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Make Sure to Report The Required Types of Income in Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 2:30 pm    

income checklist in a chapter 13 bankruptcyWhen filing for a chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor is required to list his or her current monthly income on the chapter 13 Means Test. This is important because it allows for the calculation of both the debtor’s commitment period and the debtor’s disposable income. Due to the nature of the chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is sometimes beneficial to the debtor that his or her income be minimal rather than a greater amount. Therefore, it is crucial to know exactly what type of income needs to be listed and what type does not.

The Obvious

  • Gross wages
  • Salary
  • Tips
  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Commissions

Form 22C indicates that “All figures must reflect average monthly income received from all sources derived during the six calendar months prior to filing the bankruptcy case, ending on the last day of the month before filing.” It is important to realize that if the debtor is married, than he or she must list the spouse’s income, regardless of whether or not it is a joint-bankruptcy.

Business Income

  • Gross income derived from the operation of a business, profession, or farm

In re Wuilnau, the court held the where a debtor receives income from an LLC, that income needs to be included as part of the Current Monthly Income.2012 Bankr. LEXIS 1121 at *10-11 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio March 14, 2012).

Other Forms if Income

  • Income derived from rentals or real property
  • Interest, dividends, and royalties
  • Pension and retirement
  • Unemployment compensation (unless it was received by the debtor or the debtor’s spouse as a benefit under the Social Security Act)
  • Other sources of income unless specifically excluded.

Certain transactions that have been held to not constitute income for purposes of a chapter 13 are…

  • Loans
  • One-time withdrawals from 401(k) or an IRA
  • Sales of vehicles in a non-business context – In re Leach, the courts held that income derived from the sale of a vehicle used to purchase a newer vehicle was not income that needed to be included in the chapter 13 Means Test. 61 Collier Bankr. Cas.22d (MB) 15555, 2009 Bankr. LEXIS 1097 at 26 (Bankr. D. Mont. Feb. 26, 2009)
  • Transitional bonus payments set off against loan (such as a pay advance)

If you or someone you know may need to file for a chapter 13 bankruptcy, contact Lawrence & Associates today!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Injuries Caused by Dog Bites – Blame the Owner and Not the Breed

Posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 12:30 pm    

Happy Pit BullGovernments have been trying to get a handle on dangerous dogs that apparently menace neighborhoods and attack other dogs or people for years. In the United States, there are more than 60 millions dogs living with humans, more per capita than in any other country in the world. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a division of the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, with more than 800,000 seeking medical care. Half of these are children and of those injured, more than 350,000 require emergency room treatment. On average, between 10 and 20 Americans die from dog bites.

Dangerous-dog laws and ordinances have been passed in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Cincinnati and a host of other cities. In 2006, Bracken County, KY upheld a ban on pit bull ownership in court. As happened in Jefferson County, the debate over whether or not to target certain breeds in dangerous-dog legislation often turns into an argument over pit bulls. The pit bull is not recognized as a breed per se, but rather as a type — a descriptor of several breeds of dogs with similar physical characteristics. Commonly, the breeds included are the American pit bull terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier and the American Staffordshire terrier. Sometimes other breeds are included, such as the English bull terrier or the American bulldog, or even mastiff-type dogs like the Argentine Dogo, the Tosa, the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario.

American Humane Association Research

With Breed Specific Legislation banning bully breed ownership in certain areas, it’s easy to understand why people assume anecdotal evidence about the dogs’ aggressive tendencies is true. But the facts tell a different story. According to the American Humane Association, on tests conducted in 2009 by the American Temperament Test Society, bullies scored better than several breeds that are rarely associated with aggression, including beagles and collies.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research

Additionally, research conducted in 2000 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that no specific breed of dog is inherently vicious. And National Canine Research Council director Karen Delise says that, in most cases, any dog that has a tendency to attack is responding at least in part to owners who have either neglected the pup or failed to give it proper socialization and training.

Of the 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year, bully breeds are less often to blame than many other breeds, including chow chows and German shepherds. Another CDC study conducted in 2000 attempted to assess which breeds had been involved in the most fatal attacks from 1979 to 1998; however, researchers found numerous challenges and flaws in trying to make accurate calculations. To date, there is no scientific proof that bullies are more commonly involved in fatal attacks than all other dogs.

