The Legal Insider

May 2011

Top Reasons To Call a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Financial troubles can take a toll on your health, not to mention your relationships with others like your spouse. Bankruptcy may be your best option, but you should always first consult with a lawyer to see if you meet the requirements to file.

Below are 10 signs you've got some serious financial problems and should consider consulting with an attorney about bankruptcy:

  • Bill collectors keep calling
  • Utilities shut off
  • Wages are garnished
  • Liens placed on your house
  • Claims filed from fraudulent creditors
  • Divorce looming
  • Lawsuit(s) filed against you
  • Foreclosure against property
  • Medical bills piling up
  • Just can't keep up with your bills

If you are out of work and accruing heavy debt from your home or other property expenses, bankruptcy is a viable solution.

There are two different kinds of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is when your debts are ÒdischargedÓ excluding some things like student loans, taxes, and child support. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is when you pay your debts off (or an agreed upon amount that is less) over the next 3-5 years.

There are lots of advantages and disadvantages to each type which your lawyer can tell you more about.

Are You Serving Booze the Right Way?

Whether you're throwing a benefit, fundraiser, or block party barbeque, there are certain hoops you'll be forced to jump through. The main headache will be trying to get a liquor license. The laws vary widely, but luckily event and temporary liquor license approvals are more readily given. An establishment may have to wait 6-8 weeks for approval by state entities, while wait times vary dramatically for licenses issued by city governments.

Permanent licenses require you to apply with city, county, and/or state bureaus that enforce liquor laws. City council or board meetings are most often the forums for protesting a liquor license's approval so it's best to attend the meetings so you can explain why your business or event will have a positive impact on the community.

With the liability for over-serving patrons and selling alcohol to minors, you can understand why there is certainly a process. Some cities and counties require an officer or security personnel to attend the event. In many cases, a lawyer can handle the entire process and argue on your behalf.

Want to Spend Summer Vacation With Your Kids?

No, I haven't kidnapped them. But that's how some custody arrangements can feel, especially when you'd like to take the kids on a vacation or for a longer length of time during the summer break. Custody battles are often ugly because it's all about trying to prove your ex isn't fit to care for your child. Then there's the push and pull between homes.

If the other parent is not permitting you to have an extended summer stay with your children, you should consult with a family law attorney today. Courts understand that one-on-one bonding time is crucial, especially during long school breaks.

In these cases it may be necessary to modify your child custody arrangement with the help of an attorney. An attorney can take care of all the paperwork and argue on your behalf that spending extended time with you is in the best interests of the child.

Legal Tips for Spring Potholes and Summer Road Trips

Finally, after months of cold wet weather it's time to go outside and enjoy. If your summer is anything like mine then you end up driving a lot. It's cheaper than flying even with the rising gas prices.

Since we love our newsletter subscribers, we decided to come up with a helpful list of auto-related issues that arise this time of year:

  • Potholes are everywhere and may do serious damage to your car. They're difficult to see and often impossible to avoid. As with many property incidents, much depends on where the pothole is located. If it's on private property, the property owner will be liable for any damage caused by dangerous potholes because it's their duty to maintain the parking lot, private driveway, or in some cases, connecting streets.

  • Speeding tickets can happen anytime. Tickets issued from traffic cameras have the same effect on your driving record as actually being stopped. If you're on the verge of a suspended license, you will want to get an attorney to help you fight your ticket.

  • Public Intoxication, Drunk-in-Public, or whatever your local police department wants to call it, Public Drunkenness is a serious hassle. It's not quite as bad as a DUI/DWI but nonetheless can have adverse affects on your personal and professional life. A lawyer is highly advised in these situations.

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