligence in your search for the best legal services you need for your business.
This city has respected registered legal bodies whose members are thoroughly vetted before joining them. It also works for a better resume for these lawyers or attorneys to join these bodies. In your search for a quality, affordable legal service it is advisable for you to check for competent lawyers from these bodies’ members.
There are also those legal firms that cater for businesses’ with less financial muscle. For instance a small scale business will need good legal service at affordable rates. Their addresses are easily available in the digital directories in the city. Better yet you can also just Google them.
Legal services industry is a very competitive profession in this city. This then has ensured that most lawyers charge competitive rates. For this reason there is little or no monopoly by any firm or lawyer in the provision of these services. The clients also get quality legal counsel due to stiff competition amongst legal counsel providers.
Pro-Bono is whereby lawyers provide their service for free. Most legal firms in giving back to the society do Pro-Bono services. Some term it as their corporate social responsibility to the society. These services are never the less restricted to the lawyer’s clients of choice. Be that as it may, it is wise to try and inquire whether you as a prospective client can access such services from your considered attorney.
In the attempts of addressing the needs of legal hungry populace, there are quite a number of magazines that specifically publish such material regularly. There are also professional legal minds who do the same via blogs. It is via these medium that one can also find who or where the best legal brains are and based. The info available in these mediums are mostly well researched and quite accurate hence reliable.
This city does meet the threshold of a good business environment for one considering any business here. The legal services provided here are more than impressive. The time taken to address any litigation is fair in the light of the city’s large population. More information concerning New York business attorneys can be found on New York Business Law Group.
Does the State ever know when to give up?
You probably thought you heard the last of dog scent line-up line-ups right? I’m still amazed that they ever got admitted in the first place – but that’s a different topic. The picture of a dog sniffing around and picking someone out is something you would only see in comics. That is of course unless it’s the State, and the dogs can provide evidence of guilt.
To say that Deputy Keith Pikett and his magic dogs have been discredited is an understatement. The Innocence Project of Texas was the first point out the problems in a comprehensive report issued in September 2009 . It appears that judges finally got the message, and started excluding the evidence. Which brings us the case of Jason Smith who was indicted for murder in Ft. Bend County – Keith Pikett’s home base. Not wanting to give up on a good thing, the State wanted to use scent evidence. The defense filed a motion to exclude, which was granted. Not to be deterred, the State appealed. Their argument was basically that the the same type of evidence had been challenged before and rejected, and that decision had been upheld on appeal. In other words, once admissible always admissible.
Decisions on admitting evidence are reviewed for what is called abuse of discretion. Basically, a judge’s ruling is upheld if he had at least some logical reason for his holding. It’s an extremely lenient standard, which makes challenging decisions regarding the admission of evidence almost impossible. The State learned this in Smith, and the Court of Appeals refused to overturn the trial judge.
What strikes me about this case is the mental gymnastics the State will go through to justify the use of evidence. To be fair, they aren’t alone. Defense lawyers due it too – it’s part of human nature. They occupy a different role though, because their position is not supposed to be strictly adversarial. They are supposed to operate with the goal of securing justice. Unfortunately. that often takes a backseat to the desire to win.
No one can seriously claim that dog scent evidence is even remotely reliable. It’s time to give it up. Yes, it means you have to discard evidence that nails the defendant – but the problem is that might not be accurate. Find some real evidence and go with that.
Giving credit to lawyers for being smarter than they really
Occasionally you read a decision and your draw drops; just when you think you’ve seen everything, you learn something knew. I had that experience earlier this week when I read the Court of Criminal Appeals decision in Niswanger v. State. It seems Mr. Niswanger was at a grocery store selling raffle tickets to supposedly benefit firefighters and soldiers returning from Iraq. The local mayor complained, so an officer went to investigate. Mr. Niswanger told the officer he had the store’s permission, and after explaining the charity asked the officer if he wanted to buy a ticket. The officer asked for his identification, and as Mr. Niswanger was retrieving his license a Volunteer fire department badge appeared. The officer asked Mr. Niswanger if he was fireman, and he said he was.
