Yes, you can now apply for DACA as a first-time applicant or apply for a DACA renewal.

 

 

On December 7, 2020, the United States District Court, ruled that the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) shall start accepting DACA applications under the following situations:

  • Accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Accepting DACA renewal requests based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Accepting applications for advance parole documents based on the terms of the DACA policy prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years; and
  • Extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.

USCIS will take appropriate steps to provide evidence of the one-year extensions of deferred action and employment authorization documents under DACA to individuals who were issued documentation on or after July 28, 2020, with a one-year validity period under the defunct policy.

DHS will comply with the order while it remains in effect, but DHS may seek relief from the order.

 

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was created by Pres. Obama in 2012, which deferred action on immigration cases for certain undocumented people who came to the United States as a child. USCIS began accepting applications for this program on August 15, 2012.

 

 

DACA is granted to certain individuals on a discretionary basis to those who have a pending removal order, currently in removal proceedings or have no removal actions being faced by them. Under DACA status and undocumented immigrant may apply for an Employment Authorization Document and Social Security card which allows them to work legally in the United States and in many states provides them the opportunity to apply for a driver’s license. At this time there is no direct manner and using DACA to obtain a green card (lawful permanent resident status), which is the road to citizenship in the United States.

Individuals must meet following criteria to apply for DACA:

  • Are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present. (For purposes of calculating this five-year period, brief absences from the United States for humanitarian reasons will not be included);
  • Entered the U.S. without inspection or fell out of lawful visa status before June 15, 2012;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind; and
  • Do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Applicants will have to provide substantial documentary evidence of the above criteria. In addition, every applicant must complete and pass a biographic and biometric background check.

What can bar you from applying for DACA?

DHS will deem as “significant” any misdemeanor involving any of the following, regardless of the sentence imposed:

  • burglary;
  • domestic violence;
  • sexual abuse or exploitation;
  • unlawful possession of firearms;
  • driving under the influence; or
  • drug distribution or trafficking.

This restriction can also be extended to any misdemeanor (a crime which is not a felony) in which the person applying for DACA was sentenced to more than 90 days in jail, but this time does not include a suspended sentence or time in custody for immigration matters, these crimes will be considered in triggering denial of DACA.

Age restrictions to DACA: A person who is applying for DACA must be at least 15 years old at the time of applying. Although, immigrants who are currently in removal proceedings, have a removal order from an immigration court or received an order of voluntary departure, are exempt from the age requirement and can file if they are below the age of 15. Finally, those who were 31 years old or older on June 15, 2012 may not apply for DACA.

 

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

What Is the 341 Meeting of Creditors?  What types of questions will you be asked by the bankruptcy trustee?

 

The meeting is part of the bankruptcy process, which is handled outside the presence of a judge and all bankruptcy petitioners must attend. These are usually scheduled between 21 in 50 days after your bankruptcy petition has been filed. These meetings are handled by the bankruptcy trustee. These meetings allow the United States trustee to review your petition and schedules, by asking you a series of questions. There are many questions you may be asked at a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, 341 Meeting of Creditors, by a Bankruptcy Trustee. Depending on which trustee you get, these questions may vary. But, here is a list of the most common questions asked. Always remember to bring your Social Security card and your drivers license, or any official documentation that contain that information.

1. Your attorney is going to show you a piece of paper filed for your electronic signature, is that signature yours?
2. Full legal name, Social Security number, and your current address.
3. Did you personally provide all of the information in your petition and schedules?
4. Is all the information in your bankruptcy petition accurate and complete?
5. Did you list all your assets and creditors in your bankruptcy petition?
6. Did you sign your bankruptcy petition and all corresponding documents?
7. Did you read the entire bankruptcy petition and schedules before signing?
8. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy in the past and if so, when?
9. Are you personally familiar with all of the information you provided in your bankruptcy petition?
10. Is all the information listed in your bankruptcy petition and statements?
11. Are there any errors on your bankruptcy petition that you are aware of?
12. Is there anything you’d like to change on your bankruptcy petition now?
13. Have you listed all of your assets on your petition and schedules?
14. Have you correctly listed all of your creditors in your petition?
15. The tax return that was provided with your bankruptcy petition accurate and correct?
16. Do you pay child support or alimony, or any other domestic support obligations?
17. Are you current on all your domestic support obligations since you filed for bankruptcy?
18. Have you file all of your required past tax returns, within the last four years?
19. I are expecting to receive a refund on your previously filed tax returns?
20. Did your attorney describes you both chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
21. Did your attorney explained to you how bankruptcy will affect your credit score?
22. Have you repay any friends or family members, within the last year, for any debts she may have had with them?
23. What situation occurred therefore to file bankruptcy?
24. How did you get a dollar amounts for your personal property listed in your schedules?
25. I will pay hourly or do you receive a salary? How much do you make per hour or how much is your salary?
26. Do you own any real estate or have any outstanding mortgages on real estate?
27. In the past two years have you made any substantial transfers to anyone, friends, or family?
28. Is anyone holding any property for you?
29. Do you have a potential lawsuit against anyone, such as an automobile accident or slip and fall case?
30. Have you inherited anything from anyone or are you about to inherit something from someone?
31. Are you the beneficiary or the trustee of a trust?
32. Are you self-employed or own a business?
33. Have you transferred any property or money, to anyone within the last year?

 

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

Introduction.

 

So you’ve just been in an automobile accident, a motorcycle accident or slip and fall on someone else’s property. There are a few things that you should know to protect yourself, gather evidence and being proactive in your possible future personal injury claim. We shall discuss all important issues concerning you, right after accident and how to best prepare for any future litigation.

 

 

At the time of the accident of injury.

 

Obviously, first and foremost, you must be concerned with your health and safety. Make sure you don’t do anything, that could cause you any further injury, as this may affect your case in the future. Many times, after an automobile accident or slip and fall, your body can go into what is known as shock or your body may activate its defense system, by releasing large amount of adrenaline into your system. You must be conscious of this, because this adrenaline will partially or fully, mask the injuries that you sustained. The important at this point, is to consider yourself more injured, then you may believe or realize. So, take it easy, move slow and be conscious of any injuries you may have sustained.

Once you’ve taking care of yourself, the next most important thing for you to do is to preserve as much evidence as you can, at the scene of the accident. Most of you reading this are doing it on some form of smart phone, which means you have both the camera and a video camera. You should use both. First, take as many photographs, from as many angles, as humanly possible. This means taking close-up photographs of all the damage, to all vehicles involved or the condition of the property that caused your injury. You should also take photographs from a medium distance away and then photographs from a far distance away. Most people do not realize how important it is to obtain photographs from multiple angles and to catch the positioning of all automobiles in the accident. What you are doing this for, is to provide your attorney with additional evidence, that will never be able to be obtained at any other point in time, other than the scene of the accident. Once you’ve taken as many photographs from all different angles in all different positions, the next thing you should do is turn on your video camera and slowly film the entire scene. Do not simply videotape the scene in quick sweeping motions, as this will offer you little to no benefit in the settlement process or trial. Please consider the yourself a movie director, in which you are attempting to give your audience the full experience of the present situation. This may seem rudimentary, but is extremely rare for a client to provide me with the evidence I wish they would, considering there is no way to re-create that evidence once the accident has been cleared up or possibly the property owner has repaired it.

 

Taking an Ambulance to the Hospital after an automobile accident or a slip and fall accident.

 

As previously stated, most people after an accident do not realize how injured they are, due to being in shock or adrenaline. Unless you are completely sure that you’re not injured at all, you should always take in ambulance from the scene of the accident to the hospital. This is something over 90% of people in accidents failed to do, usually because they do not want to leave their car on the side of the road or to incur additional medical bills of the ambulance ride. But what does taking an ambulance from the accident give you, the simple answer is it begins the timeline of your injuries and medical treatment. Most people do not realize how important this is, as many do not go directly to the hospital or take days or weeks to see a position after an accident. This is a critical step in the personal injury process, as you could further injure yourself for some unrelated reason, further exacerbate your injuries in a way that is unrelated to the accident which injured you and finally, it provides your personal injury lawyer with the best medical evidence possible to support your personal injury lawsuit. On a more practical note, most likely you are more injured and you believe and the safest choice possible for you is to seek medical attention directly after the accident and be transported by medical professionals in ambulance.

