Who are Debt Collectors?

When you fall behind on a debt for an extended period of time, creditors will often send your account to “collections.” As many of you probably already know, this means that you will have a debt collector calling and writing to you in an attempt to collect on the debt. Millions of Americans are pursued by debt collection companies every year, however, very few are familiar with their business model, the laws that regulate them and how best to put a stop to their abusive tactics. As a bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve seen this time and again. This post will help you get up to speed on the debt collection industry and give you practical tips for dealing with the letters and phone calls.

Who are Debt Collectors

Who are these shadowy figures that call at all hours to collect on past-due debts?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a piece of federal legislation that regulates the activity of debt collectors. The FDCPA defines debt collectors as:

any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.

Just as the name implies, debt collectors are individuals or businesses whose primary job is to collect debts. Although they usually have funky names like RNC Financial or Arrow Financial Services, collection law firms who regularly pursue past due accounts qualify as debt collectors. It is important to be aware be aware that original creditors, such as a bank or credit card company, will not be governed by the FDCPA because they do not fit the definition of a debt collector. The principal purpose of their business is not to collect debts. Generally speaking, the only time an original creditor will qualify as a debt collector under the FDCPA is when they use a name other than their own to collect the debt. In these cases, the FDCPA considers creditors to be debt collectors because they are behaving like collectors.

How do debt collectors get paid?

There are two common arrangements under which creditors work with debt collection companies: contingent payment and debt sale. Under a contingent payment arrangement, the original creditor hires a debt collection company to pursue a delinquent debt, with the collection company receiving a percentage of the amount they are able to collect. Depending on the type of debt, the age of the account and how many attempts have already been made to collect on it, the fee for successfully collecting could range from 10% to 50%. The advantage for debt collectors in a contingent arrangement is cost; they aren’t required to front any money in order to gain the right to pursue the debtor.

By contrast, the second most common arrangement under which creditors work with debt collection companies, selling debt, requires debt collectors to purchase past due debts so that they can then try to come after the debtor for the full outstanding balance (or as much of it as they can get). In cases where a borrower has fallen behind and the creditor views the likelihood of successful collection to be small, they may elect to sell the debt at a highly discounted rate to a debt collection company. For example, Creditor X is owed $500,000. Based on the financial picture of the borrower, Creditor X calculates a very small likelihood of collecting the full outstanding balance. In order to recoup some money, Creditor X sells the $500,000 debt to a debt collector for $100,000 or 20% of the outstanding loan balance. The debt collector then pursues the debtor for as much of the outstanding balance as possible. Everything they collect over and above $100,000, is profit.

Consumers need to be aware that the sale of debt in no way guarantees that the debt collector has the legal right to collect. In many cases they do not. Numerous articles have been written on this Forum about debt collection companies who buy “zombie debt,” i.e. debt that is no longer owed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. In other words, it is not uncommon for debt collection companies to try to pursue consumers for debts that they do not legally owe.

Who regulates debt collection companies? How can I stop them from calling?

Debt collectors are regulated by state and federal law. The scope of this article is to short to address all of the various state laws on the subject, so we will continue to discuss the federal FDCPA instead. I you have questions about your state’s consumer protection laws, it’s always best to contact a local attorney.

Now back to the FDCPA. In order to address widespread abuses in the debt collection industry, Congress passed the FDCPA in order to rein in the tactics of debt collectors. The FDCPA prohibits abusive or coercive behavior in pursuit of a debt and awards consumers statutory damages of $1,000 for each violation of its code of conduct.

Specifically, debt collectors are prohibited from contacting 3rd parties, such as family members and friends of the borrower, when they have knowledge of the borrowers current contact information and address. They must limit collection calls to reasonable hours and must not intentionally harass debtors. Further, once a consumer communicates to a debt collector in writing that they wish for communications to cease or the collector learns that the debtor has hired an attorney, the collection efforts must stop.

Always send written correspondence via fax or certified mail so that you can prove it was sent. If it becomes necessary to pursue a claim under the FDCPA, proof of written communication will help your case.

Debt Collector Law Summary

Debt collectors are third-party businesses whose sole purpose is to collect debts. Under federal law, original creditors do not qualify as debt collectors unless they are attempting to collect under a different business name than was used to extend credit in the first place. Debt collectors get paid when they collect on delinquent accounts; either as a percentage of what they’ve collected or after purchasing the debt outright. State and federal law regulate the debt collection industry. The FDCPA prohibits abusive or coercive tactics on the part of debt collectors when they are pursuing a debtor. If you find yourself overwhelmed by collection calls or letters, it is always a good idea to meet with a local attorney. There are powerful laws that can help.

