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GEOFF MORRIS

 

What is workers’ compensation?

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation
benefits. You could get hurt by:
– One event at work. Examples: hurting your back in a fall, getting burned by a chemical
that splashes on your skin, getting hurt in a car accident while making deliveries.
—or—
– Repeated exposures at work. Examples: hurting your hand, back, or other part of the
body from doing the same motion over and over, losing your hearing because of constant
loud noise.
Workers’ compensation covers some, but not all, stress-related (psychological) injuries
caused by your job. Also, workers’ compensation may not cover an injury that is reported to
the employer after the worker is told he or she will be terminated or laid off.

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What Can Bankruptcy Do for Me?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Bankrulitcy may make it liossible for you to:

  • Eliminate the legal obligation to liay most or all of yourdebts. This is called a ‘‘discharge’’ of debts. It isdesigned to give you a fresh financial start.
  • Stoli foreclosure on your house or mobile home and allow you an oliliortunity to catch uli on missed liayments.(Bankrulitcy does not, however, automaticallyeliminate mortgages and other liens on your liroliertywithout liayment.)
  • Prevent reliossession of a car or other lirolierty, or forcethe creditor to return lirolierty even after it has beenreliossessed.
  • Stoli wage garnishment, debt collection harassment,and similar creditor actions to collect a debt.
  • Restore or lirevent termination of utility service.
  • Allow you to challenge the claims of creditors whohave committed fraud or who are otherwise trying tocollect more than you really owe.

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What bankruptcy can’t do for me?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Bankruptcy can not, however, cure every financial problem.  Nor is it the right step for every inpidual. In bankruptcy, it is usually not possible to:

  • Eliminate certain rights of ‘‘secured’’ creditors. A creditor is ‘‘secured’’ if it has taken a mortgage or other lien on property as collateral for a loan. Common examples are car loans and home mortgages. You can force secured creditors to take payments over time in the bankruptcy process and bankruptcy can eliminate your obligation to pay any additional money on the debt if you decide to give back the property. But you generally can not keep secured property unless you continue to pay the debt.

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What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

In a bankruptcy case under chapter 7, you file a petition asking the court to discharge your debts. The basic idea in a chapter 7 bankruptcy is to wipe out (discharge) your debts in exchange for your giving up property, except for ‘‘exempt’’property which the law allows you to keep. In most cases, all of your property will be exempt.  But property which is not exempt is sold, with the money distributed to creditors. If you want to keep property like a home or a car and are behind on the mortgage or car loan payments, a chapter 7 case probably will not be the right choice for you.  That is because chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate the right of mortgage holders or car loan creditors to take your property to cover your debt. If your income is above the median family income in the state, you may have to file a chapter 13 case.  Median family income is different in each state. In California, the median income for a family of four is $79,194. Higher-income consumers must fill out ‘‘means test’’ forms requiring detailed information about their income and expenses. If the forms show, based on standards in the law, that they have a certain amount left over that could be paid to unsecured creditors, the bankruptcy court may decide that they can not file a chapter 7 case, unless there are special extenuating circumstances.

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What Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

It now costs $299 to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 and $274 to file for bankruptcy under chapter 13, whetherfor one person or a married couple.  The cost to hire an attorney to prepare your bankruptcy petition and represent you at your hearings depends on the complexity of your case. Chapter 7 bankruptcies require less work than a Chapter13. Attorneys generally charge $1,000 to $2,500 to prepare a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition and represent you at your 341 hearing. It cost $4,000 to hire an attorney to prepare a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and represent you at your required hearings.

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