 

 

Follow-Up with your Primary Care Physician

 

Assuming you went to the hospital directly after your accident, and even more importantly if you never went to the hospital after accident, you need to go see your PCP (primary care physician) as soon as possible. At the hospital, directly after accident, the physicians that treat you are most concerned with assessing your injuries and stabilizing your condition, if you are seriously injured. But it will be your primary care physician, that will handle your ongoing treatment and/or provide you with a referral to a doctor that specializes in a particular type of medicine, depending on the injuries you sustained. The vast majority of accidents, your primary care physician is going to want to refer you to a specialist, depending on your injuries. These specialists will be invaluable in ascertaining the severity of your injuries, the length of recuperating from those injuries and being able to determine with medical certainty if your injuries will be permanent.

 

Chiropractor & Rehabilitation

 

Many times, your treating physician will not send you to a chiropractor or rehabilitation. Many doctors in the medical profession do not see chiropractors as valuable in the treatment of patients, especially in personal injury cases nothing could be further from the truth. You may be tempted to go to your chiropractor, that you used in the past, you should certainly consult with a personal injury attorney on which chiropractor to use. Don’t forget you going to this chiropractor because of the accident you’ve been in, not because your back hurts from an old football injury. When it comes to chiropractors, they are not all created equally, when it comes to personal injury. One of the most valuable reasons to employ a chiropractor, is because many skilled in the treatment of personal injuries, are also skilled in drafting the medical reports of your treatment. For the most part, these medical reports are actually read by computer programs and many skilled chiropractors actually know how to fill out the medical reports with the best practices, in order for the software that will review your matter, to give the most favorable results. I would say in 75% of the cases that I’m involved in, where a client chooses their own chiropractor, the medical reports provided are not very useful to a personal injury attorney. This

 

 

 

Collection of your own FACTS for your Personal Injury Case.

 

The collection of data on your personal injury case, is something that you and only you are able to accomplish. Most experienced personal injury attorneys will provide you or explained to you the means in which to collect this data. The data (evidence) I’m speaking of, is basically your medical and personal history starting at the accident and continuing until the end of your personal injury lawsuit. The types of data that I’m speaking of our: How you feel in your impressions of your injuries. A daily log of how you feel. A log of all of your medical appointments. Symptoms and how you are feeling. How your daily activities are affected. The duration and frequency of pain and other ailments. Medication, therapies and side effects. Your ability to work and how your work schedule is affected. Communications with insurance providers and medical treatment. A weekly post accident journal. An overview of your pain and symptoms resulting from your accident. Most good personal injury law firms will provide you with blank documents where you can fill in all this information, in an easy to use format, as we do at the Botelho Law Group.

 

 

What to consider during the Settlement phase of your personal injury case.

 

Finally, we’ll touch on the subject matter of what you should consider during the settlement phase of your personal injury lawsuit. Many people feel that simply be because they’ve been in an accident, they will experience a financial windfall from this unfortunate incident. If you don’t closely follow the procedures I’ve outlined above, you are severely going to impact your settlement amount, by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Another consideration is your financial situation and how long you can wait until receiving money from the settlement. The longer it takes for your attorney to obtain a settlement, generally the higher the settlement will be. There are also different times of the year that it is better to settle or not to settle. At the end of the year, especially after the halfway point in the month of December, is strategically the best time to settle. This is because the insurance adjusters, want to get as many files off their desk, before the new year. Another obvious, but overlooked situation is, have you completed all medical treatment or will you be required to continue to treat for the rest of your life based on this injure you sustained. Some people are so anxious to obtain settlement funds, they push their lawyers to settle the case before they’ve ever finish treating. Nothing could be worse for your personal injury case, and attempting to settle it before you’re done treating medically. As personal injury attorneys, we are very well aware of the financial struggles our clients suffer, especially when they are injured and out of work for some length of time. The situation makes people a lot more eager to settle the case, either before treatment is completed or before they are well enough to return to work. It is critical for you to remember, that you only have one shot at a settlement after being in an accident, no one gets a second bite of the same Apple (except in extremely rare situations, where the condition was not found by the physicians and later on can be proven that it arose from the exact injury of your lawsuit). In conclusion, the longer you wait to settle your personal injury claim, the better chances you will have it receiving a settlement that you will find fair and reasonable. This could simply be due to the fact that, the insurance adjuster will realize that you’re not going to settle for one of their initial lowball figures. On one final note. If you do not receive a settlement amount that you feel is adequate, your only other choice is to file a lawsuit. So while considering the settlement offer you have been given, you must take into account that filing a lawsuit in court will lengthen the amount of time before you obtain money from your personal injury by months or years (mainly one – three years). So when deciding on if you want to accept a settlement payment or go to trial, just understand not only will the trial dramatically increased the amount of time you will wait before obtaining a settlement, any and all experts used at trial come directly out of your share of the settlement amount and not out of the share that your personal injury attorney receives. To clarify that, your personal injury attorney will obtain their percentage off the total amount received, and then the legal fees associated with it such as expert witnesses, will come directly out of your share. To make the math easy, if your case is worth $100,000 and you require three experts which cost a combined total of $30,000, you’re most likely going to end up with less money than the share that your attorney brings home. The vast majority of clients that I see, love the idea of going to trial, but do not understand that besides for the attorneys work, they are going to pay each and every cost of that trial. And in some situations, those costs improving your case, can put the settlement amount that you receive lower than the settlement amount that the insurance company initially offered you. So before settling your case, you should always have a very frank conversation with your personal injury attorney about the pros and cons of litigating the case. And on a final note, the vast majority personal injuries attorneys compensation increases dramatically if the case is filed in court. The usual commissions are 33% or one third for simply settling the case, but as high as 50% or more to take the case to trial and actually try the case in a court of law.

 

 

 

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave. Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office: 888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

What is the economic impact that the corona-virus is having for millions of Americans and what is the best practices of using bankruptcy to recover from these difficult economic times?

With the entire world dealing with the global pandemic of Covid 19, the citizens of the United States will soon be dealing with the economic realities that this virus has cost us. This blog is not to discuss the Covid 19 virus on any level, simply the economic impact of hospitalization and quarantine due to contracting the virus, lock-downs, businesses forced to close and the state sanctioned stopping of all eviction cases. Most importantly, will be covering the particular situations people will be finding themselves in and the best uses of bankruptcy to recover from these economically difficult times.

There are several main ways that the global pandemic will affect citizens of the United States economically and there are very specific remedies that can be used in bankruptcy to recover from these economically difficult times. This blog we will explore the various situations that may arise and the best use of bankruptcy to alleviate them. First I will attempt to briefly cover several situations that will lead people to file bankruptcy and then I will go over the particular chapter of the bankruptcy code used to remedy your particular situation and also the timing of filing a bankruptcy petition. Even though the same virus may cause millions of Americans financial hardship, the particular chapter of the bankruptcy code used and the timing of filing your petition are very different, depending on your particular situation.

Health and Covid-19.
Contracting the corona-virus and subsequent required quarantine after hospitalization, will be one of the most common situations that will cause Americans file for bankruptcy (medical reasons). If this is a situation that you find yourself in, there are very important steps you should follow to ensure that you recover as quickly as possible from your financial situation. Obviously, the very first thing you should be concerned with is your help and do everything possible to get your health back on track and deal with the ramifications of the two week quarantine after you’ve recovered, before dealing with your financial situation

Lock-downs and Business Closures.
State sanctioned lock-downs and businesses forced to close during the pandemic, will be the second most common reason that people go into a financial crisis due to Covid 19. Basically in this situation, the vast majority of you will not be sick, but will be forced to deal with the ramifications of the economic situation you have been placed in, even if you are completely fine to go to work. The situations will affect certain citizens of the United States differently, depending on the state that you reside in and the regulations that your state politicians have put into place. Even if you’re completely healthy, if you are not allowed to go to work or if the business you once worked in has permanently closed due to the economic impact of business closures, the real result is the same, eventually you will have no job and no income. Unemployment and stimulus checks will not last forever, and many people will be dealing with the situation of being jobless once all the lockdowns have been removed. Many business owners will suffer the loss of the business they’ve worked their lifetime to build, simply because they are not able to support their overhead during the shutdown. This particular situation is certainly less common in United States, if you took away Covid 19, although it does happen. Knowing what to do in handling your particular financial situation through the use of bankruptcy, will have you taking into account your particular financial situation and the different options available through filing for bankruptcy.

