How To File A Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal term that all of us have heard over and over again. We mostly think that a person has become poor when they are bankrupt however that is mostly not even close to the case. We have this pre-conceived notion that in order for us to be bankrupt, we’re irresponsible and lazy. In the real world, it can be one of the most responsible actions that a person can choose to take when it is really necessary. It isn’t an easy decision for most people to make, but it is the best one for certain situations.

When you start declaring that you are bankrupt, what you are basically saying to your creditors is that you cannot possibly ever repay all of your debt. You will have to declare bankruptcy through a lawyer. If it so happens that your situation is a valid one, you are then freed of your debt. All the companies that you owe money now have no right to ask for it. This may sound fantastic at first; however, it does have its draw backs as well.

Let me tell you a thing though, having something like a bankruptcy appear on your credit report for the next six to 10 years won’t be even close to beneficial to you. It will sit there in big, bold, red letters in your credit report for a very long time. Because of it, you will have trouble getting credit cards, loans or making big purchases even though ironically, these may the very things that cause you to declare bankruptcy in the first place. If you can prove that you are making some real strides with your financial situation, you could find it less difficult to get financing but not very. However, it is a very good way to take financial responsibility of your own life. Not to mention, you will feel a great big burden being lifted off your shoulders.

Credit card companies and other creditors where you owe money really do have the right to state no to your bankruptcy claim. There are certain situations when they are very likely to do this too. If you just went on a vacation, made a big purchase, used a credit card when unemployed or spent money after consulting with a lawyer, you will look suspicious in their eyes and will likely be denied. It is always best to consult a lawyer or debt counselor before you really take the plunge and declare bankruptcy.

How To File For Disability Benefits

Railroad work can be hard and dangerous and can result in injury or disability. But railroad workers can also become disabled for other reasons such as illness or disease not related to an on the job injury.

While compensation can sometimes be recovered by railroad workers injured on the job through FELA (the Federal Employer’s Liability Act), there is another route for railroad workers to recover benefits if they are disabled due to a work related injury or a non-work related disability.

Railroad Disability Benefits:

If you are a railroad worker or former railroad worker and are disabled, you may qualify for disability benefits from the United State Railroad Retirement Board. The United States Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is a co-equal agency to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The RRB is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The RRB administers retirement, survivor, and disability claims for railroad workers (and their spouses and minor beneficiaries). Generally, the RRB administers claims for workers with 120 or more months of railroad service. Under certain circumstances, workers with 60 or more months of railroad service can file a claim with the RRB, that is part RRB and part SSA. Claimants with less months of service must apply to SSA for benefits.

The annuity payable to railroad workers is somewhat different than the benefit payable by SSA. The railroad worker receives a Tier I benefit that is the Social Security equivalent. They also receive a Tier 2 component which is largely funded by an additional tax on railroad employee’s wages, paid by the employer.

The RRB has largely adopted the Social Security Administration medical criteria (Listings of Impairments) and Regulations (Section 404.1500, et. seq.) for the evaluation of a disability annuity under the Railroad Act. There are some differences. The provisions of the Social Security Act that preclude payment of Social Security benefits where drug abuse and/or alcoholism are material to a finding of disability are not applicable under the Railroad Retirement Act. The Railroad Retirement Act provides for an occupational annuity” when the worker has at least 240 or more months of railroad service. The worker need only prove inability to perform his usual railroad occupation over the past 15 years, not all occupations. As most occupations in the railroad industry involved rather heavy work, this benefit can be easier to qualify for. The monthly benefit for the occupational annuity is the same as for the total and permanent annuity”, analogous to the Title II Social Security disability benefit, however the benefit is fully taxable and does not provide a Medicare entitlement. Workers who have received the occupational annuity at some time in the past can upgrade this annuity to a total and permanent” category by filing a new claim and proving entitlement under SSA’s criteria, which also includes entitlement to Medicare benefits. The value of Medicare greatly exceeds any legal fees that would be incurred for proving entitlement to total and permanent” benefits, so it is almost always to your benefit to apply for this upgrade where it is applicable.

