Now Offering – Flat Fee Legal Packages!

Balmer Black is happy to announce that we are now offering flat fee legal services that can be purchased directly though our website!!

Our flat flee services include:

Business Startup Packages A & B:

Included with Business Start Up Package A is:

  • 1 Hour In Person or Online Consultation
  • Choice of entity evaluation consultation
  • One Agreement or Contract Template based on your needs

Included with Business Start Up Package B is:

  • 1 Hour In Person or Online Consultation
  • Formation of your Business Entity
  • 2 Agreement or Contract Templates
  • Unlimited Month of Email Follow Up with an Attorney

Estate Planning:

Will

  • With our Will package you will receive an in person or phone consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys. After your consultation, our attorneys will put together a draft of your Will and forward it to you for review. This gives you an opportunity to carefully review your Will and ask our attorneys any questions that you may have. Upon approval of the draft, you and your attorney will execute a final copy of your Will.

Power of Attorney

  • A Power of Attorney is an important document granting some, a principal, power to act as you. As the “principal,” you give the person whom you choose (your “agent”) the ability to essentially step into your shoes. For example, your agent will have authority to spend your money and sell or dispose of your property during your lifetime. Although, with our custom Power of Attorney, you can limit you Agent’s powers as much, or as little as you wish.

Will and Trust

  • With our Will and Trust package you will receive an in person or phone consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys. During your consultation, you and your attorney will discuss your wishes and the details of your Will and Trust. After your consultation, our attorneys will put together a draft of your Will and Trust and forward it to you for review. This gives you an opportunity to carefully review your Will and Trust and ask our attorneys any questions that you may have. Upon approval of the draft, you and your attorney will execute a final copy of your Will and Trust.

Health Care Proxy

  • A health care proxy is a document that allows you to appoint an agent, of your choice, to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so.

General Counsel Services:

  • Our General Counsel Service allows full access to all of our attorneys for a flat fee. We can assist your business with Business Formation, Contract Templates, Deal Negotiation, Litigation Advice, Dispute Mediation, and Tax Matters.

 

Take a look and let us know what you think!

 

Is Bankruptcy For Me?

Often people find themselves in difficult financial positions and wonder, is Bankruptcy my way out? This is a valid question. For some people who have limited income with bills piling up, the answer is yes. However, for some situations bankruptcy isn’t the best answer.

Bankruptcy relief in principle is a second chance for a fresh start. For people who will never have the means to pay back all of their debts, it is a way out. It is the “break glass in case of emergency” for financial trouble. However, many people with a relatively small amount of debt immediately jump to bankruptcy without weighing all of their available options. For example, in almost every situation, someone with under $10,000.00 of debt, bankruptcy is not worth it (except for extreme circumstances). For chapter 7 cases, once you receive a discharge you will not be able to receive another discharge for 8 years. So it’s possible you could file bankruptcy, and immediately after have some life event that causes you to be back in debt. Then you would be forced to wait at least 8 years to file bankruptcy again. The other option to consider is debt settlement.

What is debt settlement?

Debt settlement is negotiating with your creditors to settle your accounts in full for less than what is owed. Basically, you would attempt to convince your creditors that it is in their best interest to accept a lesser amount of what is owed. The effectiveness of settling these debts depends on a multitude of factors, such as, status of the accounts, amount of total debt, type of income, amount of income, and total assets. If your accounts are past due and delinquent, the creditors assume you are considering bankruptcy and are much more willing to accept something rather than having their debt discharged in bankruptcy and getting nothing. However, if you are current on accounts, creditors will be less likely to settle.

Advantages of debt settlement over Bankruptcy

One of the main advantages of debt settlement over bankruptcy is that it will save your credit score. Although, settling your accounts for less than what is owed may not as positively affect your score as if you paid them in full, it is still more beneficial to your score than filing bankruptcy. If you were planning on obtaining a loan in the near future to purchase a home or vehicle, bankruptcy could make that difficult.

Another reason debt settlement may be better than bankruptcy, is that it is easier than bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is an involved process, although your attorney will complete the petition necessary to file, it will still require dedication on your end. You must provide necessary paperwork for the trustee to review. Essentially, it is an in depth look at your financial situation requiring tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, titles to vehicles or homes, completion of financial management courses, in addition to taking time out of your schedule to appear at the meeting of creditors with your attorney. Although some of these items would help with debt settlement none of these them are required.

Conclusion

Whether or not to file bankruptcy is a question that is different for every person. It is a decision that should be made carefully, weighing all the available options, such as, debt settlement. It is best to speak with an attorney that does both bankruptcy and debt settlement. That way you can be assured they are making the decision that is best for your situation and not just pushing you toward one or the other. An experienced attorney can explain the advantages and disadvantages of debt settlement and bankruptcy specifically tailored to your situation.

The above post was written by Joshua C. Sibenik, Esq.

Major Benefits of Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

During this article I will discuss the two main benefits of filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a serious and involved process, and should not be considered lightly. That being said, it does have two major benefits that may make it worth the time and effort to complete. These two benefits are the automatic stay and the discharge of debts.

Automatic Stay

The automatic stay is an automatic injunction that halts any collection efforts from creditors. The barrage of letters and phone calls from collectors can be extremely stressful, frustrating, and downright maddening. It can have a negative impact on you and your family’s life.

Once a bankruptcy petition is filed with the Bankruptcy court, the automatic stay goes into effect. This injunction demands that any creditors must cease ALL collection efforts. These collection efforts include repossession, wage garnishment, bank attachment, any active lawsuits, in addition to collection calls and letters. This is not an empty protection either; there are actual real consequences for creditors who violate this law in the form of fines, sanctions, or orders for contempt. The automatic stay allows much needed peace of mind for those seeking bankruptcy relief.

Debt Discharge

The other main benefit of filing bankruptcy is the discharge. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, generally all unsecured debts and some secured debts are discharged or eliminated. Essentially, as long as there are no successful challenges from any creditors and the court doesn’t view any abuse has occurred in your case, the court releases the debtor personal liability on these dischargeable debts.

Unsecured debts are debts like medical bills, credit cards, personal loans (not secured by property), and social security overpayment or other government assistance. It is important to remember that there are certain debts that are non-dischargeable such as any federal or state taxes owed, any fines owed to the government, any obligations for child support or spousal support, student loans, attorney’s fees in child custody and support cases, and any criminal fines or restitution ordered by a court. This list is nonexclusive, meaning it does not include every non-dischargeable debt, only some.

The court ordered discharge offers you a second chance with a fresh start. As a condition of the discharge the court mandates that every debtor complete two separate credit and financial management courses. These courses educate the debtor on how to budget and be financially responsible so they don’t find themselves in the same situation again in the future. The discharge is granted to debtors once the case has concluded. This discharge can be denied or revoked due to fraudulent actions by the debtor, or failure to disclose all assets during the bankruptcy proceeding.

Conclusion

The automatic stay and debt discharge are by far the two major benefits of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can be extremely beneficial due to these two aspects; however, it is not best for every situation. It is important to speak with a bankruptcy attorney regarding your specific financial situation to help you decide whether bankruptcy is in you and your family’s overall best interests.

The above post was written by Joshua C. Sibenik, Esq.