http://bentzholguinlaw.com Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:00:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Not What It Seemshttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/not-what-it-seems/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/not-what-it-seems/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:24:54 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1813 Debt collectors have been accused of using shady tactics in order to collect, but a class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco in January alleges one of the shadiest tactics yet. Debtors received letters threatening them with criminal prosecution unless they paid alleged debts. The letters all bore the seal and letterhead of a county […]

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Chicago bankruptcy attorneyDebt collectors have been accused of using shady tactics in order to collect, but a class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco in January alleges one of the shadiest tactics yet. Debtors received letters threatening them with criminal prosecution unless they paid alleged debts. The letters all bore the seal and letterhead of a county district attorney. As it turns out, the letters didn’t come from a district attorney, but from a private debt collection firm called Corrective Solutions. A local district attorney actually allowed the company to use his seal and letterhead. If you are struggling with debts in the Chicago area and receiving threatening letters and calls from debt collectors, discuss your options at once with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

Corrective Solutions is a debt collection agency that pays district attorneys for the ability to use their seal and letterhead, leading consumers to believe that they are subject to criminal prosecution if they don’t pay a debt. But there is no criminal prosecution; it’s just a routine civil debt collection. Apparently, however, the problem has become widespread. The American Bar Association (ABA) even released an opinion in November; the ABA concluded that the practice of loaning a prosecutor’s letterhead to debt collectors violates ABA model rules against “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” and the unauthorized practice of law.

This practice isn’t wholly illegal, at least not in California. In fact, the debt collection companies say that it’s authorized by law. In Illinois, one sure way to stop threatening letters and phone calls from debt collectors is bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not right for everyone with debt troubles, but a good bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine if bankruptcy is the option most suitable for your particular situation and interests. Your bankruptcy lawyer can also discuss options and alternatives to bankruptcy which may be more appropriate in your own case. If you are fighting mounting debts and harassment from debt collectors, arrange to speak with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney immediately.

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Hairdryers And The Risk Of Mesotheliomahttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/hairdryers-and-the-risk-of-mesothelioma/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/hairdryers-and-the-risk-of-mesothelioma/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:58:50 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1817 Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the mesothelium, the protective lining that envelops internal organs. The most common mesothelioma begins in the pleura, the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma victims worked where they inhaled asbestos fibers or […]

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Chicago personal injury attorneyMalignant mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the mesothelium, the protective lining that envelops internal organs. The most common mesothelioma begins in the pleura, the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma victims worked where they inhaled asbestos fibers or were exposed to asbestos dust. Far too many employers and manufacturers who use asbestos have failed over the years to warn people of the dangers and have failed to take appropriate steps to keep employees and others safe. Despite a decline in asbestos use over the last four decades, people are still being diagnosed with mesothelioma. If you are one of them, you may qualify to receive compensation.

The January 2015 issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health highlights the potential link between the frequent use of hairdryers and a heightened risk of mesothelioma. The same qualities that make asbestos a good insulator in construction products also make it ideal as an insulator and heat shield in hairdryers; hundreds of models were once made with asbestos. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled hairdryers that use asbestos in 1979, but many continued to use them. Asbestos crumbles as it deteriorates, and mesothelioma can take years to develop, so people who worked with these hairdryers years ago, in some cases, are only now being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Older people who worked around hairdryers when they were younger should be particularly aware of the risk of mesothelioma and learn the symptoms. Mesothelioma victims in the Chicago area can seek compensation with the help of an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney. You may be able to recover damages for your medical treatment and related expenses. Help is available for mesothelioma victims, but you should speak to an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney about your case as quickly as possible.

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When A Winter Wonderland Becomes Dangeroushttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/when-a-winter-wonderland-becomes-dangerous/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/when-a-winter-wonderland-becomes-dangerous/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:02:47 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1820 While Secretary of State John Kerry was tackling foreign policy issues in Washington, he overlooked some matters closer to home. Boston city officials issued a ticket to Kerry’s home in January for neglecting to shovel his sidewalk. A citizen complaint was submitted on January 28, when someone uploaded a picture of a snowy sidewalk at […]

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Chicago personal injury attorneyWhile Secretary of State John Kerry was tackling foreign policy issues in Washington, he overlooked some matters closer to home. Boston city officials issued a ticket to Kerry’s home in January for neglecting to shovel his sidewalk. A citizen complaint was submitted on January 28, when someone uploaded a picture of a snowy sidewalk at the home where Kerry has been living since 1995. While Secretary Kerry probably won’t be sued for failing to remove snow from his own sidewalk, Boston is fining the former senator and presidential candidate fifty dollars.