If a railroad worker has somewhat less than 240 months of railroad service, he or she can sometimes buy the missing months of railroad service to reach 240 months as part of a Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) settlement. The advisability of doing this depends on the ability to qualify for the total and permanent annuity. An experienced attorney in Railroad Benefits can help you analyze the merits of a particular claim.

As in the case of SSA disability benefits, it is important to have an experienced attorney from the beginning stages of your claim help guide you and your claim through the bureaucratic minefield.

Attorney fees under the Railroad Retirement Act are not as highly regulated as are those under the Social Security Act. Generally, payment of a fee is a matter to be decided by the claimant and representative. Usually the fee is 25% of the retroactive benefits, the same fee as charged in Social Security Disability cases. No fee is charged unless there is an award of benefits.

Legal Advice For Child Custody

One of the difficult aspects of child custody cases is the fact the inexperience most people have in the matter. Uncertainty with family-related matters, especially legal ones, can leave you constantly wondering if you are doing the right things. But there are several outlets you can utilize for child custody advice. Here is a listing of the best places to start.

Your Lawyer

The most obvious starting point for advice should be your lawyer. Since custody is a legal issue, you need to have access to a professional who knows the intricacies of family law. Make sure that your lawyer has experience with custody cases. If your lawyer does not have this experience, than ask for a referral of someone who does.

County Programs

If you live near a city, then it is likely that you will find a county department that deals exclusively with family issues and child welfare. This can be a great resource for learning more about your options. Most county offices are tax-subsidized, which means you can utilize their services at no cost. Some of the services you will find include free literature, workshops, and the option to work with an individual case worker.

The Library

The library is another free resource that will help you learn and understand the process involved with child custody cases. Don’t be intimidated with the abundance of information available. The staff librarians are masters at searching through resources. Be prepared with questions on the topics you are searching for and ask for their assistance. You will be amazed at the information you can access at no charge.

Build a Network

Always remember that you are not the only person going through this uncertain time in your life. There are thousands of others with the same questions as you, and thousands more who have successfully won their custody case. Look for meeting groups in your area where you can network with these people. This can include single parent groups, divorce support groups, and even PTA meetings. Wherever parents meet you will always find a segment of the population that has experienced custody issues.

Internet Resources

The internet is full of resources for divorced parents. Of course you should always proceed cautiously on the advice of strangers, but there is no reason you cannot use the internet as a source for information and inspiration. Outside of reading informative articles, you can also network on one of the many forums related to divorce and marriage issues. Practically every parent who is involved with marriage problems has a custody concern, making these forums a great place to ask questions.

You cannot expect to know many things about child custody, so don’t let the pressure of the situation bog you down. Instead, make a resolution to learn as much as you can. Start researching and building relationships with people who have experience in the matter. You will begin to feel more comfortable as you learn more about the subject.

Consequences Of Driving Under The Influence

Drinking and driving is must have a mistake for many reasons. One of the effects of a ‘driving under the influence’ conviction that many people fail to realize – is just how severely your car insurance rates can be affected. If you’re covered by a policy at the time you’re convicted of a DUI, your rates may increase dramatically or your policy may be canceled. If you don’t have car insurance at the time of a DUI conviction, you may find it very difficult securing future coverage.

Below, you’ll learn more about how drunk driving can affect your car insurance policy and your rates. We’ll also describe the purpose of an SR-22 form, which may be a requirement if you are convicted of a DUI offense and wish to legally drive again. Also, we’ll offer a few tips that you can use to get car insurance in the event that you’re caught driving under the influence.

The Purpose Of An SR-22 After a DUI Offense

Driving under the influence carries significant consequences. If you’re caught and convicted of a DUI, you’ll likely be required to file an SR-22. In its simplest form, an SR-22 is a legal statement (document) that validates that you have adequate car insurance coverage. An offender’s suspended driver’s license is usually returned when this statement is filed.

Most states (there are a few exceptions) legally require drivers who have received a DUI conviction to file an SR-22 with their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Some car insurance carriers offer special SR-22 coverage for “high risk” drivers, charging much higher premiums. Other insurers will not offer such coverage and will simply cancel a “high risk” driver’s policy.