Evictions and Foreclosures.
Evictions in the future will have huge impact on the United States economy, due to the Covid 19 virus. Many states have put in place regulations that do not allow for landlord to evict a tenant or for a bank to foreclose on a property owner, for a set amount of time. This of course will vary from state to state, but in Massachusetts where we are located, evictions and foreclosures were placed on hold back in March and as of today August 4, 2020, has been extended to the middle of September. This on its face may seem like a great idea, not to be able to be evicted or foreclosed upon for nonpayment of rent or monthly mortgage payments. This couldn’t be further from the truth, it will only cause financial ruin for both landlords and tenants. It’s obvious to see why a landlord would be devastated by these policies put in place by their state politicians, but it’s a little more difficult to see the impact that this will also have on tenants. Obviously if a property owner cannot make their mortgage payments for several months or half a year, once the ban on foreclosures is lifted, they will already be 90 days behind on their mortgage payments and will automatically be placed in foreclosure proceedings (unless some deal is made with the bank). And for many tenants, who think this will not affect them, they are completely wrong. During most foreclosures, the banks like the properties empty to get the best price at a foreclosure sale. It’s also very important for people to realize that banks do not like to be landlords and they do not want to deal with the day-to-day headaches of having tenants, thus they will in most situations, evict all the tenants from residential housing of the building that’s going into foreclosure. So, in my humble opinion, one of the worst economic disasters we will see after this global pandemic, is going to be a housing crisis. We will dive into what the best way for you to handle this particular situation.

I’ve also written a blog and posted the YouTube video on when is the best time to file bankruptcy, that is probably a good place to turn to after you finish with this, as it will expound on many of the principles I’m discussing in this blog and video.

Which Chapter of Bankruptcy Code to use?
The very first thing you must address is which chapter of the bankruptcy code will you utilize, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. I will not dive into all the difference between the two forms of consumer bankruptcy, I have other blogs and videos on that subject, I’m just going to give a brief overview as it pertains to the subject matter of corona-virus. The first thing that you must consider is, do you have secured property that you wish to retain, such as real estate or other secured property like an automobile. Basically, the question is, do you have any debt that is secured by collateral (such as a house or a car), that you wish to retain. Next, is to determine if you’re even able to take advantage of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. At this point I would take the time to review my blogs and videos on the differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and also watch the videos that dive deep into both of these forms of consumer bankruptcy.

If you’re a property owner, and want to save your real estate, and are behind on mortgage payments and facing foreclosure, and have the financial means to do so, chapter 13 bankruptcy is certainly the right choice for you. If you find yourself in a situation where for months you are not able to make your normal monthly mortgage payments, it’s but now you have the income needed to once again start paying your monthly mortgage payments, chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to pay off the delinquency of the mortgage over a 3 to 5 year period. With chapter 13 bankruptcy you must be able to pay your normal monthly mortgage payment and be able to afford repaying your delinquent mortgage payments over 3 to 5 year period. There are a lot of factors that go into the equation, but to make things simple, if you can basically pay your normal monthly mortgage payment, then you take the amount that is delinquent divide by 36 (months) or 60 (months), then add 15% to that number and you will have obtained your monthly repayment plan amount. This amount is on top of your normal monthly mortgage payment in the amount you can afford should dictate if you either take a three year for a five year chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. Please understand this is an extremely simplified equation, and does not do justice to how complicated formulating a repayment plan for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is, this is just to give you a basic roundabout figure of how much it will cost you. Remember that you may also have to include some unsecured debt in that equation, which may increase the number on the monthly repayment plan schedule. This is the most important piece of information you need to know when facing losing your real estate property and the financial resources you will need to be able prevent this and move on.

For those of you who are not worried about losing a piece of real estate due to Covid 19 and are financially able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (some people due to high levels of income or collateral securing debts, may not want be able to consider chapter 7), then chapter 7 bankruptcy will be your best option. For the sake of this blog, we will assume that you are able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and then you are not attempting to save any collateral letter securing the debt, which faith leads us to when you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not if you will file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. So now were talking about timing, not if you will file, but when you will file. Many people will want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as soon as possible, that in certain situations this is the wrong choice to make. Unless you have no other options and you are using chapter 7 bankruptcy to prevent an eviction or possibly a court judgment from being attached to your real estate and time is of the essence, then planning exactly when you file your chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is critical. With a chapter 13, this soon as you can afford to start making your normal monthly mortgage payments and can afford the repayment plan, there’s no benefit in waiting on filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is not true for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and there is more strategy involved. To simplify matters, as most of this is in covered in other videos and blogs I posted that you can refer to, I’ll make the simple. You do not want to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your way to hitting rock bottom, you don’t want to file when you hit rock bottom, you want to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy after you’ve hidden rock bottom and are starting the climb back out of that hole. The reason for this is we want to encompass as much of your financial debt as possible and take advantage of any financial benefits you can, prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Basically, you want to capture is many debts as possible when filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy, as these will be completely wiped out. It makes no sense to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy when you know things will be worse for you in the future, as Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you many options to escape things such as evictions and terminate lawsuits against you.

In conclusion, if you find yourself, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, with a loss of income due to any the previously discussed subjects or losing your property due to these reasons, filing for bankruptcy should be one of the financial tools you are considering and rectifying your financial predicament. Careful planning and knowing all your options will be critical in obtaining the 30 best outcome for your particular financial situation through the use of filing either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy of the bankruptcy code. As always, is important to always seek the advice of a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, but it’s also just as important to be able to have a basic understanding of bankruptcy and how you can use it to remedy your financial hardship due to the coronavirus.

 

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723

888-269-0688

Botelho Law Group

Let’s go through the entire process from beginning to end.

Notice to Quit.

In the Massachusetts the eviction process there are two basic forms of the notice to quit, which is a requirement to begin the eviction process in Massachusetts. There are also other choices which pertain to criminal activity occurring on your property, which is out of the scope of this blog. The two main forms of providing notice of the termination of tenancy in Massachusetts are; the 30 day notice to quit and the 14 day notice to quit (for nonpayment of rent). The 14 day notice to quit, can be filed after any point when rent is due and has not been paid. Massachusetts does have a 15 day grace period, hence the 14 day notice to quit, which includes the first day the rent was due and 14 more days in which you are required to allow the tenant to pay overdue rent. The more common and more often used, 30 Day notice to quit, is a little more difficult to use, but highly recommended. D 30 day notice to quit, will not actually start running until the first day of the next month. If you were to file a 30 notice to quit on the fifth day of the month, it would not actually start running until the first day of the next month. Depending on when you’re choosing to file, this can increase the duration of time by however many days are left in the month that you serve it, then the 30 days after the first day of the next month. It is important to remember that any notice to quit to terminate tenancy in Massachusetts and begin the eviction process, must be served either by a constable or a sheriff in the county your serving the notice and, although it may serve the tenant and hand yourself, but they will have to sign the notice to quit and you will have to have a Notary Public there to witness the signing, this generally won’t happen, so don’t waste your time.

Summons of Complaint.

After the duration of time has expired, depending on which notice to quit you a file, the next document that you must serve on the tenant is the summons. You must purchase a summons from the SE. Housing Ct. or which ever court is in your jurisdiction of the property that you will be evicting the tenant from. The summons cost five dollars and have an embossed stamp in them, you cannot use a photocopy of one. These are also served by a constable or sheriff in the jurisdiction or county that your property is located in. In this summons there are four important dates that you may obtain from your local housing court. These dates are the service date, the entry date, the answer date, and the court date. Generally it’s about three weeks from the time you serve the tenant, till the week in which you can get them into court to commence your eviction process. Depending on how the days fall, this can be pushed out to another week.

Eviction Court Date.

Your eviction court date, is the day that you appear in housing court of your jurisdiction to have your eviction heard before a judge. Most jurisdictions will want you to attempt mediation before actually putting the case before a judge, unless you bring your matter in the District Court of your particular jurisdiction. Just know, generally when you are attempting to mediate the eviction, that if it goes in front of a judge, by general practice, the judge will afford your tenant another 30 days from the date you’re in court to leave the premises. So when you’re mediation it’s very important to be considering the fact that if you go in front of a judge, the judge is not in itself the tenant may have to leave that day, that we or even within two weeks, generally most judges will afford the tenant another 30 days from the day you’re in court. This is important to consider when attempting to settle the matter with the mediator. I’ll write another blog post on settling cases, we don’t want this blog to get too long.

