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Albuquerque Law Blog

Reorganizing your debt and keeping your assets with bankruptcy

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, you may not know how you will ever escape your accumulating balances and harassment from creditors. You may know that filing for consumer bankruptcy can offer you a way out, but making the decision to file is not an easy one. 

There are many reasons why New Mexico consumers should consider filing for bankruptcy, and facing threats of foreclosure is one of them. If you are facing the very real possibility of losing your home, you may consider the protections that Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers you. This step could allow you to keep your home, reorganize your debt and eventually secure a stronger financial future.

What is the automatic stay in bankruptcy?

When a debtor files a petition for bankruptcy, an automatic stay of all collection activities against the debtor takes immediate effect. This is a broad, temporary protection for the debtor against legal action to collect the debtor's money or property to satisfy debts.

Application of stay

The automatic stay is not a specific court order. Rather, it springs into existence by operation of law upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition and freezes almost all collection efforts. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court provides notice of the filing to all creditors listed in the debtor's bankruptcy petition.

Are student loans negatively affecting your standard of living?

Many New Mexicans face daunting student loan payments each month that restrict their abilities to buy homes and vehicles as well as, ironically, to begin to put money away for their own children's future college educations. While the federal government and some private lenders offer repayment plans based on income that reduce monthly payments as well as other options like deferment or forbearance, some student loan debtors are either not eligible for relief or even with it, the payments are still very difficult.

Is bankruptcy an answer?

Anyone in this position should talk to a consumer bankruptcy attorney about whether bankruptcy could be an option for relief. Typically, getting student loans discharged (extinguished) in bankruptcy is difficult because the law requires that the loans cause the debtor "undue hardship."

Prescription and OTC drugs could put you at risk on the road

Undoubtedly, you have seen the words "May Cause Drowsiness" on any number of prescription pill bottles and over-the-counter medications. Other warnings talk about not operating heavy machinery (like a car), and other potential side effects of taking a particular medication.

If you drive while taking these types of medications, you could prove dangerous to yourself and others. Did you know that people often face DUI charges while taking drugs bought in a drug store or legally prescribed by a doctor? This is because the drugs impaired their ability to drive safely.

How should you address medical bills?

Overall, you may have been a relatively healthy person throughout your life. However, just like any other New Mexico resident, you could face an unexpected medical emergency. This emergency can feel frightening and put your well-being at risk. In the best case, medical professionals will have the ability to treat your issue and have you back at peak health. Unfortunately, you may once again begin to feel ill after receiving your medical bills.

Medical expenses can immediately seem daunting, and without proper coverage, you could find yourself on the hook for most, if not all, of those costs. Even individuals with savings and other financial safeguards could end up struggling to pay off their balances. In many cases, medical debt can cause people to struggle financially, and you may be among those who need debt relief. What could you do to handle your bills?

Rebuilding your creditworthiness after bankruptcy

At our law firm, we assist New Mexicans who face insurmountable debt with facing their financial problems with creativity and from a position of strength. A variety of approaches to these issues exists, but often our clients ultimately decide to use bankruptcy as the main tool for financial recovery.

Bankruptcy stays on your credit record for 10 years if you used Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy and seven years for Chapter 13 wage earner reorganization bankruptcy. This fact, however, does not have to mean that your financial recovery is on hold during that time. There are many things you can do to rebuild your credit score and make lenders and creditors more open to working with you in the future.

Potential financial challenges for New Mexico tech startups

Nykia Allen, the president of the New Mexico Technology Council, recently spoke optimistically about the technology sector in the state, citing a range of enterprises from tiny startups with ideas in infancy to larger tech companies with more solid financial underpinnings, according to KOB4. She continued, however, with a concern that the recent federal decision to remove the guaranty of net neutrality could slow the upward "momentum" of New Mexico tech businesses.

Allen noted that if "drastic changes" in Internet access are made, the tech "startup scene" could be negatively affected. The article also quotes U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., as saying that if Internet providers "unfairly discriminate against certain companies and consumers," by allowing unequal access, the state economy would be hurt because "innovators and small companies depend on an open, free, and fair Internet."

Stabbing victim recovers in negligent security case against store

Here at Giddens, Gatton & Jacobus, P.C., we represent people in personal injury lawsuits throughout the state of New Mexico who have been injured because of the negligence or wrongful conduct of others. One kind of personal injury claim we handle is called premises liability.

Premises liability actions

Premises liability claims involve the duty of people, businesses and other entities to keep their premises reasonably safe for people invited onto the premises. The classic example of this duty is of a grocery store to keep floors clear of liquid spills and slippery substances so that shopping patrons do not slip and fall, which could cause injury.

Wrongful death suit for death of man in senior living facility

Here at Giddens, Gatton & Jacobus, P.C., we represent elderly individuals who are the victims of abuse and neglect as well as their families in the pursuit of justice. In an extreme case, a wrongful death suit may be called for.

Santa Fe wrongful death lawsuit

In September, the surviving family members of a man who died while in the care of a Santa Fe senior living facility filed a suit in state court for the wrongful death of their father, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and lived there, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The problem with pedestrian accidents in Santa Fe

At our law firm, we represent the victims of pedestrian-vehicle accidents across New Mexico. We recently settled one such catastrophic case for $1.5 million dollars. In mid-September, the Santa Fe New Mexican published a comprehensive article about pedestrian accidents in the city.

In the broader picture, pedestrian accidents have been on the rise across the country and New Mexico is a state regularly experiencing relatively higher numbers of these types of crashes. Of major concern is the contribution of mobile phone use and other "electronic distraction."

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10400 Academy Road NE
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Albuquerque, NM 87111

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