Archive for December, 2019

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: The Choice to Get Your Financial Life Back

Friday, December 27th, 2019

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: The Choice to Get Your Financial Life Back

Filing for bankruptcy is an important decision with short-term and long-term financial consequences. For many, it is often the final and only choice left to climb out from deep debt that is crippling every aspect of daily life. The two ways individuals or small businesses can file for bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, depending on their unique circumstances.

No two cases are the same. Those at the end of their financial ropes must weigh the differences to determine which method of getting back on their feet again will work best for their situation. The primary difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies is that one will have your debts eliminated, while the other sets up a payment structure to pay off at least part of the debts owed.

Benefits of Filing Bankruptcy Under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly referred to as “liquidation” bankruptcy, while Chapter 13 is often called “reorganization” bankruptcy. Your specific financial status and history will help to determine which is right for you. A thorough examination of the benefits of each type will put the issues and potential consequences in focus to make the best choice.

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Individuals with very little or no disposable income who can prove they don’t have the means to remit their debt can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Benefits of Chapter 7 include:

  • Eliminates monthly payments to creditors
  • Can provide at least temporary relief from debt collectors
  • Typically clears debt faster than Chapter 13 bankruptcies
  • Assets are lost in exchange for the release of debt
  • Credit rating and borrowing ability will decrease

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Those who own property they would like to keep, including small businesses may opt to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Features of Chapter 13 include:

  • Individuals and small businesses that have decided to file for bankruptcy may be required to file under Chapter 13
  • May halt debt collectors and foreclosure process
  • Helps to pay off accumulated debt
  • Can take up to five years to have debts complete discharged
  • Debts will be paid off, but the repayment process will put additional stress on budget plans
  • Failure to follow agreed upon payment plan may result in a loss of Chapter 13 status
  • Credit rating impact may not be as severe as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Decisions Have Long-lasting Consequences

Bankruptcy is a significant legal process with long-lasting, serious consequences to the financial condition of individuals and small businesses. Those who find themselves in such dire financial situations often have no choice but to file for bankruptcy.

The specific details and needs of each case will often make it clear or even mandate whether to file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Understanding how each work and their potential consequences can help navigate the complicated process and come out of it with a new lease on your financial future.

Contact Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney

Mistakes or miscalculations in the process of filing for bankruptcy can cost you a lot of hassle and even more money. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help wade through the complicated maze of red tape it takes to make the best use of the statues and guidelines related to bankruptcy law.  

NYPD Officer, Emergency Operators Charged After Allegedly Selling Accident Victim Information

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

NYPD Officer, Emergency Operators Charged After Allegedly Selling Accident Victim Information

Your confidential information is a valuable commodity that can be used against you if it gets into the wrong hands. A recent case shows how health insurance fraud using your illegally obtained personal data can come from anywhere at any time, even from one of New York’s finest and a group of 911 operators, as a recent case shows.

A New York police officer and five 911 emergency operators were arrested in connection with an alleged 18 million dollar insurance fraud scam targeting unsuspecting car crash victims in Brooklyn. 

Police Officer Yaniris Deleon, and 911 operators Makkah Shabazz, Kortnei Williams, Shakeema Foster, Latifah Abdul-Khaliq and Angela Meyers are accused of accepting bribes in exchange for personal information of hundreds of thousands of people involved in car accidents.

The information they provided was allegedly used to exploit no-fault insurance laws by contacting the accident victims and steering them towards attorneys and medical facilities paying kickbacks for the referrals.

27 Charged Include Police Officer, 911 Operators, Nurses

A total of 27 people were allegedly involved in the scheme, including DeLeon, the 911 operators and nurses who worked to compromise around 60,000 people’s confidential information. Referrals would garner as much as $4,000 per lead, which would include the patient’s contact information.

DeLeon and the group of 911 operators were arrested and charged with conspiracy to violate the travel act, solicitation of bribes and gratuities and wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health care information in November 2019. All six of them were subsequently suspended from the New York Police Department.