Judgment and Execution.

Once you receive your judgment and execution for eviction, which generally takes at least 10 business days to receive both in the mail from the court, you must hire a constable or sheriff to evict the tenant and they will provide the tenant with 48 hours notice that you will be evicting the tenant. When you evict a tenant, realize that you must hire a constable or sheriff, a moving company and provide storage for their belongings for up to six months. This is another thing to consider while you’re in mediation, because it’s much easier and cheaper to have the tenant move out, instead of being forced to hire constable or sheriff, moving crew and providing storage for their belongings.

Things that may Lengthen the Process of Eviction.

If you took your action in the District Court in your jurisdiction, the tenant may by simply filing a form, move your case to housing court. This will afford the tenant another two weeks, before you can get them in front of the judge. If the tenant files for discovery with their answer, this will also give the tenant another automatic two weeks, before you get them the core. Plus you will also have to deal with the discovery demand and provide all required documentation that they are requesting. Appeal of judgment, if the tenant appeals the judgment you obtained in front of the judge, this will generally happen when the constable or share contacts them with the 48 hour notice that they will be evicted in the tenant goes to court and filed an appeal of the judgment. Again without getting into mediation, it is important to know that in mediation part of the deal you can make is that they are not allowed to appeal the case, ask for an extension or leave of stay.

Conclusion.

The eviction process and Massachusetts is extremely time-consuming and many pitfalls along the way can force you to start over from the beginning. Even though you do not need an attorney to perform eviction yourself, the amount of time it is going to take you to evict your tenant in the amount of mistakes that you can make along the process which will force you to start off from the beginning, it is highly recommended that you hire an experience eviction attorney. Now adding up all the time together between the service of process, service of summons of the eviction, the court date in the amount of time that the judge will allow them even if you do get an eviction, you’re looking between 3 to 6 months, or more to get your tenant out of your property. It’s important to consider how much your rent is how much it will cost you to have the property not generating rental revenue in your decision if you should hire an attorney to provide eviction services for you.

 

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave. 
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723 

Office:  888-269-0688

Botelho Law Group

What you should know about bankruptcy and how it can help you.

Bankruptcy, for most is a very scary term, which the vast majority of people do not fully understand or simply only have a very basic knowledge of what it is.  When you hear the word bankruptcy, visions of losing everything that you own or large corporation going under, is what most of us would think, but that couldn’t be further from the truth; bankruptcy is not an inevitable outcome, in fact it’s actually a solution to many people and companies financial distress. Depending on your particular financial situation, will determine if bankruptcy is the right choice for you or your business.

In this blog we will be focusing on Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, otherwise known as consumer bankruptcy. These should not be confused with Chapter 11 Bankruptcy or Chapter 12 Bankruptcy, which are to be utilized when a business needs to be reorganized in order to remain operating.

What questions you should be asking to determine if bankruptcy is in your future:

  1. Are you only making the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards?
  2. Are debt collectors calling you on a regular basis?
  3. Are you in constant fear when dealing with your finances?
  4. Are you forced to use credit to pay for daily necessities?
  5. Have you tried or considering some form of debt consolidation?
  6. Have you lost track of how much money you owe creditors?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it’s time to take a closer look at your financial situation. At this point you must make account of all of your income and all of your debts, while paying very close attention to your usual monthly expenses. If you find yourself only being able to make your minimum monthly payments on your credit obligations or barely breaking even every month, bankruptcy may be the right solution for you.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is known by many names; some call it “Fresh Start Bankruptcy”, while others call it “Liquidation Bankruptcy”. The reason it is known as “fresh start bankruptcy”, is because once you receive your Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you get a fresh start on your financial situation. Alternatively, the term “liquidation bankruptcy”, refers to the fact that the bankruptcy trustee, will sell off all nonexempt property, in order to pay off a portion or all of your debt. But don’t let this scare you, depending on the state you live in, you can either choose from your states bankruptcy exemptions or the federal bankruptcy exemptions. These exemptions will allow you to keep most or probably all of your assets and/or property. You should always consult a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, in order to determine which exemptions would be the right choice for your particular situation.  These bankruptcy exemptions allow you to keep the property that you need to be able to continue working and maintaining your primary residence, such things as your clothes, furniture and a certain amount of the equity in your vehicle. But as I stated before, the majority of people get to keep all of their property, but this does depend on which state you live in in your particular debt and assets.

To begin the bankruptcy process, you will need to take a credit counseling course, which is usually online or over the phone. The certificate for this course is only good for 180 days, so do not take this course until you are ready to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. After you file your bankruptcy petition, within one months time you will be going to a 341 meeting of creditors. This is essentially where you get to meet the bankruptcy trustee, go over your bankruptcy petitions and this will be when you’re informed if the bankruptcy trustee requires any additional documentation. This additional documentation usually consists of up-to-date bank account statements, tax returns, pay stubs, or anything you missed, when you file your bankruptcy petition. The 341 meeting, usually only last between 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your particular situation. After you’ve gone to the 341 meeting, the next thing you must do is take your second bankruptcy credit counseling course, which is about the same length as the one you took before you file bankruptcy. The first course is essentially “this is how you got yourself into bankruptcy” and the second course is essentially “this is how you keep yourself from going back into bankruptcy in the future”.

After you taken both of your credit counseling courses and have appeared at your 341 meeting of the creditors, there is nothing to do for you except to sit back and wait for your bankruptcy discharge to be mailed to you. The entire process from filing the bankruptcy petition to receiving your discharge is usually between 4 to 5 months, but if you require more time to get the bankruptcy trustee additional documentation the process may take a little bit longer.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not allow you to wipe out all your debt, some debts are what is considered nondischargeable debts. Some examples of nondischargeable debts would be child support orders from Family Court, income tax obligations to the federal government and state government which are three years old or less (some older tax obligations may be discharged, but that subjects for complete other blog), any debt that revolves around you committing fraud or if you had a judgment awarded against you for injury or death due to the fact you were drunk driving and someone was either injured or killed. Besides for those particular circumstances, the vast majority of your unsecured debt will be discharged in bankruptcy. You may discharge secured debt, such as a mortgage or a car loan, but you will lose the collateral or the property which secures that debt. In the example of a mortgage, that would mean you would lose the house or in the situation of a car loan, that would mean you would lose the car. You cannot remove the obligation of debt on a secured debt and still keep the collateral which secures that debt.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is for people who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or people who do qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but have assets that would be seized by the bankruptcy trustee and sold to pay those debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is very similar to chapter 7 bankruptcy, with some very important distinctions. People who cannot pass the means test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning that they make more than the median family income for their household size, thus precluded from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, may employ the use of chapter 13 bankruptcy. Although, the most useful reason to file chapter 13 bankruptcy is to help those who have fallen behind on their monthly payments of the secured debt, such as a mortgage, loan or car loan.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to formulate what is called chapter 13 repayment plan, which gives you either three or five years to repay the amount of payment you have in arrears, while making your usual monthly payments. So basically, if you’re six months behind on your mortgage, due to a medical reason or the temporary loss of income, chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you solve this problem. As long as you can make the usual monthly payments, chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to pay off the monthly payments that are in arrears in either a three-year plan or a five-year plan. Basically, if you are using a three year plan you take how much money you are in arrears or all, divides that by how many months are in three years or five years, add 15% for the bankruptcy trustee and this is your monthly trustee payment. If you also have unsecured debt, a portion of this must also be paid back in a chapter 13 bankruptcy, although not all of your unsecured debt such as credit cards needs to be paid off in a chapter 13 bankruptcy. The amount that needs to be paid off, is a mathematical equation that is formulated by your income and expenses and the amount of debt you have.

Many of the other processes of a chapter 13 bankruptcy, are exactly the same as a chapter 7 bankruptcy, except for some minor differences. The requirements of taking a pre-filing bankruptcy credit counseling course, the 341 meeting, and taking the second bankruptcy filing course are essentially the same. Also, the bankruptcy petition are basically the exact same documents between the chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the major difference being that the chapter 13 bankruptcy also includes the filing of a three year or five-year repayment plan. Another major difference in chapter 13 bankruptcy, is that you do not lose your assets or property, as long as you can make the required payments on those pieces of property that are secured. There are exceptions and limitations, but for most people you will be able to keep all of your property and still receive a bankruptcy discharge.

