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DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-
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Harassment from Creditors Can be Stopped
If you can’t pay your bills and creditors are harassing you or your spouse, a skilled attorney at our bankruptcy law firm can help. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits creditors from using harassing or abusive tactics when attempting to collect a debt. These unlawful creditor actions include: repeatedly calling after they’ve been told to stop, talking about your personal financial issues with any other individual, calling numerous times to simply make your telephone ring, and threatening to file criminal charges against you.
You should not have to continue living in fear of your telephone or mailbox. In many situations, the law is on the side of the debtor. An attorney can take legal action to put an end to those stressful calls, either by working to negotiate a settlement or by helping you file for Personal Bankruptcy Protection.
Bankruptcy laws in California mandate that creditors must immediately cease all contact as soon as they are informed that an individual has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection. If your creditors fail to stop all contact with you upon learning of your bankruptcy petition, they can be penalized.
Not all Assets are Included in Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy exemptions allow debtors to shield certain assets from creditors. For both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the exemption protections keep property from being liquidated with the rest of the debtors’ assets. Property that is designated as non-
Exempt items typically include:
It is the responsibility of the debtor to disclose all debts to the court. This includes filing a statement of the debtor’s assets, liabilities, and income. A statement of exempt property must also be filed with the Court. In California, Bankruptcy Laws identify two exemption schedules. Each lists items that qualify for exemption based on the type of bankruptcy being filed.
How to Stop the Bank from Foreclosing on Your Home
A financial crisis does not have to be the cause of losing your home. For homeowners having trouble paying their mortgage on time, a bankruptcy may be critical in helping them keep their home. When payments are skipped, the mortgage company has the right to pursue legal action. To stop the foreclosure, a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can work quickly to help you. Possible solutions may include the use of injunctive relief or bankruptcy to help you keep your home.
It is important to note that homeowners in this situation have rights, but they must act quickly. Lenders may file a Notice of Default when a borrower skips payments. The foreclosure process may seem quick to homeowners who do not take preventative measures upon receiving the Notice of Default. Issuing a Bankruptcy Petition will immediately halt foreclosure actions through the automatic stay.
The debtor then files a plan for repayment of the debt which ensures priority creditors are guaranteed to be paid. After the court approves this plan and repayment schedule, the debtor begins making regular payments to a Bankruptcy Trustee. It is the Bankruptcy Trustee who completes the payments to creditors. Halting foreclosure through bankruptcy can be an appropriate solution for debtors with first and second mortgages.
Contracts are Strategic Business Tools
A written business contract can be a strategic tool for a business owner in many different ways. These legal documents support the company’s decisions and can protect the business and its owners from liability. The contract clearly outlines expectations that all parties have mutually agreed upon. This helps to avoid misunderstandings in dealings with other companies and outside vendors. A contract can identify the price and quantity of products or services being exchanged. This can be beneficial to the company because the agreed upon monetary figure will have been negotiated and accepted. The contract locks in a price which cannot be changed without notice. This can help a business stay within budget.
Business contracts can help a company focus on achieving objectives. Because a contract clearly lays out the position of the company, it is not open to interpretation. This can help avoid misunderstandings within the same company. The terms and conditions of the contract must be fulfilled, and the full scope of work rendered in the manner identified in the contract. This can be a strategic advantage for the company as it is focused in a certain direction.
The Importance of a Partnership Agreement
A partnership agreement formalizes the business arrangement between partners. In the beginning, individuals tend to eagerly embark upon a new business venture. They usually agree on most elements of the business, however there can be issues that were never discussed. A written partnership agreement can ensure each partner understands the expectations of the other. The agreement can protect the business and the partners from liability. It can also protect their investments if there were any misunderstandings between the partners. The agreement will clearly define who controls which aspects of the company.
In addition, a partnership agreement can provide a plan for how each partner will proceed during certain unexpected situations. For example, in the event the partners cannot agree on an important issue, the contract can require mediation. This may keep the dispute from turning into costly litigation. A partnership agreement can also guide partners as they grow or dissolve the business. The agreement should provide guidance if the business does not perform as expected, or if one partner seeks to remove the other due to non-
Customize each Business Contract
A business contract is a complex legal tool that can protect the business and its owners from personal and professional liability. The contract must be customized to ensure it is legally enforceable in the event of a dispute. Although it can appear that contracts are similar, it is important that an attorney drafts, prepares, or reviews the contract prior to it being signed. Using a generic template to create a business contract is not advisable.
Just as each business is unique within its industry, the business contract should reflect the objectives of the company. Not only does it need to align with the company’s objectives and growth targets, it needs to stay within state, federal and local legal boundaries. Each industry has sections and provisions that must be included. For example, the provisions which apply to a construction company’s contract would not apply for a barber shop. In addition, the laws are continually evolving. A contract that worked last year may need to be significantly changed to comply with a new set of regulations. Because a written contract is legally binding and enforceable, it is critical that it contain the required elements, or it will not stand up in court.
How do I know if I have a Valid Real Estate Contract?
