As I have said before and must say yet again. I am a paralegal not a lawyer, so this is in no way to be taken as, meant to be or construed as legal advice. This is legal information only. Let’s not forget that when a Paralegal and or a Lawyer becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.
Okay Folks, last time we talked it was about the Green Card Lottery, now let us talk about another way to a green card. A K-3 non-immigrant visa or Marriage Green Card.
There is a long-standing fairy tale, that with a quickie marriage an immigrant cannot be deported. For once married an immigrant automatically becomes an US Citizen. If that was ever true it no longer true. It is possible to use marriage to become a U.S. lawful permanent residence or help an immigrant get a green card.
Most marriages are recognized unless they come into conflict separately with federal law. For example same-sex marriages were not recognized until the Defense of Marriage Act was repealed in 2013.
However don’t ever believe one of these marriage is a quick fix. Once you have completed all the paperwork and gathered all the evidence needed, it could almost two years to get that application processed. That is if all the forms and documents I’s were doted and T’s were correctly crossed the first time. Let us not forget ‘clerical error’.
Okay let’s start with marriage and children and the paperwork involved…
If the intended spouse comes from a country that recognize and accept same-sex marriage and the couple chose marriage then the marriage must take place in the spouse’s country. Then the United States will recognize such a marriage as legal and valid. The same holds true if a marriage takes place in one of the States that recognized same-sex marriage granting a spouse all the same rights and privileges a marriage visa grants heterosexual marriage.
Unfortunately minor children are not automatically included in A K-3 non-immigrant visa or the Marriage Green Card. However with a little more paperwork the can be.
1. So if a foreign spouse was married once before or fooled around a little while somewhat younger and now has a couple minor aged children. A foreign spouse does not have to leave or abandon them when a spouse marries an American citizen. You just include Form I-130, U.S. citizen immediate relative with the marriage visa application. This application is supposed to be given equal processing priority the same as your K-3 Marriage Green Card application. Same-sex applications that include an I-130 are to be treated just the same.
You know there are a lot of different types of Green Cards associated with a Marriage Green Card. Like a fiancé visa, visas to bring Mom and Pop and or Cousin Fred.
Next week more on the Green Card Marriage.
Once again, I am a paralegal not an attorney. So this is in no way meant to be, taken as, or construed as legal advice. This Blog is intended to be legal information only. Also let us not forget that when a lawyer and or a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.
Okay, let’s get this show started than. I think we’ll started with the infamous Green Card. The quote Green Card was created in the 1950’s as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act. A Green Card had two major purposes. First as Photo-ID Card issued to a foreign national. Then it allows an alien to live, work and pay taxes in the United States. A Green Card holder gets to do this without giving up citizenship in their home country. Yes, Martha legal immigrants do have to pay taxes.
However over the years the term Green Card has become generic. Meaning everything from a immigration Photo-ID Card, to allowing an applicant to attend school in this country. It to even includes the type of ink used to validate a travel visa when you come back from abroad.
Believe it or not there is a Green Card lottery. Playing the Green Card Lottery is only slightly more complicated than playing power-ball. You see Instead of buying a scratch ticket like for any of the money lotteries, all an applicant fills out a set of forms including a photo submitting them online. Each year the State Department accepts Lottery applications from October 1 to November 3. Than all an applicant has to set back and wait. Hoping and praying to win.
Side-Note: Until 2009 a lottery applicant could mail in hard copies to the US State Department but now an applicant can only submit their application online.
Note: If an applicant wins they can bring their spouse and or children with them if they were listed on the entrance application.
This Green Card lottery is held each a year by the US State Department not Homeland Security. Each year, 55,000 immigrant visas (Green Cards) are awarded in this lottery. This Green Card lottery was created as an official program pursuant to Sec. 203 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The idea behind this is to diversify who immigrate to our county. Opening the door to immigrants from 3rd and 4th world countries. This Green Card lottery is also supposed to open the door for low-income emigrates from other countries.
According to the rules there is only two things that can disqualify an applicant’s Green Card lottery application. First is trying to enter the lottery from a country on the disavowed list. Such as Brazil,
Ecuador and or the Dominicans Republic who are on the State Departments naughty list. other countries like Great Britain and or India who were disavowed for other reasons. Than not having the skills or education an applicant claims to have
WARNING: The countries on the State Departments naughty list. This list of naughty countries changes and changes frequently. So keep an eye on that list.
Now here is the catch if an applicant wins the State Department will not notify them. An applicant has to go online every few weeks. Just to see if they had won. The only thing a winner has to pay are the travel costs to get them here.
