Disclaimer: Blick Blog discusses topics regarding general legal information for the purposes of educating readers only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Submitting a legal question or receipt of information on this forum does not create an attorney client relationship with attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer or Blick Law Firm. Attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer cannot guarantee a specific result in any legal matter. Also, this website and blog is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Florida.

Filing Bankruptcy | Chapter 7 vs 13

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.20.44 AMBy: Moneer Kheireddine

Bankruptcy. When you think of bankruptcy, you often assume failing to pay back debt and losing everything you own. In reality, however, bankruptcy is a process in which consumers OR businesses can remove or repay some/all of their debts under the protection of the federal bankruptcy court. Bankruptcies can be divided into two types — liquidation and reorganization. Chapter 7 bankruptcy specifically falls under the liquidation category. It’s called liquidation because the bankruptcy trustee may take and sell (“liquidate”) some of your property to pay back some of your debt. However, some items are exempt from liquidation under certain state laws. Not all bankruptcies are the same, despite the similar names.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy has many rules and procedures that must be followed; they typically last three to six months. Within Chapter 7, some of your property may be sold to be lower your overall debt. In return, most or all of your unsecured debts (that is, debts for which collateral has not been pledged, such as medical debts and most credit card debts) will be erased.Not everyone can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, if your disposable income is sufficient to fund a Chapter 13 repayment plan (after subtracting certain allowed expenses and monthly payments for certain debts) Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not be available to you. If you owe money on a secured debt (such as a loan on a motorcycle and the motorcycle is a pledge of payment) then you have the option to continue paying the loan if the lender agree, pay the lender a lump sum equal to the value left on the loan, or allowing the creditor to repossess the property.

Overall, bankruptcy isn’t always the solution. Even though it can wipe out many debts (such as credit card debt and medical bills) there are still some debts it cannot touch. Tax debt, child support and spousal support debt, and several others are still kept after bankruptcy. If Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option you are considering, we here at Blick Law Firm encourage you to contact us at 888-973-5215 for a free consultation in order to help you understand your options.

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What to Look for When Hiring an Attorney

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 12.08.53 PMBy: Moneer Kheireddine

The court system can be a complex and daunting environment. Hire an attorney to explain the courtroom situations and proceedings so that you may be properly prepared and represented should you find yourself in court.

However, what should one be looking for when examining potential attorneys for hire? Here is a list that will guide you on how to go about finding the right attorney to represent you in court:

Ask around. When a legal problem arises in your life, there is a high chance that someone you know may have experienced the same issues. A personal referral to an great attorney is a simple and effective way to find legal representation you can trust!

Use technology to your advantage. Research any attorneys you come across and look for attorneys who go above and beyond the call of action. Those involved in community services or are highly experienced in their fields will go a long way.

Ask questions. When you are looking into potential attorneys to represent your case, no reputable one will turn you away for asking questions. Talk to them to gain an understanding on whether or not they will be the right fit for both you as a client to your specific case.

Look for honesty. An attorney that is going to be representing you should be genuine, honest and ethical in the court of law. Make sure they are upfront about the costs associated with their service, and always make sure you are honest with them in regards to your case for best client-attorney relationship.

Examine their history. Ask your state bar association whether or not the lawyer in question has ever been on the receiving end of an ethical complaint. Knowing how they’ve performed so far can give you a fair amount of insight into whether or not they will be able to represent you to your expectations.

Remember, hiring an attorney, the right attorney, is critical to the success and outcome of your current legal situation. Choosing the best one for you is the first step to ensuring a successful case, so make sure to take the time to look for the best of the best. We here at Blick Law Firm are committed to serving you and to our mission to helping the hurting. If you would like to learn more about our services and offerings, or ask any questions to learn more about what we stand for please contact us today at 813-931-0840.

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American Bar Association | Avvo Legal News

By: Moneer Kheireddine

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.47.45 AMThis week in legal news, Avvo founder and CEO Mark Britton alongside many others took the stage of the first day of the ABA’s House of Delegates meeting and they spoke on several key issues facing the legal industry. One of Mark’s main points was to encourage the audience to “look at this through lens of innovation”. He spoke on several key issues of the industry, and the steps they are taking in order to provide care and support for the legal industry.

Several of his points included facts in regards to trends within the industry, such as the fact that four out of five low-income litigants are unrepresented or a survey that was conducted that said 34 percent of the population believe that lawyers have nothing to offer society. His solution was to “get rid of UPL” and partner with more credible experts instead. He made statements speaking of how the legal industry was made to serve the legal consumer, not ourselves.

Other speakers, such as Bay Area Legal Aid Executive Director Alex Gulotta and Lisa Foster, director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Access to Justice also spoke on the subject of public interest as well as the poor representation of the poor and non-native English speakers. Alex spoke about the “complex maze” faced by people of modest means, and suggests expanding to create a single point of entry in which people who are seeking justice can easily be helped. Lisa Foster spoke on those poorly represented, such as the poor and non-native English speakers, and stated that, “the problem is exacerbated by lack of adequate funding for public defenders in many states”.

Many other speakers graced the stage, but many of them touched on the same basic point in regards to legal matters. Most offered opinions on the downward trend of industry and offered varying solutions to the problems faced in every state within the country. Time will only tell if the issues presented will have any success in being corrected or solved in the coming years.

