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Scura Wigfield Heyer & Stevens Blog

Rebuilding your credit after filing for bankruptcy

  • 24
  • April
    2015

For some New Jersey residents, there comes a point when they must make challenging decisions regarding their finances. Filing for bankruptcy is a powerful tool for those who are drowning in debt. While the bankruptcy process can help eliminate some or all of the debts of an individual, it is important that debtors understand the aftermath of a bankruptcy filing.

When debtors reach a point where their best option to deal with their financial problems is filing for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they often ask how the process will impact them immediately and in the future. One major factor to consider is how the bankruptcy process will affect the debtor's credit score. While it is true that individuals who file for bankruptcy will initially see a negative impact on their credit score, it is possible for one's credit to be rebuilt after a bankruptcy.

Your rights after being hurt by dangerous property conditions

  • 22
  • April
    2015

Most residents in New Jersey do it on a daily basis. They enter the property of another. Whether it is a public parking lot, sidewalk, store, government building or a private residence, visitors to the property assume that it is safe to be on the property. But when a property owner fails to properly exercise their duty of care to those visiting their property, a victim could be seriously injured. Our law firm understands the risks that a dangerous property poses to visitors.

In premises liability cases, a victim often seeks to hold a negligent property owner liable for the injuries caused by a dangerous condition on the property. But in order to make such a claim, a visitor needs to establish that they were in fact allowed to be on the property or not. Our attorneys are knowledgeable about the rights of invited guests, and have helped clients who were allowed on the property where their injury occurred.

Chapter 7 Trustee Compensation

  • 21
  • April
    2015

Chapter 7 Trustees are compensated in two ways. First, they receive a flat $60 fee per case. Second, in the event there are assets to liquidate, the trustee will receive "reasonable" compensation in accordance with 11 U.S.C. §§ 326(a) and 330(a). Section 326(a) provides that a court "may allow" reasonable compensation for the trustee's services, and that such compensation is "not to exceed" certain percentages of "all moneys disbursed or turned over in the case by the trustee." The limits are 25% of the first $5,000 disbursed or turned over, 10% of any amount over $5,000 and up to $50,000, 5% of any amount over $50,000 and up to $1 million, and 3% of any amount over $1 million. It is generally understood that reasonable compensation in asset cases is intended to serve, in part, as compensation for the trustee's work in no asset cases.
Although the term reasonable is used here, it is generally held that compensation in accordance with section 326(a) is reasonable absent extraordinary circumstances.

Chapter 7 Trustee's Retention of Professionals

What is not often discussed is the compensation the trustee receives if he or she retains his or her own law firm to assist with the administration of the case. Oftentimes, the legal fees paid by the trustee to his or her own law firm will exceed the amount paid to the trustee as compensation.

How often do pool related accidents occur?

  • 17
  • April
    2015

With spring in progress and summer right around the corner, New Jersey residents are preparing their pools for the upcoming warm weather. While these products are an excellent way too cool off in the heat, there are some risks associated with pools. Consumers are not only at risk to some minor and serious injuries if a pool, spa or whirlpool is defective or malfunctioning, but drowning is also a huge risk.

How often do pool related accidents occur? According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, accidents associated with pools and other similar products such as spas and whirlpools, there were 33 victims who suffered circulation entrapment from these products. Circulation entrapment is defined as an entrapment suffered by a consumer involving the water circulation system of a pool, spa or whirlpool.

When is it the right time to file for bankruptcy?

  • 15
  • April
    2015

Financial problems come in different forms but they are all related to the same thing -- the inability to pay. Whether it is a credit card, rent, a loan or a mortgage, if an individual cannot repay these debts, they need to take some action. Debtors in New Jersey should be aware of their options when it comes to serious financial issues and ways to eliminate debt.

When is it the right time to file for bankruptcy? It is important to know when one has reached a point when filing for bankruptcy is necessary to resolve the debt problems plaguing an individual or a family. When debt problems have grown or other debt relief methods are not working, this is usually a good time to consider the bankruptcy options.

