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Showing posts from 2014

NJ Bankruptcy Court

NJ Bankruptcy Court What is bankruptcy court? Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases which means that a bankruptcy case cannot be filed in a state court. Cases are filed under the three main chapters of the Bankruptcy Code Chapter 7Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.  In New Jersey, in the Northern New Jersey area, the client go to the bankruptcy court in Newark. Bankruptcy Court Procedure: Proceedings in a bankruptcy courts are governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The bankruptcy rules of procedure  incorporate the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which govern litigation in other federal courts. Litigation in bankruptcy courts is quite similar to litigation in federal district courts Bankruptcy courts in New Jersey: United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey are located in Newark, Trenton, and Camden. Their addresses are: Newark Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building
50 Walnut Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone (973) 645-4764 Trenton Clar…

Advance Health Care Directives in New Jersey

It is the unthinkable but ever so possible. What happens when a person suffers from illness or injury that renders incapable of deciding his/hers medical treatment?   This is when an Advance Health Directive will give you the security that you need to know your wishes will be follow through. An Advance Health Directive is a legal document which provides information as to your treatment preferences. There are three kinds of advance directives:

1) Proxy directives: This is when the person gives legal authority to a person he/she trust to make medical decisions on his/her behalf.  This is also known as durable power of attorney for health care.

2) Instruction directives:  In this situation the person gives written directions that tell his loved ones what kid of treatment he or she wishes to accept or refuse. This is also known as a Living Will.

3) Combined directive:  the person selects a health care representative and provide him or her with a statement of your medical treatment prefere…

El Proceso de Bancarrota

La bancarrota o quiebra es el proceso en el cual la persona hace una aplicacion a la corte para que le perdonde sus deudas.  La mayoria de las personas que van a la quiebra ponen dos tipos de bancarrota Capitulo 7 o Capitulo 13.
Bancarrota Capitulo 7 (Chapter7) tambien llamado liquidacion es el proceso en que las personas eliminan todas sus deudas. Proveyendo que la persona califique el proceso de bancarrota capitulo 7 elimina todas sus deudas.  Esta usted requerido a tomar dos clases una de Consegeria de Credito que es antes de poner la aplicacion de bancarrota con la corte y el segundo de Manejo Financiero que es una vez que la bancarrota este puesta. Si sus bienes son mas alto de lo que esta permitido por la corte el administrado de la corte de bancarrota puede liquidar sus bienes.  En la gran mayoria de las bancarrotas Capitulo 7 el deudor no pierde sus bienes.

Bancarrota Capitulo 13 (Chapter 13) en este proceso de bancarrota el deudor usualmente tiene bienes con los que se quiere q…

Preparation before Buying a Home

Think of Investing in a Home? With historically low rates and rents constantly increasing it is a good idea if you are financially able.   Times have changed however, now you need to be prepared for the paperwork that is required.  From making sure that your credit score is high enough to get a good rate to lowering your debt.  Among the list of documentation that you should be prepared to provided are
1)W2, 1040 Last two years
2)6-8 weeks paystubs
3)Profit and Loss Documentation if your are Self Employed
4)Investments
5)Retirement Plans
6)Other Assets such Stocks, Bonds or other Real Estate
7)Child Support and Spousal Support (If Applicable)
8)Other types of Support
9)Bank Statements
As frustrating as the requirements to approve for a loan, buying a home can be a rewarding and sound investment.  It is important to make sure that you are conscious of what you can afford. You have to think of maintenance, taxes and updates. Most people do not buy a new home so the likelihood is that you will in…

Chapter 7 Document Preparation

Considering Bankruptcy? well then we need to prepare. We get calls all the time about what documents people need in order to file for bankruptcy. Some of the information we may need are:
1) Your credit reports 2) Bills 3) Six months pay stubs  4) Last three years of taxes 5) Car Finance or Lease papers 6) Deed 7) Mortgage Note 8) Appraisal or Market Analysis of your home. 
The list can go on and on depending of what you have and your finances. These we go over at the office in our official meeting.   We will also ask you to fill our application to get a better grasp of your situation. 
I often get asked why do debtors have to do this? The answer is simple. You are asking the court to forgive all your debts then you need to prove why you can't pay them. In this article I am not going to go on to income and means test calculations but you should keep in mind that there is income standards and if you are above then you have to the means test. 
Often times people get worry about the p…

