The Many Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Among the worst effects of the Great Recession of 2008-09 were mass lay-offs, underemployment, prolonged unemployment and reduced pay. These resulted to financial crisis to millions of Americans and forced majority of those affected to live a more moderate or modest lifestyle.

Doing away with whatever little extravagance millions of individuals enjoyed was not all these people had to let go, however. Due to the mounting bills and debts that they are no longer able to pay, such as mortgage payments, car loans, personal loans, credit card loans, etc., thousands also faced (and actually) lost their home or car because of repossession, while thousands of others suffered stress as they worried about their debts, and the hounding and humiliating tactics employed by collecting agencies to make them pay their debts.

There is a way, though, for debtors to pay and free themselves from debts and have a brand new start at their financial life: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 is just one of the many chapters in the Bankruptcy Code, a law that the U.S. Congress passed in 1978. Otherwise known as Liquidation Bankruptcy, Chapter 7, as explained in detail in the Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC website “offers the near-total liquidation of all debts that an individual may hold, giving those who pursue this option the ability to start their financial life anew.”

The immediate benefit of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, once it is filed in court, is the cessation of all forms of harassing tactics used by collecting agencies (including phone calls, text messages, emails, letters, etc.). This benefit is called the “automatic stay,” “an automatic injunction that halts actions by creditors, with certain exceptions, to collect debts from a debtor who has declared bankruptcy. Under section 362 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, the stay begins at the moment the bankruptcy petition is filed.”

An automatic stay also protects debtors against creditors who may: try to obtain a debtor’s property through a court injunction; request the court to issue a wage garnishment and/or bank account levy order; or, begin or continue any judicial proceedings against the debtor.

Through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, a court may totally free a person from all of his or her unsecured debts, which includes personal loans, credit card debts, medical bills, past due utility bills, repossession deficiency balances, business debts, personal loans (from friends, family, and employers), student loans (under certain circumstances), money owed under lease agreements (including past due rent), tax penalties and unpaid taxes (due dates of these should be more than 3 years), and collection agency accounts.

There are also debts which cannot be discharged. In fact, unless due to totally reasonable circumstances, these debts will have to be paid even after Chapter 7 bankruptcy has been declared. These debts include spousal and/or child support, taxes, debts owed to tax-advantaged retirement plans, and student loans (with some exceptions).

While Chapter 7 may truly be beneficial, a person will first have to pass a test in order to get protection from this bankruptcy chapter. The Means Test, which is an evaluation method based on an applicant’s personal income, will determine if a person is eligible to file for this chapter. A bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help anyone thinking of filing for bankruptcy; he or she would also be able to help a person know which bankruptcy chapter is appropriate for his or her unique financial situation.

Alternatives to Bankruptcy

People who are going through bankruptcy can be intimidated or overwhelmed with the thought of how to get their credit score low again. Contrary to what the general public believe, bankruptcy does not necessarily mean you will have a bad credit score, it only means you will have the bankruptcy record with you for at least 5 years before it will be cleared out and you can start over again. The bankruptcy record will also be something that the financial companies will consider when negotiating or doing business with you.

If you consider a debt relief agency rather that filing for bankruptcy, there are some important factors that you should look into. The most important thing is to check whether the company you are getting is a legally registered company. Trust is a very important matter when it comes to financial troubles, and aside from getting a trusted bankruptcy attorney to help guide you through your financial turmoil, it is vital that the debt relief agency that you are giving your money to will pay back the creditors. There have scammers who swindle their clients’ money, leaving them in deeper financial troubles than before. In order to guarantee that the debt relief agency that you will choose is legit, talk with your bankruptcy lawyer and consider having meetings with them together with your lawyer.

There are other options that can help you get through your financial burden aside from filing for bankruptcy. One option is to have your debt consolidated; allowing you to sum up all of your debts and make a fair monthly payment given to your debt consolidation company. It is a good option if your debts are due to unforeseen circumstances such as life crisis which stopped you from paying your dues on time. Another option is through debt settlement, where you will have a third party collect a certain amount of money that will then be offered to your creditors. The third party will inform your creditors of they are handling your debts and you’re willing to repay your creditors only through a discounted amount. This may seem like a difficult offer, but often creditors agree to the settlement rather than ask for all the amount.

Product Liability

Ensuring the products customers buy are safe is one of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection‘s most important tasks. Besides this, the authority’s other responsibilities comprise:

  • Taking and investigating consumer complaints regarding faulty products
  • Putting a stop to the unfair deceptive and deceitful methods by enterprise firms
  • Telling businesses and customers about responsibilities, their duties, and rights
  • Inventing and enforcing marketplace rules that are reasonable
  • Ensuring no deceptive labels
  • Filing lawsuits against people or businesses identified promoting defective goods or violating consumer rights

Regrettably, nevertheless, tens of thousands of lawsuits remain filed due to injury or the harm due to their defective products manufacturing company every year. The site of says that records from the National Center for Health Statistics show over 31 million people being injured each year as a result of irresponsible behavior of specific individuals and/or businesses.

