The Many Benefits Provided by the Automatic Stay

Being hounded and harassed by collecting agencies is an all too common experience for millions of Americans who have lapsed in paying creditors the money they owe. These debts may be due to car loan, mortgage, personal loans, student loan, credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills, and so forth.

Failure to pay debts on time will result not only to being penalized for late payments; there are also the issues of loan interests and the amount of debts getting bigger until, due to continuous failure to make payments, the total amount of the debts would have reached an overwhelming figure, making debt settlement impossible.

It takes only about three months of continuous non-payment before creditors consider a loan as bad debt. It is during this time when creditors would refer a debtor’s account to collecting agencies which will do anything to scare debtors in order to make them pay.

With an overwhelming debt amount and the harassing tactics of collecting agencies, many debtors end up selling whatever they can and/or ask family and friends for loans, not realizing that whatever amount they come up with will only be good for one payment or two, a meager chip off from the total amount of their debt . . . and what about future payments?

In its website, the Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, shares a very interesting information regarding how a person can free himself or herself from overwhelming debts and have a chance at starting a new financial life: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 is just one of the many chapters in the Bankruptcy Code of the United States. It was approved by the U.S. Congress in 1978 for the purpose of helping individuals, families and businesses with huge debts find the best (affordable) way to pay what they owe and regain control of their financial lives.

Besides offering the near-total liquidation of all their debts, Chapter 7 also offers lots of other benefits, such as the Automatic Stay, and freedom from what are considered as dischargeable debts. Automatic stay is the most immediate benefit of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy; it starts as soon as a petition for bankruptcy is filed. Automatic stay is an injunction that a court issues to stop creditors and the collecting agencies they have hired from collecting debts or enforcing liens.

Besides the phone calls, emails, text messages, letters and other harassing tactics by collecting agencies, the automatic stay also:

– Temporarily stops any pending foreclosure;
– Stop a utility provider from disconnecting service for about 20 days (this may be extended if the debtor
can assure payment of past due bills);
– Stops wage garnishment. A debtor may also possibly get back his or her garnished wages after he or she
files for bankruptcy;
– Stops all medical debt collections an any lawsuit (due to medical debt) from being filed against the
debtor;
– Temporarily stops the IRS from making collections on certain tax debts;
– Gives debtors the chance to stop their car from being repossessed; and,
– Stops any credit card lawsuit from continuing so long as the bankruptcy is active.

Not all types of action to collect and court proceedings can be stopped by an automatic stay, however, due to their importance. The proceedings that are allowed to continue include divorce, a lawsuit seeking the establishment of paternity, certain tax proceedings and criminal proceedings; payments that need to be continued, on the other hand, include child support, alimony, payment to pension loan, payment to student loan (under certain circumstances).

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Is It Worth Getting an Accident Lawyer?

It can be the most tempting thing, to simply go ahead and follow through with the easiest solution to a devastating problem. Accidents, for example, are some of the worst things that a person can live through. They are often unprecedented, undeserved, and unprepared for—and this leads to stress as well as hyperemotional distress.

If you are injured in an accident and you are evidently innocent by all accounts, you might be approached by the wrongful party’s insurance company or legal representation and offered a quick settlement of money, just to get it all over and done with. This can be the tempting as you may then start to ask yourself if getting an accident lawyer is even worth all the extra effort.

Should you ever find yourself in a situation where that is the case, it may be to your advantage to know who benefits from an early, uninformed settlement. For example, the sum offered to you may seem substantial enough to handle the immediate and exorbitant medical expenses but there are other costs that may not be considered at the heart of the thing. There are things like the loss of wages cost as well as the potential emotional trauma that an accident can cause. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other illnesses of its kind can be just as debilitating as physical injuries and these may take some time before they are noticeable.

It is advisable not to make quick decisions regarding legal matters without consulting with, say, reputable Tennessee accident lawyers. Not only will professionals in this field have better insight into what you might be truly owed in this situation but experienced people in this line of work have connections to a network of people who may be of help for a situation like this, such as experts who can further validate your case or people who could help you recover from an accident.