Once you receive your bankruptcy discharge, either in a chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you are then free to go on with your life. At this point the major drawback will be that bankruptcy will be listed on your credit report for the next 10 years. Do not worry, this is not the end of the world. Many people with bankruptcy on their records have purchased a new home or new car within a few years of receiving a bankruptcy discharge. Your credit report will soon start repairing itself, after it takes its initial hit due to filing for bankruptcy and receiving a bankruptcy discharge. But there are many things you can do or services you can employ, which can drastically shorten the time in which you can increase your credit score across all the credit reporting agencies (more on that topic in a future blog).

Depending on your situation, chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, can give your financial well-being a new lease on life. Always employ the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney in determining which chapter of the bankruptcy code you should file under and preparing your bankruptcy petition, required document and if you’re filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy your bankruptcy repayment plan.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave. 
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723 
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

Most of the cases that involve a personal injury are not as easy to reach a settlement on as the client may expect. There are some important things to know if you plan to visit a personal injury lawyer. Being informed about some issues and the necessities helps a person to define their case correctly to the personal injury attorney.

The points discussed here will also make a person understand when the claim can proceed for further processing. Be prepared with adequate knowledge and realistic expectations before visiting a Personal Injury Law Firm In Fall River for your case.

  • Injury does not mean an actionable claim: Sustaining an injury due to some outside reason definitely does not make perfect grounds for an actionable claim. One should have legal grounds to sue the person for the claims and prove his or her accountability for the injury. Most of the cases involving personal injury are related to the negligence of injury claims but there are other circumstances as well. 
  • Most of the cases are settled outside the court: Oftentimes, most personal injury cases are settled outside the court itself. The victim’s attorney comes to a negotiation with the other party and their lawyer outside of court. It can be decided upon whether or not the monetary settlement is accepted. If the settlement is not accepted, the matter goes to the court. 
  • One can make a claim even if the victim is at fault partially: In some of states, the victim can also claim for a recovery in case he is partially at fault. This reduces the amount of recovery depending on how much the victim contributed to the accident. Ask your attorney if this could be a factor in your case. 
  • Stipulated time: There is a fixed time period within which a person can seek a claim. Once the time period is over, a claim can not be made. Some states have the time frame of three years but it can even be less depending on your local laws. Getting to a personal injury lawyer in a timely manner post-injury can help a person file their claim on time. 

These are some of the important points that a person should know before filing a personal injury case and hiring an attorney. Knowing these details can make it easier for the Personal Injury Law Firm In Fall River to handle your case and bring it to a favorable outcome.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave. 
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723 
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

There are times when an illness or severe injury hinders an individual from continuing the work that they’ve always done, leading them to file for disability benefits. Having your social security disability benefits initially denied might be heartbreaking, but hiring an attorney to help you can lead to a different outcome.

These days, you can find many Disability Lawyers in Fall River, MA or other nearby places quite easily. But, to get the right legal help, approaching a well-respected name matters! There are some people who apply for their disability benefits themselves, but that can lead to a higher rejection rate. By approaching a professional, you can easily be guided through the initial application.

Hiring an attorney to represent you in your disability case can help you because your attorney can argue your case on your behalf. In addition to this, they can help you in preparing the answers to the questions that might be raised during your disability benefits hearing. Your disability lawyer can even assist you in obtaining doctor notes, crucial records of your medical condition, and likewise. And, thus, they can increase your chances of winning the case.

If you want to attain social security disability claims, then contacting reputable Disability Lawyers can be helpful. For this, all you need is to rely on a trustworthy law firm. In order to find one, you can research on the internet and can gather complete information about the law group that you are choosing. When you’ve narrowed down your choices, make sure to go through their testimonials carefully. By reading them, you can gather information of how they handle similar cases. Last, but not least, do not forget to discuss fees.

By following all this, you can surely reach out to an experienced attorney and hence, can get the rights or disability benefits that you deserve!

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office: 888-269-0688

One of the questions I get about US immigration law is “should I file for my US citizenship” or what are the benefits to getting my US citizenship, if I’m already a green card holder?  Even though I want you to read the entire blog, I’m going to give you the answer right now, the answer is unequivocally yes, you should file for your US citizenship as soon as you possibly can. Now that we got the answer out of the way, I’m sure most of you wondering why should I get my US citizenship, if I already have my green card and my Social Security card, what are the benefits.

  1. The right to vote in elections and serve on a jury. I’m sure for most, this would seem like the least important reason to file for US citizenship, but it is your civic duty to do so. I understand that many people do not vote in national elections and even less vote in local elections, but the right to vote is one of the most important rights that are afforded to a US citizen. Without the right to vote, your opinion simply does not matter. And for most of us who have actually served on a jury, most of those people certainly do not want to go through that experience again, but once again this is your civil duty. It is the one time that a US citizen gets to be part of the judicial process of the United States of America.
  2. The next reason someone would want to file for US citizenship, after they already have their green card, and the ease of sponsoring other relatives would be the second reason to do this. Even though a green card holder or legal permanent residents of the United States may sponsor relatives to immigrate United States and apply for a green card, the process is much easier and quicker for a US citizen to sponsor their family members, then it is for someone who simply only has a green card.
  3. The third main reason why someone would want to file for US citizenship, is simply so they never have to worry about being deported. For many reasons this actually should be the number one reason why should/must file for your US citizenship, after you’ve had your probational green card for five years or three years for someone who received a green card through marriage. Most people do not realize that just because you have a green card, you can be deported, for many crimes you never thought would be serious enough to get deported from the United States for. Simply stated, any crime that is considered a moral turpitude, is a crime that can get you deported, even if you have a green card. May ask what is a crime of moral turpitude? Basically a crime of moral turpitude is a crime in which you are hurting another person or society at large. For example, if you were to get arrested for possession of cocaine, you would not be deported for that, as the only person you’re hurting is your self. But if you were to get arrested for distributing cocaine, which is a crime of moral turpitude, you will certainly be deported from the United States.At this moment I have a number of clients who have had dear green cards for over 10 in 20 years, and they are now being deported for very simple crimes. I have one client that 15 years ago purchased a boat from someone and never knew that bullet was stolen, he was then arrested and had to appear before a judge in criminal court. He decided to settle the matter himself that day, without an attorney, and simply took a plea that only included court costs and three months probation. Even though it took 15 years of US government to catch up with him, more specifically catch up with his file, he received the summons to immigration court and is now in the process of being deported, for crime he didn’t even realize he committed. Another client of mine was in a bar having a drink with one of his family members and witnessed two gentlemen get into an argument that was obviously becoming physical. Being a good Samaritan, he attempted to break up this fight, but at that moment two police officers were called by one of the patrons walked in the bar. With the police officer saw were three guys struggling with each other, as the altercation had gotten a little more serious. That gentlemen for being a good Samaritan was arrested and was charged with assault and battery, simply for trying to break up a fight. The situation was very similar as the previous example, this gentleman simply took a plea with court costs and very short probation and after 10 years later, he is now in deportation proceedings. Another example would be a client who had her psychological condition which caused her to steal objects from stores of little value, and her compulsion had her give these objects you stole two other people. All the items were under $250, but in Massachusetts that crime which is called larceny under $250, is a crime of moral turpitude. As the items that were stolen were all recovered and were of very little value anyway, she never thought much of the incident. Similarly, she pay court costs and served a very short probation sentence, and thought the ordeal was behind her. Seven years later, she too is in deportation proceedings. All the examples that I have provided for you were very minor crimes and one could argue the reason these people are in this position is because they did not hire an experienced attorney to fight these cases or to settle them for crimes that were not deportable. Yes it is true, that any of these people for less than $2500, could’ve hired an expense attorney and got them off with the case dismissed or pled to a charge that would not get them deported. But other facing deportation and legal fees in the range of $10,000-$15,000 to deal with these minor crimes that were a decade or more in the past.