So what happened next? Mr. Niswanger was arrested for impersonating a public servant. The state alleged he claimed he falsely claimed to be a fireman to dupe the officer and sell raffle tickets. The problem Mr. Niswanger had was that he had a prior criminal history, which the State of course threatened to use against him. Not wanting to face 25 years to life, he agreed to 10 years. So for carrying a volunteer fire department badge he gets to go to prison for 10 years. Talk about being tough on raffles!
Mr. Niswanger filed a writ of habeas alleging his lawyer was ineffective. Counsel apparently agreed that he told Mr. Niswanger the state’s case was “rock solid” and that he was facing a sentence of 25 years to life. Mr. Niswanger alleged his lawyer didn’t do an adequate job of investigating the case, and had he done so he would have realized that there was at least an issue as to whether selling raffle tickets was an “official act” and whether a volunteer fire fighter was a “public servant”. Here’s where the reasoning goes off track. Counsel stated that there was no way to investigate the case because it was essentially a policeman said vs. defendant said case. Huh? The court accepted that explanation, explaining that given the uncertainty about what the evidence would show, and the certainty about the possible punishment, it was reasonable to advise the defendant to plead guilty.
The problem I have with that logic is that counsel has a duty to investigate, which involves more than reading the police reports. There is no indication that counsel did that in this case. What’s worse is that the failure to investigate and learn about the case is used as the reason for recommending a guilty plea. Surely we require more from lawyers than that.
The opinion gets better, because the lawyer all the sudden is given credit for being pretty bright. Mr. Niswanger alleged his lawyer should have challenged the indictment. The Court agreed there may have been defects, but that if they were challenged the State would have just re-indicted. They ignore the fact the new indictment may have contained information that was not included in the original – e.g. the facts they were relying on to show it was an offense. The Court also assumes that if that was done the State may have withdrawn the 10 year offer – even though there was absolutely no evidence that was the case. The court also assumes the lawyer considered those possibilities, and chose not to challenge the indictment. My guess is it never crossed his mind.
The end result is that a defendant gets 10 years for something that might not even be an offense. Can anyone truly say thats fair? Of course that’s not the right question, because habeas corpus is not concerned with fairness. This case shows just how hard it is to obtain relief – even when it should be granted.
Does Innocence Matter on Appeal?
One of the hardest things to explain to clients is that an appeal is not about guilt or innocence – in fact, it is rarely an issue. I don’t know how many times I have heard people say “if they will just look at the case they’ll see he (she) is innocent”. That statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. The appeal court does not look for innocence – they assume you are guilty, since that is what the jury decided.
There are rare case though where innocence is clear – or at least there are questions. The case of Megan Winfrey is one of those. Ms. Winfrey and her father – Richard Winfrey, Sr. – were convicted of murdering a high school janitor. A big part of the case was dog scent evidence – which thankfully has been revealed for what is – a bunch of crap. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with that assessment last year, and reversed Mr. Winfrey’s conviction. The State refused to concede and retried Mr. Winfrey – again using dog scent evidence. This time the lawyers did a great job of discrediting the evidence and the jury let the State know what it thought about it – acquitting Mr. Winfrey in thirteen minutes.
You might think that would be good news for Ms. Winfrey – but you would be wrong. Her case was argued before the same court – the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – in April. Six months later there is still no decision – and she is still in jail.
So why s that? I certainly don’t know the answer, but I do know how Court’s operate. Just because they believe the State used junk science – which they would be hard pressed to reverse court and find otherwise – doesn’t mean the conviction is reversed. They still have to decide whether that made a difference – i.e. was it harmless error. The State claims her “suspicious behavior” supports the guilty verdict; always a popular argument when you don’t have any real facts.
Whatever the reason, it’s hard to ignore the jury’s finding – if her father didn’t do it, is it reasonable to think she did? Unfortunately, “reasonable” isn’t usually a consideration on appeal. Let’s hope this time it is – and they reverse her conviction soon.