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Scura Wigfield Heyer & Stevens Blog

New Jersey sees a decline in foreclosure filings in 2015

  • 05
  • February
    2016

Buying a new home is often regarded as an exciting time. Whether it is the homeowner's first home or not, purchasing a home is a major event. Moreover, it is a major financial responsibility that needs to be factored in whenever the homeowner makes any financial decisions. However, when an individual is dealing with financial troubles, those troubles could impact the homeowner's ability to make timely mortgage payments, which could unfortunately lead to foreclosure.

While foreclosures have been relatively high in New Jersey, according to the data collected for 2015, it was found that lender's foreclosure filings fell 27 percent from the previous year. Moreover, a decline was found in all 21 counties in the state. This decline is seen as a turnaround as there was a recorded 15 percent increase in 2014 and a 75 percent increase in foreclosures the year before that.

Helping victims of auto-pedestrian accidents

  • 03
  • February
    2016

Whether a pedestrian is in a parking lot, sidewalk or walking on the side of the road, he or she is often placed in harms way due to nearby vehicle traffic. Although there are safety features put in place to protect pedestrians in New Jersey and elsewhere, this does not guard them from negligent drivers that might collide with them. When a pedestrian accident occurs, victims are likely to suffer serious or even catastrophic injuries.

At Scura, Wigfield, Heyer & Stevens, LLP, we understand that pedestrians are at a great disadvantage when an auto-pedestrian crash occurs. Because pedestrians do not have the benefit of a protective shell like an automobile, pedestrians involved in an automobile collision often suffer several serious injuries. He or she could be thrown in the air, resulting in temporary or even permanent disabilities.

Helping New Jersey businesses address business debt

  • 29
  • January
    2016

When a business is faced with financial challenges, it might also find it challenging to stay in operation. No matter the size of the company, when business debt becomes too much to handle, it might be necessary to consider what debt relief options are available. While it might currently be difficult to get through the day-to-day operations with growing business debt, there are ways New Jersey companies can keep the business running while also seeking debt relief.

At Scura, Wigfield, Heyer & Stevens, LLP, we understand that filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision to make. However, for many companies that are struggling financially, a commercial bankruptcy could be an appropriate option. While the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process can be rather complex, our experienced attorneys have helped past clients successfully navigate the process.

Standard of care for business owners in a slip and fall accident

  • 27
  • January
    2016

Snow is certainly a common feature in New Jersey during the winter months. And while residents are used to encountering snow and ice in their daily commute, these could pose serious risks to individuals. If business owners do not take proper care to address the dangers caused by snow and ice accumulation during the winter months, a serious slip and fall accident could occur.

What standards apply to business owners regarding snow and ice removal? In general, there are three legal standards that could be used in a slip and fall incident to determine whether or not the business owner or property owner met the reasonable care standard in that situation. The standard that applies is dependent on the jurisdiction.

Can debt collectors collect debt after you file for bankruptcy?

  • 22
  • January
    2016

Dealing with debt problems is never easy for residents in New Jersey, and making the decision to file for personal bankruptcy is certainly not any easier. However, taking this major step to deal with financial issues could be very beneficial. Nonetheless, there are still several obstacles debtors will face, and they will likely have numerous questions regarding discharged debts and debt collection.

Can debt collectors continue to collect debt after you file for bankruptcy? Generally, once a debtor has filed for bankruptcy, debt collectors are not able to collect on the debts that are included in the bankruptcy filing. Additionally, debt collectors are not permitted to continue at collection efforts while the court is hearing the bankruptcy case.

Trader Joe's issues product recall on cashews

  • 20
  • January
    2016

Everyday, consumers in New Jersey go to stores, purchasing items they need or want. In this process, consumers do not often put much thought into the possible dangers that a product could pose to them, especially when the product itself has no inherent risks. If a manufacturing or processing error occurs, edible goods could become contaminated, resulting in serious and even fatal risks to consumers.

According to recent reports, the specialty grocery store chain Trader Joe's has issued a product recall on a batch of raw cashew pieces. This recall occurred after the concern that the nuts might have been contaminated with salmonella. This recall impacts stores located in 10 states, including New Jersey.

Security Interest in Post-Petition Property of Bankruptcy Estate

  • 17
  • January
    2016

When a business petitions for bankruptcy, the business often requires the use of property that is subject to a creditor's lien. For example, a business that has accounts receivable may need the payments coming into the business from the accounts receivable in order to continue to operate. These matters are routinely resolved in the first few days of a bankruptcy case by the business paying the creditor for the continued use of the secured property and by giving the creditor a replacement lien on any new property that is an offspring from the used-up property.

