Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Wage Earner’s Plan

It’s impossible to know what the future hold. While a cliché, this sentiment is far from untrue. Life can be very unpredictable. Majority of the U.S. population that suffered financial woes during the economic downturn could not have predicted that they will be facing such challenges. And yet this has been the reality for the last couple of years. Many people across America are struggling with financial concerns caused by unemployment, crippling debt, and other unforeseen scenarios. Fortunately, those in similar situations can find some kind of recourse by filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a legal option provided to individuals that find themselves in difficult situations that prevent them from paying off their debts and other financial obligations. By the end of the bankruptcy process, a U.S. federal court can grant an individual’s debt to be discarded. Otherwise, the court can call for a debt repayment plan to be imposed. All in all, bankruptcy is an option meant to help individuals to regain some control and stability with their finances.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a specific option available for financially burdened individuals. As defined in the U.S. Bankruptcy code, this type of bankruptcy allows the court to decide on a structure of a payment plan accommodating the petitioner’s current income. This gives the petitioner the ability to pay off their debt through regular installments over the period of three or five years. This structure has plenty of advantages. The benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy include protection from creditors, being able to retain properties (including real estate), and having less impact on credit score as compared to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Not all petitioners will be found by the court to be eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For that, it’s important that individuals looking for financial relief keep close communication with an experienced legal professional.

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Product Liability: Potentially Hazardous Products at Home

It’s hard to imagine how much consumer products are purchased in the United States every day. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending in America is at billions of dollars each year. For the first quarter of 2015, personal consumption expenditures were at 12,055.5 billion. Spending increased to 12,207.8 billion by the second quarter of the year.

A good majority of consumer spending go to durable goods. Furnishings and household equipment are among the major type of products bought by Americans annually. For the second quarter of 2015, expenditures for these products were at 297 billion dollars. And as with any other product, the consumers who had gone out to purchase these goods expect that they have bought items that are safe to use. This trust is often proven to be misplaced. As evidenced by the updates on the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC, a lot of products are regularly found to be defective or potentially dangerous.

For furnishings and other products meant for the home, any negligence in design or production can cause a lot of harm. Many see their homes as a safe harbor; a place where they are far from any dangerous accidents. Unfortunately, with defective furnishings or household equipment, many people are left vulnerable to potentially hazardous situations right in the very place they consider their comfort zone. Take, for example, poorly designed window coverings. As found by the CPSC, children between 7 months to 10 years are at risk of dying by strangulation because of defective window covering cords every month. In fact, the commission has made over five million recalls for window coverings due to such concerns.

Dangers caused by defective products can result in minor to life-altering injuries. The responsibility of preventing such incidents remains in the hands of product manufacturers. The implicit trust handed to them by consumers should be respected through imposing stricter testing policies and regulations.

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Medical Dangers: Pharmaceutical Defects and Physician Errors

It is difficult to imagine that the very things meant to be beneficial to one’s health and well-being end up becoming the cause of harmful effects. This is a reality that some patients get to experience due to certain medical dangers. While it’s clear that the quality of health care has improved dramatically in the last couple of decades, cases of pharmaceutical defects and medical malpractice can’t be ignored. It is an unfortunate reality that not every drug or medical product released by top pharmaceuticals is as reliable as they seem. In the same way, the fact that medical professionals can be susceptible to negligent errors causing harm to patients can’t be ignored. Discussions of these issues should remain in the public sphere. Without the awareness raised by different groups regarding certain medical dangers, patients seeking only the best possible treatment might not be able to make informed choices.

Among the many pharmaceutical products in the midst of such discussions is the anti-nausea medication called Zofran. While the drug was originally intended as a treatment for side effects experienced by patients that have undergone chemotherapy and radiation, Zofran is now widely used as medication to for morning sickness symptoms. As noted by Williams Kherkher, there is strong evidence which shows that Zofran can affect the development of a fetus in utero and potentially cause birth defects. Another dangerous medical scenario is the prevalence of physician errors and malpractice. According to findings from a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety in the year 2013, around 210,000 to 440,000 patients suffer from preventable harm in hospitals across the United States.

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