So the moral of the story is, once you obtain your green card, schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney to apply for US citizenship once the appropriate time has passed, based on the manner in which the responsive for a green card. Once again for the vast majority of all green cards you will need to have your probational green card for five years before you can file for US citizenship, those who received their green card through marriage may file for their green card within three years; derivative children of this situation must still wait five years to apply for US citizenship, even though there parents only has to wait for three years.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

 

If you or a loved one is suffering from any serious injury or severe financial loss due to someone else’s carelessness, then it’s likely you deserve compensation for that. When you find yourself in that situation, there are probably a number of questions running through your mind like how to file a personal injury lawsuit or how much compensation can you expect to receive in a personal injury case.

If you are facing a personal injury case, hiring a lawyer can be an excellent decision for you as a personal injury attorney has the right knowledge about the legal work involved in such a case, from paperwork to negotiating for compensation. Hiring an attorney to handle this type of case for you also relieves some stress from you because you can trust that your case in in good hands. When you hire an attorney, you can simply get in touch and let that attorney handle the case work from there.

In order to ensure that you hire the best attorney or law firm for your case, make sure you check these 3 things. Firstly, you need to ascertain that the firm has a good reputation for offering quality services and have a proven success record for your type of case. You can do this by asking for recommendations from family or friends, and by checking outside review sites.

Second, you want to hire a firm with lawyers that are licensed and preferably specialists in handling cases of personal injury.

Apart from this, the years of experience they hold and their working procedures are something you should also look into. For this, it’s probably best to schedule an initial consultation. During that consultation, you’ll want to inquire about their background, the way they approach personal injury cases, and the fees associated with their legal work.

Based on this, you will definitely be able to choose the best personal injury law firm in Fall River or any other place.

Please know that when you have an experienced attorney by your side, everything will be handled smoothly. And, most importantly, the best compensation for your losses can be obtained. A good personal injury attorney will represent you well before the court and at the same time, you can have peace of mind about your case. Therefore, hiring a personal injury attorney is certainly worth your time and money.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

 

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Why It’s Important to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Claim

It’s a common dilemma: should you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you, or should you try to handle your case yourself? If you have suffered an injury or loss due to another person’s negligence, it’s likely that you’ll file a claim for compensation. It is at this point an attorney comes into the picture. Lawsuits are complex and hiring an expert with an in-depth understanding and skill-set will benefit you. Personal injury attorneys have the competency as well as training required to properly act on a client’s behalf.

The good news for you is that there are several reputable law firms whom you can contact for legal representation in your personal injury case. No matter whether you wish to follow the formal lawsuit process or need an informal settlement, a seasoned personal injury attorney in your area can help you.

A few common scenarios where there is a strong need to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney are: automobile accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall incidents. Having an experienced lawyer by your side will ensure that your grievances are addressed, and your injuries as well as loss carefully considered. Based on this, your lawyer will then lead you through the legal process to its conclusion. In addition, you can be assured that you won’t have the hassle of paperwork since this will also be taken care of by your attorney. The attorney you hire will ensure that all the documents needed for your personal injury case are complete. Your attorney will be responsible for collecting evidence to make your case solid, too. You should feel confident that the personal injury lawyer you hire will work in your best interest and serve you well.

To locate the best personal injury lawyer in Fall River or nearby, asking for a recommendation from someone you trust is one great way. Just make sure to do your own due diligence by researching any recommended lawyers so you can make sure they are licensed as well as experienced in personal injury work.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

 

#car, #accident, #lawyer, #attorney, #settlement, #personalinjury, #personal, #injury, #slipandfall, #accident, #chiropractor, #damages, #lawsuit, #medication, #doctor, #FallRiver, #NewBedford, #Taunton, #Attleboro, #Providence, #Pawtucket, #Massachusetts, #RhodeIsland

When people talk about divorce lawyers, they might talk about what their fees are or their reputation in the court room. However, there are some other important – but less discussed – criteria for choosing a divorce lawyer. Check out the list below.

5 Important Criteria That Are Ignored When Choosing A Divorce Lawyer

  1. Your comfort level: This is one of the most important things that hardly shows on the list of the top priorities while selecting a lawyer. Given that it is a professional relationship and a sensitive, personal issue, one should be treated with respect and comfort. The more comfortable you feel with the lawyer, the easier you find it to work with your divorce attorney and ask anything related to the case. This ease helps your attorney in getting the exact details of the case and knowing how to proceed with the hearings and the protocol being followed.
  1. Know the line: Although it’s accepted that a person should be familiar with the attorney and share the details pertinent to the case, one should always keep an eye on the line. Some people are not able to control their emotions and begin sharing personal stories and psychological issues. This should be avoided as they are there for the legal assistance only rather than to serve as your therapist.
  1. Issues they will deal with: Divorce is a complex legal issue involving a lot of details and small things that need to be considered. This is not just the separation of two individuals, but in some cases might involve issues like child custody, and financial matters. One should know the issues they will cover like the alimony or the division of the assets along with the custody of the children (as the case may be).
  1. Support staff: It is not just the importance of a lawyer you hire, but also the support staff that they carry with them. One should confirm that the lawyer will have a staff who might include other attorneys or paralegals.
  1. Interest of the lawyer: This is one more thing that is often overlooked, but plays a very important role in the winning of the case. Every lawyer seems enthusiastic and interested at the start, but it’s important for your divorce lawyer to stay interested throughout the case. If an attorney is not interested in the case, he will miss out on some important points that might be relevant to the case.

So if you find yourself in need of an attorney to represent you in a divorce case, make sure to look into the big and little things to make sure you select the right divorce lawyer for you.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

 

Sometimes in life, there are necessary circumstances when a person needs a consultation or help from a family law firm. If the condition is such that you need a family lawyer for your representation, you want to know you are making a sound decision in the family law attorney that you hire. But finding the best attorney is not always easy and doing so requires some research. Here are some tips that you can use to find the best family law firm in your area.

5 Steps to Lead You To The Best Family Law Firm

  1. Legal Support Along With Friendly Advice: As we all know, legal matters are very sensitive. They should be handled with care and not just with legal advice. This requires a firm or lawyer who understands the legally and can also advise you in a caring, friendly way.
  2. Research Carefully: This is a step in the process that cannot be overlooked. You really need to conduct a thorough search before determining which family law attorney you will retain. The first step in this is asking the people you trust most, including your family members, friends, and relatives, to guide you to the best. If you can’t get a good referral, your next step is to research on the internet.
  3. Licensing: Check the state bar association where you live to make sure the family law attorney you intend to hire is licensed to practice in your state.
  4. Experience: After licensing, verify experience as a lawyer and in family law. With experience comes expertise to handle a particular situation properly for you.
  5. Background check: When you think everything has been done, it is the time to conduct a thorough background check on the attorneys and their careers. Internet searches are great for this.

Following these 5 steps will ensure you’ll locate and hire an experienced, qualified family law attorney to represent you.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

It is possible that one day, you find yourself in a bad situation because of another person’s negligence. It might be medical malpractice or an accident. Because these incidents often happen due to the wrong intention or careless acts of another, such cases are usually referred to as personal injury cases. The best path towards resolving your personal injury case is to hire an experienced lawyer to represent you. With their assistance, you can even obtain compensation for the damages that you have suffered.

5 Advantages to Hiring a Reputable Personal Injury Lawyer

By taking legal guidance from a qualified and experienced lawyer, you can conveniently get your issue resolved. Let’s check out the advantages of hiring a well-known personal injury attorney:

  • With the support of your personal injury lawyer, you won’t need to worry about the paperwork and legal documents. By hiring an experienced lawyer, you can be assured that the documentation for you case will be done in the best possible way.
  • Since many people are often not aware of what to do in personal injury cases, seeking the help of an attorney in such a situation can be an extra benefit for you. Your personal injury attorney can brief you about your case and possible settlements in detail, which also will give you some peace of mind.
  • In addition to this, as lawyers are also used to working with insurance companies, they can even help you out without paying a single penny to them.
  • Besides all this, by having an experienced attorney on your side, you can feel good about receiving proper compensation during a personal injury settlement.
  • Apart from this, these experts can even represent you in the court. They can even save you time from visiting any police station or the insurance company.

As you can see, hiring a personal injury attorney can be extremely beneficial to you and your case. However, in order to hire a professional attorney, you’ll want to approach a trustworthy law firm. You can research on the internet and ask for references from your friends or family as well. This way, you can hire a perfect lawyer for your case!

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

 

3 Things to Know When Approaching Lawyers 

You never know when you might need to hire a lawyer. From one moment to the next, something could happen that leads you to needing legal representation.

