Law Blog

Your Rights Against a Debt Collector

If you find yourself dealing with debt collectors, it is certainly something that is not pleasant. However, then it is important to know what it is that debt collectors have the right to do and what not.

Your Rights Against a Debt Collector

Firstly, a debt collector cannot speak with others about your debt. The exceptions are the original creditor, a credit reporting agency, or your lawyer. Debt collectors also cannot call you at inconvenient times (early in the morning or late at night). If you are not allowed to have phone calls at work, they also cannot disturb you during that time. They also cannot threaten you, use foul language or call you repetitively, because these types of behavior are considered to be harassment.

Providing false or misleading information is also something they cannot do. That includes the amount you owe, claiming to be someone other than a collector, or lying about the potential consequences (for example, to threaten you with going to jail).

Engaging in unfair practices, such as charging more than allowed by state law, threatening to take away your property, or communicating with you by using a postcard (because other people could read your information) is also something they cannot do. However, keep in mind that debt collectors have the right to contact others in order to reach you, without discussing your debt. That’s why it would be much better to give the collector your contact information.

What a Debt Collector Can Do

We will now take a look at what debt collectors actually have the right to do. If your debt was secured by collateral – property (like house or car), they can use foreclosure to recover the property, sell it and apply the funds to your balance. However, this is something you can expect a creditor to do rather than a debt collector.

If you didn’t put up collateral, for instance, your debt is a credit card payment or a cell phone bill, there is actually not much a debt collector can do, except calling you or writing to you. But, if a creditor files a lawsuit and gets a money judgment against you, there are some things they can do then. They can take money out of your paycheck, require the bank to withdraw the amount that you owe, or use some other collecting technique, depending on the situation. What can you do if you cannot pay your debt? If you are judgment-proof (meaning you are unemployed, broke, or have no property), you can just ignore it. You can also stop calls by asking the debt collector, in writing.

The second thing you can do is discharge credit card debt, utility bills, and personal loans in bankruptcy. There is a certain number of years that the debt collector has to sue you for a money judgment, which is called the statute of limitations. Once that period passes, the collector will not be able to get a judgment against you, so you can just simply wait for it to pass.

We hope this article has helped you relieve the stress associated with your debt, as you now have much more information.

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What are the Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you find yourself in a situation where you are injured in some kind of accident, and that accident is someone else’s fault, you have the right to a personal injury lawsuit. This article will explain what this process looks like.

The first thing you should definitely do is seek medical help. Not only is this something you should do for your health, but otherwise the jury will consider your injuries less serious.

Whether it is a minor or more serious injury, it would be a good idea to at least consult a personal injury lawyer. They certainly have more experience and can handle the case better. However, you do not have to hire the first lawyer you visit. It is always advisable to hear a few different opinions before making a final decision.

The lawyer will first conduct a thorough interview with you. It is very important that you share all the information with him, so that there are no unpleasant surprises for the lawyer later.

Another good thing when it comes to hiring a lawyer is that he will take over the collection of all medical reports and bills related to the injury. However, you should keep in mind that this is a process that can sometimes take months.

If there is a minor injury, most lawyers will try to settle before filing a lawsuit. However, if a settlement is impossible, you will move on to the next step, and that is filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. What you also need to be prepared for is that it sometimes takes as long as between one and two years for a personal injury case to get to trial.

The next step is the discovery stage. The discovery phase is when each party investigates what the other side’s legal claims and defenses are. This includes that each party will interrogate the other, request certain documents, and take depositions from all relevant witnesses. Depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s deadlines, this can take between six months and a year.

After the discovery stage is over, lawyers will usually try to reach a settlement. Sometimes lawyers will settle this among themselves, and sometimes mediation will be necessary, a process in which both parties and lawyers receive help from a neutral third party – the mediator.

If the mediation fails, the case goes to trial. A personal injury trial can last a day, a week, or even longer. However, in most cases, personal injury cases settle, because everyone wants to avoid those long processes and going to court. If it is still not possible to reach an adequate settlement, then this last step is unfortunately inevitable.

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What to know about Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

When a professional health care worker, such as a doctor, a nurse, a dentist or a hospital does something that is not a standard of practice of those with similar training and experience, and that results in an injury or damages of a patient, we are talking about medical malpractice.

For those of you who think that medical malpractice doesn’t happen that often, you should know that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.A. – right behind heart disease and cancer. But how can you know if you are a victim of medical practice? Four legal elements must be proven.

The first one is that there must be a legal duty toward the patient. This means that a professional relationship between a patient and health care provider was established.

After the first element, the second one is a breach of this duty by a failure of a treating doctor to adhere to the standards of the profession. Sometimes that can be obvious (for example, an operation on the wrong limb). However, when it comes to more complex situations, there is a need for other experts in the field to testify and confirm that care which a reasonable, similarly situated professional would have provided to the patient, was actually breached.

The third element is to establish a connection between such breach of duty and injury to the patient. This means that, if you are not satisfied with the results of your surgery, but there aren’t any injuries or damages that resulted from the doctor’s breach of duty, it isn’t medical malpractice. The reason for this is because, in general, there are no guarantees of medical results.

The fourth and final element that makes you qualified for a medical malpractice lawsuit is called damages. Damages are actually consequences that medical malpractice left on a patient’s life. For example, if there was a fracture as a result of a doctor’s mistake, but the fracture went on to healing, leaving a patient with no actual damage, there would be nothing for the court to award.

