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Albuquerque Law Blog

Retail bankruptcy on the rise

In April, the Albuquerque Journal reported that five Payless ShoeSource stores will close in New Mexico, including one in Albuquerque. This decision was made in connection with the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

"Chapter 11" refers to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and is a form of business reorganization bankruptcy that usually allows a business to stay open, using a court-approved debt repayment plan to ease the pressure of heavy financial liabilities.

New Mexican motorcyclists: proceed with caution

With summer approaching, New Mexicans, and visitors to the Land of Enchantment who love their motorcycles, will hit the roads in high numbers. Who can blame them? Our state offers natural beauty of such variety and when you explore it on a motorcycle, the wind and sunshine add another dimension to the experience.

Motorcycle-accident liability

Unfortunately, some drivers of larger motor vehicles like cars, vans, SUVs, pickups and even larger vehicles do not drive with motorcycle safety in mind. When a driver negligently or recklessly causes an accident involving a motorcyclist, the driver of the larger vehicle is liable in a personal injury lawsuit under state law for the resulting injuries and property damage of the person on the motorcycle.

Should a crash result in the death of the motorcyclist, his or her surviving loved ones should speak with an attorney about whether a wrongful death claim is an option.

Credit card debt is a serious problem in New Mexico

After the recession, New Mexicans are still struggling to keep their homes or recover from unemployment. A loss of health insurance may have left a mountain of medical debt.

In these times, people may use credit cards to make ends meet - possibly as their only means to buy food, medicine, car insurance, and other necessary purchases, or as the last resource to keep utilities on or make car payments.

Fatal I-25 crash attributed to alleged drunk driver

On a late February Friday night, a drunk-driving suspect tragically rear ended a car containing three young women on I-25 near San Felipe Pueblo. The young women were on their way from Colorado to Arizona. According to KRQE News 13, the driver allegedly was driving with three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system, and may have been driving as fast as 100 mph.

One of the women died and the other two sustained critical injuries, including a head injury. In this case, the driver reportedly faces several New Mexico criminal charges, including homicide by vehicle.

How bankruptcy's automatic stay impacts debtors and creditors

One of the most important features of federal bankruptcy law is the automatic stay. When a consumer or business files a petition for bankruptcy relief in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the petition effectively freezes most collection efforts against the debtor who filed the bankruptcy petition.

In other words, creditors and collection agencies must stop trying to collect debts from the debtor.

Dispelling common bankruptcy myths

Filing bankruptcy is scary for a lot of people. Many see it as a sort of failure, but that isn't completely a bad thing. If you are thinking of filing bankruptcy, it means your financial management has already fallen short of what you would have liked it to be. Sometimes filing bankruptcy simply means you have admitted your own limitations and are ready to regroup and do better.

Consumers believe many myths about bankruptcy that prevent them from learning more about the benefits and freedom of filing for bankruptcy. There are several myths surrounding filing for consumer bankruptcy. It is important to address each of them so you understand the true impact of bankruptcy before deciding if it is right for you.

Loss of employment can quickly bring debt to unsustainable level

After a slow economic recovery, New Mexicans just received the unwelcome news that our unemployment rate is the highest of any state in the country, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Citing the U.S. Department of Labor or DOL as well as state data, the paper reported that the Land of Enchantment's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in January, where it has been stuck for months.

Nationally, unemployment was at a healthier average of 4.8 percent. The reasons may be more state specific than regional, as the Journal said that neighboring Colorado was faring better than we are and in the top handful of states at 2.9 percent.

Do not assume that whiplash is not serious

Most people have had the experience of being involved in a fender bender. After those seemingly minor car accidents, some people may think they are unharmed because they feel no pain immediately. Where whiplash is concerned, it is smart not to ignore what happened. Check in with your doctor just to be safe.

For example, in many cases, symptoms may not arise right away, but could show up days after the crash.

In most cases whiplash resolves in a couple of months. The reason for caution is that sometimes whiplash does not quickly or easily go away, andt can result in long-term symptoms like ongoing neck pain. In addition, what you think may be minor whiplash could be a more serious condition. You should have your physician rule those serious conditions out.

Could fatal truck accidents be prevented? Side guards may be the answer

A crash with a tractor-trailer is terrifying. While the risk of crashing into the side of tractor-trailer may be less likely to happen than rear-ending a truck, the consequences are often more severe. Severe injuries and death are common when cars, in a side collision, end up underneath a tractor-trailer. These crashes may result in the top of the car being cut off, significantly reducing the chance of survival for the victims.

More than 200 people die in this type of accident every year in the United States, according to government statistics. These accidents are almost always fatal - but do they have to be? Experts say these crashes are preventable if tractor-trailers were required to install side guards to keep cars from going underneath their trailers.

Basic considerations in small-business bankruptcy

We have written lately about small-business debt collection. Today we will instead look at the reverse problem: when a small business cannot pay its debts and considers bankruptcy as a potential answer.

Get legal advice

When a small-business faces financial challenges, the owner should speak with an attorney about potential legal remedies. Can the business tighten its belt by cutting back on costs, collecting debts owed to it, laying off employees or taking some other action to better the bottom line?

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