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September 2017 Archives

Can you afford the marital home?

When divorcing your spouse, you need to understand the total amount of assets, including real estate, investment accounts, retirement accounts, etc. You also need to understand whether you are likely to receive spousal support. All of these factors will help you determine how your are going to support yourself after all of the assets are divided, and you are living on your own.

What is a QDRO?

A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, is a court order that allows the transfer of funds from a 401(k), or other qualified retirement account, to a spouse, pursuant to a judgment of divorce. A QDRO is one of the few instances that money can be withdrawn from a 401(k), without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

What is an automatic stay in bankruptcy?

Section 362 of the United States Bankruptcy code provides for a stay of collection proceedings from the moment a bankruptcy proceeding is filed. An automatic stay is an automatic injunction that prevents any creditor action (with some exceptions), from continuing any collection activity against a debtor that has filed for bankruptcy. The stay is the reason that creditors must stop their harassing calls after you have filed your bankruptcy petition.

What is the difference between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 13 is a reorganization, and is for individuals who have regular income and can pay back at least a portion of their debt/creditors, through a repayment plan. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a complete discharge of your debts (with certain exclusions), for those individuals whose monthly expenses exceed their income.

An Overview of the Personal Injury Process

If you are the victim of a car accident, you may have questions about what happens next. Many people who are involved in a car accident are not familiar with the legal process and do not know the first step to take. The attorneys at SMDA are here to help you with each step of the process and answer any questions you may have. We understand that being injured unexpectedly can be overwhelming, which is why our skilled attorneys strive to help you handle the legal aspect of your case.

Bankruptcy FAQ

1.) Q: What is the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process?

How long do you have to wait for a divorce?

One of the most common questions we receive is "how long do I have to wait until my divorce is final?" The statutory minimum for a divorce without minor children is sixty (60) days. The statutory minimum for a divorce with minor children is six (6) months.

Why You Should Report All Drivers On Your Car Insurance

Everyone loves saving money, but it could cost you if your current means of doing so include not listing all drivers of your vehicle on your insurance policy. SMDA recently worked a case where the insurance company claimed they were entitled to deny no-fault insurance benefits to our client because he allegedly was not listed as a named insured on his commercial vehicle automobile insurance policy. The company attempted to apply the holding from the Court of Appeals in Barnes v Farmers, 308 Mich App 1 (2014), to this case involving a commercial policy to ask the Court to rule that our client was not entitled to receive No-Fault insurance benefits following a collision. However, the Court determined that the Barnes case only pertained to personal automobile insurance policies and not commercial policies. Since the SMDA client was operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the accident, the holding from Barnes was inapplicable to our client. However, our case should act as a good reminder for anyone, especially families, with a personal No-Fault automobile insurance policy to list all drivers of the car on the policy, no matter how little time they spend in it and here's why:

New VA Mobile App Makes Health Care More Accessible for Veterans

There is a new mobile system that veterans can utilize in order to access healthcare services from their mobile devices. The Veterans Affairs Telehealth Services can now be accessed by app, making it easier for patients to schedule visits from as many as 50 types of health care services remotely.

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