Collaborative Divorce

By Marina Ginzburg, Esq. 
Sometimes Divorce is inevitable. 
Following that painful decision, parties have to decide how they will go from making the choice to divorce to actually divorcing.
Everyone knows that you can go to court and litigate; many people also know the alternative which is mediation.  There is however a third option now available known as collaborative divorce. The process, although not new, is not as common in New Jersey as litigation and mediation.  Collaborative divorce is the collaboration of groups of experts that guide you through the divorce process without the intervention of the courts and with you and your spouse being in control of the outcome. The collaborative divorce “team” can consist of a financial expert, collaborative law trained attorneys for you and your spouse as well as a psychotherapists and accountants. In the end this process should be faster and cost you less then litigation. The most important aspect of this process is that you are not dea…

Student Loan Crisis and Lack of Knowledge of Financial Aid for Students

We hear it everyday the student loan crisis. People can't find jobs and cannot pay their student loans.  Everyday we get calls asking us if students can discharge their school loans in bankruptcy; which is an unfortunate no. What does surprise me is that people in New Jersey don't apply for financial aid. I went to high school in New York when I was applying for college we knew that there was help available for people who could not afford to pay for college.  If I was going to stay in the State of New York in addition to the Federal Aid from the government I was also entitled to State grants such as TAP. Plus whatever the school decided to grant me based on merit.  I have to say it must be that New York does a great job in educating students once they are about to go to college. 

I talked to my clients about their economic situation everyday.  They always comment about school. What always shocks me if that they have never heard financial aid.  I end up having to educating the…

Millennials and the Law

Millennials or Generation Y are people who are born between 1980 and early 2000 so says Wikipedia (Not so trusty encyclopedia).  We get calls from young people regarding their debt problems.  Most of time we are able to help them but sometimes it is too late. It seems a bit of a overstatement but people should always open their mail (paper mail from the post office that is).  We want our clients to know that we still live in the world of paper. 
With all the advances in electronic communication and people dealing with their affairs online the courts are not that way yet. Since you are a millennial and need an explanation this is why.
1) Proof. If I send you a lawsuit over e-mail you will say that you did not get the e-mail. Oops it went to Spam. 2) The current people who are working the system are old just like me.
In any case, if you get a suspicious mail that says Court, Read it! If you get a certified mail pick it up. In New Jersey, for special civil part which are cases under 15k,…

Consciously Uncoupling The Friendly Divorces

As divorce attorneys we find that our clients tend to be drained by the whole process. When we discuss what is going to happen during the divorce proceeding they often find themselves perplexed by the acrimonious nature of the events that are about to happen.  We discuss child support, property settlement agreements, alimony, visitation, etc.  Is there a better way? I think there is and that is mediation.

Mediation is the process in which two parties come together and work an arrangement with a impartial third party.   When I suggest this to my clients I get the same question all the time. Can this work? My answer is a redundant yes.   Many times we have seen families burden economically and mentally by divorce. A marriage is a commitment of two agreeing adults. If the adults can come again to work to their disagreements and work something out then they can avoid the cost and the mental anguish that the process of divorce can cause.

Realistic speaking this is not for everyone.  There …

Landlord's Return of Security Deposit to Tenant

The complete text of New Jersey’s security deposit law can be found at New Jersey Statutes Annotated 46:8-19 to 26. In New Jersey, generally a landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days after tenant move out or lease termination. The landlords are also responsible to return any accumulated interest or earnings.
There are other situations in which the landlord has to return the money faster.  In the case in which a tenant has ended their lease because they are a victim of domestic violence, the landlord has 15 days to return the security deposit. Also, if a tenant has been displaced due to a floor, fire, evacuation or condemnation of property, the landlord is required to return the security deposit within 5 days.
A landlord may be able to keep all or a part of a tenant’s security deposit for unpaid rent and for damage to the property in excess of normal wear and tear.  However, the landlord is not allowed to make any deductions from the security deposit until the tenant has…

Due Diligence Before Buying and Existing Business.

For some entrepreneurs buying an existing business can be a less risky proposition.   There are many good aspects to buying an existing business such as reduction in start up costs and inventory.  There are also some downsides like business debt and issues with current employees and management, in addition purchasing cost may be much higher than the cost of starting a new business.  This is why doing your due diligence before buying an existing business is very important.
Once you have found a business that interests you, it is important that you do your research.  How much is the business worth? We always recommend our clients to get a professional to make that determination. Other examples of issues to consider are contract and leases, financial statements, property documents, customer lists, sales records, advertising materials, employee and manager information and contracts.  You should also review the business tax return so you can assess profitability and tax liability.