That’s why it’s critical to approach an experienced lawyer who understands the value of justice and can readily help you in protecting you and your rights. Undoubtedly, there are several law firms offering their service in your area, yet you need to ascertain that you have chosen the best one. This will not only increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome but also allow you to have complete peace of mind.

Nevertheless, if you seek assistance in finding the right lawyer for your needs, then here is a quick guide with tips that can be beneficial in reaching a decision. 

3 Things to Know when Approaching a Lawyer to Represent You

  • When choosing a legal expert, make sure that he or she has a good reputation in the industry. In addition to this, your lawyer needs to have a deep understanding of the laws that governs your particular situation.
  • Apart from this, when searching for an attorney you must clearly ask about his or her “area of expertise”. Since there are several different areas of law , many lawyers tend to practice a specific field only. Hence, knowing about this, you can definitely make a better decision.
  • Additionally, you must also inquire about the potential costs involved. As a matter of fact, legal advice and proceeding can sometimes be costly. So it will be helpful to have this information prior to hiring a lawyer to represent you. To find out about legal fees, you can have a discussion with a lawyer during your initial consultation.

Taking these 3 things into account, you can surely reach out to right lawyer for your needs.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

 

There are many legal cases in which an individual lands in a bad situation and thus, requires an expert to overcome the issue on their behalf. This may include divorce, immigration, personal injury, and much more. Whether or not these cases occur due to carelessness, bad intentions, or another reason, you often require assistance of an experienced lawyer on your side.

4 Benefits to Hiring a Trustworthy Law Firm

Nevertheless, these days, you can easily find a lawyer to assist you. By approaching them, you can get your case resolved easily and in the best possible way. In addition to this, you need not to worry about going to the police station, insurance firm, and the like. To learn more about identifying the best law firm for your needs, let’s take a look at the key benefits of seeking the help of a trustworthy law firm:

➢ By approaching a reliable firm, you can easily get your paperwork done and without any mistakes. In addition to this, you won’t need to worry about the legal documents submission.

➢ You can hire a reputable lawyer by approaching a reputable law firm. With the help of them, you can solve your dispute, from divorce to immigration, in an effective way. Also, by having them by your side, you will know what’s going on in your case, in depth!

➢ You won’t need to worry about being taken advantage of in a personal injury case or when dealing with an insurance company. For these types of issues, seeking the assistance of a trusted law firm can be of great help as they comprise the lawyers who have experience working with such companies.

➢ By hiring the right law firm, you can feel confident you will have a positive result. In addition to this, a good law firm can provide you with the best solution for your problems by giving you options. Also, they can do everything possible to secure a win in the courtroom.

Therefore, always approach a reliable law firm when you find yourself stuck in a complex legal situation and when you need the help of an experienced lawyer. By having a right firm on your side, you can tackle any problem quickly and with ease! However, in order to hire the best one, utilize the internet to search for and locate a reliable firm with the right specializations for your case.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

In order to ensure that the balance of the society is maintained, there are several laws, rules, and regulations drafted for the well-being of people. Irrespective of whether you seek assistance with regard to child support, divorce or any other matter related to family law in Fall River, hiring a reputable attorney can be beneficial to your case. Undeniably, selecting which family law attorney in Fall River is right for your case is not easy, but when you know what exactly you should look for, then this task can also be simplified.

Do you need a reliable family law attorney in Fall River, MA? Well, in that case, we have a good news for you. Presently, there are several reputed law firms in Fall River that focus on family law matters whom you can consider for your case. However, before you actually finalize an option, make sure to consider these things:

The attorney whom you choose should not only be comfortable but also familiar in dealing with a case like yours. For this, you can ask about the previous work experience, clients and make sure to pick a Fall River family lawyer with a proven success record.

Besides this, it is also recommended to choose a lawyer who specializes in handling similar family law cases. This will help ensure your attorney has adequate experience and you can be more confident in their ability to fight for your case.

Lastly, asking the Fall River family law attorney about the fees being charged is also essential and you should not miss on this. Based on all these, you will definitely be able to choose the right lawyer for your case.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

Approaching a trustworthy divorce attorney in Fall River, MA is not as easy as you think. Since there are multiple options available on the web, thus, anyone can get easily confused while selecting the one. In fact, many people choose an unreliable solicitor and later, they have to regret their decision. Hence, before considering any legal expert, you need to pay attention to the following points such as:

  1. First and foremost, the thing that you should keep in mind are online reviews when choosing Fall River Divorce Lawyers. Yes, you can visit various genuine reviewing web pages where you can receive actual feedback from their former clients. If you find positive reviews, it means you can consider them. Otherwise, you can go for another trusted attorney offering similar services!
  1. Apart from considering clients’ feedback, “Recommendations” is another crucial aspect that you should not forget about. Yes, you can also ask for the referrals from friends and family who have already approached a divorce lawyer in Fall River. This will assuredly help you make the right decision.
  1. Additionally, attorney fees are another important factor that you should take into consideration. It is true that different divorce lawyers in Fall River will charge you differently. Therefore, always approach the one who is offering unmatched legal services that too at the affordable fees. This can be conducted with an online search or scheduling a free consultation with a lawyer to learn more about their fee structure.

If you are looking for a reputable divorce lawyer in Fall River, you should keep these essential points in your mind in an effort to find the right attorney for your case. It means, now you can also get an effective legal assistance from a trusted attorney at a rate you can afford.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723

Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

Dealing with a personal injury case on your own is not as easy a job as you might think. You have to face many problems during the process since you don’t possess legal knowledge pertaining the same. Hence, making a decision to hire an attorney would be wise. Nevertheless, there are numerous personal injury lawyers in New Bedford that are known for offering exceptional service. But, choosing a personal injury lawyer in New Bedford in a hurry can cost you dearly. This is because not all the attorneys are trustworthy or perhaps too inexperienced to handle your personal injury case. Therefore, you need to be extra cautious before hiring your injury lawyer!

Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in New Bedford

  • Whether you are looking for personal injury lawyer in New Bedford or any other city on the Southeast Coast of Massachusetts, the thing that you should keep in mind is “Reliability”. Prior to hiring, make sure that they are reliable. To determine this, you can read out the testimonials of all their former clients by visiting their website. If you find positive feedback, then you can consider selecting them.
  • Apart from this, “Experience” is another important factor that you should take into consideration. Yes, it makes the difference! An experienced attorney will always provide you with the best assistance that you are actually expecting. Hence, you should choose the one who has ample experience in handling such legal matters!

Hence, if you are also searching for the right personal injury lawyer in New Bedford, then you should keep all the above-mentioned points in mind. Yes, they will certainly help you find out the best personal injury lawyer in New Bedford that you can approach to get the most favorable outcome!

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

Your Complete Guide Choosing the Best Family Law Firms in Fall River

Any society is said to be balanced, educated or civilized when the law and order are appropriately followed. Undeniably, these have been made to ensure the well-being and safety of all, but at times, it becomes mandatory to exercise your rights. Especially, if you are involved in a dispute related to family law, then you need to seek an expert’s assistance. Having the right experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney in Fall River will be helpful in achieving a favorable outcome for your case.

Today, there are numerous family law firms in Fall River and its nearby places, thus, you will not have a tough time while finding the right one. However, make sure to gather complete information or do a detailed research prior to finalizing an option. As matters pertaining to family law are not just complex but also emotionally disturbing, so you need to ascertain that the lawyer can support you while letting you feel comfortable.

First and foremost, the family law attorneys of your chosen firm should have a proven track record of successfully handling a case similar to yours. For this, you can communicate with the service provider or its former clients to gain better information. Besides this, areas of law served by the firm, experience of their lawyers and the fees being charged are what you need to discuss clearly.

You can certainly ask for a recommendation or refer to the internet, but only on being completely sure, you should approach any service provider. Rest, to get a positive outcome, approaching one of the best family law firms in Fall River will definitely be ideal.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723

Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

This is a question I answer on a weekly basis and usually, by those hoping to avoid filing bankruptcy, even though the fact they are in my lower office, they may already know the answer. Here we will explore three situations, which if you’re living in any of them, highly suggest that filing for bankruptcy is in your very near future.

