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Showing posts from July, 2015

Student Loans and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina most people who for file for bankruptcy are solid, hardworking folks who have encountered tough financial times through no fault of their own. Chapter 13 is a tool they can utilize to regain their financial footing and keep aggressive creditors at bay.


Some debts are dischargeable under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, such as credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans. These "unsecured" debts are not backed up by specific property as collateral (e.g., house or car). One unsecured debt that Chapter 13 treats differently, however, is student loans.


A discharge of student loans is difficult to achieve without an extreme circumstance, such as sever disability. Although student loans will still need to be paid off, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can delay or reduce loan payments throughout the length of your bankruptcy case (often 3-5 years).


With chapter 13, your disposable income each month is paid to your Chapter 13 trustee. Disposable income is…

Social Security Disability and Cardiac Conditions

At the Law Office of William J. Luse we have dealt with many retirees who live in the Myrtle Beach South Carolina area and suffer from heart problems. When your heart or cardiovascular system in general isn't clicking on all cylinders, it may impinge on your ability to work full time.....or at all. If so, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSC) benefits. Social Security has a "Blue Book" listing of Impairments. If your condition is listed, your chances of qualifying for benefits are good. However, the listing contains only the most severe conditions.


If Social Security determines that you don't qualify under the requirements of their Blue Book listing, you may still be eligible for disability benefits based on your Residual Function Capacity (RFC). Your RFD determines the most you can do given the scope of your functional limitations. Your symptoms and the restrictions your medical doctor has placed on you determine your "rating" of sedent…

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

Creating a durable financial power of attorney ensures that someone you trust (the agent) will be able to make financial decisions or transactions for you- for example, pay bills, deposit/withdraw funds, fill out insurance or benefit forms, order property repairs, and so forth-which is especially critical in the event you become incapacitated. You can set limits on the scope of their authority, or establish specific time frames (e.g. while you're hospitalized).


Generally, a durable finance power of attorney is established via a document that is signed, witnessed, and notarized, and typically goes into effect the moment it's signed. However, you can create a "springing" durable financial power of attorney, which grants financial decision making authority only after you have been incapacitated as certified by a medical doctor.


Durable financial power of attorney's offer significant advantages over other financial arrangements. Privacy is maintained. Some proceedin…

What if you did not read your Miranda rights?

At the Law Office of William Luse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina we have found that many people are under the impression that if they've been arrested but haven't been read their Miranda rights, they can't be convicted of the charges.


Wrong.


If law enforcement neglects to issue a suspect their Miranda warning, the suspect can still be found guilty of the crime; however, anything the suspect says under questioning will be rendered null and void.


If a person is in custody, police must inform them of their Miranda rights, if they want to question them and use their responses as evidence. It doesn't matter if the location is in a jail, on the street, or in a hot air balloon. One exception would be a person blurting out "I'm guilty of (fill in the blank)!" before the police had a chance to state the warning (not likely, but possible). If a person is not in custody, no Miranda warning is required and any statement uttered by them may be used at trial.


It…

Misconceptions about Chapter 7 Bankrupcy

Most people in the Myrtle Beach area who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy due so because of monetary stress caused by long term unemployment, legal fees associated with divorce and the financial impact of supporting two households, and the high costs of medical care-not because of irresponsible, out-of-control spending (although those cases certainty exist).


Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not discharge all debts. Alimony and child support obligations are not erased from the ledger, and monetary penalties associated with criminal acts remain in place. A person is usually on the hook for student loans, too, with some exceptions. Tax debts might be reduced or discharged in certain situations, but only if a person files their tax returns.


Some people rack up credit card debt before filing for bankruptcy, reasoning that the debt will be discharged, so why not Well, records will be delved into. If the court sees something suspicious, it will consider it fraud and the debt(s) will not be discharged…

Supervised Visitations

In post divorce situations in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, there is sometimes tension between two premises: 1) It is generally best for ex-spouses' children to maintain ongoing relationships with both parents; and 2) the welfare of the children must not be compromised.


If the custodial parent believes that their child will be harmed in some way with unsupervised visits with their ex-spouse, emotionally or physically, he/she may file a petition with the court requesting supervised visits. Solid reasons and evidence must accompany such a request. General dislike and bitterness toward and ex-spouse are not going to cut it. A hearing will be scheduled during which both parties can state their case and defend themselves.


Reasons a court may order supervised visits include the noncustodial parent  having problems with drug or alcohol abuse; a history of physical and/or emotional abuse; the noncustodial parent and the child have been separated for a long time or have never spent time …

Drive Safely, Grads

Spring means high school and college graduation for may people in the Myrtle Beach area. For some, celebrating includes drinking alcohol. (Of course the legal drinking age is 21, and violations can mean steep penalties.) But if you or a loved one chooses to drink, the Law Office of William Luse wants to make sure you stay safe by following a few tips:


1. If you are drinking, designate a 100% sober driver.


The only completely safe approach is for a designated driver not to drink at all. Even one drink can impair a driver.


It's illegal to drive with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent. For a 120 woman, just one small glass of wine can mean  BAC of .04 which can significantly affect driving. For a man of 180 pounds, just two beers can result in .04 BAC with similar results. Any amount of alcohol could be risky if not accompanied with food.


2. If you're drinking, consider a local driver or taxi service.


Using a local driver or taxi can be an enjoyable and reasonably pri…

Paying for a Totaled Car

If you ever experience the misfortune of being involved in an automobile accident in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, your auto insurance company may determine that your car has been "totaled"-the cost of repairs exceeds a certain threshold of what your car's fair market value (FMV) was prior to the accident. This point of no return differs from company to company, but a typical benchmark is 80 percent. If your car's FMV is $10,000.00 and your repairs are under $8,000.00, the insurance company will pay for repairs. If repairs amount to $8,000.00 or more, your car will be deemed totaled and you will be issued a check for the FMV of your car.


Hopefully the check you receive will equal or exceed the amount you may possibly owe to any money-lending institution. However, certain circumstances may result in your check being for less than that amount. In this scenario, guess who's legally obligated to pay the difference- you are. If you have gap insurance (which covers th…