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Corona California Legal Blog

Chapter 7 bankruptcy debt: Consumer debt hits record high

Getting ahead in life often feels impossible. California consumers tend to grow frustrated when faced with the limitations of their own finances during certain times of the year, particularly those that involve traditions centered around shopping. As data from the 2018 holiday shopping season rolls in, it is possible that some consumers might need to consider the benefits of pursuing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Federal Reserve recently announced that consumer credit debt had risen to more than $4 trillion -- a new record. Revolving credit played a smaller role than might be expected in this increase, though. Consumers added only 2 percent to their credit cards -- a form of revolving debt -- in Dec. 2018, compared with 11.7 percent in Oct. of that same year.

Injuries, trauma common after motor vehicle accidents

California police are still investigating the cause of a wreck that sent three people to the hospital. Although it is often clear who the negligent driver is in these types of motor vehicle accidents, police sometimes need extra time to determine exactly who was at fault. However, even if police are still uncertain in their investigations, victims who understand that they were wrongfully harmed can begin working on recovering necessary compensation.

The recent two-vehicle caused a power outage in the area where it occurred. According to authorities, a pickup truck and SUV collided with one another at approximately 6:20 p.m., although the reasons why are still unclear. A witness to the wreck was out walking her dog at the time and says she narrowly avoided being struck by one of the vehicles.

1 injured in California truck accident

Driving past an 18-wheeler can be an unnerving experience, and some California drivers might chalk this fear up as being somewhat irrational. Recent dash cam footage from a motorist's vehicle demonstrated just how founded those fears might be. The footage captured a truck accident that left one person injured.

At around 10:30 a.m., the 18-wheeler was headed east on the 91 Freeway. It was apparently a windy and wet day, although it is not clear if the weather conditions played a role in the accident. What the video appears to show is the tractor-trailer traveling along as normal, and then suddenly drifting across two lanes, where it struck a passenger vehicle. The force of the collision pushed both the truck and the other vehicle into a concrete divider.

Why it is important to seek medical attention after an accident

The minutes and hours after a car accident is not typically the time you may be in the proper mindset. You have just been through a harrowing experience that in some cases may leave you feeling lucky to be alive. Even the thought of a loved one in the car being injured or killed if not for some luck or the matter of inches can leave you jilted for some time.

This enhanced level of stress and strain can easily mask any injuries you may have suffered in the crash. You may refuse medical attention at the scene or decline to be transported to a hospital via an ambulance because you do not immediately see or feel an injury. Since you are walking around and even speaking with other people you may self-diagnose yourself to be uninjured. This can be dangerous and costly for you.

Why are Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings so low?

Even though the process helps individuals re-establish their financial stability, many people in California still view bankruptcy in a negative light. Perhaps because of this viewpoint, recent reports that bankruptcy filings recently hit a 10-year low might seem like good news. While some people might be avoiding Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they are handling their debts well, many others might be facing obstacles that prevent them from seeking debt relief.

The Great Recession saw bankruptcy filings spike to significantly high rates. In Sept. 2010, 1.53 million people filed for bankruptcy. During Sept. 2018, less than 770,000 people sought bankruptcy protection. While a reduction in filings might be expected as the recession falls further back in history, this is not the only explanation for the sharp drop.

Popular cupcake chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Building a business from the ground up is no small feat, and many California business owners face financial ups and downs along the way. Recovering from those downs can be difficult though, especially for businesses that have expanded to include franchises that span multiple states. In some of these cases, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing might be the most appropriate option.

Gigi's Cupcakes is a popular chain of cupcake stores that was originally founded by Gina Butler, a former singer-songwriter. After she realized her dreams of making it big in the music industry was less than realistic, Butler turned to cupcakes and never looked back. Butler later expanded her business through franchises and was bought out by a larger company, although she still runs the original location.

Motor vehicle accidents: 3 dead in head-on collision

California police believe that alcohol was more than likely a factor in a recent deadly collision. The head-on crash left three people dead and another two seriously hurt. These types of motor vehicle accidents are often devastating for both surviving victims and the families of those who lost their lives, but most people have options for seeking justice.

According to authorities, a possible drunk driver drove the wrong direction in the northbound lanes of a freeway connector road. At approximately 3:30 a.m., the wrong-way driver collided with two other vehicles that were traveling in the correct direction. Both the driver and the passenger in the vehicle driving the wrong direction were killed in the wreck.

Reorganizing debts with Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a popular option for people who are ready to discharge their debts and move forward with their lives. Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for this process. Individuals must earn less than the median California income to file for Chapter 7, which leaves many people still in desperate need of debt relief. For these people, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be an excellent option.

Unlike a liquidation bankruptcy -- Chapter 7 -- Chapter 13 is a reorganization of debts. The plus side of this is that most people can keep their property rather than having it sold off to settle debts. Instead, a person will create a repayment plan for court approval that generally spans a period of about three to five years. Even if their income was sufficient to qualify for Chapter 13, it must also be regular and high enough to support a repayment plan of this length.

The role of fatigue in truck accidents

Many long-haul drivers would say that fatigue simply comes with the job. Sitting behind the wheel for hours a day can be more exhausting than people think, and then there is the possibility that a truck driver does not get good sleep or enough sleep when not behind the wheel. For these and other reasons, fatigue tends to play a role in many truck accidents whether they occur here in California or elsewhere.

Sleep deprivation tends to be in the top 10 when it comes to factors leading to accidents involving truck drivers. The federal government puts limitations on how long truckers can be on the road, but the regulations cannot force a driver to sleep. Even if a driver gets a few hours of sleep a night, it may not be enough to ward off fatigue. The longer that a driver is sleep deprived, the more dangerous he or she becomes.

What is an automatic stay? Can it help stop collection calls?

Have you found yourself sitting at the kitchen table looking over bill after bill while hoping your phone does not ring since it is most likely a collection call? To add to your frustration, you know that you have very little in your bank account to pay the bills and penalties and fees for being late continue to add to your debt.

This may be the point when you have decided to file for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy is like hitting the reset button on your finances. While it can be of great financial benefit to you, there are circumstances that come along with bankruptcy that are important to consider. However, one positive aspect from bankruptcy is the moment you begin working on your bankruptcy, an automatic stay on your creditors will begin.

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

Toll Free: 800-391-9168
Fax: 951-900-6008
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