Unsecured Debts and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 is not taken lightly. As pointed out on the website of Erin B. Shank, P.C., you will be obliged to attend credit counseling prior to filing, but this is a good thing. It basically means that you are willing to pay off your debts but are unable to do so fully under the present circumstances. This could mean that your income is low, your interest rates are high, or you simply have too much debt.

One of the major causes of the last reason can be attributed to unsecured debts, primarily credit card debts and student loans. Under Chapter 7, most or all of credit card debt is dischargeable, which is why many people would like to (but are ineligible) to file that type of bankruptcy. Student loans are nondischargeable (except in very few exceptions) under any type of bankruptcy, but under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is possible to discharge a good part of your credit card debts because it is considered a nonpriority debt.

A nonpriority unsecured debt is at the bottom of the list in most repayment plans under Chapter 13. The payment to these debts is based on whatever remains of the disposable income after secured debts and priority unsecured debts (child support, student loans, etc.) are paid in full. Disposable income is the difference between your income and reasonable family maintenance and support expenses. In many cases, there is nothing left to pay for these nonpriority debts which include but are not limited to credit card debt, utility bills, personal loans with no collateral, union dues, and selected tax debts.

Determining what part of the nonpriority debt you will include in the plan will depend primarily on two things: how much the creditor would have gotten under Chapter 7; and how much your disposable income is. However, the debtor must commit all disposable income to a repayment plan for at least three years for those whose income is below the median family income of the state and up to 5 years for those who earn more than the median.

To find out more about the consequences of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas, talk to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in your county.

What Can You Do About Aviation Accidents?

2014 was not a kind year to those who have a fear of flying. There has been some devastating news as of current events on the aviation accidents that have resulted in one year alone. With one entire aircraft completely missing, one passenger plane shot down over war-torn Ukraine, and one ripped out of the sky, presumably by stormy weather – any and all fear of flying as a result of these incidents is more than justifiable. There is no repairing the hurt brought by these incidents and there is no replacing what so many families have lost due to these incidents. It does not mean that those who have lost so much in an aviation accident are condemned to just mourn. It is the promise and responsibility of airlines and their crews to ensure maximum safety for its passengers. Should there be any injuries or fatalities as a result of negligence, it is well within the right of the bereaved to press charges or file a legal complaint against all those who are responsible for the accident. There is very little that can be done to soften the blow that can only be the consequence of a plane crash or any other sort of aviation accident. Sometimes, the fault is in the manufacturing of the aircraft itself or, as it has been reported in some cases, there have been pilots who were under the influence of alcohol when taking the wheel of the aircraft. There are probably a plethora of reasons as to why an aircraft would fail and cost so deplorably. Every measure is taken in order to guarantee the safety of all those who board a plane and so the reason as for failure during flight is usually a result of negligence. This is an inexcusable reason. If you are looking for justice with regard to an aviation accident, it is advisable for you to seek legal counsel comprised of dedicated and intelligent professionals who can get you the result and recompense you deserve after what is certainly a trying time in your life.

Children and Car Accidents

The most tragic thing about preventable car accidents is when child passengers are involved. According to the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), car accident injuries are the top cause of death in children in the US. In 2011, 650 children 12 years old and below died and in excess of 148,000 were injured, and many of these injuries could have been prevented.

The CDC states that strapping children into age-appropriate safety equipment (car seats, booster seats, seat belts) reduced their risk of injury in case of an accident by as much as 71%. One-third of children who die in such incidents are not properly restrained.

According to the website of the The Benton Law Firm, physical injury is not the only consequence of children involved in serious car accidents. Many of these children suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); some are unable to go back into a vehicle without experiencing fear, a phobia that may persist into adulthood. As pointed out on the website of the Williams Kherkher Law Firm, the costs for medical treatment, rehabilitation, life care and psychiatric counseling of a seriously injured child can mount up alarmingly, especially if their injuries are permanently disabling.

Safety gear can only do so much to prevent injury to children in car accidents. In some cases, it is the negligent actions of third parties such as drunk driving, distracted driving, or speeding that lead to a child getting injured. A Fort Worth car accident lawyer would be better able to explain about negligence and their consequences.

If your child has suffered grievous harm in a negligent car accident, you have every right to demand compensation. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area to find out if you have a case and how to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.

The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Isn’t it a fact that many accidents are a matter of chance? If you had not been on that particular spot on a New York street in that very second, then you would have avoided that grease slick and serious brain damage. You also would have no need for a New York slip and fall accident lawyer or a feeding tube. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time happens all the time.

However, property dangers are not a result of accident; they are a matter of negligence. For example, if the property owner had posted warning signs about their slippery sidewalks and taken reasonable measures to prevent slips, no one would have gotten hurt. It is the responsibility of the property owner to make sure that people who have a legitimate reason to be on the property are safe from foreseeable dangers; the failure to live up to this responsibility can make them liable for any injuries that result.

Property owners are also liable if they knowingly expose people to toxic substances. For example, if the owner is aware that significant amounts of asbestos are being released into the air from old insulation but does nothing to address the problem, the owner can be held liable for the costs associated with a tenant or employee developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related medical conditions. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, toxic exposure may take years to develop but this does not lessen the owner’s premises liability.

Owning property has its perks, but also its drawbacks. Property owners need to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of the public from property dangers. If you have sustained serious injury because of unsafe conditions on someone’s property, you may be able to sue the owner to recover medical expenses and other pecuniary losses. Find out more by asking an experienced premises liability lawyer in your area.

What’s with Dangerous Pharmaceutical Products?

Hardly a day goes by that there isn’t something in the news about dangerous pharmaceutical products being developed, being approved for this or that condition, indicated in serious side effects, allegedly caused the death of patients, under review, recalled, under litigation, and so on and so forth. It is a wonder that these drugs are still in the market, but strangely enough the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even expands the use of some dangerous drug that is currently under litigation. The press announcement comes with the appropriate warning, but still….