If you own a business property in the Chicago area, you probably remove snow and ice to clear walking paths for employees and customers – and to avoid personal injury lawsuits. If you are injured by slipping on snow or ice, discuss your injury and your legal options at once with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney. If you own a commercial property, make certain that your drains and gutters operate properly. Any “unnatural” accumulation of snow, ice, or water around drains or under gutters can be dangerous. Water that accumulates on a sidewalk or a parking area where people walk can create a dangerous ice patch, and you may be liable for injuries that happen there.

Check for leaks. A leaking roof or canopy can create a treacherous patch of ice. It’s the kind of tiny detail that can easily be overlooked and lead to a lawsuit. A burst pipe which spills water into an area where people walk can also create a dangerous condition. When you remove snow, if it’s pushed to an uphill location, melting water can roll downhill and create a hazard. If the water drains to an area where customers are expected to walk, it can be another dangerous situation. If you suffer an injury by slipping on snow or ice, and your injury is the result of a property owner’s negligence, arrange to speak at once with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney.

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When People Abuse Bankruptcyhttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/when-people-abuse-bankruptcy/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/when-people-abuse-bankruptcy/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:04:38 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1823 If you’re struggling with mounting debts in the Chicago area, and you don’t see any way that you can pay those debts, discuss your rights and options promptly with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is a legal option exclusively for people who want to get right financially, take care of their obligations, and move […]

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Chicago bankruptcy attorneyIf you’re struggling with mounting debts in the Chicago area, and you don’t see any way that you can pay those debts, discuss your rights and options promptly with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is a legal option exclusively for people who want to get right financially, take care of their obligations, and move forward productively. It would be difficult to say that bankruptcy can become an addiction, but the sad fact is that thousands of people repeatedly file for bankruptcy with no intention of following through and completing the procedure. They are simply trying to get out of paying their debts, and they abuse the bankruptcy process when they do that.

One study of bankruptcies in Utah over a two-decade span found that about one in five bankruptcy filers were routinely abusing the system. The abusers repeatedly filed bankruptcy to take advantage of the automatic stay that halts foreclosures and wage garnishments. Even though their bankruptcies were eventually dismissed, those people still had the benefit of a temporary reprieve from collections.

The study also determined that overwhelmingly, most people filing for bankruptcy are not abusing the system. They were very typical people who simply had some debt troubles – like many of us – and needed some help. A good bankruptcy attorney is always able to help clients like that. And if you’ve had a previous bankruptcy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are abusing the system. If you need help, talk to a good bankruptcy lawyer.

While it’s not right for everyone, bankruptcy is the only option for some, and if it’s right for you, you’ll still have to determine – with your attorney’s guidance – the type of bankruptcy and the specific terms. Complicated paperwork and documentation are required, and any mistake can be costly. In the Chicago area, if you face mounting debts that you simply will not be able to pay, don’t wait. Get help now and contact an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney immediately.

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Condo Associations, Injuries, And Your Rightshttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/condo-associations-injuries-and-your-rights/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/condo-associations-injuries-and-your-rights/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 04:08:32 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1825 A West Loop woman has sued her condo association and a property management firm in Chicago. She’s alleging that they were negligent for failing to provide adequate security near her condo building’s entrance, where she says she was attacked last year. The woman alleges that the incident occurred March 17, 2014, when she was returning […]

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Chicago personal injury attorneyA West Loop woman has sued her condo association and a property management firm in Chicago. She’s alleging that they were negligent for failing to provide adequate security near her condo building’s entrance, where she says she was attacked last year. The woman alleges that the incident occurred March 17, 2014, when she was returning home and approaching the entrance of the building on West Randolph Street, according to a claim she filed in January in Cook County Circuit Court.

More than 150,000 deed-restricted communities – not only condo complexes but also neighborhoods with single-family homes – are now spread across the nation. If you suffer a personal injury in the Chicago area because of the negligence of a condominium association, discuss your legal rights and options at once with a Chicago personal injury attorney experienced in premises liability cases. Condominium associations in Illinois owe condo owners and their guests a reasonable duty to exercise care in common areas such as sidewalks, pools, and parking garages. A condo association may be liable if you are injured in one of these common areas. Most condominium associations carry insurance to cover personal injuries. Nevertheless, if you’ve been injured, do not accept a settlement before speaking with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Your case may be worth far more than what the insurance company offers you.

If you’ve been injured on property that is maintained by a condominium association, you have the right to be fully reimbursed for your medical costs and related expenses, but you’ll need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and advocate aggressively for the compensation you need and deserve. If you are injured now or in the future on condo association property in the greater Chicago area, speak first with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney. Help is here, but you must take the first step and make the call.