Wondering Why You are No Longer Receiving Monthly Mortgage Statements?

  • 10
  • April
    2015

If you have recently gone through a bankruptcy proceeding, you may be wondering why you are no longer receiving monthly mortgage statements for real property. Unfortunately, a bank is not forced to send you monthly statements once you have discharged your debt for the mortgaged property. In fact, once a mortgage is in default even outside of bankruptcy, the lender does not need to send monthly statements. The only way to force a lender to continue to send monthly statements during and after the bankruptcy process is if Debtors are curing the arrears on their mortgage and maintaining their mortgage payments through a chapter 13 or a chapter 11 bankruptcy. Please see the following nolo.com article for a detailed discussion of this issue and your potential options: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/can-my-mortgage-lender-refuse-send-monthly-statements-after-bankruptcy.html.

Contact a Lawyer

If you are considering bankruptcy, contact a lawyer so you can be guided accordingly as to what your options are and what option is best for you. The bankruptcy process can be difficult to navigate, so it is important that you have someone representing you who is familiar with the process to make sure everything goes smoothly.

New Jersey foreclosures and legal technicalities

  • 10
  • April
    2015

Buying a house is a big deal for New Jersey residents. This allows the individual or family to establish home and fulfill their goal to achieve the American dream. However, there are several risks to becoming a homeowner. In most cases, a mortgage is taken out to help the buyer purchase their home. If the homeowner fails to make a mortgage payment or is delinquent, they could enter the foreclosure proceedings.

Losing a home due to financial problems is a difficult predicament to be in. For some, it might be challenging to find a new place to live, especially if they have to uproot their spouse and children. But what happens if they decide to remain in their home? According to a recent report, several delinquent homeowners in high foreclosure states such as New Jersey and Florida have remained in their homes for years after a foreclosure case was initiated.

Revised Means Test Data Effective April 1, 2015

  • 09
  • April
    2015

The Census Bureau Median Family Income Data for the purposes of "means testing" has been revised effective April 1st, 2015. In New Jersey the median income for a family size of one, two, three, or more are respectfully as follows: $61,243, $71,994, $90,863, $107,452. If the family income is more than these amounts, then a debtor must complete form 22 to determine if the debtor presumptively does or does not qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Recall notices and protecting consumers from dangerous products

  • 08
  • April
    2015

When errors occur in the development, manufacturing or sale of a product, this could lead to health and safety concerns. When it is discovered that a product is unsafe, taking these items off of the shelf helps ensure customer safety. Issuing a recall could help put consumers on notice regarding a dangerous product, but do recall notices ensure the safety of consumers and prevent consumer injuries from occurring?

A recent report discovered that most recalled products remain in homes. Instead of turning in these products or having them fixed or replaced by the manufacturer, consumers maintain ownership of these products. Moreover, it was discovered that these items are frequently listed for sale.

Common causes and conditions of pedestrian accidents

  • 03
  • April
    2015

When a New Jersey resident is a pedestrian, they naturally come in close contact to moving vehicles. A pedestrian accident could result in serious and even fatal injuries. This is why it is important to understand some common causes of pedestrian accidents, so these incidents could be reduced and avoided.

What are the common causes and conditions of pedestrian accidents? A 2008 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration surveyed national pedestrian accident statistics in order to better understand the location, time, pedestrian factors, vehicle driver and weather conditions most likely to contribute to a pedestrian accident.

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Scura, Mealey, Wigfield & Heyer, L.L.P. Attorneys at Law

John Scura of Scura, Wigfield, Heyer & Stevens, LLP, serves clients in New Jersey communities including Wayne, Hoboken, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison, Camden, Clifton, Passaic, East Orange, Newark, Union City, Bayonne, Irvington, North Bergen, West New York, Bloomfield, Paramus, Fair Lawn, Ridgewood, Saddle Brook, River Edge, Emerson, Englewood, Ramsey, Tenafly, Glen Rock, Teaneck, and Hackensack, and in counties including Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Hudson County, Union County, Passaic County, and Morris County.

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