Free Consultation with Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a bankruptcy case, call Ascent Law now at (801) 676-5506. Attorneys in our office have filed over a thousand cases. We can help you now. Come in or call in for your free initial consultation.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Different Types of Liability in a Restaurant or Bar

Running or owning a restaurant can be a really fun experience. It can also take up a lot of your time and require your full responsibility. Not only for your actions, but the actions of others.  If you run a restaurant or plan to buy one in the future here are a few liabilities you will want to consider.

Different Types of Liability in a Restaurant or Bar

DUIs

One of the most common types of liability in a bar or restaurant are those that revolve around DUIs.  Somewhere around 30% of the traffic fatalities that happen each year are due to DUIs.  But, don’t think that regular automobiles like cars and trucks are the only thing to look out for.  If you have an establishment, for example, in the mountains that allows snowmobile drivers or people on ski-lifts to get off and come in your restaurant, these people are also a liability.

Make sure that you purchase a Liquor Liability Policy if you plan on having liquor or alcohol in your establishment.

Activity Hazards

At first thought, you might not be able to think of any activity hazards that might happen in your establishment. But, here are a few to get your brain moving:

– Mechanical Bulls
– Falling from Chairs
– Bar Fights
– Burns from the bartenders flaming alcohol trick
– Making bananas foster or other food items in front of tables

These hazards aren’t just for your patrons either. They cover your employees as well.  In order to properly be covered for Activity Hazards in your establishment, you need to write down exactly the types of risks involved and put them on your insurance application so that the agent can give you the right amount and type of coverage.

Missing Exit Zone

If you do not have an exit zone in your establishment OR you do but the light on the sign is broken or out, you could be asking to get sued not only by anyone in your establishment that might get hurt because of an emergency, but  family members of anyone who is killed in the event of an emergency.  This light should always be on and should never be blocked.

Flammable Decorations

In the same way, you need to recognize possible injury for activity hazards, you also need to recognize the possibility of flammable decorations and injuries as well.  Burns are painful, but they also can disfigure a person so not only would you be paying for an individual’s medical treatment, but also pain and suffering which can be incredibly high.

Decorations such as Tiki torches are a great example of flammable decorations.  They look great, they might add to the atmosphere or theme of your establishment, but is that really worth possibly injuring someone and then, in turn, getting sued for it?

Probably not.  Tiki torches aren’t the only flammable decorations, so are outdoor heaters, fireplaces, Chinese lanterns, etc.

When looking for insurance for your establishment, make sure they have loss control inspections.  This enables a Risk Management professional to come in and tell you which areas or processes in your building might be problematic.

Essentially they are your go-to person for figuring out what items, activities, or even food items in your establishment carry the most risk.  (i.e., a mechanical bull.  It may seem like a fun thing to put into a bar, but without the proper insurance and proper forms for your patrons to sign, you could be in big trouble if someone gets injured.)

Free Consultation with a Utah Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Source: http://www.ascentlawfirm.com/different-types-of-liability-in-a-restaurant-or-bar/

Estate Planning for Blended Families

When parents remarry, children naturally feel the need for security and love from their parent. A blended family can be a major adjustment for all children and spouses. With some thought and planning, you can ensure that all of your loved ones are provided for in your estate plan, and ensure that your family remains harmonious and integrated even through the most stressful times.

Estate Planning for Blended Families

An estate planning lawyer can sit down with you and your spouse, learn your unique needs and concerns, hopes and fears, and then craft a custom estate plan and gifting strategy that will respect your wishes and ensure they are carried out.

Second Marriage

So you’ve gotten married, have settled in, and are ready to start your new life with a wonderful new life partner. Congratulations! Second marriages present many opportunities for happiness and fulfillment. They also present the opportunity for spouses to work together to prepare a comprehensive estate plan that considers the needs and concerns of both spouses, their respective children, children born into the marriage, and any goals the new family has set for their future.

