Law Offices of Marc A. Ominsky - bankruptcy

Columbia Legal Issues Blog

Motor vehicle accidents increase on holiday weekends

Holiday weekends come with stories of parades, fireworks and family get-togethers. They also come with news of traffic fatalities. Holiday traffic often leads to an increased number of motor vehicle accidents and deaths on Maryland highways. The recent holiday weekend proved no exception.

A wrong-way accident on the inner loop of the beltway resulted in the death of a young woman. She was driving north on the beltway when her vehicle was struck by a Ford F150 driving south on the northbound side of the divided highway. It is not known how the vehicle came to be driving in the wrong direction.

Chapter 7 bankruptcies sometimes caused by student loan debt

The issue of student loan debt is one that has been a frequent topic of conversation in the media in recent weeks and months. The amount of outstanding student loan debt in 2019 is believed to be about $1.5 trillion. A large amount of that debt is held by millennials. In Maryland and elsewhere, many of them are struggling to find good paying jobs and are unable to repay their loans, causing them to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

An estimated 32% of people who filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 had student loan debt that was a significant cause of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 allows a person with low income to file for debt liquidation where Chapter 13 allows for debt reduction.  Student loans are not normally discharged, or forgiven, in a bankruptcy proceeding. For those with student loans filing Chapter 7 that means that the funds freed up by the discharge of credit card debt would often go to pay student loans.

Bankruptcy can come to a farmer's aid

Agriculture is a vital industry in Maryland and across the United States. It is an industry that is greatly reliant on weather and good or bad weather can make or break a farmer's year. Debt is a reality in most people's lives and as long as it is managed does not necessarily lead to a financial crisis. When an event occurs that is beyond one's control, a managed situation can quickly spiral into a crisis. Bankruptcy can provide tools to help one survive the crisis.

The weather across the nation has been atypical for some time now. Farmers are feeling the pinch as it is impacting planting schedules. In another state, the number of bankruptcies involving farmers has increased significantly. The problem has escalated in the last year and is causing stress and mental health issues among the farm community.

Motor vehicle accidents are all too frequent on beltway

Nice weather has arrived, and people in Maryland are riding motorcycles that had been stored for the winter. It is widely believed that defensive driving is a best practice in heavy traffic situations. Tragically, defensive driving is not always enough to prevent fatal motor vehicle accidents.

It is no secret that traffic on the Washington Beltway can be treacherous. An accident involving a motorcycle on the Maryland portion of the highway revealed how treacherous it can be. The accident occurred when a vehicle attempted to merge into traffic from an on-ramp.

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.

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Law Offices of
Marc A. Ominsky

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