The result of the irresponsibility is extended to the manufacture of various products, like several others, security gadgets for children, toys, medical device, prescription drug and additional pharmaceutical products, food, vehicles, resources, and electronic devices.

There are countless harms naive buyers suffer from because of the safety risks caused by negligent, dangerous and uncaring makers. Manufacturers, obviously, have the legal responsibility to ensure that their products are completely safe and the labels of these items correctly recognize the product’s elements, include all essential instructions or warnings associated with the employment of the item, and never make baseless statements on exactly what the product can do.

While there’s no warranty that these injured or harmed by defective goods would receive compensation from the manufacturer of the excellent that is faulty, being represented with a personal injury lawyer may give better chances of having their rights completely understood by the tribunal to sufferers and so determine on their behalf. Compensation is meant to protect lost wages expensive medical treatment and all the current and future damages caused by the injury.

Orthopaedic Surgical Procedures

Orthopaedic patients have access to many options as they look to remedy frustrating persistent pains caused by injury or age. Arthroscopic techniques provide surgeons with minimally-invasive methods when operating on patients. In arthroscopic procedures, doctors make an incision and insert a small camera called an arthroscope, a specialized type of endoscope, through the body to aid in precision and accuracy. People needing knee or spinal disc reconstruction often opt for arthroscopic procedures. Sometimes patients require more invasive surgery depending on their condition. In more dramatic cases, patients undergo arthroplastic surgery.

During an arthroplasty, orthopaedic surgeons repair and realign flawed joints. One of the most common arthroplastic surgeries is total hip replacement surgery. Hip replacement surgery is considered an elective procedure as it’s not required for survival. The goal of a total hip replacement is to relieve pain and restore function. In 2005, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, released the metal-on-metal ASR hip implant. During the five years that it was used in surgical procedures, millions of patients were the recipient of the DePuy ASR system.

Unfortunately, the hip implant proved to have a high failure rate, as one in eight recipients experienced complications within five years of their initial arthroplasty. Complications spanned from cup misalignment, femoral socket fracture, allergic reaction, and blood clots. A skilled surgeon has a large influence on the post-op success of an orthopaedic procedure; however, many of the complications stemming from DePuy ASR installations related to design defects, not surgical error. In 2010 after reviewing a post-market evaluation, DePuy Orthopaedics decided to issue a worldwide recall for the ASR Hip System.

People that have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have a varying range of injury related to the hip implant. Some people have required numerous hip reconstructive surgeries after the implant dislodged. Other patients have experienced tissue damage and toxic blood poisoning due to metal shavings releasing into their system. A recent projection claims that Johnson & Johnson is considering paying $3 billion in 2013 to settle DePuy ASR lawsuits.

Yaz is Not for Older Smokers

The official Yaz website emphasizes that the contraceptive is contraindicated for women who smoke and are over the age of 35. It seems that age and smoking increases the risk of developing side effects with Yaz, including blood clots, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Women over age 35 who don’t smoke have less risk than those who do, while smokers in general should just forget about taking Yaz.

That’s all well and good, but what happens when a young non-smoker suffers from side effects? This is what is carefully not addressed by the manufacturer. Marketing efforts tout Yaz as a triple threat: prevent pregnancy, treat moderate cases of acne, and alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, Yaz is not approved for use for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Why this is so is not really explained.

The fact is, Yaz does increase the risk for dangerous side effects 6 times more than other contraceptives for anyone who uses it, and many women are not aware of this. Moreover, the risk is greatest in the first year of use, so side effects can develop within a few weeks of first use. This should be emphasized to the general public so that women will know what they are getting into. Doctors would be able to warn them, but Yaz is now sold over-the-counter so that’s one control out the window.

Bayer HealthCare, already tangled up in more than 12,000 defective pharmaceutical lawsuits for serious Yaz and Yasmin side effects, has to inform the public in no uncertain terms about the dangers of using either formulation. There are great benefits to using Yaz for the right women, but they need to be carefully screened for contraindications such as a history of liver or kidney problems, high blood pressure, and so on. This may cut back on sales, but it would solve a lot of problems for everyone in the long run.

London Skyscraper Reflects Sunlight, Melts Cars

London pedestrians have reported that a newly-built skyscraper is melting cars and bicycles with light reflected from its windows. The 37-story building, nicknamed the “Walkie Talkie” for its undulating, phone-like design, is covered by flat mirrors that focus and reflect intense light and heat onto a short stretch of sidewalk.

Several residents have suffered property damage, including a Jaguar owner whose car had its mirrors and panels melted and its frame buckled, and several cyclists whose bike seats were ruined by the harsh rays.  Construction companies Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group have already compensated affected residents for any damage, and are collaborating with London city officials to cut down on the glare problem.