An SR-22 form can be obtained from your auto insurance company (once they have decided to insure you) when purchasing your car insurance.

A DUI Can Remain Under The Radar – For a While

Occasionally there’s somewhat of a disconnect between the local court system and the local department of motor vehicles. DUI convictions are supposed to be delivered to the DMV that is located in the jurisdiction of the court. Sometimes, this fails to happen. When a DUI offense is not reported to a driver’s local DMV, that driver’s DUI offense may remain hidden, and that driver may be able to effectively avoid filing an SR-22, because their alcohol-related offense is not immediately discovered by their car insurance company. Though this does happen on occasion, insurance providers can eventually learn of a policyholder’s DUI – even years later, and act accordingly.

If You’ve Been Convicted, Don’t Wait To Shop Around For An SR-22 Insurance Policy

A common mistake among those who have been convicted of driving under the influence is waiting until their car insurance policy has been canceled before finding an alternative. If your current provider is canceling your policy, it’s likely because they know about your DUI from your driving record at the DMV. In that case, anticipate other providers discovering your DUI, too.

It’s much more difficult to find a carrier that is willing to offer an SR-22 insurance policy when you’re not already covered. Shop early while you still have coverage from your current carrier. If you find that the larger, established insurance carriers are unwilling to insure you, you may want to check with the independent agents in your area.

Picking Up The Pieces And Planning Ahead After a DUI

Driving under the influence can have a dramatic impact on your car insurance for several years. It can substantially increase your rates or cause your current provider to cancel your policy. In short, a DUI severely limits your options. But, if a DUI conviction is in your past, don’t let it dissuade you from shopping for car insurance. Assuming the DMV has recorded your DUI in their records, you’ll need to pay higher premiums for your policy, but, the alternative – driving without coverage – can lead to hefty penalties, financial loss and even jail time.

Remember, while a DUI conviction can stay on your record for a decade, car insurance companies will typically only use it for premium scoring for 3 years (sometimes less).

Obviously it’s in everyone’s best interest to just say no to drinking and driving. However, if you’re learning this lesson a bit late, it’s best to know your options, plan ahead and work diligently toward putting the experience behind you.

Social Security In Los Angeles

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A commercial, and in some respects a social doubt has been started within the last yr or two, whether or not it is right to discuss so openly the security or insecurity of locks. Many well-meaning persons suppose that the discussion respecting the means for baffling the supposed safety of locks offers a premium for dishonesty, by showing others how to be dishonest. Rogues are very keen in their profession, and know already much more than we can teach them respecting their several kinds of roguery. Rogues knew a good deal about lock-picking long before locksmiths discussed it among themselves, as they have lately done. Locksmiths Los Angeles If a lock, let it have been made in whatever country, or by whatever maker, is not so inviolable as it has hitherto been deemed to be, surely it is to the interest of honest persons to know this fact, because the dishonest are tolerably certain to apply the knowledge practically; and the spread of the knowledge is necessary to give fair play to those who might suffer by ignorance. It can’t be too earnestly urged that an acquaintance with real facts will, in the end, be better for all parties.

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Social Security Benefits Online Application

Lots of people seem to be wanting to know more about receiving Social Security Disability benefits while also getting unemployment benefits. This is actually a tricky area and it’s vital that you understand the info and facts.

In case you have end up as not able to maintain a job because of a impairment, then you could qualify for SSDI benefits. In case you are currently collecting unemployment gains, then you might take into consideration making an application for social security disability benefits although your unemployment is still coming in, so that you will at the very least obtain that money. Then again, it’s a bit risky to try to get one while getting the other.

Could You Work?

To be able to obtain unemployment benefits, then you need to convince the state labor department that you are able and also actively looking for a employment. Also, after you apply for SSDI benefits, you’re saying that you are unable to work as a consequence of health issue.

You will probably not have difficulties with acquiring unemployment as long as you are seeking a job opportunity and having a good record of the careers you’ve already applied for. It can be tougher to persuade the Social Security Association you can be without a doubt impaired.

