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Frankfort Law Blog

How does federal law protect debtors' location information?

In Indiana, people who are in debt will often be pursued in many ways by creditors and debt collectors. The tactics these entities use will sometimes go right up to the line of legality and propriety. Oftentimes, they go over the line and violate federal law regulating consumer rights. When unfair debt collection practices take place, it is important to understand how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act helps consumers.

One of the ways in which creditors and debt collectors might violate the FDCPA is by using illegal tactics to acquire the debtor's location information. There are rules that regulate how this can be done and why. When the debt collector seeks the location information from a person other than the consumer, it is required that the debt collector provide identification, say that the contact is to confirm or correct the information as to the consumer's location and, if asked, identify the employer. The debt collector cannot say that the debtor owes debt.

Understanding maintenance designation in Illinois family law

Spousal support, also referred to as maintenance, is a common topic for dispute in an Illinois divorce. There are many factors that enter into the equation as to which spouse will pay support, which will receive it, how much it will be, how long it will last, and if it can be modified. For those who are concerned about this issue, it is important to understand the oft-forgotten details integral to a case.

The maintenance designation determines the three different categories of maintenance. Knowing these and how they apply to individual cases is important when the decision on support is made and in the future. Fixed-term maintenance is, as the name implies, for a certain time-period. The court will decide when the maintenance will be paid and at which date it will end. Once the term ends, the maintenance will no longer be paid.

Family disputes continue over late singer's estate

One of the main reasons people in Illinois and across the nation formulate an estate plan is to avoid family disputes after they have gone. This is especially worrisome for those who have substantial assets, but it is a concern for anyone.

An example of the problems that can arise when the estate plan is not cohesive has been discussed previously and centers around the late singer Aretha Franklin. The case has yet to be settled, and the dispute has seemingly gotten worse as time passed.

Reality show couple's divorce dispute filed in Illinois

Most family law issues and cases in Illinois are kept private and people settle their dispute themselves or go to court to have it settled for them. This is a preferable scenario as public scrutiny can complicate the situation and result in the case taking more time and costing more money than would otherwise be necessary. If the participants were well-known as entertainers, politicians or other public figures, it is unavoidable that a divorce will enter the public sphere. The same is true for reality show cast members. This is especially troublesome if the reality show centered around a marriage.

A couple who were part of the cast of the TLC network program 90 Day Fiancé is in the middle of a divorce. The show centers around people who have married a person from another country and are going through the process of living in the U.S. legally. The man in the relationship, 33, is from Illinois. His wife, 21, is from Mexico.

Your fresh start after divorce might mean a move

A divorce is a fresh start for you. One thing that you might be ready to do is to leave the marital home so that you can truly start over. If you don't have children, you might find that it is easy to just pick up and go. If you do have children, things get a bit more complicated. It is imperative that you think about the little ones, even if they are teens now, when you are planning your next steps after the divorce.

One huge consideration in these cases is where you are going to move. The first decision you have to think about is the location. Are you staying in the same city or do you want to leave the area? If you want to leave, things just got a bit more complex because you will likely need either the court's approval or the go-ahead from your ex if you plan on the kids living with you in a new area.

In a dispute about parentage, is a temporary order possible?

Child support is a common source for dispute in Illinois, but many of the cases center around a couple that was married, has gotten a divorce and is in the process of determining how much the supporting parent will pay to the custodial parent. If the case involves unmarried couples and there is a disagreement or outright denial of paternity, it can be more complicated.

Know the key facts about Chapter 13 bankruptcy

There are many reasons Indiana residents find themselves in difficult financial straits. Whether it is medical expenses, losing a job, overextending on credit or other dramatic life changes, the stress from overwhelming debt and the endless phone calls from creditors can be frightening and worrisome. There are alternatives to eliminate debt and get on better financial footing, but it is wise to understand the details before taking the next step. For homeowners who want to retain their property and stop foreclosure, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be useful. Knowing the basic details of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is crucial.

Unlike a Chapter 7 liquidation or a Chapter 11 business reorganization, Chapter 13 bankruptcy has certain tenets that allow a person to retain property and make monthly payments to a trustee. This will last for three or five years. The person must take part in credit counseling to learn better ways to handle money to avoid repeating the same mistakes that made the bankruptcy necessary. The individual's disposable income will dictate how much will be paid per month and if he or she is eligible for Chapter 13. This can reduce how much is owed and, over the long term, save money.

Statistics show family law issues spark summer divorces

Divorce is not a decision that Illinois residents take lightly. People who are having problems in their marriage will think about their alternatives, decide if the marriage is salvageable, factor in all the considerations and then determine what they should do. Ancillary concerns are also part of the process. While most people might be under the impression that family law issues will happen regardless of the time of year, studies indicate that summer is one of the times of year, when there is an increase in divorce filings. For those who have reached this point in their relationship, understanding the key factors in a case requires understanding family law options.

Experts say that summer can add to simmering tensions in a marriage. With children home and families taking vacations, marriages can be strained to their breaking point. People who were already thinking about a divorce will frequently take that step in the summer months. According to a 2016 study, the number of divorces rise in two months of the year: March and August. Because couples who are already in dispute are suddenly spending a greater amount of time together, the marriage can come apart. Some experts have also seen a rise in divorces when the kids head back to school in September. Then there is a lull and the numbers again increase with the new year. Thinking about divorce without preparing for the aftermath leaves many people vulnerable to a situation that is worse than it would have been had they simply stayed in the unhappy marriage.

What decisions can be made with a health care power of attorney?

In Illinois, a frequent concern for people who are crafting their estate plans and thinking about every possible eventuality is what they will do if they need another person to make health care decisions in their stead. This can be a difficult issue to come to grips with, but it is wise to be prepared for it. A health care power of attorney will let another person - an "agent" - make the decisions on the individual's behalf. This can encompass many parts of the health care process and, before granting someone this power, it is important to understand what it entails.

When the individual cannot make health care decisions on his or her own, a health care power of attorney will let the agent do the following: speak to the physicians and others involved with health care about the individual's condition; have access to medical records; allow medical tests to be given, medicines to be provided, surgical procedures to be done and other treatments given as necessary; decide where the individual will be given health care and the physicians and other health care professionals who provide it; and decide whether to allow, stop or refuse treatments to keep the individual alive if recovery is unlikely.

Have you thought of using a trust to improve your estate plan?

There are many ways to go about estate planning. Some people start with a single document, like a last will, and then build on this as their assets and families become more complex. Others choose to jump in with both feet and create an estate plan that addresses everything from incapacitation to guardianship for their children all at one time.

Regardless of whether you are still in the process of slowly building an estate plan or have already completed the creation of an extensive and thorough plan, you may have found yourself thinking about whether a trust could be beneficial for you and the people you love in the future.

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