Here we are once again. So as before I am a paralegal, I am not a lawyer. My articles are in no way intended to be, to be taken as, mistaken for legal advice. This is legal information only to help you ask the best questions so you can get the best help from your lawyer. Let’s not forget that when a lawyer of a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.
All right you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy. 1st thing 1st, contrary to what crazy republican’s would like you to think bankruptcy is not a bad thing. It is not going to destroy your life, it doesn’t mean you are a failure, or that you’re scammer trying to dodge your debt. All a chapter 7 bankruptcy does to restart you financial life. Kind of like asking for a ‘do over’ when you mess up playing a game.
As for your creditors, all you are doing is using the courts to tell them, “I am sorry I haven’t got it and I can’t get it. So back off.”
Now a bankruptcy is supposed to stay on your credit records for no more than 7 years. The story if you file for and are granted a bankruptcy you will be prevented from getting any credit or loans for 7 years. Plus when you do start getting credit again you will have to pay a much higher interest rate.
That is no longer true.
Will it is somewhat true. When you file your 1st bankruptcy form often called the ‘petition’ you will be unable to get any form of credit or loan until get your bankruptcy ‘Discharge’.
SIDE-NOTE: Don’t panic though. If something bad happens and you need to borrow money you have way to deal with it. You will have to get permission from the trustee though.
However not even 30 days after your ‘Discharge’ you will start receiving credit card offers. Everything from the loan shark offers:
These guys will offer high credit limits with very high interest rates. You miss a payment date with these guys by so much as an hour your interest rates will double sometimes triple. Miss a 2nd one and you could be looking at debtor’s prison.
SIDE-NOTE: Thanks to the crazy republicans and growing privatized prison system here the United States debtors prisons have become a a very real and serious threat in over 24 states. Just ask the breast cancer survivor in Illinois who went to jail 5 days after getting home from the hospital. She was arrested and jailed for a $260 hospital bill. A bill the hospital told her she did not owe. It had cost her father a $1500 to get her out. $260 for the bill she didn’t owe, $600 in legal fees, and $740 for the food she ate, for her Dad and lawyer to be processed in to see her. The rest paid for her stay at the Bar Hotel.
Next week I will talk about what debts are covered by a Chapter 7
I apologies about being gone for so long but problems do happen. So please Excuse me as I go political this week. It is so cool writing for a blog that lets me go off on these tangents every now and then.
So as Ed, from the Ed Show say ‘Let’s get to work.’ This last Thursday President Obama declared war. He attacked Putin right in the wallet. SMP Bank of Russia/ St. Petersburg-based Bank Rossiyahas has been isolated. His sanctions blocks the bank from doing business with any bank or financial institution that is American owned or operated.
President Obama also blocked a lot of Putin’s rich friends from accessing their assets held in the United States.
You see President Obama went radical. Much to the displeasure of the crazy republican. Instead of risking expendable assets, living soldiers, Obama has placed assets much too valuable at risk. MONEY.
President Obama’s actions has greatly displeased crazy republicans So much so they are now allowing MasterCard and Visa to resume doing business with the SMP Bank.
They are even blocking further sanctions. Trying to make Obama look weak and useless. You know with some of the history, I have learned lately. Like The real reasons for the Iraq war reasons, Regan torpedoes Carter’s efforts to free the hostages then buying their freedom with arms after being elected, Nixon blocking LBJ’s ending of the Vietnam War so he can get elected,
I have got to wonder if there isn’t somebody egging him on trying to create yet another war. You know Uncle Sam buys multi-billions of dollars of weapons during a war that are never used. After all those weapons are much more valuable than living soldiers.
With the treatment our soldiers receive when they get home, and waiting years for their promised benefits. That is if they are not denied because some paper pusher decides one of their forms wasn’t filled out exactly right. If that happens than the poor veteran has to refill out the paperwork and wait an outer four years. Just to let you know there have been bills put forth by Obama and the democrats to speed up the process but once again crazy republicans have blocked those bills. Then comes Food stamps being cut so veterans can’t feed themselves or their children while waiting for their promised benefits. And after 10 to 15 years of being shot at, and or blown up or veteran’s when after discharged are booted out the door and told go be normal. Are told, if you have a problem dealing with the world after 10 years of terror, or your body is so severely damaged you can’t find or maintain a job. Well sorry about that but if you complain you are just useless and weak so don’t bother us with your problems. Oh yeah, that unemployment insurance you’re supposes to get after your discharge, oh well sorry about that.