The first thing that may happen as soon as you’ve applied for impairment is the Social Security Association examiner will take a look at situation and check the health-related reports. This might determine whether they think you could work or otherwise. Should you be getting unemployment incentives, it will most certainly have an effect on your situation and be similar to a contrast of interest. If the condition is declined after all this, don’t be shocked.

Never Give Up

Continue with your condition by submitting an appeal. Additionally proceed with the method even if you are denied a second time. In the long run, your case will go before a hearing that will supply you with the opportunity to explain your needs in person to a judge.

The Administrative Law Judge is going to take a longer assessment of the circumstances of your case. At this stage, you will have the opportunity to inform the moderator that you did without a doubt look for job you could deal with even though collecting unemployment. Ideally the court will notice that you tried. In the event your health background supports your case that you desire to find a job but cannot physically get it done, therefore the outcome might be to your benefit. Unfortunately, many Administrative Law Judges dislike persons receiving unemployment while professing to be impaired.

Money In the Meantime

Regrettably, it will take a while and sometimes even years in order to get all through the Social Security Disability Benefits system. You’re not allowed to obtain the two unemployment and SSDI benefits, so you need to tell the unemployment office should your handicap claim has been acknowledged. It’s also quite possible that you would need to pay off months of unemployment checks.This may possibly be the case if Social Security sends you a huge amount that could be retroactive to when your case was first sent in. This could vary from state to state, so verify the policies beforehand.

Applying for Social Security Disability is certainly a extensive and daunting procedure therefore you really need a highly skilled lawyer to assist you get the most desirable end result.

If you have inquiries about receiving disability while you’re on unemployment, contact us only at The Law Offices of David L. Hood. We’ll be glad to find out how it is possible to assist you.

How To Pay Child Support

Imagine the following: a woman you have known for many years, perhaps since childhood, thinks about you a dear friend, a man of character and intelligence. She is approaching her late thirties and wishes to have a baby, but no longer wishes to be burdened by a marriage in order to have the child.

She comes to you and asks to donate your sperm so that she might be able to have a baby. Needless to say, this request is done out of great respect for you and in consideration of her complete trust and knowledge of whoever you’re as a person.

After a thorough discussion, both of you agree to your friend’s proposition. Rather than pay a lawyer, your friend goes on the world-wide-web and get one of those “forms” regarding sperm donation and surrogate fatherhood.

In the form, it is stipulated that you’re donating your sperm without any rights as a parent. Your friend is financially independent enough to support the child herself, and stipulates in the agreement that she waives all claims of child support on behalf of the child, and college expenses thereafter. Your friend also agrees to provide health insurance for the child and all other necessaries for the child’s upbringing.

The whole matter seems simple enough: you won’t be in any way responsible financially for the child. You then go through the necessary procedures to make your friend’s dream come true.

Seven years later, your friend calls you on the phone and states that she has had a financial setback. She asks if you will help her purchase child support. You, of course, refuse because of the promises she made in the agreement both of you signed. Shortly thereafter, you’re slapped with a petition to determine the amount you must contribute to support the child.

After hiring an attorney, you learn that your supposed “agreement” is invalid under Illinois Law. As a result, you’re now obligated to pay child support until the child is eighteen years old in an amount equaling 20% of your income.

Clearly, this is a nightmare scenario for the innocent donor. Yet, this is exactly what would happen under Illinois law: public policy demands that children be supported by their “parents.” Whether the child was born out of wedlock or born through artificial means is of no concern. The say is far more concerned that the child does not become a public ward than how a child is conceived. Thus, parents can’t agree among themselves for one parent to “waive” child support.

For this reason, the Illinois courts have the power to invalidate any agreement or any portion thereof that is contrary to the state’s public policy. Accordingly, the donor’s attempt to rely upon his agreement with the mom won’t be enforced, and the court will invalidate that portion of the agreement that allowed the donor to waive support for the child.

Could there be a way around this problem for the donor? No. Not one that someone could confidently say poses no risks to the donor. However, there might be ways that the above risks could at least be may be reduced.