Considerations in Estate Planning

When spouses have prior children, unique estate planning strategies are needed to ensure that the blended family remains harmonious and cooperative throughout the marriage and after the death of one spouse. We are all too familiar with the family contention and discord that happens when a parent dies without an estate plan in place. Add the concerns presented by children from multiple marriages and it becomes readily apparent that a comprehensive estate plan and gifting strategy is more important than ever: a plan that considers the assets of each parent, their wishes to help their children later in life, and the new couple’s own children’s needs, possibly.

Many people feel that leaving their property to their spouse at death is the easiest way to deal with estate planning. But vague assurances or even the most optimistic of hopes that the children and surviving new spouse can work it out are no substitute for a real estate plan. Leaving property to the spouse does not ensure that all the children of both spouses are provided for. It can also result in unwanted tax consequences, eroding the legacy you worked so hard to provide. Children from the previous marriages need to feel security: they need to know that with dad’s new wife or mom’s new husband, they will not be forgotten. Cherished family heirlooms are meaningful to them, and they want to make sure special memories stay in their lineage.

Beware of joint tenancy

Property held in joint tenancy poses a special danger for the blended family: when one spouse dies, title automatically transfers to the surviving spouse and becomes part of his or her estate. Eventually, it will pass to the children of the surviving spouse only. Your children may have grown up in and become attached to that home, but may end up disinherited from those fond sentiments while the home goes to their step-siblings who do not have the same emotional investment in it.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Dismissal After Passing Chapter 7 Means Test

Back when the bankruptcy laws were changed in 2005, a hard calculation was implemented, based on household income and household size, to determine whether or not a bankruptcy filer was making a “decent” living, and should be disqualified from discharging debts completely in Chapter 7 without repayment.  This hard calculation has been dubbed The Means Test–i.e., Does the filer have the means available to repay at least a portion of their debts in a Chapter 13 payment plan?  If the answer to this fundamental question is “yes”, then filers risk dismissal of their Chapter 7 case for “abuse.”

Dismissal After Passing Chapter 7 Means Test

Passing the Means Test and Still Having Problems

What is perplexing to some prospective Chapter 7 filers is this:  You can still “pass” The Means Test, but still run afoul of qualifying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  The converse is also true:  You can “fail” The Means Test, but still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  The Means Test is simply a burden-shifting mechanism.  If you “pass” The Means Test, then there is a presumption that you qualify for Chapter 7 and anyone that disputes that fact has the burden of proof to demonstrate that you do not qualify.  If you “fail” The Means Test, then there is a presumption that you do not qualify for Chapter 7, and now the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you do qualify for Chapter 7.  In short, The Means Test is not as straight forward as most would like it to be.

Two Time Periods for Analyzing Chapter 7 Income

Income, for the purposes of Chapter 7, is analyzed within TWO different time periods.  First, The Means Test measures the total “regular” income received in the six months prior to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and averages that income (less social security types of income).  Second, the “present day” income that exists on any given day during the administration of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is also taken into account.

Example: You’re Employed Leading Up to Bankruptcy

Example 1:  If you have been employed leading up to filing bankruptcy, were making a good wages, were suddenly terminated, and then filed for Chapter 7 right away, there is most likely a “presumption” that you do not qualify for Chapter 7 based on your historical income–i.e., you will “fail” The Means Test.  The reality is, though, you do qualify, because, as of the filing of the case, you are unemployed, and you do not have the means available to repay creditors in a Chapter 13 payment plan.  So, the “present day” income dictates that you should be able to rebut the presumption that you do not qualify for Chapter 7.  In this situation, you simply need to demonstrate to the US Trustee that you are not employed, have no pending prospects of future employment, and you do not have the ability to repay creditors in Chapter 13.

Example: You’ve Been Unemployed for 6 Months

Example 2:  You have been unemployed for 6 months, only earning unemployment compensation.  You file for bankruptcy and “pass” The Means Test easily.  Two weeks after filing, you get a job making $150K a year.  On the last day of your Chapter 7 case, the US Trustee files a motion to dismiss your case for abuse.  This is a real-life fact pattern.  Yes, The Means Test was “passed”, but the “present day” income dictated that my Client had the means available to repay at least a portion of the debt in a Chapter 13 payment plan.

What Happens to Tax Debt in Bankruptcy?

Will Bankruptcy Help With Tax Debts?