Making it very clear, at least to me that crazy republican’s believe soldier are the least valuable and most expendable assets.
Is it any wonder 22 or more veterans are taking their own lives every single day?
Next week I will be posting on what Serf-Dom really is. After all that seems to be were the crazy republican’s seem to be bringing back. Then I will be picking up with the S.C.R.A. I will be going deeper into detail.
And so once again, I am a Paralegal I am not a Lawyer. So this is in no way be taken as legal advice. This is legal information only. Also let us not forget when a lawyer or a paralegal becomes your problem becomes an ISSUE.
As I said last week, with the end of the “Unemployment insurance gray train is over.” I think information about Bankruptcies will be very important. There are 3 types of bankruptcy most people will most often need.
As a veteran, I want to talk about is the SCRA or Service Member’s Civil Relief Act bankruptcy 1st. It was created in 1940 with the name of Soldiers and Sailor’s Act. This act can be found at 50 U.S.C. app. §§ 501 et seq.
The right to file for SCRA bankruptcy lasts the entire term of being on active duty plus 90 days. So if things crash or you discover things have crashed while out processing you can still ask for SCRA protection.
The major thing about the SCRA is a soldier or sailor’s wife or husband can start a SRCA for Bankruptcy protection. While a soldier or sailor is out of contact and or busy fighting for our country. Using the SRCA you can get help with debts like, past due credit cards, mortgage payments, back taxes and lease evictions.
It goes back to the promise we make our service personal, ‘If you risk all to protect us, we’ll protect the loved ones you leave behind.’
Okay, if your family’s major money maker is on active duty overseas or stationed someplace like and a creditors wants to file for a default on debt complaint. A creditor must file an affidavit proving that the military debtor is available. That they had made every effort to contact the active duty debtor and s/he has ignored the situation. This must be done before the judgment can be entered. If creditor does get the default judgment, you or your lawyer or legal service can file an affidavit telling the court that yes the military debtor was not available. This will stop things until the military debtor can be contacted. If the creditor challenges your affidavit the trustee can’t decide who is telling the truth h/she can appoint an attorney to protect the military debtor. Also another option the Trustee could make the creditor pay a bond before allowing a default go into collections.
SIDE-NOTE: A Bankruptcy Trustee 9.9 times out of ten is a lawyer employed by the Federal Bankruptcy courts. A Trustee more or less act as the judge in administering the bankruptcy cases making sure everything is done correctly.
SIDE-NOTE: A surety bond is an amount of money equal to the current market value of the property the Trustee is going to allow the creditor to take. The bond will be held by the court until the Trustee is sure no one was cheated.
Next week I am going to repost an article about presidential orders. Then I will move back to bankruptcy. Also I should have my scheduling problems worked out.
Again, I am not a lawyer I am a paralegal. So this isn’t legal advice this is legal information. Also let us not forget when a lawyer or a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an issue.
All right let’s talk about Conservatorship, A Conservatorship does come under probate but a Conservator can also be appointed under Family Law. A Conservator is someone a probate court judge allows to have control over your medical, business, financial and personal affairs while you are laying there strapped into life support. Also a Conservator could be appointed if you have suffered such a severe head trauma that you, at least for the time being, have a hard time figuring out how to put your pants on. It is going to cost whoever asks for conservatorship $400 in filing fees. That doesn’t include support documentation an expert in going to have to sign off on. Most Conservators will have to hire an attorney to deal with the huge pile of legal issues that go with their job and that can really run up the legal bill. All of which is billed to and or reimbursed by your Estate. Additionally a Conservator literal has the right to sell your house and treasures without your okay. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to get your stuff back if your conservator does rip you off if don’t have a Living Will/ Testament Will. On the flip side if a loved one becomes your conservator, he or she becomes responsible for all your debts. It is their job to see that all your bills get paid. This means that they will have access to all your banks accounts, social security payments any source of income you have. However, even after your loved one has been forced to empty your bank accounts and has sold everything of value you have to pay your bills, Debtors can still come after your loved one for any money you may still owe and take their money and or assets. Now if you manage to recover thing can become really difficult. Proving to the court you no longer need a ‘conservator’. You see if your ‘conservator’ fights you this will cost you in lawyer and court fees. Under Conservatorship getting access to your money to pay for a lawyer to help you get rid of the conservator is up to the conservator and or probate court.
Having a Living Will is the best and cheapest way to avoid most of this mess. With a Living Will you can appoint someone you totally trust to become your ‘Legal Guardian’ and or ‘Conservator’ if you become too ill to take care of your needs. A Living Will fully or validated in probate courts you can make sure that the Conservator and or Guardian appointed over you is protected and double sure they are someone you trust.
