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Shelbyville Law Blog

Safety coalition aims to end traffic fatalities by 2050

Kentucky drivers who wear their seat belts, prioritize safety and have safety technology in their vehicles may help make roads safer in the years ahead. According to the Road to Zero Coalition, all of these elements could contribute toward eliminating traffic deaths by 2050. In the meantime, however, traffic fatalities are actually rising. Nearly 37,500 people died on American roads in 2016.

While seat belt use is already at 90 percent, half of the people who are killed in traffic accidents do not wear them. Improving seat belt compliance could be one of the simplest ways to lower the death rate. The coalition also hopes for a cultural shift toward putting safety first and reducing behaviors such as speeding, driving under the influence and distracted driving.

Are the possible expenses of bankruptcy holding you back?

Many people take different approaches to the ways in which they address their debt. Some individuals may think they can handle their financial liabilities on their own over time and do their best to explore their options for following that route. On the other hand, others may find themselves feeling so overwhelmed by their debt issues that they ignore them as best as possible.

Though you could follow either of these options, neither may be in your best interests when it comes to finally getting your financial affairs back on track. Therefore, you may want to consider a more upfront avenue such as bankruptcy. The two most common types of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Making The Decision To File For Bankruptcy

With a massive amount of debt including loans and credit card payments, many consumers might think that bankruptcy is the solution to getting back on the right financial track. When collectors continue to call and it seems like there is no way to get out from under the umbrella of being in debt, then bankruptcy might be the best option. Most people don't think that bankruptcy would be something that they would need to do, but it can result in a feeling of freedom.

There are over 700,000 consumers and businesses expected to file for bankruptcy of one chapter or another in order to clear away debt that is owed. This estimate is higher than the number of people who filed in 2017, but it is lower than the number of bankruptcy filings in 201. Overall, the household debt in the United States is more than $13 trillion. This amount includes credit card debt as well as student loans.

OSHA announces fifth annual Stand-Down

Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers across Kentucky and the rest of the United States. This fact has led a multitude of national safety groups and government agencies to sponsor the National Safety Stand-Down each year. For 2018, the Stand-Down is scheduled for May 7 to 11.

The Stand-Down, sponsored by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Center for Construction Research and Training and several other related groups, is urging construction workers to stop work during the event to discuss the hazards of falls and potential ways to prevent them. These events are held at individual construction sites and can include talks, demonstrations or videos.

Older people may not be as financially secure as they think

You may consider yourself financially comfortable at the current time. You may have enough to make ends meet, provide yourself and your family with a treat now and then, and have some money put away in savings. However, is feeling comfortable enough to keep possible debt issues at bay?

Unfortunately, in most cases, financial stability does not mean that a person has avoided the possibility of ever facing monetary struggles in the future. In fact, recent reports indicate that older individuals are becoming heavily laden with debt issues for various reasons.

Key steps to take after bankruptcy

In 2016, 766,000 Americans filed for bankruptcy, and there are many reasons why a person could choose to do so. For instance, Kentucky residents could experience a job loss or a medical bill that they can't afford to repay. Those who choose to file for bankruptcy should learn the difference between a Chapter 7 filing and a Chapter 13 filing. In a Chapter 7 case, debts could be discharged without paying much or anything to creditors.

Those who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will likely need to pay their debts over a period of three or five years. Although bankruptcy can have a significant impact on a person's life, it is something that individuals can recover from. One way to do this is to open new credit accounts. It can also be worthwhile to work with a bank that has programs specifically designed to help people reestablish their credit.

The aftermath of a collision: Preparing for the unexpected

There may be few things in life that are as stressful and intimidating as being involved in a motor vehicle collision. Chances are, you probably consider it preferable to adhere to Kentucky state traffic laws and safe driving procedures in hopes of reducing the odds that a crash will occur.

Unfortunately, incidents of this nature aren't always avoidable, and if you are in an accident, you could be feeling somewhat shaken up and uncertain about what to do. While predicting a collision may be impossible, you may be able to form a plan for how to handle the situation should one occur.

How to improve a credit score after bankruptcy

People in Kentucky who are struggling with debt might hesitate to file for bankruptcy because of fears about being unable to rebuild their credit. However, according to one study by Lending Tree, nearly two-thirds of people who filed for bankruptcy had achieved a credit score of 640 or more after two years.

The first step in improving credit after a bankruptcy is to apply for a secured credit card. This involves putting down a deposit, and initially, the person's line of credit will probably not be much more than the deposit. The person should put a low amount on the card each month, ideally less than 20 percent of the total available. This shows that the person does not intend to max out the credit. It could be a charge that recurs monthly, and it should also be paid off each month. This indicates that the person is responsibly paying bills.

How a bankruptcy proceeds

People in Kentucky who are struggling with debt may file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy based on their income. With Chapter 7, a person's assets are liquidated to pay off creditors although some assets may be considered exempt. With Chapter 13, a person may pay off creditors with a payment plan that last for three or five years.

People may be concerned about how bankruptcy will affect their credit record, but if a person's credit is already poor because of unpaid debt, it may not have a significantly more negative effect. Furthermore, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy only stays on the credit report for 10 years while a Chapter 13 stays for seven years. There are certain debts, such as taxes and child support, that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Student loan debts usually cannot be discharged either. There is an exception for loans that cause extreme hardship, but this is rarely granted.

The most common causes of highway fatalities

Fatalities occur too frequently on the highways of Kentucky and across the U.S. While traffic collisions can involve many factors, driver negligence is arguably the number one cause.

For example, drivers may become distracted by signs or dazed by the glare of the sun. Any number of activities, from adjusting the AC to changing the radio station, will take away a driver's attention from the road and increase the risk for a crash. Smartphones in particular have been implicated in the country's recent rise in traffic deaths. Unfortunately, many drivers feel compelled to text and surf the Internet if their device is within reach.

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