What is Chapter 20 Bankruptcy?

For starters, ‘Chapter 20’ bankruptcy is not one process like other forms of bankruptcy. Chapter 20 is actually a combination of both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies. According to the website of Erin B. Shank, PC, chapter 7 is filed first in order to discharge unsecured debts before a chapter 13 is filed in order to set up a payment plan to pay off your remaining debts, which is often unpaid taxes. There are a couple benefits and reasons why chapter 20 bankruptcy might be the best option for you.

One of the foremost benefits of chapter 20 bankruptcy is that it can help you to qualify for chapter 13. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is beneficial because it allows you to set up a payment plan over the course of three to five years so you can pay off your debt, or at least catch up on payments, without stretching yourself too thin or having to suffer from relentless collectors. However, chapter 13 has debt limits in its qualifications. If your debt exceeds the limits, then you will be unable to file for chapter 13. Thankfully, chapter 20 can be a remedy for this. The first step in chapter 20 is filing for chapter 7, which can discharge some, or all, of your unsecured debt. This can make it to where you are within the limits and able to file for chapter 13.

Chapter 20 bankruptcy will also allow you to focus primarily on your priority and secured debts, such as your mortgage payments or unpaid taxes. If you filed only a chapter 13, then you may be required to also pay back a portion of your unsecured debts, such as credit cards, on top of your priority and secured debts. However, in chapter 20, you would first file for chapter 7, which would eliminate all or most of your unsecured debts. This would leave you with only the most important and serious debts to pay back, and allow you to commit to a payment plan that will get you out of debt faster or be more manageable for you over time.

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Your Neighbor’s Dog and You

According to the website of Ravid & Assoc, dogs are one of the most popular pets in the US, and according to the United States Census Bureau, millions of households in the US own at least one dog. Odds are, at least one of your neighbors has a dog. Hopefully, they take good care of their pet and you get along with them well. Sadly, that is not always the case. Hundreds of thousands of people go to the emergency room every year for dog bites. While every situation doesn’t escalate to a dog bite or attack, it is something to be wary of if your neighbor’s dog appears particularly aggressive. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you live peacefully with your neighbor and their dog. In the ideal situation there is no threat of an attack, either because the dog is well behaved or because the owner keeps them appropriately secured.

However, the dog can still bark excessively and cause friction between you and your neighbor. In a situation such as this, communication is key. It is important to talk with your neighbor yourself and try to remedy the situation before ever contacting the police in order to prevent a long term grudge from forming. When speaking to your neighbor about their dog, remember to be calm and try to avoid accusations or blame – for many people, their pets are like their children, and how they raise them can be a sensitive issue. Unfortunately, not every situation is ideal. Sometimes dogs get out or owners are not proactive enough to securely keep their dog in their yard.

When owners allow their dogs to escape their yard, it puts not only the dog in danger but yourself as well. Just like the website of Abel Law Firm states, it can be difficult to tell the difference between an aggressive dog and a friendly one. If a dog you are not familiar with approaches you with a stiff demeanor, head down, with teeth bared or growling, it is best for you to try to remove yourself discretely from the situation. If you know the owner of the dog, try to contact them and let them know their dog is loose. If you cannot contact them quickly, or they do not take action quickly, you will have to contact the authorities to come and safely collect the dog in order to prevent any bites or attacks to others.

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What is an SR-22?

Most cautious drivers can go the entirety of their life without needing to know what an SR-22 form is and what it is needed for. Most people generally have an idea or vague notion that it has to do with car insurance, but there is a little more to it than that. For those of us who aren’t as cautious on the road, are a little forgetful at times, or are just plain unlucky, we need to know what the SR-22 is for and when we might need to file one.

What is it? The SR-22 isn’t necessarily insurance, but rather a form of verification. If you do not have car insurance and need to file an SR-22 form, then you will first have to purchase car insurance. If you already have it, then you will need to submit this form to your car insurance agency. What they will then do is send a form to the Secretary of State that lets the big guys know that you have proper coverage. What this is meant to do is make sure that any at-risk drivers (more on that in a bit) have the proper coverage. While an SR-22 doesn’t necessarily mean a type of insurance, your current coverage may have to be extended or your new coverage might be more expensive, depending on the particular company and your driving record.

Who needs it? Drivers who are considered to be at-risk are the ones who will have to file an SR-22. Drivers can be considered as at-risk when they are charged with a DUI, have an accident without insurance, or have more than three moving violations within one year. Part of your ‘punishment’ for these crimes will be filing at SR-22, to make sure that you have enough coverage. If your license was revoked or suspended, then an SR-22 will also be necessary to have this lifted so you can continue driving legally.

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Seatbelt Injuries

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, there are over 2 million car accidents each year. Seatbelts were designed as a way to reduce the amount of injuries and deaths from these collisions. In order for seatbelts to work as intended, they must be worn properly and be designed in a way that prevents harm.

Seatbelts are designed to be worn in a certain way. Often children, and even some adults, will buckle their seatbelt but then pull the chest restraint around to be behind them, overly loosen the waist restraint, or otherwise alter the placement of the belts to get more comfortable. When this happens the seatbelt will not be able to restrain the passenger as intended. If the belt that goes across your body is moved behind you, then in the event of a collision your upper body will be able to fly forward and hit anything that is in front of you, whether it be another seat or the hard plastic dash. This will also cause excessive strain on your waist when your upper body suddenly jerks forward and back, and can cause whiplash or other brain trauma when your head jerks back into your headrest. Seatbelts were designed to be worn in a specific manner, and if this is changed then they will be unable to protect you.

Even if worn properly, according to the website of Ravid and Associates, there is still the risk of a seatbelt defect. Sometimes it is a design flaw, for example some seatbelts are designed with the release button on the front face of the buckle. In these types of designs, forces involved in a collision can cause the belt to release and leave the passenger exposed as if they were not wearing it at all. If the belts are not designed in a way that evenly distributes the forces then they can cause additional injuries. Sometimes, belts will rip, break free, or will not properly lock and allow the passenger to fly forward unintentionally.

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Avoid Predatory Lending

Predatory lending is defined as ‘any lending practice that imposes unfair or abusive loan terms on a borrower’. This means that the lender, or the person who is going to be letting you borrow money, essentially cons you into accepting a loan with terms that hurt you. It could be hidden fees, unnecessary insurance, huge penalties, or any other number of sneaky, shady things that they include without your knowing or make sound way better than they are. According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., predatory lending is a cause for wrongful foreclosure. Don’t let those guys get your home. Here are a few signs of predatory and unfair lending to watch out for.

Excessive Fees. If you look at the fees you’re supposed to pay and they feel way overblown, then they probably are. With a typical loan, the fees are somewhere around 1% of the actual loan amount, but with a predatory loan it is inflated to around 5%. Watch out to make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to.

The Switch. Always read that document all the way through before you sign it. Often predatory lenders will ‘bait’ you with a good deal verbally, then do a ‘switch’ and get you to sign a document that is different than what they explained to you. Never sign a second set of documents that won’t be shared with all parties involved, and never leave blanks for the lender to fill in. You will regret it later.

Refinancing Often. Predators will get you to sign an unfavorable loan with the promise that it can always be refinanced later. What they hide is that each refinance will include more fees and can possibly increase your monthly payments and make you lose equity on your home.

Additions. Sometimes a predatory lender will try to get you to add in unnecessary insurance or other products that you either don’t need or are a rip-off on their own. Don’t let them trick you into it, and never let anyone convince you to get a loan for more money than you need or more than you are able to pay off in a reasonable amount of time.

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