Under a straight Will there are executors. Executor is someone you have appointed to make sure your last wishes are carried out.
More on Probate coming next week.
Sorry folks for being so late with this week’s article. I understand from my internet service provider that a series of sunspot created significant interference was blocking my internet connection. I have been down for 4 days.
All right then to work. Once again I am not a lawyer, I am a paralegal. Also when a layer or a paralegal becomes involved you problem becomes an issue.
Picking up from last week, in small claims court, the court clerk can help you with services of process. For a fee. They will send your opponent a certified letter of your complaint for $15. In some county’s you might even be able to get the county sheriff to make service of process or hand deliver your complaint for $80.
SIDE-NOTE: Service of Process is the methods used by the courts and lawyers to notify someone they are being sued. If you mess up notifying your opponent, your case will be terminated or to but it simply ‘thrown out on its ass’. I will get deeper into that in future posts.
Now there are ‘people’ who get to be sue happy in the small claims court system. You see technically you can file as many court cases as you like. Using the county of Los Angles small Claims rules and regulations. For example, let’s say you file up to 2 complaints asking for $2500 in each case during the same calendar year. Each case costing you $50 dollars in filing fees. However if you file a 3rd, 4th or 5th case during the same calendar year each case will cost you a whole lot more in filing fees. You see each additional case you file will cost you $100 per case. Additionally the amount you can ask for in damages reduces. In the first two cases you filed you asked for the $2500 and if you file a 3rd one you can only ask for $1500. Additionally you can only claim the standard $30 filing fee as part of your damages even though you paid $100 in a filing fee.
SIDE-NOTE: Damages is supposed to mean how much money it will take to repair or fix your problem (issue) and make you ‘whole’. Your Lawyer’s fees, court costs and filing fees do count as damages. Just remember if you file more than 2 small claims court cases in the same calendar year you cannot claim the more expensive filing fees you have been charged as damages. You can only claim the slandered filing fee
Again please forgive me for being late. I will try to make sure tech didn’t become a future issue. Next week’s article will touch on probate and court costs.
Once again I am not a Lawyer… yet. I am a Paralegal. Also lets not forget when a paralegal or a lawyer become involved your problem becomes an issue.
As promised I am now gonna talk about Small Claims court. Small claims court system is a court set up to deal with small problems/issues. For example you move and your landlord refuses to refund your security deposit. You can use the small claims court system to try to force your landlord to pay up. On the flip side your landlord can also file a counter-claim saying you trashed your apartment and you owe them money. If you have a neighbor that won’t keep their dog from pooping in your yard and won’t clean it up you can take them to small claims court to try and force your Irresponsible Owner to pay for a yard cleaning service. Another reason, you may have loaned Cousin Fred $2500 and hasn’t paid you back yet, you can take him to small claims court to try to force him to pay you back. There are hundreds of things you can take into small claims court.
There is a limit on the amount of damages you can ask in small claims court. On average the most you can ask for is $5,000. In some states and or cities you like Los Angles can ask for as much as $10,000. If you want more after then that your case gets moved over in to Civil Court where sky’s the limit.
This is a piece of friendly advice not legal advice. If you are asking for damages over $3000 strong>PLEASE GOD SEE A LAWYER!
SIDE-NOTE: A good rule of thumb the more you ask for in damages THE MORE YOU NEED A LA<wyer!!!
SIDE-NOTE: A counterclaim is when the person you are suing is telling the judge ‘Yeah but the complainant (you) caused me damage too and my damage is more important.
SIDE-NOTE: Damages is supposed to mean how much money it will take to repair or fix your problem (issue) and make you ‘whole’. Your Lawyer’s fees also count as damages.
Now we come to the actual filing fees. Filling fees can vary from city to city and by how much you are asking for in damages.
For example in the county of San Diego California you decide to file a small claims court case asking for $1500 this is going to cost you $30 in filing fee. The same case in Dallas Texas will cost you a $61. Understand though if you ask for more in damages it will mean a higher filing fee. Going back to San Diego if you ask for $5000 the cost jumps up to $50.
strong>SIDE-NOTE</wyer!!!: Service of Process is the methods used by the courts and lawyers to notify the person you are suing that there is now a law suit filed against them. If mess up notifying your opponent, your case ends. I will get deeper into that in future posts.
Next week I’ll finish with small claims, also I might do more opinion pieces
As before I am not a Lawyer I am a Paralegal. Also when a Lawyer or a Paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an issue.