A real estate contract must have several elements to be valid in California. To ensure you have a valid real estate contract, consult an experienced real estate attorney. A real estate lawyer can review the terms and help you understand your rights and obligations. If necessary, the attorney can negotiate on your behalf for a better outcome. Real estate contracts frequently include language for remedies in the event one party breaches the terms of the contract. When a real estate contract is valid and enforceable, one party can sue the other for breach of contract, interference with another existing contractual relationship, fraud, failure to disclose facts, and other reasons.
How to Minimize the Risk of Construction Dispute
Whether you are the developer, contractor, supplier, homeowner, subcontractor, commercial property owner, or another party involved in the construction of new buildings or the remodeling of existing structures, you want the project to go smoothly. In the perfect world, it will be completed within the budget and timeframe that has been allotted. In the real world, sometimes there are unexpected curves thrown in the way. When this happens, it is necessary to take a look at the construction contract to determine exactly what was supposed to happen, when it was supposed to happen, and who was supposed to handle this part of the project.
The construction contract, when crafted properly, is basically the roadmap for your entire project. The contract legally binds all parties in a business relationship and each party is contractually obligated to satisfy the terms of the contract. If an element is missing from the contract, the project may incur costly delays. If one party thinks something is being handled in a certain way, but the other party is unaware or continues with the wrong materials, the work may need to be redone and permits may be put in jeopardy. This type of miscommunication and misinterpretation of the project’s goals can be avoided when the contract is properly written.
The construction contract can help you realize the highest possible profits while also protecting you and/or your business from liability. Contract disputes are often the cause of construction disputes. At the Law Offices of Robert Spitz, we have been handling complex construction disputes for more than 40 years. We draft, negotiate and review these contracts to ensure our client’s interests are safeguarded and the terms and conditions consistent for the project’s success.
Many times, homeowners and property owners are excited to get the process started. It is understandable that you want to see progress as your vision becomes a reality. However, it will be better in the long run to take a few minutes before signing the contract to make sure you understand your obligations and make sure certain details are not left out. You may also want to contact an experienced construction attorney to review the contract.
Establishing an Easement in California
An easement allows for the legal use of property, or a portion of property, by others. Different types of easements are created in different ways. An above ground or underground easement may be necessary for use by a utility company. An easement by prescription happens when a property is accessed regularly by others over a certain period of time. There are numerous types of easements and these are generally established through court action. An experienced real estate attorney can help you when establishing or refusing an easement on your property. In easement and boundary disputes, the claimant may bring a title lawsuit to establish a right to the real property.
Refusing Eminent Domain
As a homeowner, business owner, or rural property owner, you naturally want to protect your assets. California’s eminent domain laws allow the government to seize any property and re-
How can Zoning and Land Use Laws affect Your Property?
A property can only legally be used in the manner prescribed by local zoning and land use laws. When the federal, state or local government passes legislation to change the zoning laws, your property may be affected. Homeowners and business owners face complex challenges when new restrictions and rules are placed on parcels of property. Often, these new laws affect thousands of property owners. In some cases, land is identified for economic redevelopment. Homeowners may be forced to relocate out of a business zone. In other cases, land may be identified for use by wildlife. These environmental laws may require businesses and homeowners to move or modify in order to operate within specific areas which minimize any negative impact on wildlife.
7 Benefits for Business Owners who Form an LLC
Limited Liability Companies combine some of the positive aspects of corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships while leaving out some of the associated drawbacks. Generally, an LLC offers seven key benefits:
1. Flexibility of Ownership – An LLC can be single-
2. Flexible Profit Sharing – Multi-
3. Limit on Personal Liability – Like a corporation, an LLC is viewed as a separate legal entity. If the business is sued or is unable to cover its debt, the personal assets of the owners/members are protected.
4. Fewer Taxes – A Limited Liability Company benefits from “pass-
5. Increased Credibility – When a business is identified as an LLC rather than a sole proprietorship or partnership, it is recognized as a more formal business structure. This can increase credibility in the eyes of customers and business partners.
6. Less Paperwork and Admin – There are far fewer requirements for an LLC than for a corporation. For example, unlike a corporation, LLCs do not have to appoint officers, hold annual meetings, or record resolutions and company minutes.
7. Name Registration – Sole proprietorships and partnerships must use the owners’ names as the business name, but an LLC can choose a unique name. After registration, no other business will be able to use that name as long as your LLC is active.
What to Know When Starting a New Business
There is a lot to do when starting a new business. Certain items are especially vital to the future success of the enterprise. Owners can avoid problems by preparing ahead of time and by ensuring they are compliant with applicable regulations.
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises down the road. Make sure of the following:
Compliance is an important issue that involves making sure your business and any employees follow the laws, standards, ethics, and best practices for your type of business. Help your business avoid penalties and other problems by maintaining proper compliance:
Consulting an experienced business attorney can help you make informed decisions. This will help you progress towards your business objectives.
How a Business Attorney Can Help with Business Formation
While there are some steps that you can do on your own when starting a new business, there are notable benefits to having the guidance of a business attorney. Making prudent choices from the start can lay a stronger foundation for success and help you avoid expensive, time-
Specific services provided by business formation attorneys include handling the documentation and filing that may be part of the new business’s requirements:
When you meet with a business attorney, be prepared to explain your concerns and goals for your new enterprise. The attorney should review your situation, answer your questions, and explain how to avoid issues that could arise while productively moving towards your business goals.
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|Business Formation Info Sheet|