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Fewer Bankruptcies Is Good News For Allhttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/fewer-bankruptcies-is-good-news-for-all/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/fewer-bankruptcies-is-good-news-for-all/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 09:12:56 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1828 Consumers and businesses are filing fewer bankruptcies. This means that the U.S. economy is doing better and that people are having fewer debt difficulties. Total U.S. bankruptcy filings decreased 14 percent in January 2015 from the same period last year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Bankruptcy filings also decreased by 7 percent in […]

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Chicago bankruptcy attorneyConsumers and businesses are filing fewer bankruptcies. This means that the U.S. economy is doing better and that people are having fewer debt difficulties. Total U.S. bankruptcy filings decreased 14 percent in January 2015 from the same period last year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Bankruptcy filings also decreased by 7 percent in Illinois in 2014 over 2013. Still, Illinois had the fourth-highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) in January 2015 with 3.89 bankruptcies for every 1,000 Illinois residents. If you are facing overwhelming debt in the Chicago area, bankruptcy may or may not be the solution that’s right for you, but an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney can help you make the right choices and start you on the path to a debt-free future.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available in Illinois to debtors whose average monthly income for the previous six months is below the state’s median income. In Illinois, the median income for a single-person household is $48,232 annually (as of November 2014). People with higher incomes may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy only by passing a rigorous means test. How your monthly income compares to the state median also determines how long you will be in Chapter 13 bankruptcy if that’s your option. If you earn less than the median income, your plan should not last longer than three years, although the bankruptcy court may extend it up to five years for good cause. If your monthly income matches or surpasses the state median, your plan generally lasts five years, but if you can pay all of your unsecured debt in less time, your Chapter 13 plan may be shorter.

Bankruptcy is complicated, and if it’s your first bankruptcy, it can be quite intimidating. Let a good bankruptcy lawyer answer your questions, address your concerns, and guide you through the Illinois bankruptcy process. If you’re in or near Chicago, and if you see no way to pay your rising debts, arrange to speak at once with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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What A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Dohttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/what-a-wrongful-death-lawsuit-can-do/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/what-a-wrongful-death-lawsuit-can-do/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 10:15:12 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1830 Obviously, nothing can bring back a family member who has tragically passed away. What a wrongful death lawsuit can do, however, is hold the responsible parties accountable and allow the survivors to move ahead meaningfully with their lives. If you believe that a member of your family has died in the Chicago area because of […]

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Chicago wrongful death attorneyObviously, nothing can bring back a family member who has tragically passed away. What a wrongful death lawsuit can do, however, is hold the responsible parties accountable and allow the survivors to move ahead meaningfully with their lives. If you believe that a member of your family has died in the Chicago area because of someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney immediately.

A number of situations can lead to wrongful death, including traffic accidents, workplace accidents, premises liability accidents, defective products, nursing home abuse, and criminal assault. Illinois law provides two options to the survivors of someone who has died because of another’s negligence. The Illinois Survival Act gives the estate of the deceased person the right to bring a negligence claim on that person’s behalf. Surviving family members must go to probate court and open an estate. The court will appoint an executor of the estate, who may then pursue a claim for negligence on behalf of the victim. If that claim prevails, the estate may then receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and in some cases for the victim’s pain and suffering.

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act gives the survivors of wrongful death a second option. The Wrongful Death Act allows the deceased’s immediate family members to bring a lawsuit for the harm they have suffered as a result of the death. To succeed, family members must show that:

– The defendant had a duty to use reasonable care not to harm the decedent.
– The defendant breached that duty.
– The breach of that duty caused the victim’s death.
– The victim’s death caused harm to the plaintiffs.

If a member of your family has passed away as a result of someone else’s negligence in the Chicago area, promptly contact an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney who can explain your options and offer sound legal advice to help you through this difficult time.

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The Meeting of Creditorshttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/meeting-of-creditors/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/meeting-of-creditors/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:47:20 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1758 Every Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Illinois is administered by a Chapter 7 trustee. The trustee’s main task is to sell nonexempt property to repay unsecured creditors. The trustee also looks for fraud, ensures that your paperwork is accurate, and conducts an investigation into your property and your finances. The trustee does much of this fact […]

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Chicago bankruptcy attorneyEvery Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Illinois is administered by a Chapter 7 trustee. The trustee’s main task is to sell nonexempt property to repay unsecured creditors. The trustee also looks for fraud, ensures that your paperwork is accurate, and conducts an investigation into your property and your finances. The trustee does much of this fact finding in the “meeting of creditors,” also called the “341” hearing. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Chicago area, you must attend the meeting of creditors; typically, it’s a 5-to-10 minute meeting where you and your Chicago bankruptcy attorney meet with another attorney called a trustee. Generally, the trustee’s job is to ask you a series of questions and determine if you have any valuable assets that aren’t exempt and can be sold. The trustee also makes sure you haven’t committed any fraud.