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Ensuring Gun Safety at Home

In this day and age of innovations, a lot of gun and gun equipment makers are finding different ways on how to improve ammo quality. Gun equipment, such as scopes and sights, are becoming more and more sophisticated. Suppressors are becoming more and more efficient in silencing guns. In fact, several gun makers, including Suppressed Weapon Systems, have been successful in integrating suppressors with barrels for quieter shots and lesser recoil. Ear plugs and muffs are also becoming better when it comes to ear protection.

But along with this range of developments, gun owners should also improve on how to ensure gun safety at home. In the U.S., more than one third of the household owns a gun, making it a real and constant threat especially among children. Here are some simple reminders that can help you keep your house gun-safe.

Talk to them about gun safety

Keeping a gun at home is normal for some families, even when there are kids around. However, not talking to your kids about how dangerous guns are is not. Take time to talk to your kids about how deadly guns are, and how they should act whenever they see a gun that is unattended.

Do not forget the basics

Although keeping your gun out of reach of kids is a must, there are a couple of more things you can do to ensure gun safety at home. For instance, you should take the ammunition out of the gun when storing it to make your home gun-safe. Gun equipment and cleaners should also be locked up to avoid accidents. Leaving the gun unattended when cleaning or in use also pose a threat to your kids, so be sure not to leave it alone.

Invest in gun safes

Storing your gun beneath stacks of shirts in one of your closets is not safe-keeping. Store your gun in safes or cases equipped with combination or key lock. There are even some safes that need your palm scan or fingerprint to open, but could be costlier to buy.

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Protecting Your Legal Rights during a Divorce

Even the most amicable divorce can be stressful situation. As such, it’s easy to picture how much harder it is to handle an antagonistic and highly contested divorce. Aside from dealing with the emotional and psychological blow of such a situation, spouses in these tense minefields will also have to worry about protecting themselves and their children. If you are in the same boat, the following are ways you can find legal, financial, and—should the situation warrant it—physical protection through an extremely difficult divorce.

To protect your legal right as a parent, it’s important that both you and your spouse are able to spend equal amounts of time with your children as you go through the divorce proceedings. This might mean that you’ll have to stay in the family home even as you go through the process of divorce. Of course, this might not be ideal for couples that are struggling with extremely antagonistic relationships. To avoid any fights from breaking out and escalating, a better solution would be to “timeshare” your family home until all issues are settled.

In terms of finances, it’s important to safeguard your personal property and keep it separate from the assets that you share with your spouse. Secure your personal financial records and valuable personal items in a place that your spouse will not be able to access. It will also be best if you and your spouse cancel any joint credit cards or bank accounts you may have. To keep the keep everything clear cut, it is also advisable that you make a record of all the properties and assets you shared during your marriage. Generally, it is in your best interest to avoid signing any preliminary papers or agreements without having consulted your own lawyer. According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC divorce lawyers, having a qualified family lawyer assist you during the entire process can be enormously valuable and helpful in the long run. Not having one can cause many headaches.

There are also times when a difficult divorce can become so antagonistic that one spouse will resort to hurting or threatening the other spouse or even their children. In cases of domestic violence, it’s extremely important to contact the police immediately and file a report against an abusive spouse.

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Factors that Affect Car Accident Settlements

When you have been involved in a car accident, settling your case can be a better and easier option than going to court. According to the Ausband & Dumont Law Firm, the option of settling out of court can produce a fair and openly-agreed amount of compensation from both parties, and can make the process shorter. If you are choosing to settle your car accident claim outside of court, there are variables that your should first consider which could affect the outcome of the settlement. You should be particularly aware of these four factors when trying to settle your car accident claims.

First, the consistency of your explanations will have a big effect on your settlement. During the course of the case, there will be numerous explanations of how the accident occurred, depending on who is going to provide the information. It may be a given to have several variations of how the accident happened, but it is important to remain as consistent and honest as possible. Even if not all explanations are the same, extremely varying stories about the accident can make the car accident claim unstable and could make it vulnerable to insurance adjuster or defense attorney which could lower the value of the settlement.