The blinding light emanates from the building for several hours a day, when the sun is in a particular position in the sky. Drivers and pedestrians have complained about poor visibility in the area, which has experienced temperatures of more than 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Physicists from London’s Institute of Physics helped identify the source of the problem, and offered several solutions for the construction firms. The cheapest option would be to coat the windows in a non-reflective covering that would cut down on the amount of light bouncing off the building. Another, more expensive choice would entail adjusting the windows to a position that does not focus light in one spot.

West, Texas Schools to Receive FEMA Support

Many schools in West, Texas were leveled after a fertilizer plant explosion destroyed much of the town this past April. The town has been struggling to rebuild it’s educational facilities, homes, and businesses since the massive explosion, but was refused the near $40 million in federal aid it requested.

However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently decided to award West $2.75 million to provide temporary buildings that will serve as schools for the town’s 1,500 students.

Only one of the town’s schools survived April 17th’s detonation, an elementary school that teaches students up to 5th grade. The town’s other students were transported to nearby districts to close out the rest of last school year.

The federal aid will provide temporary buildings for these students to attend classes in their hometowns while their schools are rebuilt.

Hiker Suffers Head Injury at Malibu Creek State Park

A hiker has suffered a serious blow to the head after enduring a fall onto giant boulders at Malibu Creek State Park yesterday.

The  21-year-old man was climbing rocks when he fell, rolling nearly 60 feet before coming to a stop against a rock. He  suffered head injuries and was airlifted to a hospital.

The man was separated from his hiking companions, who were found by rescue crews at a later hour. They were unharmed.

Injuries like this highlight why it is always important to have someone with you when you are hiking, especially if you plan on doing a more perilous activity such as rock climbing. Wearing a helmet while climbing can also reduce the risk of head injuries.

Staying Safe on a Hike: Preventing Common Injuries

While hiking isn’t typically seen as a particularly dangerous activity, there are many ways a person can become injured on a hike. Luckily, many of the most common hiking injuries are the result of a lack of preparation. This means they’re easily preventable and shouldn’t pose a significant threat to hikers.

One of the most common injuries hikers endure is foot pain. Walking across rough terrain can cause painful blisters and sores, as well as increasing the odds of slipping, which can lead to ankle sprains. Making sure to have a good pair of hiking boots that offer ankle support can reduce the severity of both of these injuries. Additionally, using a walking stick can help take some of the strain off your feet, improve your balance, and even add a bit of an upper body workout to your hike.

Avoiding sunburns is important as well. Hikers should always wear appropriate sunscreen, including when it is cold out. Similarly, temperature regulation should not be taken lightly. Even on hot days, a sweaty hiker can become hypothermic with a strong enough breeze. Heat strokes and dehydration can also occur on tough, long hikes. Hikers should be sure to stay hydrated. One way to do this is to take a water break every half hour or so. The goal here should be to prevent becoming thirsty.

Hiking is a wonderful way to get exercise while being close to nature. Remember to tell someone where you’re going beforehand and when you’ll be back and pack a first aid kit in case of emergencies. Taking the extra precautions to stay safe during your hike may seem somewhat unnecessary, but in the event that something goes wrong, you’ll be glad you did.

Staying Safe on a Hike: Mountain Lions

Mountain lions (Puma concolor) are large cats that live throughout most of the western United States and Florida. They are known by many names, including puma, panther, and cougar.  There are significant populations of these wildcats as far south as Texas and as far north as Washington state.

While mountain lion attacks are rather rare, hikers need to know that when they are out in the wilderness, they may be in a cougar’s territory. These animals are typically independent and have huge individual territories that can span 25 and 500 square kilometers. This means that mountain lions sometimes seem to appear suddenly, since it may take years for them to wander to parts of this area. Therefore, if there were no mountain lions on your last hike, it does not necessarily mean you won’t encounter one on your next one.

There are indications that you may be in a cat’s territory. Avoid animal carcasses, especially those that have signs of being buried. This could be a mountain lion’s prey. The animals return to kills to feed later and defend their food ferociously. Mountain lions, especially males, mark their territory with piles of leaves (which they urinate on) and scratch marks on trees.

If confronted by a puma, there are some things you can do to hopefully scare the cat off. They are naturally afraid of humans and are unlikely to attack, but if a puma is threatening you by growling, crouching, and stalking, you should be careful. There are many reasons to never hike alone and being safe from animal attacks is one of them. Additionally, you may be able to scare it off by making your body physically appear bigger. You can do this by standing tall and spreading your jacket or shirt open. Be loud and intimidating. If you have a child with you, put him or her on your shoulders. This makes you both appear bigger, which can dissuade the lion from attacking.

You should never run from a mountain lion, because this is likely to make the animal chase you. Instead back away slowly. If you are attacked, don’t give up hope. Do everything in your power to remain standing and don’t hesitate to bash its head with a rock or any other possible weapons you may be able to find.

As previously noted, mountain lion attacks are incredibly rare. Knowing what to do to when one of these powerful creatures is behaving as a threat can keep attack this rate low.

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