In some cases, bankruptcy can eliminate back taxes owed to the IRS as well as to state governments, however the devil is in the details. It is certainly not easy to eliminate tax debts in bankruptcy court. If your taxes don’t qualify for discharge and you file for bankruptcy, the IRS will be waiting for you on the other side with additional time to collect your taxes. Under normal circumstances, the IRS has ten years to collect tax bills, penalties and interest from you. Filing bankruptcy temporarily freezes IRS collection efforts, but the IRS then tacks on the 4-5 months bankruptcy period plus 180 days to their collection window. In essence, a bankruptcy filing that doesn’t discharge tax debts will give the IRS close to an extra year to chase you for back taxes.

So when can back taxes be wiped clean by a bankruptcy filing? There are three basic timing rules that apply:

Rule #1: The Three Year Rule

Your tax debts must be three years old from the date they were due. Note that this does not mean from the date you filed. Every year, tax returns are due for most Americans on April 15th. This means that your 2004 taxes are not eligible for discharge until April 15th of 2008. This is the case because your 04′ taxes weren’t technically due until April of 05′ and you calculate the three year period from that point forward.

Rule #2: Your Tax Returns Must Have Been Filed for Two Years Before Bankruptcy

This is where the IRS really puts the debtor between a rock and a hard place. The government knows all too well that many who have fallen behind on their tax bill have also failed to file tax returns. Requiring that the actual returns be filed for two years prior to the bankruptcy prevents seriously delinquent taxpayers from filing late returns one day and bankruptcy the next.

Rule #3: the Tax Must Have Been Assessed More Than 240 Days Ago

This will likely be the easiest requirement to satisfy and essentially requires that the IRS or state taxing authority has formally determined that you owe the taxes you’re trying to get rid of in bankruptcy more than 240 days before you file paperwork with the court. Note that an offer in compromise will delay the 240 day rule while it is pending plus an additional 30 days.

What About Tax Liens?

A tax lien is a public filing that the IRS uses to put the world on notice that you owe them money. Filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy will only eliminate your personal obligation for tax debts, not tax liens that have attached to your property. Any lien recorded prior to your bankruptcy case will survive the filing.

Free Consultation with a Utah Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a bankruptcy case, call Ascent Law now at (801) 676-5506. Attorneys in our office have filed over a thousand cases. We can help you now. Come in or call in for your free initial consultation.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Financial Planning for Beginners

Earlier this year, household debt balances in America rose to $12.73 trillion, the highest in our history. In fact, 73% of us die in debt. With this much debt, it’s hard for many people to reach long-term goals such as retirement savings, or shorter-term goals such as paying for a wedding. Many of us just wing it when it comes to our finances, thereby decreasing our opportunities and our joys in life. But with a bit of planning, we can take control of our finances, which gives us much more control over our lives and our futures.

Financial Planning for Beginners

You will find that the following guidelines make a big difference.

Set Your Financial Goals

We all know it’s impossible to get anywhere without knowing where we want to go. Many of us have more than one financial goal, which means we need to set priorities. That doesn’t mean you can’t work toward more than one goal at once. Think about what is the most important thing to you now:

  • Paying off debt;
  • Contributing to an emergency fund;
  • Saving for short- or medium-term goals, such as paying for a wedding or a vacation; or
  • Saving for long-term goals, such as retiring comfortably.

In order to reduce both your risk and your anxiety, it’s best for most people to prioritize paying down their debt and building an emergency fund but without ignoring their retirement. Of course, your goal setting will depend to a large extent on your priorities in life. Recognize what those are and plan your spending accordingly. For some people, buying a large, comfortable house is paramount. For others, travel and new experiences are more important. Neither is right nor wrong. The point is to plan and act to make your personal goals become a reality.

Pay off Debt

Many people wonder how they got into so much debt and they don’t see a way out of it. But you can climb out of debt with good planning. If you are part of an average American household, you may have $15,654 in credit card debt, $27,669 in auto loans, and $46,597 in student loans. And almost half of credit card holders have revolving debt, meaning rather than paying off their debts every month, they carry it forward. If you have these kinds of debts, you are probably paying thousands of dollars per year just in interest.

Also, if you are in debt, you may occasionally overdraw your bank account trying to cover payments. That’s usually a minimum $34 bank fee and more if you don’t repay the money almost immediately. Banks are thrilled when you overdraw. They make more than $30 billion every year in overdraft fees.