Second, make sure that your doctor’s opinions support your claims. If your claims are not at par with the medical records and reports from your doctor, you may run the risk of being accused of exaggeration and malingering of complains. Likewise, the third factor is to ensure that your post-accident complaints conform to your post-accident actions. Your lifestyle should reflect the injuries that you have claimed to suffer from after the accident, and any inconsistencies can only result to a lower settlement claim and even accusations of fraud.

Last but most importantly, you have to make sure to show solid evidence of the defendant’s negligence that lead to the injuries. Personal injury cases such as those of car accident claims are dependent on the presenting negligence. Having strong evidence of the defendant’s negligent action that was the main reason for the accident and resulting injuries could make the settlement more valuable and could push the insurance adjuster or defending attorney to offer settlement outside of court to avoid trial and further loss.

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Child Injury: On the Safety of the Premises

It is one of the most rewarding things in the world, to have a child. However, there are certain risks that need to be taken – why, even going outside is a risk! It is still a risk that people need to take every day; which is why there is an imposed responsibility upon people, especially those of us who know better, to keep our surroundings safe, not just for us but also for the people around us. Added precaution needs to be taken into consideration when children are involved.

There are many dangerous places that are easily accessible these days and venturing into any one of these places can merit serious danger if it isn’t properly maintained or structured. It is the responsibility of the owner of any premises to make sure that the given space is safe and sound. However, there are some places that can be declared as ‘attractive nuisances’. This simply means that though it might not be dangerous to most adults, it can be hazardous when children are involved. That is why there is a need for there to be protective implementations in order to avoid these accidents from happening. If any place is declared an ‘attractive nuisance’ and causes the injury, or worse – the wrongful death, of a child, there is cause for immediate legal action as there are then at least two lawsuits that fruit from such an incident.

The website of Ausband & Dumont Law Firm states that there are some unfortunate circumstances caused by negligence that could leave a child injured and traumatized, or worst of all – dead. If any premises is declared unsafe and has caused harm to a child, the property’s owner is to be held legally responsible for the costs. This involves medical bills or, if the child in question is employed, loss of income. Cases like these can often be complicated as there are many subtle complexities that can further prolong the matter.

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Warning Not Enough to Avoid Liability?

Pharmaceutical companies have frequently been harangued in the past for their “failure to warn” about the risks involved in using their products even if they knew or should have known that the risk was there. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have required these companies to modify their warning labels to reflect these risks, which have provided a “cut off” for patients who may have suffered personal injury for using the product. After all, they’ve been warned.

That may no longer be enough for these drug companies to avoid liability.

A recent ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for dangerous drug products effectively elevated the liability threshold for drug companies regarding products that carry too high a risk of harm to be ever marketed in the first place. In other words, if a drug is deemed too dangerous, the drug company is liable for any harm that happens to its users even if the company clearly warned patients and doctors about the associated risks.

A Xarelto lawsuit is often associated with serious and uncontrollable bleeding that poses a risk to the health and life of the patient. Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is an anticoagulant of the class direct factor Xa (10-a) inhibitors or xabans, and like all blood thinners pose a risk of bleeding for its users. However, because Xarelto has no known reversal agent, its introduction into the market despite this lack may be interpreted by the courts as negligence based on the recent Pennsylvania ruling.

That is probably what Kentucky resident Virginia Stuntebeck was counting on when she filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court, naming Xarelto US distributor Janssen Ortho LLC and manufacturer Bayer Corp among others as defendants. Janssen had been served first, and the company succeeded in petitioning for a transfer of the case to federal court. However, the federal court promptly returned the case to Pennsylvania state court because Bayer is based in that state.

When and if the case finally makes it to trial, it is probable that there will be many more that had been filed in the meantime, which may mean that Janssen and Bayer may be in the bag for their dangerous drug. The payouts and settlements will probably be for hefty sums, but considering that Janssen has posted more than $800 million in sales in the US alone for 2013, they can probably afford it.

