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How A Bankruptcy Impacts Your Credit

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If you’ve considered consulting a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer, then there’s one question (among many) that has likely cycled through your mind: what’s going to happen to your credit after filing for bankruptcy? It’s a multi-faceted question, but we’ll try to help you understand the general way in which a bankruptcy can influence your credit score.

How Bankruptcy Filings Work

First, it may be helpful to gain a grasp of what chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy do. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy (also known as a liquidation bankruptcy), you’re essentially going “wipeout” on your assets, surrendering them to a court-appointed trustee who will then sell them off to gain money to pay back your creditors. In exchange, your debts are wiped, and you do get to keep some essential, exempt forms of property in your possession.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, instead of providing that debt clearance in exchange for your assets, presents a way to reorganize your debts so that you can keep up with them, and expects you to follow a three-to-five-year plan to repay at least part of what you owe. Following that period, your bankruptcy is over (provided you held up your end of the repayment bargain).

What Bankruptcy Does To Your Credit

Both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies can have a negative impact on your credit score, because they disrupt your debt payment history (an essential factor in determining your credit). You won’t be paying your debts as agreed or to the full amount, so naturally, your score takes a hit. And that’s not all, as bankruptcy also becomes a part of your record.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit reports and impact your credit score for ten years following the date of filing; a chapter 13 bankruptcy will do the same, but only remains on your record for seven years. In either case, it’s going to linger with you, and will likely negatively influence the decisions of future potential creditors and lenders.

Can You Mitigate The Damage?

While there’s nothing you can do to prevent a bankruptcy filing from going on your credit report, you can start changing behaviors so that there’s more positive info on your report outweighing that proverbial “black mark”. Generally speaking, your credit recovery efforts will go smoother if you remember to do the following:

  • Stay on-time with your payments—Paying bills when they are due (and avoiding late payments) is the cornerstone of building back your credit. Make sure you’re making all payments on-time and in full.
  • Stay on-budget with your finances—Poor financial discipline could ruin your hard work and put you back into a tough situation. Therefore, it’s best to plan out a strict budget and stick to it so that you aren’t overspending unnecessarily.
  • Stay on top of your credit report—Monitoring your credit is a critical step in making sure that you know how much you are progressing. It also enables you to catch potential inaccuracies quickly and correct them so they aren’t dragging your score down further.

It’s important to remember, during the course of these activities, that credit recovery is a marathon process, not a sprint. Stay diligent, and with time, you should be able to repair the damage that filing for bankruptcy may have caused you.

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Web3 and Work: A Brave New World

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If you’ve been paying attention for the last century, then you know the internet is the single greatest changemaker of our times. Since the turn of the century, the world wide web has gone from a wild west of read-only information to a tightly structured hierarchy regulated and owned by business. While effective organization has benefitted all users, the jump from Web 1.0 to 2.0 cost us collective ownership of the online space. One of the ways Web 3.0 developers are fixing this issue is by actively contributing to open source projects. The spread and transformation of the internet has made the self-sovereign work revolution possible. 

Web and the future of work are synonymous. Not only are new digital roles seeing triple digit demand surges, but more people than ever are able to work for themselves, setting their own hours and retaining a greater portion of their revenues. By 2028, 90 million people may be self-employed. Even for those who are not, flexible schedules and remote work have become normalized thanks in large part to advances in digital technology. In 2021, 2 in 3 people considered quitting their jobs because they saw more flexible or remote opportunities.

Web 3, Sovereignty, and the Future of Work
Source: Opolis.co
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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?

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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?

If you have a child, you might wonder whether the grandparents of that child have legally sound visitation rights. Are grandparents legally entitled to visit their grandchildren?

The short answer is yes, but only in specific conditions – at least in most states.

Why It’s Important to Talk to a Lawyer

First, understand that this article is meant to provide some introductory information to the topic of grandparent visitation rights. If you are a grandparent seeking visitation rights for your grandchild, or if you’re a parent considering whether you’re legally obligated to allow the child’s grandparents to visit them, it’s important to talk to a family law lawyer.

Visitation rights are a somewhat complex legal topic, especially considering the fact that laws vary from state to state. Visitation rights in Florida aren’t the same as visitation rights in New York, and even within those states, it’s difficult for people without professional education and training to understand the full extent of the laws that apply to them. A family lawyer will help you sort these issues out and decide on your next best course of action.

Grandparent Visitation Rights

Grandparent visitation rights are a relatively recent legal development. A few decades ago, visitation rights only existed for parents, with no visitation rights extended to any other family member. However, these days, every state in the country has specific statutes in place to dictate visitation rights of many non-parents, including grandparents, foster parents, step parents, and other caregivers.

