General Mills decided to reverse direction on its recent change to its terms of service purporting to mandate arbitration and ban class actions for anyone who 'liked' them (among other things). Perhaps they were threatened by Adam Levitin's counter-proposal, or maybe it was the widespread outraged reaction on Twitter and all manner of social media. 
Hurray for consumer advocates! They not only got a complete pivot, but they also got an apology (of sorts: "We're sorry we even started down this path"). The way the company characterizes what happens though, is telling:
We’ll just add that we never imagined this reaction. Similar terms are common in all sorts of consumer contracts, and arbitration clauses don’t cause anyone to waive a valid legal claim. They only specify a cost-effective means of resolving such matters. At no time was anyone ever precluded from suing us by purchasing one of our products at a store or liking one of our Facebook pages. That was either a mischaracterization – or just very misunderstood.  

Credit Slips
(posted 3 days 19 hours ago)

If you are in an auto accident, I recommend that you do not give a recorded to the insurance company of the other  driver(s).
Why? Here are three reasons:
1. The person who calls you from the insurance company is  familiar with the law and understands how to ask questions that may make you give an admission, even if you are not at fault in the accident. Remember that the adjuster for the other insurance company does not have your interests in mind.
2. Your answers could hurt your case!  Since your answers will be recorded, they could be used against you in a court of law. Do not give a recorded statement when you are on pain medicine or if you are not sleeping because of pain.  Especially, do not answer any questions about your injuries!!  (If you forget about a part of your body that was injured, the insurance company will later contest treatment for that part of the body.)
3. There is one exception-you have to give a recorded statement to your insurance company because it is required by your contract with them.  However, remember that, if the other car(s) in the accident has the same insurance company as you, make sure that you are only giving a statement to the adjuster representing you.  
MOST IMPORTANTLY, ASK BEFORE YOU ANSWER QUESTIONS.

Scholnick Law
(posted 3 days 23 hours ago)

Si estás en un accidente de auto, le recomiendo no dar una declaración grabada a la compañia de seguros del otro conductor.
¿Por qué? Aqui hay tres para recuerde
1.La persona con que hablas es familiar con la ley y es entrenado en maneras de hacerle admitir su culpabilidad, aún si usted no es culpable. No tienen sus intereses en mente.
2.Mientras tanto, es posible que no puedas entender las preguntas, y puede ser sacudido por el accidente. Lo que usted dice, puede ser utilizado en su contra en un tribunal de justicia.
3.Hay una excepción-usted puede tener que dar una declaración grabada a su compañía de seguros porque tienes un contrato con ellos. Sin embargo, por favor recuerde que, si y el otro coche en el accidente tiene la misma compañía de seguros, por favor asegúrese de sólo dar una declaración al ajustador que te está representando y no el otro coche. Por lo tanto, pregunte antes de dar respuestas.
 

Scholnick Law
(posted 4 days 36 sec ago)

Recientemente, tuve una audiencia ante una jueza de Seguro Social por Incapacidad.
Mi cliente nació en Puerto Rico y habla español mejor que inglés. La jueza que presidió también nació en Puerto Rico.
Al comienzo de la audiencia, pedi un intérprete de español. La Administración de Seguro Social contrata una compañia
que provee interpretaciones a través de un teléfono de manos libres.
Lamentablemente, la primera llamada se cortó inesperadamente. La jueza llamó por segunda vez, y nosotros esperamos… un minuto…
dos minutos…trés minutos…cuatro minutos…
Finalmente, la jueza dijo, “Su cliente habla español, yo hablo español, y usted habla español, asi que vamos a proceder con la audiencia
en español si no tiene objeción.”
Yo dije, “Está bien,” y procedimos. La jueza preguntó en español, mi cliente contestó en español, y yo agregé información necesaria para su
reclamo en español.
La jueza interpretó en inglés solamente para que constaría en el acta. Asi pasó la audiencia sin problema.
Creo que gané el caso, pero hay que esperar la decisión escrita de la jueza. ¡Ya veremos!

