Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Attorneys at KAASS LAW provide the following answers to frequently asked questions encountered by us. Our lawyers in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, frequently encounter as we provide advice and representation to Los Angeles residents in the practice areas of business law, personal injury, consumer litigation, and more. We hope this information is helpful to you. If you have other questions or require advice and representation regarding a particular legal matter, contact KAASS LAW to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.
How do I know which bankruptcy chapter is right for me?
Individuals considering bankruptcy for their personal debt generally file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 allows you to get rid of your debt and make a fresh start, whereas Chapter 13 focuses more on creating a plan that enables you to repay your debts in a comfortable manner over time. Not all debts are dischargeable in Chapter 7, and you may have to sell some of your property, but only if you have any that is not exempt from liquidation. Also, eligibility for Chapter 7 is limited, and people with income above the state average need to take a means test to see if they qualify. However, even if you cannot qualify for Chapter 7, you may still find effective debt relief with Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 is generally most attractive to consumers with large amounts of unsecured debt, such as credit card debt or doctor bills. Chapter 13 works best for wage earners with a steady source of income. Chapter 13 is especially helpful to homeowners threatened with foreclosure. In a Chapter 13 plan, you may be able to catch up on mortgage payments and save your home from foreclosure.
Is it better to form a corporation or a partnership?
It all depends upon your needs and goals; each form has different advantages and disadvantages. For instance, owners of a corporation are generally shielded from personal liability for acts or debts of the corporation, but they often face double taxation since corporate profits are taxed before being distributed, when they are again taxed as income. Participants in a partnership, on the other hand, are taxed only once on their income, but they may face personal liability for partnership debts. Other issues such as ownership and control, and the potential for growth, differ between corporation and partnership, so it is best to sit down with an experienced business lawyer to discuss your long-term goals and objectives before forming your company.
Another attractive form is the Limited Liability Company, or LLC, which combines the liability protection of a corporation with the favorable tax treatment of a partnership. Talk to your attorney about forming an LLC, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or other alternative to the more traditional choices of corporation and partnership.
I was injured in a car accident, and the other driver’s insurance company says I was partly to blame for causing the accident. Does that mean I can’t recover any compensation?
No, it does not. California law uses a rule known as pure comparative negligence. This means you can recover damages from a negligent party even if you were also negligent. In fact, you can recover compensation even if you were more at fault than the other party. However, any amount that you are due will be reduced by the percentage of negligence attributed to you.
Also, don’t rely on the insurance company to tell you who was at fault. That question will be decided by a jury at trial, not by the insurance company. At KAASS LAW, we conduct our own accident investigations to determine who was at fault, and we fight to make sure the responsible parties are properly held accountable for their negligence or wrongful conduct.
Can I stop bill collectors from calling me all the time? They even call me at work!
If you file for bankruptcy, the court will impose an automatic stay on all of your creditors, stopping them from pursuing any further debt collection while the bankruptcy is pending. Even without filing for bankruptcy, creditors may not contact you if you are represented by an attorney; they must talk to your lawyer instead. Bill collectors must follow other rules for unrepresented people as well. For instance, they may not contact you before eight o’clock in the morning or after nine at night, and they cannot contact you at work if you notify them you cannot receive calls there. Also, you can simply tell them to stop calling, and they have to comply, with limited exceptions.
If you think your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are being violated, contact an attorney. You can put a stop to creditor harassment and maybe even recover money damages.