You can only make minimum payments on your credit cards. Once you have reached the point that you have maxed out your credit and reached a financial point where after paying all your bills, you can only make the minimum payments on your credit cards, you are most certainly ready to file for bankruptcy. Most people do not realize that if you’re using credit, and are not able to pay one third or 1/3 of your balance every month, and you are already overusing credit. Eventually, this will lead to only being able to cover the monthly minimum and that’s when you know the writings on the wall. The problem with this situation is it does not account for any of the problems that life throws at all of us. At this point, if a major repair is needed on your automobile or your home or any kind of unexpected expense hit your life, that situation will force anyone who is paying the minimum of their credit cards to file for bankruptcy. So if you’re already doing this, you may as well save yourself a lot of time and headaches and simply file for bankruptcy now.

Use of one credit source to pay for another. Otherwise known as stealing from Peter to pay Paul, once you are paying off one credit card with another you know you’re in trouble. The only situation where this is acceptable is when you receive a check for 0% transfer in 0% APR for six months or more, it’ll always be a bad situation to transfer credit from one source to another. When you’ve reached the point that you’re already doing this, you have gone past being able to make your monthly minimum credit card payments and are trying anything to keep your head above water.

Taking money out of your 401(k), IRA, mutual funds or any other retirement based financial asset, you are already on your way to bankruptcy. People need to file bankruptcy before they start touching their retirement funds, for the simple reason that bankruptcy will not touch those funds. So the things you thought you needed to pay off, most of them or all of them will be able to be wiped out and bankruptcy. So the money you withdraw from your retirement savings is money you are simply throwing out the window. When to start dipping into your life saving so to say, you know you’re at the point where you must file for bankruptcy.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723

Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

Most people devote all their time on the subject to thinking about if they need to file for bankruptcy, but once you realize that you should file bankruptcy, the next logical question is when should you file bankruptcy. Most people do not realize that filing bankruptcy can be strategic in many situations, and save you months of your time and thousands of your dollars.

Once your financial situation has got as bad as it will get. I have written many blogs on the subject of why people file for bankruptcy and how bad is your financial situation need to be to file bankruptcy, but many do not know when the right time to file its. The reason for filing when you hit rock bottom is, by this point all the debts that you would have incurred because of your situation, should already be there at this point. The reason for this is, you not while file bankruptcy and still have debts that may rear their ugly head in the future. It’s best to wait till all the damages done, then file bankruptcy to move forward.

Before starting a new job is usually the best time to file for bankruptcy. Every state in the country has a different level that is gauged by household size, that will determine if you are allowed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or must file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You want to file bankruptcy, so before you get a new job that may put you over the threshold you should contact a lawyer to file bankruptcy. The main reason for this is to avoid filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which shall place you in this predicament, that for 3 to 5 years you are forced to repay a chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan that unless you’re facing foreclosure or losing other types of secured property to alone, there’s no benefit to filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Prior to judgments are attached to the deed of your property. The majority of debtors don’t perceive the significance of a lawsuit judgment on those who own real estate property. It’s bad enough of all you own is a home, and have filed for a homestead act, but if you own real estate that you do not live in this becomes extremely critical to you. A judgment attached to your property prior to bankruptcy, will lock up that piece of property and not allow the owner to sell it, refinance it, or transfer to another person such as a family member. But in the worst case scenarios, especially those not protected by homestead act, that real estate may be sold in an auction, for a significantly lower price the property is worth. In this situation, after the person with the attachment cells your property, pays themselves back, pays back all their legal expenses, the homeowner only gets back the remainder of the foreclosure sale price house that they used to own.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723

Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

Many people realize that they have to file bankruptcy or know that it’s in their near future, but most of them never realize what problems filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy will actually sell for them. Here we will discuss the benefits of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and in some situations Chapter 13 bankruptcy, even though financially speaking Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually the best bet for most people.

Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy in Fall River

Get out from under debt. This might seem obvious, but many people don’t realize the benefit of getting out from under debt. When someone is facing bankruptcy, they wake up thinking about their debt and they go to sleep thinking about their debt, and most of the time in between is, you guessed it thinking about their debt. The psychological ramifications of no longer having all that debt hanging over you have a benefit that simply explaining in mere words will never describe. Once that weight is no longer on your shoulders, the psychological benefits to them being removed can simply not be explained in words.

Get a fresh start on your financial life. Most people can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but this certainly is for those who are filing bankruptcy. Imagine all the financial problems that you have right now, suddenly behind you and you are able to start moving forward in your life in a positive manner. This means not spending a new another dime on paying a debt that you will not owe after filing for bankruptcy. This means no longer worrying about that debt and having the fresh mental attitude of a new stint on life. The vast majority of the benefits to filing bankruptcy are financial, but second, most are the psychological benefits of being able to move on in your life with a fresh start.

Stop harassing calls and mailings from debt collectors. Some people may think that this should be placed at number one of the problems that will be solved by filing for bankruptcy, but I placed it at number three. Most of the psychological damage that happens to many people who are facing bankruptcy are the harassing telephone calls and the mail of debt collectors. These people may seem to have no soul and wish to personally punish you, even though you don’t owe money directly to them. But it certainly feels like you owe money to them, and they’re contacting you. But once you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay of bankruptcy takes effect and all creditors must stop contacting you in any way shape and form. This is another huge psychological benefit, because once the day you file bankruptcy, the debt collectors can no longer contact you and if they do you can simply throw it in their face that you file bankruptcy and they no longer can contact you in any way shape or form at this point you can even just tell them to go to hell, and just saying that for most people will be the one thing that makes bankruptcy completely worth it.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723

Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/

The people in Fall River are not very different from those from around Bristol County or the rest of Massachusetts, and file bankruptcy for the exact same reasons. This post we will delve into the different reasons why people need a bankruptcy lawyer to file bankruptcy in Fall River and Bristol County Massachusetts.

Job loss or significant change in income is the leading cause of bankruptcy in Fall River. More accurately, we could define this as a change of employment or income. Many people stay with the same company but must be forced to take a position with less pay or a position at a different location, where travel and this expense become a deciding factor. People need not simply lose a job, they may also lose a different source of significant income. For some this may be a business venture that went bad or someone who is a residential landlord, taking a hit from numerous apartments being empty or tenant simply not paying the rent. Many people in this area live paycheck to paycheck, or something very close to that. In situations such as this, any type of significant change in job or income read many individuals forced into the decision of filing for bankruptcy.

The second most prevalent reason for bankruptcy filing is either divorce or the breakup of a significant relationship, usually when both parties share a home together. This is actually a close runner-up for the number one spot, but only by a small margin has been placed at number two. Many people do not realize during the emotional time of the divorce or the splitting up a long-term relationship for both parties live together, what the natural ramifications will be to the situation once they are apart. The simple fact is two people who were either living paycheck to paycheck or even living comfortably, once faced with supporting two separate households are most likely looking into bankruptcy in their near future.

Medical issues such as disease, cancer, heart disease and other disabling medical conditions, which may time are the results of motor vehicle accidents, force people into bankruptcy. Medical reasons for filing bankruptcy are a double-edged sword, initially, you have the loss of time and work the snow income and in many situations, with people who do not have adequate health insurance, the medical bills become the primary reason for filing bankruptcy. When the combination of loss of income through medical reasons and in many cases the extreme medical debt that comes afterwards, forces most of those in this situation to file for bankruptcy.

Lawsuit judgment and the possible attachment onto real estate is our final reason why most people file for bankruptcy. Lawsuits in themselves if you ever wish to fight them are extremely expensive due to attorneys fees, because defending yourself there is no financial benefit in to gain in winning, most of the time you’re fighting simply to not suffer monetary damages in the end. If that wasn’t bad enough, after receiving a judgment on that lawsuit, the plaintiff in the case may seek to garnish your wages and take that judgment directly out of your paycheck. In most situations, this is too much for the average family to bear and thus they are forced to file for bankruptcy. As if that was not bad enough, lawsuits come with a special danger for those who own real estate. For those who own real estate, lawsuits that ending judgment against the defendant can be attached to that person’s real estate. This means that once the attachment is placed, that person cannot sell remortgage or transfer the property unless that judgment is settled including interest. This is a situation of forcing many people into bankruptcy, simply because they cannot use the equity in their home any longer or sell their property if they cannot afford it. If the judgment is on your residential property and you have a homestead, you may also use bankruptcy to remove the attachment, if you did not file for bankruptcy prior to judgment being reached.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave. 
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723 

Office:  888-269-0688

https://www.botelholawgroup.com/