One way might be to have the donor pay child support at 20% of his net income in child support. However, the parties could then enter into a separate agreement wherein the parties agree that the donor is to be paid for his donation to the putative mom until the child reaches 18 years of age. The second agreement would provide that the putative mom is to pay the donor an amount equal to 20% of his net income until the child reaches majority.

Women are paid for surrogate motherhood. There is no reason a husband can’t be paid for the donation of his sperm to the bringing forth of the child. At least superficially, there would appear to be no public policy offended if the mom paid the donor for his providing an essential element to childbirth.

Of course, the donor could still be vulnerable to a change in the mom’s financial circumstances. She might not be able to pay the donor in the future– but the donor would still be obligated to pay child support. Further, the court could invalidate both agreements as violating public policy if it were to determine that the separate agreement was merely a sham to avoid the donor from really paying child support.

In the end, there are no simple solutions to this issue. Until the legislature immunizes a donor from claims for child support, his generosity and consideration could be the largest financial mistake of his life. Thus, it would be folly for a man whoever is considering being a direct donor to not consult with a lawyer first, at the woman’s expense, of course.

Disclaimer: Any statements contained herein are not legal advice. Rather, the statements contained in this article are merely the opinions of an Illinois practitioner whoever currently concentrates his practice in the area of family law.

What Is Bankruptcy Chapter 13

Most people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of the three main reasons:

1. It is much faster then the other Chapters. With a little effort on your side, you can have the entire process over in next four to six months.

2. It is also simpler to file. No frequent visits to court are required.

3. There are no after payments. Once your bankruptcy is discharged that is it, you are debt free. (Under the 2005 bankruptcy law, not all debts can be discharged anymore so consult with your attorney before filling).

On the other hand, Chapter 7 has a catch, the court will decide whether you are allowed to file for it or not. One of the main reasons why you can be denied to file for Chapter 7 is your income. If it happens to be sufficient to payoff some of your debts (after your allowed living expenses have been counted in) then you might be forced to file under Chapter 13 bankruptcy law.

How to check if you can apply?

First thing you need to do is to calculate your average earnings in the last 6 months and compare it with average income for the state you live in. You will be allowed to file under Chapter 7 if your income happens to be lover or the same as the median income of the state you live in.

In case that your average income is higher than that, and you still need to apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will have to go through one more test named the Means Test.

So what is a means test?

It is a test based on the results calculated for your allowed living expenses.

How to calculate my living expenses and what can I include in it?

It is actually quite easy to calculate it. Take all your income from one average month and deduct the following allowed expenses:

1) Utility bills, transport (gas), food, clothing. (Make sure to use IRS amounts for these or the court will not take it in to account).

2) Your secured monthly payments like child support, car loan, mortgage and tax.

After you finish with the calculation and your average disposable income per month is lover then $100, you have passed the means test and you stand a fair chance of being approved to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7.

If on the other hand your disposable income happens to be more than that (figure most often mentioned is $166, but it can vary), you will most likely have to file under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy law. That is unless you can provide evidence that there are some special considerations to be taken in your account.

For any figures between $100 and $166, it is best to consult with your attorney. Make sure to find an attorney that specialize in bankruptcy and credit repair and has the solid reputation.

Low Cost Family Law Attorney

A family law attorney is an attorney who handles legal issues pertaining to families, such as divorce, custody hearings, prenuptial agreements and paternity actions. Basically, any issue having to do with domestic relations falls under the umbrella of family law. When you are faced with any of these issues in California, you will require the services of a Beverly Hills family law attorney. Berenji and associates can advise you and protect your legal rights should you be facing divorce or separation, as well as other issues in family law.

Divorce and Legal Separation

Beverly Hills family law attorney Hossein Berenji is an experienced attorney and litigator who primarily focuses on high net worth divorce proceedings. Berenji and associates are committed to obtaining a favorable outcome for their clients, regardless of whether the divorce is amicable or litigious in nature. Whether a divorce can be handled easily or will require court time, Berenji and associates will fight tirelessly to make certain their clients receive justice.

