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

November 2014 Archives

Bank of America Seeks Review of Eleventh Circuit Precedent on Second Mortgages

The Supreme Court plans to hear two cases brought by Bank of America concerning liens created by second mortgages where the value of the home is less than the amount of the lien from the first mortgage. In one federal appellate circuit, the Eleventh which takes appeals from certain southeastern states, the Court of Appeals has said that liens representing second mortgages are voidable.

Rationale for Distinctions in How Chapter 13 Wage-earner Bankruptcies and Chapter 11 Corporate Reorganizations Progress

It has just been announced that the company, Digital Domain Media Group (“Digital Domain”), won approval as a bankruptcy debtor for post-petition financing in its Chapter 11 corporate reorganization. As is the case for many companies undergoing reorganization via the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, Digital Domain does not merely want to utilize the bankruptcy process to rid itself of its debts. Rather it seeks to shed enough of its debt so it can put its corporate balance sheet in a position whereby it can continue to operate its business effectively and profitably. Hence, it seeks to secure a special line of financing to keep itself afloat until the bankruptcy process concludes. It is no secret that companies filing for bankruptcy protection face difficult challenges in maintaining enough revenue to maintain its operations throughout the pendency of the bankruptcy case.

Effect of Past Accidents on Your Personal Injury Case

The great Southern novelist, William Faulkner famously said,”The past is never dead. It's not even past.” It is pretty clear Faulkner intended this as some statement of transcendent truth and its impact on one’s personal life. But one could apply it to how past history affects the resolution of current disputes.

Feeling the Heat after Bankruptcy Discharge

Most individuals who file for bankruptcy, particularly a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 action, do so to get a fresh start. When debts are discharged via the bankruptcy, creditors’ rights to collect those debts are severely limited, if not rendered void. However, according to findings reported in the New York Times, several large banks may not have gotten the message.

“Day in the Life” Footage of Auto Accident Plaintiffs in Personal Injury Trials

The overwhelming number of personal injury cases stemming from automobile accidents may consist of a series of witnesses explaining what they believe they saw when they observed the incident or its immediate aftermath. Such a trial may include a litany of doctors testifying to the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries and how it affects the plaintiff’s life. Family members, friends and fellow colleagues may speak to the impact they have seen in the life and attitude of the injured plaintiff. There is no question that this type of testimony, particularly told as a narrative, can provide an accurate picture of the plaintiff’s life after getting hurt in an automobile accident. But video evidence depicting the day-to-day experience of such a person can move a jury to truly empathize with the plaintiff’s plight.

Getting Past the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy

One of the most important features of the bankruptcy process is the automatic stay, which stops those from collecting debts from the party filing for bankruptcy protection. Specifically, under 11 U.S. Code § 362, the filing of a bankruptcy petition operates as a stay of:

Exemptions Available to Chapter 7 Debtors in Bankruptcy Cases

Previously we discussed in a recent blog post the use of the homestead exemption by Debtors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases to protect the equity they have in their home. This particular exemption is but one of several which the State of New Mexico allows Debtors in this state to claim when filing for bankruptcy protection. Other types of exemptions which New Mexico law allows debtors to assert include, but are not limited to, the following:

Proper Pleading in Personal Injury Cases

A very large portion of the people injured in automobile accidents which occur in New Mexico settle their claims with the insurance companies covering drivers who caused such accidents. For those who do not so resolve their claims either because the insurance company denies their insured is liable for the accident, because the claimant and the insurance company cannot agree on a settlement figure or because the three-year statute of limitation is set to expire, that injured claimant will have to file suit in a New Mexico court which has proper venue for the case.

Effect of Homestead Exemption in New Mexico Bankruptcies

In bankruptcy cases filed in the District of New Mexico, individual debtors filing for bankruptcy protection have the right to claim certain exemptions pursuant to either state or federal law, and can elect to use whichever is more favorable to them. Certain types of property or certain portions of the value of assets may be exempt from being sold by a chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee to pay creditors.

Pro-Stacking Policy in New Mexico Gives Way to Place of Contract

When a person gets involved in an automobile accident with someone who does not have liability automobile insurance, the injured party often must look to other available coverage frequently from their own insurance policy. Many such motorists may carry policies which contain uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage so that any damages those policyholders sustain, as a result of an accident, can be covered by their own policies.  For those whose policies have both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage purchased in New Mexico, and have two or more vehicles, they can “stack” the sets of coverage to pay for damages that exceed the limits of either single type of coverage – usually so long as the total damages do not exceed the sum of the limits of both.

Critical Use of Written Interrogatories and Document Requests in Personal Injury Cases

Before an injured party (the “plaintiff”) in an automobile accident files a personal injury against a driver who caused personal injury to the plaintiff, the victim has the chance – often through his or her personal injury attorney – to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company covering the at-fault driver. As part of this process, the attorney – or client – presents or gives the insurance company authority to obtain all of the medical records and bills associated with the injured party’s medical treatment. So by the time settlement negotiations break down and the case gets to court, the insurance company –and by extension its defense counsel – already possess a great deal of documentation relevant to the case.

The Peculiar Meaning of Abandonment in Bankruptcy Cases

In any and all fields of law, certain nomenclature can often have a different meaning than in other settings. The term “abandonment” appears to be one of these words but, upon closer scrutiny, generates some confusion only as to who is actually abandoning property. An order from the United States Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque permitting abandonment of property provides a recent example of this.

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