Drug companies make a lot of money from prescription drugs, which explain why they keep pushing them even if they may be dangerous, and even if they have to settle lawsuits for it. Patients often have little choice in the matter because the benefits of these drugs are believed to outweigh their drawbacks. Physicians rely on the literature that come with these drugs to make their judgment calls, which is why drug manufacturers often get into legal trouble when they fail to adequately warn the public about the risks of side effects, such as in a lawsuit.

According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, the FDA issues warnings about such side effects, but unfortunately this often happens after a significant number of complaints have been filed for a specific drugs, such as anti-epileptic medication Topamax. By then, it is too late for the victims. They do have recourse to litigation, but it would be much better if the focus was on prevention rather than compensation.

In the real world, compensation is typically the only recourse when it comes to dangerous pharmaceutical products. If you have sustained serious injury because of undisclosed risks or defective formula of a prescription drug, you need to consult with a product liability lawyer in your area.

Insurance Agent Negligence and Hurricane Insurance Claims

Texas has been besieged by some of the worst hurricanes in US history, which is why most homeowners and businesses acquire hurricane insurance to cover property damage and/or business losses. Typically, policyholders have difficulty understanding the different types of policies being offered to them, and rely on their insurance agent to give them what they need based on their circumstances. In most cases, an insurance agent will give them the correct information and ensure that they have adequate coverage for anticipated events i.e. hurricanes.

Unfortunately, not all insurance agents do their job as they should, and it is only when the policyholder makes a claim that they discover the policy they had paid for (and for many have done so for years) does not actually given them the coverage they asked for and thought they had. As a result, many policyholders were unable to recover business loss and repair expenses.

If your insurance agent failed to provide a policyholder with the insurance they wanted either intentionally or in error, or failed to inform the policyholder of the fact that they were not paying for the policy they want or need, this can be considered agent negligence, and the agent can be held liable for damages incurred by the policyholder.

This is far from cut-and-dried, however. The law is subject to interpretation, and the burden of proof for a negligence claim is on the plaintiff. As mentioned in the website of the law firm Williams Kherkher, it is not easy to prove that you had asked for and believed you had paid for a specific type of policy if you don’t actually have the policy.

If you survived a calamity such as Hurricane Sandy only to discover that you did not have the coverage you thought you had for your losses, your agent may have been negligent. Contact a hurricane insurance lawyer in your state and state your case. A competent lawyer will be able to advise you about your legal options.

Applying for SSD

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are provided by the Social Security Administration to adults with the requisite work credits if and when the applicant loses the ability to be gainfully employed for various reasons. As pointed out on the website of the Hankey Law Office, PC, applying for SSD benefits is generally difficult, although the approval rate varies from state to state. However, more than half of all nationwide SSD claims for SSD benefits are denied at the initial application. This means applicants must either appeal or start the process over, both of which take time.

All applications for SSD benefits have the same requirements, but some get approved more easily than others. This and the relatively low rate of claim approval are due mostly to the way the disability decision process is conducted. When someone makes an SSD benefit claim, for example, the claim is actually transferred to the state disability determination services agency (DDS) and brought to the attention of a disability examiner.

The disability examiner checks the submitted medical records to see if it satisfies the approval criteria for a medical condition included in the SSA list (blue book) of disabling impairments, physical or mental. If it does, then the claim is approved. In most cases, however, the medical records will not be specific enough to meet the blue book criteria for a listed condition. At this point, the examiner will consider other documentation such as the work history to find supporting or corroborating evidence that the claimant is indeed disabled for the requisite length of time. Failing that, the examiner will deny the claim, and the claimant can then go through the appeals process.

Ideally, a claim for SSD benefits should be approved at the time of the initial application; the appeals process takes a lot longer and can be difficult to follow for a layperson. If you plan to make an SSD benefits claim, you should seek the help of an SSD lawyer in your area from the start; if not, during your appeal.

When you Should Hire a Limo

Hiring a limo per se is not usually something that is on somebody’s bucket list; instead it is part and parcel of a whole experience, usually a special occasion. This is because limo rentals generally cost more than pocket change, and not everyone can afford the service on a regular basis. It’s on par with going to a fine dining restaurant; you can’t afford it every day, but it can really put an added sparkle to a special occasion.

When planning something out of the ordinary, you can consider hiring a limo to make it even more memorable. Can you imagine what selfies inside a limo would look like? Here are some occasions when you should hire a limo if it is at all possible.

Prom Night

Your parents may have something to say about splurging on a limo rental on prom night, but if you carpool with your best buddies, you could really rock it without breaking the bank. A limo can accommodate from 6 up to 16 people, depending on your needs and budget. A limo rental split several ways comes out to a primo taxi ride.


Of course, your wedding would be the perfect excuse to hire the best looking limo you can find (and afford). The photo and video ops could be fantastic, and it will be one of the highlights of the occasion. At the very least, a limo is ideal for avoiding scrunching up that wedding dress, and that should be justification enough to indulge in the luxury. To be sure that you truly have a wonderful wedding, make sure that you don’t find the cheapest service available; budget limo companies can usually offer low prices because they cut corners such as in maintenance. You don’t want stains on those wedding clothes, do you?


Let’s face it; a lot of us may have been voted least likely to achieve in high school, and it would be classic to show up at the reunion riding in a gleaming stretch limo. It makes a good impression, and you can appear disarmingly modest when you tell them it’s a rental.

If you need a limo service for a special occasion, or just because you don’t want the hassle of bringing your own car, you should check what’s available in your area. Remember that you get what you pay for; balance quality with price.

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