An Overview of United States Crimes

I’m a big Law and Order fan. Criminal cases can be very complex, contrary to the television show’s portrayal. Because of this complexity, I decided that I wanted to get a better grasp on the crimes that make up the subject matter of the Law and Order episodes. For this reason, I decided to do a little research on the criminal justice system in the United States.

I came across a very detailed article by the criminal attorneys of Horst Law. The article presented different categories of crimes, and how each category contains more-specific criminal charges. It emphasized that no two criminal cases are the same and that the specifics and circumstances associated with any criminal accusation are different. Not only is the state’s case against the accused unique, the defenses that the accused will present are also unique.

The article organized crimes into the following categories: sex offenses, drug crimes (state and federal), DUI/DWI, domestic violence, white collar crimes, violent crimes, property crimes, probation violations, and internet crimes. Then, the article presented a list of more specific crimes within each category. For example, drug crimes include drug manufacturing, trafficking, and conspiracy. The substances subject to drug crimes include marijuana, cocaine, MDMA & ecstasy, methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription drugs.

Drug trafficking is a catch-all term used to cover the manufacture, sale, and delivery of some controlled substance. Drug trafficking charges can result in serious felony convictions that result in jail time. Trafficking cases are handled by federal authorities because these authorities assume that trafficking involves crossing state boundaries. Another broad drug crime is drug conspiracy. All this crime requires is two or more people that allegedly planned to commit some drug offense. For this crime, the plan does not need to occur for charges to be brought upon an individual or individuals. The essence of the crime is the plan, which necessarily involves more than one person.

White collar crimes include embezzlement and securities fraud. The article explained that securities fraud itself sanctions an even more specific type of conduct. For instance, securities fraud concerns the criminal charges associated with internet fraud, insider trading, Ponzi schemes, and the creation of dummy corporations. Dummy corporations are corporations that are created by individuals that are intended to mimic well-established corporations. Through the dummy corporation, the creator tries to money in exchange for the issuance of stock. People think they may be buying stock in the well-established corporation, but they are actually purchasing stock in the dummy corporation.

I now have a better grasp of the various crimes that are part of our criminal justice system. I am certain that my Law and Order watching experience will be enhanced! If you want to make your television experience better, or if you want some basic knowledge of criminal charges in our criminal justice system, I would highly recommend the article I found. It expertly explained the different crimes in a neat, organized manner.

What exactly is wrongful foreclosure?

Recent problems that were brought to light by foreclosure scandals at major banks (including errors or shortcuts with paperwork and the use of rob0-signers), the errors made by many banks caused homeowners undue stress and in some cases, forced them into wrongful foreclosure.

Many banks state that they did not illegally foreclose on anyone, but foreclosure defense attorneys tell a different tale. People faced wrongful foreclosure due to the mistakes and failures to follow procedures at the hands of the banks, and attorneys say the problem is more widespread than a lot of people think. This wrongful foreclosure page on an attorney’s site is a good reference if you want to read more.

Almost everyone believes that an illegal foreclosure occurs if a person faces foreclosure when they were not behind on their payments, and in a few cases, the people had actually already paid off their homes! Errors with processing and miscommunication between the parties involved (lenders, title companies, loan services, and bank contractors) can lead to mistaken errors that put otherwise hardworking property owners in jeopardy. These issues are often resolved quickly, as it is easy to track payments and see that the loans were indeed in good standing.

Homeowners also faced wrongful foreclosure when their lenders told them that they were eligible for loan modifications only if they fell behind on mortgage payments. This advice sent many property owners on the path toward foreclosure.  The fact that the bank issued instructions to homeowners to not make their monthly payments, and then turn around and put them in default and foreclosure, was a shady practice that caused disastrous results for the homeowners in question.

 

Additional fees lumped onto struggling homeowners also put many people into jeopardy. These fees included late fees, inspection fees, attorney’s fees, and other “padded fees” that were included in the mortgages by those who serviced the loans. The FTC even went so far as to warn homeowners to get an itemized list of all of the fees that their loan servicer assessed to them, and ask for explanations of any fees that seem suspicious or illegitimate.

Another way that foreclosure caught up to homeowners was the failure of the banks to track all of the loan modifications and foreclosures. The banks are supposed to find any methods they can to keep from foreclosing on homeowners, but their failure to track and appropriately maintain the paperwork may have pushed some struggling homeowners into foreclosure illegally.

Additionally, the banks could not always prove that they had the proper standing to foreclose on the homeowners. Sometimes, the property loan was sold and changed hands so many times, the bank did not actually still own the property. The banks often found that they could not produce the necessary documentation to prove that they truly owned the home and had the right to foreclose on it. A few notable examples of this came from major banks, like Wells Fargo, and it was definitely a black-eye on the industry for failing to keep track of the essential paperwork proving that they held the loan in the first place!

 

 

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.

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.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_stay

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 www.williamskherkher.com/houston-personal-injury/ 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.

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