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Wrongful Death

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.54.05 AMBy: Moneer Kheireddine

Wrongful death — I’m sure everyone has heard this term, but what exactly does wrongful death entail, and how do you know if a passing in your family was due to a wrongful death instance? We here at Blick Law firm wish to help clarify what exactly wrongful death means and how to know when it occurs to you or someone you know.

To begin, wrongful death occurs when someone is killed due to the misconduct or negligence of another. The surviving members of the victim’s family are then able to sue for “wrongful death.” Generally, wrongful death lawsuits occur after a criminal trial, and while they use the same evidence, the required standard of proof is much less than a normal case. A lawsuit for wrongful death may only be performed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

However, in order to present a successful wrongful death case, the following requirements are to be considered:

  • the death of a human being
  • Medical malpractice that results in decedent’s death;
  • Automobile or airplane accident; -
  • Caused by another’s negligence, or with intent to cause harm; The survival of family members who are suffering monetary injury as a result of the death, and;
  • The appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
  • exposure to hazardous conditions or substances;
  • Medical malpractice that results in decedent’s death;
  • Criminal behavior
  • Death during a supervised activity

As you can tell, it’s not as simple as filing the lawsuit. There are many aspects that come into play when filing a wrongful death claim, but remember that by understanding what wrongful death is you can properly file for it when the time comes. If a loved one passes due to the negligence of another or if you have general questions regarding wrongful death or other personal injury issues give us a call today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free consultation.

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Foreclosure Defense

By: Moneer Kheireddine

2015 has proved to be an interesting year for foreclosure within Florida, especially South Florida, with a significant drop in foreclosure cases for the first half of 2015. There has been a 30% drop in foreclosure since this same time just a year ago, and many are remaining hopeful on the positive change this will bring to South Florida residents. However, even with the thirty percent decrease, the region still ranks as the sixth highest foreclosure ratings in the state.

On a brighter note foreclosure activity in general within 2015 has decreased over 22% from last year. This reflects a hopefully bright future for Florida, however the state is still ranked number one in foreclosures across the nation. While foreclosure levels are reaching their lowest levels since 2006, Florida still has a large amount of catching up to do.

So while foreclosures are on a statistical decline, there is still a large amount of foreclosure cases pending. Blick Law Firm is invested in ensuring that you are able to properly understand and prevent foreclosure on your homes. Here are 4 foreclosure tips:

1. Think about selling assets you own. While you may be behind, it’s a sign of good faith to the lenders for you to give up some of your material items to keep your home.

2. Keep up with the lender. When you start approaching the risk of foreclosure, the lender will often offer up solutions to prevent this. Seek proper counsel and and take the best option for you and your loved ones.

3. Ask for a loan modification. Even if the lender denies the modification to decrease your interest or payment reduction, if the case proceeds to foreclosure you will be able to use this in your defense.

4. Remember the rights of the state. No matter what the lender may tell you, the state declares how many days must pass before foreclosure.

We here at Blick Law Firm are here to help the hurting and those in need when dealing with real estate matter such as a foreclosure on your home. We wish to help you with your foreclosure defense! If you have questions about foreclosure or any other real-estate issue, contact us at 813-931-0840 for a free consultation today!

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5 Auto Accident Prevention Tips

Banner3Automobile accidents — They are one of the most critical issues that our country faces today, and to the surprise of many, distracted driving (which is preventable) is one of the leading causes in automobile accidents. In this new age of information, many people cannot rest from their phones or technology for the amount of time required for a morning commute, or refuse to pick up the call from their best friend that they haven’t spoken to in forever while on the road. These completely preventable causes contribute to many of the auto accidents on the road today, however they are not the only reason.

Here are 5 ways to help prevent auto accidents from occurring on the road:

1. Never operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While this is a given, many people assume that simply because they “feel” fine, that they are okay to drive. If you have had any form of alcohol or drugs, not matter how much, DO NOT DRIVE.

2. Always follow the laws of the road.
Do not drive over the speed limit, make illegal U-turns, or drive at speeds unsafe due to the weather or current conditions of the road. Yield and be a defensive driver while on the road.

3. Be rested. It is important to have had a night’s rest and plenty of sleep before you get on the road. You do not want to fall asleep at the wheel, ever.

4. Do not drive distracted. Children, grandparents, blasting music, your phone, GPS, anything can be a distraction if you let it. Your job is to focus on the road. Do not forget what your job as the driver is; to drive.

5. Check up on your car’s basic functions frequently. Try your brakes, test tire pressure, windshield wipers, check the oil, anything that potentially could endanger you on the road.HIT-AND-RUN, LAW-ENFORCEMENT, CAR-ACCIDENT-LAWYER, CAR-ACCIDENT-ARTICLES, BLICK-LAW-FIRM.3

Remember, when you are driving, you are not just responsible for yourself. You are responsible for every passenger in your car. You are responsible for everyone on the road who’s lives you might endanger because of reckless driving. You are in a critical position when you get behind the wheel; one that could change lives in a matter of seconds. Never forget that fact.

The road is a dangerous place, but by practicing defensive driving techniques and being prepared, you can be better prepared for what you might face. Lives are always at stake, but you, the driver, is the only person who can help prevent automobile accidents.

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