No Scientific Proof That Bullies Have a Super Strong Jaw

Research conducted by a doctor at the University of Georgia shows that bully breeds don’t show any mechanical or morphological differences in jaw structure when compared to other dogs — nor do their jaws come equipped with locking capabilities.

To explore the question of jaw strength, a 2005 National Geographic study measured force of bite for several creatures as pounds of bite pressure. On average, dogs exhibited about 320 pounds of pressure, while humans came in at 120 pounds and great white sharks at 600. The study also included a simulated bite sleeve test with a German shepherd, a Rottweiler and an American pit bull terrier. The pit bull actually registered the least amount pressure among the group, despite rumors that bully breeds can clamp down with an alarming 1600 pounds of force.

Hold Irresponsible Owners Responsible for Their Dogs Behavior

In general, bullies, as well as all other types of dog breeds, are loveable, loyal and energetic, especially when given the proper socialization and training. Although all dogs can be good dogs if raised properly, often dogs and especially bullies fall into the hands of irresponsible owners and innocent victims are harmed as a result. That’s where an experienced attorney comes into play.

If you or someone you know has suffered from a dog-bite, contact a Northern Kentucky personal injury attorney today. Lawrence & Associates can help!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Survivors Benefits – Who is Eligible?

Posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 10:30 am    

workers compensation benefitsWhile it is difficult enough when a worker suffers an injury while on the job, if injuries are severe enough to cause death, the situation becomes unimaginably worse. If you are the spouse or child of a worker who died in a work-related accident, you may be able to recover some financial compensation to help you through this trying time. A Northern Kentucky workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand Kentucky’s complex legal system set up to pay workers’ compensation benefits to the family of someone who has lost a loved one while on the job. 

People Who May Be Eligible for Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Survivors Benefits

Kentucky has a complex legal system set up to pay workers’ compensation benefits to the family of someone who suffers a fatal work injury. The rules are very specific and our attorneys will explain them to you in detail when you visit our office, but generally, the following people are eligible for benefits…

  • A surviving spouse
  • Minor children of the deceased worker
  • Mentally disabled adult children of the deceased worker
  • The parent of the deceased worker, if he or she had no spouse and no children

The state of Kentucky sets minimum and maximum amounts that are available to survivors. These amounts change each year. When you visit us, we will be able to give you an idea of how much you may be able to expect.

If a loved one has suffered a fatal injury while on the job, contact Lawrence & Associates today! We can help you and your family members get the survivor benefits that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Florida’s Supreme Court Tosses Out a Medical Malpractice Cap That Kentucky’s Legislature Is Now Considering – See Why It Matters to All of Us

Posted on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 at 8:00 am    

malpractice capsIn the article Florida Supreme Court tosses out medical malpractice cap on damages by Mary Ellen Klas, she writes that “The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the centerpiece of the 2003 medical malpractice overhaul law, blasting the Legislature for creating an “alleged medical malpractice crisis” and concluding that the cap on wrongful death noneconomic damages violates the state Constitution’s equal protection clause.”

What Happened

Florida, like many states, passed tort reform laws under the faulty thinking that there was a frivolous lawsuit crisis in the state.  They put a cap on damages that ensured the most injured people would not get full recovery, although people with minor injuries could get a recovery.  This obviously helped the insurance companies, who knew there was a maximum on any given claim.  Looking back, the Florida Supreme Court found that the law was a) unconstitutional, and b) was not based upon a factual foundation.  If you look at the bottom of the article, you’ll see how the Court did research and found that the supposed reasons for passing tort reform were not real.  For example, the claim was that doctors were leaving the state, but looking back at 2003 (when tort reform was passed), the history books show the number of physicians increased rather than decreased.

Why It Matters to All of Us

Kentucky is considering the exact same law that Florida passed this year.  If it passes, anyone with a personal injury claim and a serious injury – death, paralysis, amputation, etc. – will no longer be able to file a claim and receive a full recovery.  Instead, they have to look to state aid (like social security disability) to fill the gaps.  That means the law potentially affects all of us.

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