Buying …

Bankruptcy Filing Fees Rate Increase

Rate Increase for Filing FeesThe Judicial Conference of the United States Courts approved the following amendments to the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule.  For those who want to file bankruptcy before the fees changes please be aware of the new fee structure effective June 1, 2014As a result of those changes the following fees will increase:• Chapter 7 Petition - $335           • Chapter 9 Petition - $1,717        • Chapter 11 Petition - $1,717 • Chapter 12 Petition - $275         • Chapter 13 Petition - $310         • Chapter 15 Petition - $1,717• Motion to Split Chapter 7 Case - $335            • Motion to Split Chapter 11 Case - $1,717• Motion to Split Chapter 12 Case - $275          • Motion to Split Chapter 13 Case - $310• Adversary Proceeding - $350
For more information  please contact our office at 201-880-5563 or visit us at www.ruizdoolanlaw.com for a consultation.
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are of general nature and not intended to be a substitute f…

What is a Debt Buyer?

The basic business plan of the debt buying industry is to buy debt at pennies for the dollar. They usually by a list of consumer account without original documents to support these claims and without any documentation of how the “amount owing” was calculated.   The problem with this practice is that the debt buyer, has no incentive to obtain the proof required in a court of law because its investment is minimal. Typically a debt buyer sues consumers without any documentary proof that this particular consumer was indebted to the original creditor. . In every credit card account, the original creditor will possess: -           the debtor’s signed application/request for a credit card, 15 U.S.C. 1642 -           required monthly account statements, 15 U.S.C. 1637(b)  -           the credit card contract, amendments to the contract and -           charge slips or other evidence of each purchase and cash advance.          We always recommend our clients to defend these type of lawsuits so they …

What to do when you cannot afford to pay your child support amount?

What to do when you cannot afford to pay your child support amount?

The New Jersey Courts take child support obligations very seriously and are very clear that in order to lower your child support payment, you must show a change of circumstances.  Changed circumstances are defined inLepis v. Lepis, 83N.J.139 (1980). At the onset of  changed circumstances, an obligor can make a motion or application to the court to reduce his or her child support obligation. Examples of changed circumstances include but are not limited to the cost of living, increase/decrease of obligor’s income, or that the obligor became sick or disabled. It should be noted that temporary unemployment is not sufficient for a change of circumstances showing and the courts generally consider unemployment in itself a temporary event. Since the burden of proof rests on the party making the motion or application, that party would have to prove  to the court that they are unable to find any employment and are not voluntari…

Divorce Litigation

Why most divorces should be settled through mediation:
                As a divorce attorney, it is counterintuitive for me to advise my clients to avoid litigation. Litigation is what I went to law school for, why I participated in moot court and why I can recite the Federal Rules of Evidence in my sleep. I love to argue! Litigation however is rarely in the best interest of my clients, and since the Rules of Professional Conduct dictate that I must act in my client’s best interests, I feel compelled to tell them the truth.  Litigation will leave them in worse state then they started out in.                 I am not the only one that feels this way about litigation. In fact, there is a reason why the New Jersey Courts make the trial the final step in any divorce proceeding. Judges do not want to decide cases, and encourage litigants to find their own path to a resolution. It is arguable that court’s are motivated by the fact that they are overcrowded and understaffed, but whatever …

Debt Settlement

As a law firm we see a lot of people who have debt issues.  One of the questions we are always ask is about other options besides bankruptcy.    In cases when a person has been suit for a debt that they owe, we offer the option to settle it (assuming they owe the debt and they are no defenses).  I can only speak for what I see in my jurisdiction which is New Jersey and a lot of the people who have these debt lawsuits are often suit by debt buyers. A debt buyer is a business that buys bad debts on pennies on the dollar and files a lawsuit against the debtor to collect on them. It is always an option to try to offer them a settlement and reduce the debt.  You can always offer a payment plan.

When making an offer consider your personal financial situation. I always tell my clients not to set themselves up for failure and offer something they can afford.  These companies are very happy to cooperate.  Collection is art. It is great to get a judgment but the collection process is tedious. T…

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Liquidation: In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy also known as liquidation, most of the debtor’s dischargeable debts are forgiven and the debtor is allowed a fresh start. The debtor is allowed to keep certain exempt property depending on the state they live in. The value of property that can be claimed as exempt varies from state to state. Assets that are not protected under an exemption are sold by the interim trustee to repay creditors. Many types of unsecured debt are legally discharged by the bankruptcy proceeding, however there are various types of debt that are not discharged in a Chapter 7. Some exceptions to discharge include child support, income taxes less than 3 years old and property taxes.   When a person decides to file for bankruptcy the advisable first step is to see an attorney.   Among the requirements for qualification is whether the person falls within the means test.  The attorney will require for the debtor to bring pay stubs and provide a list of their expenses.…