You do not see a judge at the first meeting of creditors. The trustee is your contact with the bankruptcy court. There is a judge appointed to your case, but it is unlikely you will see the judge. At the meeting, the trustee will first check your picture ID and Social Security number. You’ll be sworn in. Then the trustee will ask you some standard questions about your assets and debts. Although it’s called a “meeting of creditors,” your creditors generally do not show up. You may dress formally or casually; the procedure is informal, there is no dress code, and you may bring one or several friends or family members if you choose. Bring a picture ID and your Social Security card. Leave your phone in the car; some Illinois courthouses do not allow cell phones.

If you face overwhelming debts in the Chicago area, several options are available, and bankruptcy may or may not be the appropriate option for you. Before filing for bankruptcy or pursuing any other option, discuss your situation and circumstances promptly with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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Social Security Overpaymentshttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/social-security-overpayments/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/social-security-overpayments/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 13:47:16 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1755 Social Security overpayments are common, especially when people receive temporary Social Security disability benefits. Typically, overpayments happen when people get well enough to return to work but continue to receive disability payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA). A Social Security overpayment is a debt you have to pay back unless you file for bankruptcy. […]

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Chicago bankruptcy lawyerSocial Security overpayments are common, especially when people receive temporary Social Security disability benefits. Typically, overpayments happen when people get well enough to return to work but continue to receive disability payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA). A Social Security overpayment is a debt you have to pay back unless you file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not your only option, but if you’re unable to repay a Social Security overpayment and you’re in or near Chicago, speak at once with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer.

Most people who receive overpayments are not aware that they are being overpaid. Most people promptly notify the SSA when they return to work, but if the payments continue, they trust that Social Security is “getting it right” and thus believe they still are eligible for benefits. Most people are confounded when they receive a letter from the SSA demanding repayment, which can be considerable. While taxes, criminal fines, and student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, some debts to the government can be wiped out by a bankruptcy, including repayments to the SSA. Social Security overpayments are treated as general unsecured debts similar to credit card debts and medical bills.

Filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to discharge your debt to the SSA. However, and this is important, if the SSA believes you fraudulently accepted the additional payments – that is, if you accepted payments knowing that you weren’t eligible for them – the SSA can file a complaint in bankruptcy court to have the debt declared nondischargeable. However, fraud is difficult to prove; most people assume that they would not receiving a payment unless they are eligible for it. If you received a large Social Security overpayment in the Chicago area, and you are not able to pay it back, bankruptcy may or may not be the right option. Learn more by discussing your situation immediately with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer.

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The Main Reason For Bankruptcyhttp://bentzholguinlaw.com/main-reason-bankruptcy/ http://bentzholguinlaw.com/main-reason-bankruptcy/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 08:47:15 +0000 http://bentzholguinlaw.com/?p=1750 When you consider why so many people file for bankruptcy in the Chicago area, you may think that poor spending habits, credit card debt, a lack of savings, or unemployment cause most bankruptcies. You’d be wrong. The number one reason for bankruptcy in the United States is medical expenses. If you’re facing overwhelming medical debt […]

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Chicago bankruptcy attorneyWhen you consider why so many people file for bankruptcy in the Chicago area, you may think that poor spending habits, credit card debt, a lack of savings, or unemployment cause most bankruptcies. You’d be wrong. The number one reason for bankruptcy in the United States is medical expenses. If you’re facing overwhelming medical debt and you’re considering bankruptcy in the Chicago area, before you take any action, take the time to discuss your circumstances and options with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

For many, when required medical care is extensive, even health insurance doesn’t provide enough help to make medical treatment affordable. Even if they aren’t forced to file for bankruptcy, medical debt is a huge problem for many; twenty percent of the adults in the United States – about 56 million of us – have medical debt. Since medical costs tend to increase with age, many of those over 65 may have a devastating level of medical debt beyond any insurance or government assistance.

If you are burdened by medical debt that you believe can never be paid, it’s essential to understand the complete range of legal options available to you. For example, you can sometimes negotiate a payment plan with your healthcare provider if you are honest about your financial situation. You also want to make certain that you haven’t been over-billed or double-billed for any medical product or service and that your medical bills accurately reflect what you actually owe. Even the wealthy can quickly be brought down by medical debts, and the more you owe, the fewer options you have. Bankruptcy isn’t the right option for everyone, and it may or may not be right for you. In the Chicago area, if you’re being overwhelmed by medical debts – or any other kind of debt – get the help you really need and consult right away with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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