“The nature of this fraud and bribery results in higher insurance premiums and unnecessary medical costs, which impacts us all,” Westchester County, N.Y., District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said in a statement. “Hopefully, this prosecution will act as a deterrent to those who seek to profit illegally by gaming the system.”

Health Insurance Scam Run Out of Queens Call Center, Targeted Bronx Accident Victims

The scam was allegedly led by Antony Rose, who also went by Todd Chambers. Rose would pay thousands of dollars to the NYPD employees for the private, confidential information. Using a call center in Queens, New York, callers would tell victims they got their number from a non-existent personal injury hotline created to protect them. Some would even be told the callers were somehow associated with the NYPD.

According to court papers, Rose was intent on targeting local community residents in New York’s Bronx neighborhood.

“The hood is number one,” he said. “Tell her all that Manhattan (expletive), those people got attorneys we need all the hood cases. Bronx hood. The top-tier (expletive) is all the hood.”

Court documents revealed that Deleon texted Rose as recently as last summer with a list of “nearly two dozen names and telephone numbers” of victims of area car accidents.

Rose also bribed workers at hospitals and other medical facilities to provide patient information of accident victims, a violation of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

LegalInfo.com is Your Online Resource for Insurance Fraud Cases

If you suspect you have been the victim of health insurance fraud, you need to speak to an experienced attorney about your potential case as soon as possible. LegalInfo.com is a comprehensive resource for attorneys and legal information. Contact LegalInfo.com today and find the legal assistance you need.

Veterans, Farmers, Small Businesses Impacted by Bankruptcy Reforms

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

Veterans, Farmers, Small Businesses Impacted by Bankruptcy Reforms

Recently passed amendments to the United States Bankruptcy Code are designed to help make the bankruptcy process for three vulnerable groups of Americans more accessible, efficient, and affordable. While these three pieces of legislation did not alter the bankruptcy system in a substantial ways across the board, they will have significant impacts of three important groups of Americans – Small business owners, veterans, and family farmers.

Small Business Reorganization Act

The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA) is the most extensive and impactful of the Bankruptcy Code reforms. Effective on February 20, 2020, SBRA makes bankruptcy more accessible and affordable for small businesses by establishing a similar process under Chapter 11 to the processes under Chapter 12 for farmers and Chapter 13 for individuals.

Small businesses or individuals that have accrued debts up to $2,725,625 may file bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. A new subchapter V of Chapter 11 adds a requirement that not less than half of the debts must have come from the debtor’s business dealings.

Changes to the Chapter 11 procedures under the SBRA include:

  • An appointed trustee will be appointed to oversee the process and the distribution of the claims without actually running the business. Small business debtors will no longer need to pay quarterly fees to the U.S. Trustee.
  • In efforts to streamline the process, unsecured creditor committees will no longer be needed for small businesses filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, unless otherwise ordered by the court. The debtor will also not be required to file a disclosure statement.
  • Small business debtors no longer need to have a class of creditors approve a plan to have it confirmed. The court may approve a proposed plan to be “fair and equitable” over objections from the creditor.
  • Home mortgages can now be modified if the loan was primarily used in connection of an individual’s small business and not to purchase the residential property.
  • A key change make through the SBRA is abrogating the absolute priority rule, which required creditors to be paid in full before the debtor’s equity can retain its interest.  Small business owners will now be allowed to retain business ownership interests and propose a plan does not necessarily pay all creditors “in full.”

Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act

The Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act of 2019 (HAVEN) was enacted to help American military veterans shield disability and VA benefits from bankruptcy proceedings.

The HAVEN Act took effect on August 23, 2019 expands the bankruptcy exemption provisions for military veterans. The new legislation ensures that benefits earned by veterans are protected in the same way as Social Security benefits are protected.

The Family Farmer Relief Act

The Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 provides relief for family farmers who qualify for relief under Chapter 12 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The bankruptcy reform legislation increases debt relief limits for farmers from the previous cap of around $4.4 million to $10 million.