Other Areas of Family Law

Spousal support- Spousal support is not always mandatory and is decided on a case-by-case basis. If you are seeking spousal support, you will want to engage the services of a family law attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of this area. A Beverly Hills family law attorney can help you gain what you are entitled to under the law.

Child support- whether you wish to set up joint custody or gain sole custody of minor children, your spouse is obligated under law to provide support until children attain legal age. Berenji and associates can assist you in ensuring that child support adheres to the guidelines set forth by the state of California. Having difficulty in getting paid the support due to your children? Berenji and associates can advocate for you in obtaining child support that is owed.

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements- pre- and post-nuptial agreements are set in place to protect the interests of both spouses in the event of separation or divorce. Although no one likes to think that their marriage will fail, having an ironclad agreement in place provides protection should a marriage fail. These agreements can save you money and help you avoid legal hassles should the marriage fail for any reason.

Custody- custody is often hotly debated when couples decide to separate or divorce. A Beverly Hills family law attorney can guide you through the legal proceedings necessary to obtain custody of your children in the event that custody becomes an issue. In this circumstance, you will need a knowledgeable attorney who is aware of all the nuamnces of the law in this area. Berenji and associates have the necessary experience, skill and knowledge to get you the outcome you desire.

Paternity- paternity action cases help to determine the rights of unmarried couples over their minor children, including visitation and support. If paternity is at issue, California law provides that men are entitled to DNA testing to prove fatherhood.

Whether you are facing separation, divorce, custody issues or support issues, Berenji and associates can guide and protect you through the complicated world of family law. Berenji and associates work tirelessly for you until your case is resolved satisfactorily. With years of litigation experience, Berenji and associates is one of the top family law practices in Beverly Hills. To contact Berenji and associates, visit online at

How To Apply For Social Security Disability Online

In order to address the routine concerns of many, regarding the payment of bills post-retirement or disability, a federal benefits program was designed in the United States, in 1935, known as the Social Securities Act. The program known as the social security program provides disability, retirement, unemployment and survivor benefits and Medicare. The benefits offered aim at providing financial support to the citizens of the U.S., who fall under the categories specified within the paradigms of the program.

The Social Security Act of 1935 introduced the social security system in the US. The system caters to the financial needs of the retired citizens, who have contributed to the social security trust fund for at least 10 years. It also provides benefits to the survivors, in event of the employee’s death. The other benefits offered cover disability and unemployment.

It is essential for the person to make the regular required contribution to the Social Security Trust Funds through the payroll taxes, to be eligible. By virtue of the provisions of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA, every worker’s income is subject to a tax payment of 12.4% on the first $94,200 earned during the year. Half of this amount or 6.2% is paid by the employer, while the other 6.2% is deducted from the salary of the employee. The amount is given to the government. Self-employed people are responsible for paying the full 12.4%. This amount is used fund the social security system.

The system has been designed to benefit those who make the necessary contributions for a period of ten years. There is a credit system incorporated in the scheme and you can earn a maximum of four credits per year. This means that irrespective of the higher limit of your actual earnings and consequently the quantum of your contribution to the fund, your earnings would entitle you to receive four credits.

The amount of the monthly social security check that you would receive after retirement would be calculated on the basis of your 35 highest income-generating years. You need to apply, to start receiving you social security benefits. The best time to do this would be a few months before your actual retirement date.

The social security program attempts to pay the retired citizens a pre-determined sum of money, to cover their basic needs. It works as a kind of insurance for the retired people, helping them to cope with financial difficulties, post-retirement.

It is a form of insurance that covers the surviving spouse and children, in case of the employee’s death. If the spouse is between 62 to 65 years, 70 to 99 percent of the benefits are payable. Dependent parents and unmarried children under 18 years are entitled to receive the benefits too.

Disability that prevents employment opportunity is also considered for benefits under the social security system. Physical and mental disabilities are also covered and the payment starts five months after proving the disability to the authorities.

Under the social security system, unemployment benefits are available to those whose unemployment is due to circumstances beyond their control. The program is designed to provide financial relief to the citizens of the U.S. at crucial times.