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Corona California Legal Blog

Truck accidents: Lifeguards run over child

The summer holiday is the perfect time to hit the beach, and people often travel significant distances in order to enjoy the beautiful beaches that California has to offer. Most people are aware of the possible dangers of spending time at the beach and keep an eye out for dangerous sea creatures or thieves who might target their personal items. However, few beachgoers -- if any -- expect to see truck accidents so close to the ocean. This was the terrifying reality that one family recently faced.

At the time of the accident, two lifeguards were responding to multiple reports that a swimmer had been caught up in a riptide. The pair were traveling along the beach in a lifeguard truck on the sand. Lifeguards at the beach usually set up cones that outline the path that trucks should take, but investigators are not sure if those cones had already been removed because the beach was closing soon. Either way, the driver of the truck apparently did not see the 4-year-old child who was digging in the sand.

Can I eliminate student loan debt through bankruptcy?

Student loan debts have continuing rising each year in the United States, even amid the post-recession economic recovery in 2017 and 2018. Even though California graduates have some of the lowest student loan debt averages in the country, at around $22,000, student loan debt now is one of the largest consumer debt categories in the United States. It ranks only behind mortgage debt and now surpasses credit card debt and auto loan debt.

Protect yourself with Chapter 13 bankruptcy

The lingering effects of the Great Recession are still impacting individuals across California. Following the end of the mortgage and housing crisis, many consumers had little choice but to borrow money. As consumer debt continues to grow, some people might need to consider the potential benefits of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Many people lost their jobs or ended up stuck in low-wage positions during the recession that started in 2007. Once the economy looked like it was bouncing back, most of those affected by the financial crisis did their best to secure new employment so that they could pay off debts and bills. Unfortunately, even securing a better paying position could not protect some from overwhelming consumer debt. Things like auto loans, student loans and even credit card debt began to pile up quickly. Experts caution that these debts are usually out of necessity and not due to irresponsible spending habits.

Motor vehicle accidents: 1 killed by reckless driver

A California man was killed in a recent accident. The driver accused of causing the wreck was also injured in the collision and will be released into police custody following treatment as he is facing multiple criminal charges. This could be important for the victim's family if they choose to pursue a wrongful death claim, which is not uncommon after these types of fatal motor vehicle accidents.

According to police, a 66-year-old man's truck had broken down on the shoulder of I-70. He had exited his vehicle and started to set out roadside warning devices so that he could safely work on his truck. At the time, police had already received several reports that a reckless driver was weaving in and out of lanes of traffic and driving all over the road.

Medical debt commonly cited in Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Some California residents might fear getting sick or injured not because of the health implications, but because of medical bills. Many Americans struggle with overwhelming medical debt that they simply cannot seem to find ways out of. These hefty debts are so troublesome that they are actually one of the most commonly cited reasons when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A study from the American Journal of Public Health analyzed random court filings for personal bankruptcy from 2013 to 2016. It concluded that medical debt is responsible for approximately 530,000 bankruptcy filings every year. Unfortunately, the cost of medical care is so astronomically high that even people with steady incomes and reasonable health insurance coverage cannot cope with the costs of a single emergency medical bill.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can address unseen credit card debt

Avoiding credit card debt might seem like a good idea, but doing so can actually be fairly difficult. From credit card offers in the mail, during checkout at popular retail stores and even in emails from an individual's banks, these rectangles of plastic seem to be everywhere. Unfortunately, credit card debt is also fairly common, which Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help address. However, just like how some California consumers might not even realize how many credit card offers they receive on a daily basis, others may not even know they have debt on their cards.

It is hard to miss the growing concern over the student loan debt crisis since outstanding balances recently hit an astounding $1.4 trillion. Credit card debt also recently topped out at $1 trillion, making it another significant point of financial stress for consumers. While most people with student loan debt are fully aware of it, a recent study found that 21% of people do not even know if they have a balance on their credit cards. That same survey found that 30% of consumers know they have credit card debt, but do not know how much they pay for interest every month.

Distracted walking may contribute to some pedestrian collisions

Almost everyone has heard of distracted driving, which often involves a motorist trying to multitask. However, distractions can also be dangerous when walking.

Many pedestrians trivialize the danger associated with cellphones, headphones and other walking distractions. However, a recent article suggests that pedestrian distractions may be one reason for a national increase in pedestrian deaths. In 2018, 6,227 pedestrians died in traffic collisions. California was one of the states with the most pedestrian deaths.

How does Chapter 11 bankruptcy help businesses?

Discussions and news articles about too much debt often focus on individual consumers and their bankruptcy options. However, many businesses also deal with overwhelming levels of debt that make it nearly impossible to continue regular operations. What some California business owners may not realize is that, like individual consumers, they can also address their debt through bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy can help businesses reorganize to promote their future profitability.

When it comes to Chapter 11, a business or its creditors can file the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. Like with personal bankruptcy, simply filing for bankruptcy will put an automatic stay into place. This stops all creditors from attempting to collect on debts. This is not necessarily a permanent action, and the court can issue a modification to the stay that would allow some collection efforts to move forward.

Overwhelming credit card debt? Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help

Credit cards can be helpful tools for California consumers who want to build credit, collect reward points or even just bridge small gaps between paychecks. While credit cards can provide a number of benefits, they also have a number of drawbacks. Consumers who struggle to pay off their balances may be surprised to realize how much interest they end up paying every month. For some, it could end up leading toward Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Only around 40% of American consumers have credit card debt, and of those 24% owe $10,000 or more. Among all consumers with credit card debt, including those with relatively low balances, 13% say their monthly payments make it difficult to regularly make ends meet. Another 15% limit their spending because of debt. These figures are from a recent survey by a major news magazine.

Century-old flower company pursues Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Too much debt is not a problem isolated to consumers. Despite their best efforts, some businesses in California find that they can no longer address their debts. This was apparently the case for FTD Cos., which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In 2014, FTD -- a flower delivery company -- tried to acquire one of its rival companies, ProFlowers. FTD is more than 100 years old and has been struggling to keep pace with modern competitors. Acquiring ProFlowers was supposed to help the company stay relevant to its consumers while also eliminating the problem of its competitor eating into its profits. Unfortunately, the deal ultimately did not pan out and FTD never acquired ProFlowers.

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Farhat Law Firm, APC
232 E. Grand Boulevard
Suite 202
Corona, CA 92879

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