Law Offices of Marc A. Ominsky - bankruptcy

Columbia Legal Issues Blog

Have you lost control of your debt?

If you are like many Marylanders, you do not carry cash. Why should you when you can use more convenient forms of paying for your purchases, such as bank cards or credit cards? However, being part of a cashless society often means losing track of the amount of money you spend. For many, this means acquiring more debt than they realize.

It often does not take much to fall hopelessly behind on your payments to creditors and lenders. You may be keeping up with the minimum payments until an unplanned major purchase, a car repair or medical emergency tips the delicate balance. Are you aware of the indicators that you may be reaching the danger zone with your debt?

Motor vehicle accidents remain a threat on congested highways

It is no secret that traffic on Maryland highways continues to increase. The increase in traffic can cause delays, which can cause drivers to become frustrated and impatient. This in turn can lead to motor vehicle accidents. One such accident resulted in the death of an older gentleman from Westminster.

The accident happened late one Wednesday afternoon at the beginning of rush hour. The man from Westminster was traveling north on I-795 when his vehicle was sideswiped by another car. The vehicle he was driving veered off the roadway and struck a tree.

DUI roadside tests are not legally required in Maryland

When  a police officer makes a traffic stop, he or she may claim that the driver was clocked traveling above a posted speed limit or that the vehicle has a brake light that does not appear to be functioning properly. In many cases, however, the reason for a Maryland traffic stop is because DUI is suspected. It is common for a police officer to ask a driver under suspicion to exit his or her vehicle.

Once the driver is standing outside his or her car, the police officer may request that he or she perform a field sobriety test. Failing such a test may lead to a drunk driving arrest because a failed test constitutes probable cause, which an officer needs to take someone into custody. This is why field tests tend to make people quite nervous.

You don't have to put up with harassment from creditors

Like other Maryland residents before you, your financial situation appears to be in a downward spiral. No matter how much you cut corners, your efforts to address your overwhelming debt on your own does not yield results. Making the situation worse are the constant phone calls and other contact, demanding payment, and you suspect that the behavior crosses the line into harassment from creditors.

Your suspicions could be correct. A lot of people here in Maryland and elsewhere do not know where the line is for creditors when it comes to making contact with consumers, and some debt collectors will take advantage of that fact. Those attempting to collect a debt must do while following certain rules. For instance, they can only contact you within certain hours of the day and should not release information about your debt to other people.

Bankruptcy can be a tool to a new beginning

Debt can be a useful tool but it can also become an overwhelming burden. If the burden becomes too great one option for getting out from under that burden in Maryland is to declare bankruptcy. Declaring it provides a way to eliminate or drastically reduce existing debt, but the bankruptcy declaration remains on one's credit report for many years and can impact a person's ability to take on new debt. There are ways to bounce back from bankruptcy.

Two basic steps to take are to create and stick to a budget and pay with cash. Creating a budget can give one a good picture of one's finances. Paying with cash prevents additional debt from building up. These are measures that will help one's cash flow and there are also measures that can be taken to start rebuilding credit.

Parents do not have to be best friends for co-parenting to work

Having a child may have been the greatest day of your life and your spouse's life. You undoubtedly imagined all the wonderful adventures you would have as a family and how the two of you would watch your child grow and work as a team to nurture that growth. Of course, now that you are going through a divorce, you may have concerns about those visions remaining a reality.

Before you begin thinking that child custody arrangements will leave you with an unequal amount of responsibility when it comes to raising your child, you may want to remember that you and the other parent can have a substantial amount of input in custody terms. In fact, you can choose to continue to work together as co-parents and have equitable time with your child.

Health care costs a leading cause of bankruptcy

Health care in America is expensive. Without health insurance it is even more so. An unexpected health care crisis can drive a family to bankruptcy in Maryland if they do not have the means to pay the medical bills. This point was driven home recently in a story that happened in another state.

A woman who was volunteering with an organization had offered to give a speech on behalf of the organization. She had written her presentation and inadvertently deleted it. She was understandably nervous when she got up to the podium to speak. When she did start speaking she noticed her words were slurred and that she wasn't making sense. A friend realized something was very wrong and called for help.

Charge of driving under the influence includes child abuse charge

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause a person to be confused and act in an untypical way. A recent incident in Denton has left a mother behind bars and an 18-month-old child in the hospital. Maryland law enforcement had responded to a call that indicated a child may have been left on the side of a road by a woman who then got in her car and drove off. Police suspect the woman of driving under the influence.

A car passing by spotted a vehicle stopped on the side of the road and thought the driver had hit a deer. They pulled over to offer assistance and the woman quickly got into her car and drove away. On further investigation, they encountered a child who appeared to have suffered some injuries. Based on the witness account, the authorities were able to track down the driver of the vehicle.

Risk of motor vehicle accidents is always present

People's lives seem to get busier and more hectic as more electronic devices are introduced to supposedly make our lives easier and less stressful. The devices, such as smartphones and touch screen car sound systems, seem to have the opposite effect and contribute to adding stress and creating distractions that increase the chances of being involved in motor vehicle accidents. Such may have been the case in a recent fatal accident in Maryland, near Taneytown.

A man was driving west on Taneytown Pike when his car swerved and hit a guardrail. The car then crossed the yellow line into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a car that was heading east. The accident happened about 2:30 on a recent afternoon between Pleasant Valley Road and Tyrone Road.

Loophole exists in law designed to stop DWI accidents

Losing a loved one in a fatal car crash is heartbreaking. Losing a loved one in a crash caused by a drunk driver can seem senseless as it could have been prevented if the driver did not get behind the wheel. Maryland has a measure in place, Noah's Law, to help prevent driving while intoxicated but it is not always enforced.

The law was named for a Maryland policeman who was killed by a drunk driver in 2015. The law states that anyone convicted of drunk driving must have an ignition interlock device in their car. The device prevents the car from starting unless the driver blows into the device which measures the driver's blood alcohol level. However, if a driver pleads guilty to the charge and gets probation, the device is not required.

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Law Offices of
Marc A. Ominsky

10632 Little Patuxent Parkway
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Columbia, MD 21044

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