What should you do if you think you have a medical malpractice claim? The first step would be to talk to an attorney who specializes in such work. They will do a thorough review of the case details to determine whether the case is actionable. Keep in mind that there are two options – the case could be settled, or go to trial.

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Common Misconceptions on Divorce Mediation

When people get married, they usually do it with the idea that it will last for the rest of their lives (until death do us part). Unfortunately, this is not always the case. What can alleviate this difficult and unpleasant situation is divorce mediation. However, many people avoid mediation because they have wrong beliefs. Therefore, with this text, we will try to break down some of the most common prejudices.

Many people think that mediation is effective only when it comes to simple cases. However, in complicated cases, each side has its own lawyer. And each of the lawyers is focused on the well-being of only his client, which can further complicate the situation. The mediator, however, works in the interest of both parties, which enables even the most complicated situations to be resolved for mutual benefit.

Divorce Mediation is only possible when the ex-spouses are on friendly terms

In fact, it is not true. Bad relationships can complicate the process and make it much longer than necessary, due to the negative emotions involved. Therefore, mediation focuses on compromises and solutions that will suit both, and it is not even necessary for two people to be in the same room at the same time.

Does the mediator make a decision? Not at all, because a mediator is not a judge. Mediator’s task is to help each side make a decision and find a common agreement.

It’s not for high-net-worth couples

n fact, in such situations, going to court can take not only a lot of time, but also money spent on legal fees. The focus of the mediator is to find a solution that will suit both, which opens up many more options and possibilities.

Divorce Mediation requires the presence of an attorney

It is also not true. Although the presence of an attorney is not prohibited, in most cases it is superfluous. However, keep in mind that the role of the mediator is to be neutral. If you want specific legal advice, then it is advisable to have an attorney you can turn to.

In addition to these misconceptions, what should also be kept in mind is one very important thing. In order for mediation to be successful, in addition to an experienced and professional mediator, the good will of both parties is necessary to find mutual agreements. Mediation makes no sense if you go with the idea that things will be resolved entirely in your favor. Therefore, before you decide to mediate, you must be ready to make certain compromises.

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Choosing Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Instead of Court

Why Mediation is a good alternative to court filings

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)  generally refers to a wide range of dispute resolution techniques that serve to avoid conflict between parties to a dispute. ADR is increasingly used as a dispute resolution tool alongside the court system. Despite historic opposition to ADR by many prominent parties and their supporters, ADR has grown in popularity in recent years, both among the public and the legal profession.

Indeed, some courts now require certain parties to resort to an alternative dispute resolution method, generally mediation, before authorizing the parties to proceed (the European directive on mediation (2008) which specifically provides for so-called “compulsory” mediation. This means that attendance is mandatory, not that an agreement must be reached through mediation). In addition, many individuals are increasingly turning to ADR to resolve post-acquisition disputes.

More people are choosing ADR to solve personal and business disputes

The growing popularity of ADRs can be explained by the growing number of disputes in traditional courts, the perception that ADRs are less expensive than litigation, the preference for confidentiality, and the desire of some parties to have greater control. on the choice of the individual (s) to settle their dispute. Some high judicial authorities in certain jurisdictions (England and Wales are among them) strongly advocate this use of mediation (ADR) to resolve disputes. Since the 1990s, many American courts have increasingly advocated the use of ADRs to resolve disputes.

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How to Improve your Credit Score

There is a high probability that you will have to borrow money at some point in your life. The reasons can be different: tuition, buying a car, buying a house. Whatever the reason, a credit score will affect your ability to borrow money and will especially affect your interest rates. Fortunately for you, we have prepared some tips that can help you improve your credit score.

First of all, you need to make sure that your credit reports are accurate. One study found that errors in credit reports were found in as many as 26% of cases.

The next step is to understand your risk factors. This is very important so that you know where there is room for improvement. Certainly, you will not be able to fix everything, but the more improvements – the higher the credit score!

The thing you may not have known to affect your credit score is paying your bills on time. In fact, this is very important, because it affects as much as 35% of your FICO credit score. This is called a payment history.

Another very important thing that affects the 30% FICO credit score is credit utilization. That actually represents the amount of debt. The goal is to achieve the lowest possible utilization ratio. How is that calculated? If your account balance is $ 3,000 and the limit is $ 10,000, then your utilization ratio is 30%. Although it is recommended that the utilization ratio should be below 30%, for the highest credit score, it is advisable to keep your utilization ratio below 10%.

Do you think that you can avoid these problems by simply not having a credit card? In fact, using a credit card wisely can have a very positive effect on your credit score. If you use a credit card and pay on time each month, you build a positive payment history. In addition, if you keep credit card spending to a minimum, you’ll have a low utilization ratio. This way, you can improve your credit score on things that together make up as much as 65% of your FICO credit score!

The rate shopping is something that should also be taken into account because FICO scores ignore inquiries made 30 days before scoring. This means that you need to plan ahead and focus your purchase window because then the impact on the credit score will be minimal.

Every time you apply for credit, the creditor will run a hard credit check. Each check deducts one to five points from your credit score. That is why it is important to think carefully about whether you really need credit at that moment, because it will affect your credit score, which can create problems for you in the future.

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