Post-Petition Collateral is not Subject to Creditors' Lien Which results from a Security Agreement

A different result occurs when the new post-petition property is not proceeds, products, offspring, or profits resulting from the pre-petition collateral. Bankruptcy Code Section 552(a) provides that "property acquired by the estate or by the debtor after the commencement of the case is not subject to any lien resulting from any security agreement entered into by the debtor before the commencement of the case." 3 11 U.S.C. § 552(a). A limited exception to this general rule is provided by Bankruptcy Code section 552(b)(1). For that exception to apply, however, the following criteria must be met: (i) the security interest created by the security agreement must cover "proceeds, products, offspring, or profits" of the underlying collateral; (ii) the post-petition assets at issue must in fact be "proceeds, products, offspring, or profits" of the prepetition collateral; and (iii) the Court must not order a different result "based on the equities of the case." 11 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1).

A different result occurs when the new post-petition property is not proceeds, products, offspring, or profits resulting from the pre-petition collateral. Bankruptcy Code Section 552(a) provides that "property acquired by the estate or by the debtor after the commencement of the case is not subject to any lien resulting from any security agreement entered into by the debtor before the commencement of the case." 3 11 U.S.C. § 552(a). A limited exception to this general rule is provided by Bankruptcy Code section 552(b)(1). For that exception to apply, however, the following criteria must be met: (i) the security interest created by the security agreement must cover "proceeds, products, offspring, or profits" of the underlying collateral; (ii) the post-petition assets at issue must in fact be "proceeds, products, offspring, or profits" of the prepetition collateral; and (iii) the Court must not order a different result "based on the equities of the case." 11 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1).

It bears noting that section 552(a) has no application to a statutory lien such as that held by the IRS. See, e.g., Alliance Capital Management L.P. v. County of Orange (In re County of Orange), 189 B.R. 499, 502 (C.D. Cal. 1995) ("By its terms, section 552(a) only applies to liens resulting from security agreements, not other types of liens such as statutory liens."); United States v. Lincoln Sav. Bank (In re Commercial Millwright Serv. Corp.), 245 B.R. 585, 596 (Bankr. N.D. Iowa 1998) ("Neither the language of the confirmed plan nor section 552(a) prohibit the attachment of the tax liens to after-acquired property.").

Avoiding foreclosure and programs available to homeowners

  • 16
  • January
    2016

While it is not always easy, some individuals are able to overcome financial problems on their own. However, when finances are tight and debt is accumulating, residents in New Jersey and elsewhere might have to decide what bills they are able to pay each month. When individuals have trouble making mortgage payments, this puts the homeowner at risk of foreclosure. Although there are options such as bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure process, there are federal programs available that, if qualified, could help the homeowner avoid foreclosure and address their debt problems.

No one wants to struggle to make their monthly mortgage payments, but some homeowners need to take action to get back on track. The Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program was implemented by the Obama Administration as a way to help homeowners that are at risk of foreclosure.

Understanding automobile recalls and consumer actions

  • 14
  • January
    2016

Getting a new vehicle, whether it is used or brand new, can be an exciting purchase for New Jersey residents. And while much thought goes into making large purchases, such as an automobile, consumers do not often consider that the vehicle could be defective or harmful to them. Although some defects can be hidden and go unnoticed for quite some time, consumers should understand ways to protect themselves from a defective car and take action after being injured by an automobile that has been recalled.

When it is determined that a vehicle poses a safety risk, an automobile recall is likely to occur. While the objective of a recall is to remove unsafe or defective vehicles from the market, if a recall is not timely made or properly completed, consumers could suffer severe and even fatal injuries.

Man struck and killed by box truck near loading dock of store

  • 08
  • January
    2016

Whether an individual is walking in a parking lot, on the sidewalk, on the side of the road or within a crosswalk, pedestrians are considered to have the right-of-way. And while pedestrians are required to take caution, cross roads when it is safe to do so and enter crosswalks when signaled, motorists are required to be extra cautious of pedestrians while driving in areas they are or could be present. The failure to drive safely could easily result in a tragic auto-pedestrian accident.

According to reports, New Jersey authorities were recently dispatched to the scene of a pedestrian accident that involved a 59-year-old man and a box truck. The incident occurred near the loading dock of a grocery store in Franklin. Police believe that the crash occurred when the box truck, which was traveling on Old Stage Road, turned into the rear entrance of the store.

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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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