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Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing Materials

The type of material used for commercial roofing will depend on several factors, including but not limited to the weather, type of roof, and the budget. A professional roofing contractor can recommend the best materials for each case. Below are the most common materials used in commercial buildings and in some instances for residential structures.

Asphalt Shingle

Comparatively inexpensive and simple to install, asphalt shingles are perhaps the most widely used roofing material in the US for both commercial and residential purposes and can last for up to 30 years. Laminated asphalt shingles come in various textures and colors and can last for up to 50 years.

Slate Shingle

A much more expensive and somewhat fragile alternative to asphalt shingles, slate shingles are chosen for the esthetic quality they add to any commercial or residential building. While they are breakable, slate shingles can last up to 100 years if they are properly installed by professional roofing contractors such as Black Slate Roofing, LLC.

Tile

Tiles are typically heavier than other roofing materials, and require more robust support. They can last up to 50 years before needing replacement.

Metal

Metal roofing materials are quite common as well, and are usually a more cost-effective alternative to shingle or tile roofing materials except for copper. It stands up well to extreme weather but is vulnerable to damage during hail events unless it is covered with a granulated layer. Typically, metal roofing will last up to 50 years.

BUR

Built-up roof or BUR consists of multiple layers of roof felts and bitumen, topped with a protective component such as a cap sheet, asphalt, or gravel. It is usually only used in commercial roofing.

EPDM

Typically used in commercial low-slope roofs, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or EPDM is rubber and is comparatively inexpensive and easy to install. The expected lifespan of this material is between 12 and 25 years.

Modified Bitumen

Commercial roofs with a minimum slope of ¼ inch per horizontal foot can be made of modified bitumen, asphalt that has been chemically altered to acquire plastic properties. It works best in combination with BUR.

Single Ply

These are synthetic materials produced in smooth, flexible sheets that are ideal for a flat roof. It is not usually recommended for a roof with a slope of more than 2 inches per horizontal foot unless an adherent is applied.

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The Tallest Mountains

In its competitive nature, mankind has sought to climb all the Earth’s tallest mountains. We have conquered Kilimanjaro, defeated Everest, and mounted McKinley. These are among the earth’s tallest mountains, but they are nothing when compared to the tallest known planetary mountain in the solar system: Mars’s Olympus Mons.

Olympus Mons measures 22 kilometers in height, more than double the height of Everest. It’s also a volcano that protrudes from the barren Martian landscape like an immense pimple, yearning to be popped.

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Innovation and Skepticism

In the face of technological innovation, medical professionals must navigate a rapidly-changing environment regarding patient care. Doctors and surgeons have many treatment options at their disposal. In 2000, the first robotic surgical system, the da Vinci robot, was manufactured by Intuitive Surgical. This technological advancement provided doctors with yet another method with which to treat their patients.

Many doctors enjoy using the da Vinci robot because it allows them to perform with ease and precision while saving their energy. However, some doctors are more critical of the robot-assisted surgeries, preferring to perform traditional laparoscopic surgeries. According to the National Injury Law Center, critics of robot-assisted surgeries claim that the robot can’t detect and navigate the patients’ tissue with as much clarity and discernment as the surgeon alone. Doctors and surgeons have long since been accepting of medical and technological innovation as they prescribe patients pharmaceuticals and send digestive-tracking cameras through intestines. However, many doctors and researchers are concerned that reports about robot-assisted surgeries render the technology too risky to use on patients.

Though the vast majority of robot-assisted surgeries are performed successfully, critics argue that traditional surgeries can be performed just as successfully and with fewer margins for patient risk. Typically, researchers will find useful trends within medical reports, but researchers are having a difficult time drawing conclusions from robot-assisted surgery injury reports. In an interview with the New York Times, Doctor Martin Makary explained “we have this haphazard smattering of reports that relies on voluntary self-reporting with no oversight, no enforcement and no consequences.” This lack of methodical reporting isn’t useful in helping Intuitive Surgical refine the da Vinci robotic system, nor is it effective in helping surgeons know how to better treat their patients.

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