Contribute to an Emergency Fund

If anything is constant it’s that nothing is constant. Life happens, and you need to be have a little cash put away for an emergency. Try to have at least enough money to get you by for three months. Six months is better. Shockingly, about 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in the bank. If you have sudden medical bills, an accident, or lose your job, you need some cushion. If you don’t have an emergency fund, this should be a top priority.

Save for Short- and Medium-Term Goals

Once you have your debts under control and have a comfortable emergency fund, you may want to turn your attention to some short- or medium-term goals. This could be anything from buying a car, going on vacation, or buying a house. Life is to be enjoyed. Just don’t pursue these goals while going deep into debt or ignoring putting money aside for an emergency.

Save for Long-Term Goals

Of course, a long-term goal everyone should have is saving for retirement. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Start putting money aside as soon as you can, even if it’s only $50 per week.
  • Don’t put your retirement behind everything else. It is far too easy to push it off. Don’t steal money from your retirement to renovate the kitchen or fly to the Bahamas for a few days.
  • If your employer will match retirement funds, put in the maximum amount they will match.
  • If you are over age 50, you can make a larger retirement contribution. Do this.

Know Where Your Money is Going

The first step to reaching your goals is understanding what you have to work with. You need to know where your money is going before you can redirect it to be more in line with your goals.

  • Go through your bank statements and receipts and list what you are spending on.
  • Separate your costs into two groups. The first group is fixed costs, such as rent or mortgage payment and insurance. The second group is flexible costs such as going to the movies and other entertainment, eating out, and gasoline.
  • Make a note of your assets and net worth.
  • Check your credit scores.
  • Add up your debt.

You don’t need to go back years. Just take a look at your spending and financial information from the last few months.

Build a Budget

Just as you can’t get anywhere without deciding where you want to go (your goal), you also can’t get there without a plan. Once you have a firm grasp on the money you have coming in, your debts, your expenses, and how you spend your extra money, you need to make a budget.

“Budget” is a word that can strike terror into the hearts of many people to the point that they become paralyzed with fear. The word can conjure images of failure, similar to the word “diet.” There is no need to put yourself through this. Your budget doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. Recognize your personal priorities and be realistic.

If you are saving for a short- or medium-term goal that is extremely important to you such as a big wedding or a vacation, you might be willing to tighten your belt in some areas for a bit. But if you live and die for weekend golf or morning lattes, those may not be the first place to look at cutting your spending.

Just realize you may not be able to have it all, at least not all the time.

Get Help if You Need It

Some people become almost paralyzed with fear when it comes to dealing with their finances. If sifting through your financial records and creating a budget is too much for you, get help. There are various levels of help according to your needs. Help can come in the form of budgeting software, budgeting services, financial advisors, accountants, and bankruptcy attorneys.

The most important thing is that you get started immediately, because your future won’t wait.

Free Initial Consultation with a Utah Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

How to Screw Up Your Bankruptcy Discharge

In the vast majority of cases, the bankruptcy discharge is the primary reason debtors enter the Bankruptcy Court. After all, people file bankruptcy to get rid of debt, and a federal court order is certainly an effective way of making this happen. However, receiving a bankruptcy discharge is not guaranteed, debtors are required to follow the rules and act in good faith if they expect to have their case go smoothly.

How to Screw Up Your Bankruptcy Discharge

Grounds for Objecting to the Bankruptcy Discharge

Bankruptcy offers protection to those who are honest and punishes those who try to game the system. Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code sets out a number of reasons a creditor or trustee can object to a debtor’s discharge and most center around lack of transparency.

If you’re planning on filing for bankruptcy, be prepared to lay all your cards on the table. Section 727 allows for the challenge of a discharge under the following circumstances:

  1. Trying to defraud a creditor, the debtor concealed or transferred property within one year before filing (this includes transferring property that is part of the bankruptcy estate once your case has been filed);
  2. The debtor has destroyed records or failed to keep adequate records;
  3. The debtor has lied under oath;
  4. The debtor can’t explain a loss of assets, in other words they can’t give a good reason why property they previously owned is missing or unaccounted for.

Be Honest with the Bankruptcy Court

When you walk into your first bankruptcy consultation, the focus is mainly on debt. You have debt, don’t see a way out, and are looking to a professional for guidance. The bankruptcy attorney sitting on the other side of the desk is certainly going to give you guidance on how best to deal with that underwater mortgage or high credit card balances, but they’ll be equally concerned with what’s in your garage, on your wife’s finger, and whether you’ve transferred assets to family members recently.

