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July 2014 Archives

Considering whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Fits One’s Goals

Before commencing any discussion of the relative merits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy versus Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is necessary to underscore how important it is to discuss whether one should file bankruptcy to address financial issues with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and to listen to his or her advice on the best filing option for one’s particular circumstances. Any comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of Chapter 7 cases vis-à-vis Chapter 13 cases only provides a useful framework for weighing different avenues to obtain legal relief from financial difficulty. Consultation with counsel is recommended before a final decision on one’s course is made.

Getting Responsive Treatment after your Auto Accident

Right after a person gets involved in an automobile accident, the responding police officers, whether in New Mexico or elsewhere, will invariably ask that person if he or she needs immediate medical attention.  Sometimes it is difficult to assess that question during the aftermath of a wreck. Such auto accidents occur quickly. Injuries often do not manifest themselves until days after an accident either because the person sustaining the injury is in shock right after it occurs or because of some quirk peculiar to that injury. Generally speaking, it is a best practice to agree to be taken to the hospital right after a tense collision just to be on the safe side.

Abandonment of Debtor’s Property in Chapter 7 Cases

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases debtors enjoy certain protections – such as the automatic stay which protects the debtor’s property from creditors and lawsuits and other actions – but also gives up certain control over the estate’s assets. Upon filing the Chapter 7 bankruptcy action, all of a debtor’s property becomes part of the estate. The court then has the power to appoint a trustee who has the authority to administer that estate. This includes, among other powers of the trustee, liquidating certain property so as to accumulate funds which can be used to pay off some portion of various creditors’ claims.

Sales of Existing Homes Still on the Rise Nationally and in Albuquerque

Last week it was reported that sales of new homes in the Albuquerque area had declined after a few years of steady increases. Now we see that this is not the case for existing homes. Just as sales of previously owned homes rose nationally for a third straight month in June,  closed deals in the Albuquerque metro area for such homes rose for the sixth month in a row, according to statistics released by The National Association of Realtors.  Nationally the sales of existing homes increased 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million homes; the first time such home sales exceeded the 5-million level since October.

Automatic Stay Key Feature of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

One of the key protections afforded to debtors who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy actions is the automatic stay. Upon filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the court, without prompting from interested parties, issues an automatic stay under § 362(a) of the bankruptcy code. The automatic stay immediately prohibits any creditors, litigants or other claimants from pursuing additional action against the debtor or any property in which the debtor harbors an interest, legal or merely possessory. If the bankruptcy court is made aware of parties – after receiving due notice that the stay is in effect – violating its edict, the court can award damages to the debtor if he or she incurs damage. Those damages may be enhanced if it can be proven an offender wilfully breached the stay.

In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Time Limits Conflict with Notice Provisions

When a Debtor files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, creditors and other interested parties must meet certain time limits in order to challenge discharges of certain debts and additional developments in the case. But, in some instances, whether these time limitations should apply, may depend on whether these creditors and interested parties have sufficient notice of the pendency of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy action in order to exercise their prerogatives. A recent decision by the United States Bankruptcy Court in New Mexico demonstrates this question.

Court Exercises Authority to Require Medical Examinations in Personal Injury Case

When a person files a personal injury case to recover damages for physical and/or medical injuries, a court either at the state or federal level has the authority to order the plaintiff to undergo a physical or mental examination. The court must be asked to order such examination by one of the defendants in the case. And the court must find that there is good cause for such examination and that it bears on an issue that is “in controversy”. A recent federal case pending in New Mexico provides a recent example.

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