Scholnick Law
(posted 4 days 13 hours ago)

  In this chapter 7 case, the trustee moved to set aside a transfer by the debtor of her 1/2 interest in real property to a corporation owned by her husband, which transfer occurred 7 months prior to the bankruptcy.  The property was initially purchased in the name of the Debtor and her spouse, with an intent to lease to the corporation; but instead the corporation made the mortgage payments on the property.  The Debtor argued that this created a resulting trust, but the bankruptcy court rejected the argument and ordered the corporation to reimburse the trustee $43,400.  The district court reversed, finding a resulting trust was created under South Carolina law.  The 4th Circuit reversed the district court.  In re Pfister, 2014 WL 1492713 (4th Cir., 2014). 

Tampa Bankruptcy
(posted 5 days 2 hours ago)

TicketsThat's the title of Denver Law Professor Michael Sousa's new article exploring debtors' evaluations of the pre-filing credit counseling course and the post-filing financial management course mandated by BAPCPA. The data for the article came from in-depth interviews that Sousa conducted with 58 individuals from Colorado who filed under Chapter 7 between 2006 and 2010. Bob Lawless previously posted about another article Sousa wrote based on the interviews that discusses debtors' perceptions of bankruptcy stigma. Like Sousa's previous article, this paper carefully presents the interviews for what they are and what they can reveal about debtors' interactions with these two components of the bankruptcy process.

Credit Slips
(posted 5 days 14 hours ago)

What Happens to Utility Bills in Bankruptcy? When debts pile up, it can become overwhelming to pay any bills. And during the summer especially, Arizona utility bills can be astronomical. And because utilities are very important, you may wonder what will happen to your service if you file a bankruptcy petition. Will you still have […]The post What Happens to Utility Bills in Bankruptcy? appeared first on Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney.

(posted 5 days 18 hours ago)

Typically, individuals who file bankruptcy have a choice between filing a chapter 7 “liquidation” and a chapter 13 “reorganization”. Individuals who are determined to have disposable income under the Means Test only have the option of filing chapter 13 and repaying their creditors. However, individuals still have to meet certain eligibility requirements to file chapter 13.
First, only individuals may file chapter 13. Small businesses and corporations can only reorganize under chapter 11. Chapter 13 was designed to be a simpler, more efficient way to reorganize and therefore is only available to individuals. Furthermore, stockbrokers and commodity brokers are excluded from filing chapter 13.
Second, individuals filing chapter 13 must have “regular income”, i.e. wages, business or rental income, alimony or child support, or retirement income. In other words, a chapter 13 repayment is not possible if there is no consistent source of income to repay creditors.
Finally, when filing chapter 13, an individual cannot have more than $383,175 in unsecured debt and cannot have secured debts totaling more than $1,149,525. The debt limit includes non-dischargeable debt like student loans. Again, this reinforces the idea that chapter 13 is meant to be a simpler version of chapter 11 and the more debt a person has, the more complicated their bankruptcy will likely be.

Lake Law Blog
(posted 5 days 21 hours ago)

Los Angeles Bankruptcy HelperLos Angeles Bankruptcy Helper just hit 200!
This Los Angeles Bankruptcy Helper just hit 200. Not 200 years old. But 200 great Los Angeles bankruptcy helper articles. It is a happy day!
We began our blog in May 2010.  We didn’t know then how fast it would grow. Our Los Angeles Bankruptcy Helper Blog has attracted significant attention. References to our blog appear regularly on many respected sites. We enjoy links from web sites like the American Bankruptcy Institute, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees, and Nolo.

Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog
(posted 5 days 23 hours ago)

An important issue in determining whether a transfer is avoidable as a constructive fraudulent transfer is determining whether the debtor received reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the transfer.  If the debtor receives reasonably equivalent value in exchange for assets transferred prior to the bankruptcy, there is no constructive fraud.  While section 548(d)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code defines “value” as “property or satisfaction or securing of a present or antecedent debt of the debtor,” the Bankruptcy Code does not define “reasonably equivalent value.”
Courts treat reasonably equivalent value as a question of fact and determine whether a value is reasonably equivalent on a case-by-case basis.  “Reasonably equivalent” is not synonymous with fair market value; instead, fair market value is one of a number of important elements in a “totality of the circumstances” analysis.  Another important element used in courts’ analysis is good faith.  A recent decision from the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, Mercury Companies, Inc. v. FNF Security Inc. (In re Mercury Companies, Inc.), advises that a purchaser’s mere knowledge of a seller’s financial distress does not preclude a finding of a good faith transfer.
Background

(posted 5 days 23 hours ago)