Most states have laws on the books that belong to one of two categories: restrictive visitation statutes and permissive visitation statutes. In states with restrictive visitation laws, grandparents are only allowed to seek visitation rights under certain conditions, like if the parents have divorced or if one or both parents have died. In states with permissive visitation laws, grandparents may be able to seek visitation rights even when both parents are alive and still together, assuming the visitation is in the best interest of the child.

Grandparent visitation rights have been explored by the Supreme court in the past. In Troxel v. Granville, grandparents of a child sought visitation rights after being restricted to visiting only once per month. According to FindLaw.com, “The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the application of the Washington statute violated Granville’s right as a parent to make decisions regarding the “care, custody, and control” of her children. The Court, though, did not make a finding on whether all non-parent visitation statutes violate the constitution; it restricted its decision to the Washington statute in question.”

In effect, this decision didn’t rule that visitation laws are unconstitutional; third party petitioners are still allowed to seek visitation rights in most states. However, parents of sound mind who are fit to raise children are generally given precedence in deciding what is best for their children.

When Is It Appropriate to Seek Grandparent Visitation Rights?

When would it be appropriate for a grandparent to seek visitation rights?

First, it’s important to understand that you may or may not be able to seek visitation rights depending on where you live and the current situation. It’s important to understand the laws in your state before taking any kind of action. A family lawyer can help you explore these laws and choose the best course of action for your circumstances.

Generally, in permissive states, grandparents can seek visitation rights under specific circumstances like:

  • Death and divorce. If one parent has died, or if the parents have separated, grandparents may have more leverage for seeking visitation rights. If both parents have died, extended family members typically have the opportunity to become caregivers for the children – though there are some legal hurdles to jump through in order to achieve this.
  • Dangerous situations. If a grandparent suspects that their grandchild is in a dangerous situation, they may also be granted visitation rights. This is usually a byproduct of a troubled household, and abusive parent, or parents who are struggling with mental health conditions.
  • Unhealthy situations. The grandchild doesn’t need to be in immediate danger for a grandparent to be granted visitation rights. If the grandchild is being raised in an unhealthy way that compromises the child’s best interests, a grandparent may similarly step in.

Also, if Child Protective Services (CPS) removes a child from the home, extended family members like grandparents may have the potential to become that child’s foster parents or guardians. Again, there are several steps to go through to achieve this.

The Bottom Line

In most areas throughout the country, parents are able to make decisions for their children without interference from outside parties, including the state. If you decide you don’t want your child to be visited by their grandparents, you have that right.

However, under certain circumstances and in certain locations, grandparents can pursue visitation rights.

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How to Register a Car in California: Tips for New Residents

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Making a major change in your life can be overwhelming. Moving to a new state and updating your personal and financial information is just part of the process. Things like updating your vehicle registration can seem daunting and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be, and these steps are vital if you ever need the aid of a Bay Area auto injury lawyer in the future.

It might seem complicated, especially when you have to pay fees, transfer titles, and do lots of paperwork. However, if you follow the steps and check them off as you go it becomes much less overwhelming.

Where Are You From?

Depending on if you are registering a vehicle from out-of-state or registering a vehicle from in-state, the steps you take will look different. New residents will have to take a few extra steps, while the process for current residents is a little simpler.

Registering a Vehicle as a New California Resident

As a new resident, the first thing you will need to do is go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish residency. When you go to register a vehicle, you will need this proof of residency as well as proof of car insurance. 

Once you’ve established your California residency, you can submit an application for the vehicle title registration. You will need to have proof of vehicle insurance coverage and the current out-of-state title and registration in order to do the transfer.

In California, a smog certification is also required. If your vehicle hasn’t had this test, there will be additional fees to see if your car passes. Vehicles that don’t pass the smog test will not qualify for registration until they pass the test, or you could be charged a penalty.

You will also have to pay the registration fees, which go up the longer you wait to register your vehicle past 20 days of establishing residency. If you buy a vehicle from a third-party and need to register the car, it must be done within 10 days of purchase.

Registering a Vehicle as a Current Resident of California

If you’re already a registered resident of California the process will be a bit easier for you, especially if you are purchasing the vehicle from a dealership. They should handle the paperwork for you and provide you with a temporary registration until the official one comes in.

If you are purchasing the car from a private party, you have 10 days to register the vehicle. When you buy a car from a private seller, be sure it comes with the owner’s manual, certifications, and has a current smog test in order to make the process easier.

Gather the vehicle title, vehicle registration number (VIN), mileage, smog certification, and the application for registration, as well as money for the fees and taxes on the transfer. If everything goes smoothly, the car is yours and is registered in the state of California by the Secretary of State Office. 

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