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New Mexico Lawyers Serving New Mexico's Legal Needs Since 1997

Albuquerque Law Blog

Time-barred debts and bankruptcy

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a controversial decision about creditors filing claims in bankruptcy proceedings after the legal deadlines have passed to collect those debts in lawsuits. This holding may affect our clients on both sides of the issue: creditors seeking to collect on older debts as well as consumers filing bankruptcy for relief from crushing debts, some of which may have become stale.

Brick-and-mortar retailers in the age of e-commerce

Retail businesses that operate largely in traditional malls and standalone stores, rather than growing their online presence, may find it more and more difficult to compete. After all, the costs of major real estate holdings and commercial leases can drive up the retail prices they must offer, lessening competitive strength.

Here at Giddens, Gatton & Jacobus, P.C., in Albuquerque, we represent businesses of all sizes and types, including small-, medium- and large-sized retail operations. Increasingly, retailers are feeling the squeeze of online competition and we are here to provide guidance and legal assistance. One approach some retailers are taking is to file for reorganization bankruptcy as a way to continue their enterprises, but unburden their businesses from expensive commercial leases they can no longer afford.

Drowning in credit card debt? Lifelines are available.

Today let's shine some light on credit card debt. People do not share their credit card balances with friends and family members, considering it private. Some see the use of credit cards as a sign of weakness, but consider that credit cards have allowed some people to survive through tough times like job loss or medical crises.

Filing bankruptcy for your small business: Part 2

Last time, an overview of the Chapter 11 process was discussed to provide you with some necessary information regarding the process and what it can do for your business. This article will delve a little deeper into what you can expect if you pursue this option to help resurrect your small business.

Of course, you must file a petition, develop a plan of reorganization for court approval and wait to emerge from the process with the opportunity to be profitable and have fewer debts. However, small businesses receive slightly different treatment than large ones do when they enter into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

More credit-bureau data changes taking effect in September

We recently posted information about steps being taken to improve the quality of consumer data that the three major credit bureaus use to evaluate people's creditworthiness. In that blog post, we explained that Experian, TransUnion and Equifax entered into a settlement with 31 state attorneys general called the National Consumer Assistance Plan.

Improvements already made

Pursuant to the settlement terms, steps to improve data quality and reduce errors have already been taken concerning:

  • Tax liens
  • Civil judgments
  • Debts like traffic tickets or court fines not associated with personal contracts

The business of filing bankruptcy for your small business

It takes a lot to make a small business succeed. From a strong business idea to securing investors to earning a profit, success often does not come cheaply or quickly. Over time, you may find that your business is no longer able to manage financial obligations effectively. You are behind on payments, creditors are starting to call, and you ultimately see no way out.

At this point, it may be necessary to seek the protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy uniquely suits businesses, and you may find that it is the most prudent way to secure a stable future for your company. If you are overrun by business debt, you will benefit from an explanation of how Chapter 11 could be right for you.

Dangerous Albuquerque bus stop illustrates accident liability issues

Here at Giddens, Gatton & Jacobus, P.C., we fight for justice and recovery for our New Mexico clients who have been the victims of motor vehicle accidents of all kinds. Our representation includes those who have been hurt in pedestrian accidents, which can be particularly dangerous given the fragility of the human body in the face of forceful contact with a heavy vehicle.

Poorly designed bus stop

KRQE News 13 published an online article about a northwestern Albuquerque bus stop that is particularly dangerous to users. An Albuquerque resident who uses a wheelchair was interviewed about his attempts to raise awareness of the unsafe design of stop 3003 on Coors near Eagle Ranch Road.

Do you have a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one?

There is nothing that can bring back a loved one who passed away, but when you are experiencing this type of loss due to the negligent or reckless actions of another person, there are certain steps that you can take to protect your rights and hold liable parties accountable for wrongful actions.

Not every grieving family has grounds to file a wrongful death claim, but it could be a viable option for you. If you believe that you may have a case, a reasonable first step would be to seek the help of a New Mexico attorney who can identify your legal options and assist you as you move forward with the appropriate legal action.

Accuracy of credit-bureau data to improve July 1

Beginning July 1, the three major credit bureaus will not consider public tax liens or civil judgments in analyzing the consumer creditworthiness unless specific new standards of data reliability are met. This change is pursuant to a settlement called the National Consumer Assistance Plan that involves these bureaus - Experian, TransUnion and Equifax - as well as the attorneys general from 31 states.

Rules to improve credit-score reliability

According to CreditCards.com, the new rules are meant to better the accuracy and currency of data used by the credit bureaus to determine credit scores for consumers. For example, to consider a tax lien or civil judgment against a consumer, a credit bureau must be provided with the person's name, address and either birth date or Social Security number. This information will now have to be verified on an ongoing basis at a minimum of every 90 days.

Reportedly, two of the credit bureaus have even told clients they will not use civil judgments at all going forward

New Mexico has a relatively high home foreclosure rate

Clients often come to us with complex money problems that can include potential loss of homes through foreclosure when monthly mortgage payments become impossible because of unemployment and other factors. While the number of foreclosures nationally in May 2017 had dropped 19 percent over the previous year, New Mexico ranked number 8 of all states for the number of foreclosures, according to ATTOM Data Solutions as reported by credit.com.

New Mexico foreclosure rates

Specifically, the May 2017 New Mexican foreclosure rate was 1 in every 1,168 homes, up an incredible 73.5 percent since April 2017 when it ranked number 20. Since May 2016, however, New Mexico's rate has decreased about 11 percent.

The states with higher rates than New Mexico starting with number 7 and ending with number 1 were Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

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10400 Academy Road NE
Suite 350
Albuquerque, NM 87111

Phone: 505-273-3720
Fax: 505-271-4848
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