In other words, bankruptcy is about assets as much as it is about debts. When you file bankruptcy, you swear under oath that you have told the Bankruptcy Court about everything you own. Similarly, your attorney represents that, to the best of his or her knowledge, your filed papers are accurate. These promises have meaning and there are consequences if they are broken.

Tough financial times cause stress and people aren’t always at their best when they’re stressed out. No matter how bad of shape you might be in, don’t try to game the system — make sure you tell your bankruptcy attorney everything. Failing to disclose an asset can result in a creditor or bankruptcy trustee objecting to your discharge and they have their ways of finding property. Similarly, giving away or concealing property before filing puts your discharge in jeopardy.

Bankruptcy Trustees Will Investigate

Remember, bankruptcy trustees essentially work for your creditors and make money by keeping 25% of all the property they’re able to sell. If the trustee suspects that you might have left assets out of your bankruptcy papers, they will schedule a 2004 exam and ask you questions under oath. It’s not a pleasant experience.

If evidence confirms that you might have concealed or intentionally transferred property before your bankruptcy case, you’ll be sued. If your discharge is denied for fraud your case will still be administered, meaning you’ll lose all non-exempt assets without any debt relief. The property you tried to hide will be sold and you’ll leave Bankruptcy Court owing all your old creditors.

In severe cases, omissions on bankruptcy schedules can rise to the level of criminal activity and result in prosecution. People do go to jail for bankruptcy fraud.

If you’re thinking of filing for bankruptcy, be sure to obtain the services of a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your state. It could mean the difference of having your bankruptcy denied or getting a discharge.

Free Consultation with a Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a bankruptcy case, call Ascent Law now at (801) 676-5506. Attorneys in our office have filed over a thousand cases. We can help you now. Come in or call in for your free initial consultation.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

An Employee is Hurt During a Workplace Emergency – Can the Employer be Held Liable?

Whenever a crisis arises in the workplace, there is often concern regarding who is liable — whether it’s the government, a healthcare provider or the company itself. Liability during emergency situations is a tricky matter, and many businesses could be held accountable for employee injuries if they respond in the wrong way or fail to respond at all.

An Employee is Hurt During a Workplace Emergency - Can the Employer be Held Liable

Emergency situation liabilities can stem from a wrongful death case to a slip and fall case that may involve a lawyer. This can put a lot of pressure on both employers and government officials from West Jordan, Utah to the rest of the state.

Potential Areas of Liability

Emergency first responders can potentially be held liable under matters of civil and criminal liability. They may be protected by different liabilities and waivers, but there’s still room for egregious conduct when responding to an emergency situation. For instance, an unfortunate slip and fall could arise during an emergency — and first responders could potentially be held liable on grounds of negligence.

Civil Liability

Civil liability is most likely where liability issues are going to arise. Civil liabilities include negligence, intentional harm, privacy violations, discrimination or misrepresentation. Even though one particular employee may have been responsible for an injury, the employee’s company would be held liable, as an employee acts as a representative of his or her company. However, an intentional tort can place blame upon an individual, if intent to harm can be successfully proven.

So if an employee were to intentionally trip someone, resulting in a slip and fall injury, then the employee could be held liable. If an accident were unintentional, then a company would have to hire a good lawyer out of West Jordan in order to ensure a smooth court case.

Defense in Intentional Torts

If you and your lawyer find yourself involved in an intentional tort case, there are two general arguments that you can make: you can either argue consent or necessity. In the argument of consent, such as in the case of a drug injury, one can argue that the patient was informed beforehand of what drug was going to be administered. This argument can also be used if medicine was administered while the person was unconscious.

Another argument that can be used is necessity. This could be used in a case in which someone intentionally causes a person to slip and fall in order to protect the person from further harm. These are a couple of routes that your West Jordan-area lawyer may take if you are involved in an intentional tort lawsuit.

Negligence

In an emergency situation, employers should do everything within their power to assist employees in danger — if not, they could be held liable for an injury due to their negligence. This could be a tough case for your lawyer to argue, especially if you had to opportunity to provide assistance but failed to take action. Your West Jordan-based company could be found liable for an injury due to negligence if you weren’t properly prepared, or breached some kind of employee confidentially.

If you find yourself in court in West Jordan Utah due to a slip and fall case during an emergency situation, use this knowledge and be prepared.

Free Consultation with a Utah Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506