Many family farmers have been plagued in recent years with decreasing profits for a variety of reasons. The new legislation provides tools that allow farmers to restructure within their unique situations and challenges. The increase in the debt limits for family farmers will expand the scope of those eligible for Chapter 12 bankruptcy relief.

LegalInfo.com is Your Online Resource for Bankruptcy Cases

Are you a military veteran, family farmer, or owner of a small business that is impacted by one of these three new changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code? Contact the respected online source for legal information and resources at LegalInfo.com today. 

$40 Million Talc Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson

Friday, December 6th, 2019

$40 Million Talc Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson 

A $40 million verdict was recently awarded to a California woman after she used Johnson & Johnson’s talc.  Though the company insists its talc is perfectly safe, it appears as though that is not the case.  A court recently awarded the damages noted above to Nancy and Phil Cabibi after Nancy developed pleural mesothelioma back in 2017.  The court agreed Cabibi’s use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder spurred the onset of mesothelioma.  

About the Case

Cabibi’s case is one of many filed against Johnson & Johnson, alleging the company’s talc is responsible for the onset of mesothelioma and other health maladies.  The jury in Cabibi’s case needed less than a week of deliberation to decide Johnson & Johnson would have to pay a whopping $40 million in damages.  Cabibi’s pleural mesothelioma diagnosis led to an array of complex and costly medical procedures ranging from surgical intervention to chemotherapy, subsequent radiation and even immunotherapy.  

An analysis of Cabibi’s body tissue revealed tremolite and anthophyllite asbestos were present.  Both forms of asbestos are well-known contaminants within Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder product as well as its Shower to Shower product, each of which were used by Cabibi. Johnson & Johnson attorneys argued Cabibi was subjected to asbestos by proximity as she lived in a part of Los Angeles where numerous industries likely used asbestos.

The Logic Behind the Massive Award

The jury in Cabibi V. Johnson & Johnson determined the company’s baby powder was defective due to the presence of asbestos.  The jury determined this powder was the sole cause of Cabibi’s pleural mesothelioma.  Though it is hard to believe using baby powder can lead to the onset of mesothelioma, it occurred in Cabibi’s case as well as several others.  Mesothelioma is significant as it is a deadly type of cancer. 

The jury decided to award Cabibi $40 million dollars as they did not agree with Johnson & Johnson attorneys’ claims that her development of pleural mesothelioma resulted from exposure to the asbestos in her part of Los Angeles.  The truth is Cabibi did not live, work or step foot in a facility containing asbestos.  As a result, it is quite clear that the onset of pleural mesothelioma is the result of using the company’s baby powder.

The Fallout

Though Cabibi will certainly benefit from her financial windfall, she would prefer to be completely healthy without the money.  The sad truth is money will provide little benefit to someone struggling to survive due to completely preventable exposure to asbestos within Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.  Cabibi’s attorney, David Greenstone, stated he is pleased with the verdict yet he will continue to advocate on behalf of those who have been harmed by asbestos exposure resulting from corporate negligence.

One of Many Awards

Cabibi’s victory is one of many against Johnson & Johnson.  Earlier this year, a team of attorneys representing four individuals saddled by mesothelioma sued Johnson & Johnson in the company’s corporate home of New Jersey.  The jury determined these four unlucky victims were subjected to asbestos when using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.  As a result, these plaintiffs were awarded $37.3 million.  Joanne Anderson, a plaintiff from Oregon, was awarded more than $25 million in the spring of 2018 after it was determined design and manufacturing flaws in the company’s baby powder resulted in asbestos contamination.

Legal Info is Here to Help

If you are suffering from mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson products or have any other injury related to the use of a product or a company’s negligence, you deserve compensation.  Our attorneys are here to spearhead your quest for justice.  Give us a call at (888) 473-4416 to find the right attorney to review your case and push for compensation on your behalf.