WARNING! When you make your 1st, 2nd, 3rd or last filing fee payment make damn sure that check will clear. If it bounces, it is a $53 fine. Plus, neither Trustee nor your Lawyer is gonna be happy with you if it bounces. So if you run into trouble talk to your lawyer or with the bankruptcy court clerk. If you keep them in the loop, the clerk or your lawyer may be able to get a payment rescheduled. Just remember the entire fee must be paid in full 180 days after you started your Bankruptcy. Also remember, if you get into serious trouble and can’t make your payments, talk to your lawyer you may now qualify for the full fee waiver.
Now this is a piece of friendly not legal advice. If you decide to go down this road make damn sure you got every single debt you owe listed and turned over to your Lawyer. There have been cases of Clients who kept certain debts back from their lawyers because they thought could manage this debt on the sly. Unfortunately everything crashes after they receive their discharge and their lawyer is forced to go back into their bankruptcy filing and add this debt. This costs the client another $245 in court costs. Not to mention what their lawyer charges for getting the right forms filled out and convincing the Trustee that their client isn’t playing games.
Seriously amending or adding debt to a Bankruptcy Discharge is meant for unforeseeable financial emergencies. For example if you suddenly find yourself hit with several thousand in unexpected medical bills after receiving your discharge; you can get them added to your bankruptcy.
All right than moving on to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. A Chap. 13, basically means, ‘ I messed up give some time to get my shit together.’ The cost of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy breaks down as follows, $235 filing fee plus a $46 miscellaneous administrative fee. Don’t worry you will have the same options to get the filing fee paid as is in a Chapter. 7. Except for the fee waiver, the waiver is for souls with absolutely no income.
The way a Chapter 13 works is once again you list all your debts and assets. Plus how much you can reasonably pay, not comfortably pay, reasonably pay. What happens is your payments are given to the Trustee and she/he will give your debtors a portion of that money. You also will have given the Trustee a workable plan to get your finances back to where they needs to be so you can handle your debt.
Side-Note: A reasonable payment is how much you can give the Trustee and still keep your family fed and housed. Plus enough for a dinner and a movie every now and then. A comfortable payment lets you go out partying every weekend.
More about the Costs of Captor 13 next week.
I am not a Lawyer I am a Paralegal. Also when a Lawyer or a Paralegal becomes involved your problem or concern becomes an issue.
Okay there are two types of Bankruptcy used by the average person. The most well-known are Chapter 7, and Chapter 13. A Chapter 7 basically means
‘I ain’t got it and I can’t get it. Back off.’
When your bankruptcy is filed with the courts your creditors do have to back off but each and every one of your creditors must be officially notified of your Bankruptcy. This usually means a certified or registered letter through the post office. Most honest debt collectors will treat a telephone call as notification until they receive the official notification. If you have a lawyer her/his Firm will take care of that for you. Unfortunately Chapter 7 bankruptcy is where a lot of your valuable assets/possessions could be liquidated/sold to repay your creditors. If you own your own home or have specialized equipment that you need to keep or find a job PLEASE GOD SEE A LAWYER!!!!! A good lawyer will be able to help you protect at least some if not all of such assists/possessions.
Example: You are a Plumber and you just bought a brand new Cadillac. Your lawyer will be able to protect your work van and equipment but that Caddy you are so pleased with. So, sorry your shiny Caddy has to go back to the dealer. You’ll have to make do with a used mini-van for about a year.
If you really behind the 8-ball and if you take the time to look you can find a Bankruptcy Firm and Legal Aid group that will be willing to make their fees a part of your Bankruptcy debt. (They get a tax write off which balances the taxes paid on fees they charge rich people) However you will still have to come up with the Filing Fee. Currently the fee breakdown goes like this $245 case filing fee, $45 miscellaneous administrative fee and $16 Trustee surcharge. This is according to the United States Courts website. Bringing the total to start your Chapter 7 up to $306.
Don’t Panic! There is a way to break that $306 into manageable payments. It is just a matter of adding the right form to your bankruptcy petition. You will have to make the 1st payment when turn over your bankruptcy petition into the courts. In some cases your lawyer could get the whole fee waived. Also remember your protection officially doesn’t start until your bankruptcy petition is filed with the court.
Side-note: A petition is not a complaint. Simply put when you are filing a petition you are saying one of 2 things to the court. ‘I have this problem that I need your help with.’ or ‘this is a bad thing and I think you need to look into it.’
Next week I’ll talk about Chapter 13. Which simply put means ‘Give some room to get my act together.’