Saturday, 21 April 2018

SEC Charges Executives with Stealing

It’s important to keep in the loop as a Securities Lawyer. For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged two former executives at a credit card processing company with masterminding a fraudulent scheme to steal millions of dollars through phony expense reimbursements, inflated invoices, and other improper accounting tactics.

SEC Charges Executives with Stealing

The SEC’s complaint alleges that iPayment’s then-senior vice president of sales and marketing Nasir N. Shakouri and then-executive vice president and chief operating officer Robert S. Torino routinely reimbursed themselves for payments that were never actually made to third-party vendors using their personal credit cards.  They also allegedly conspired with vendors to inflate invoices and receive kickbacks from the overpayments, and claimed improper commissions and bonuses related to other corporate funds they improperly diverted in various ways.

The SEC’s complaint also charges three other iPayment executives – Bronson L. Quon, John S. Hong, and Jonathan K. Skarie – with participating in the scheme and helping Shakouri and Torino falsify books and records to hide the thefts of corporate funds.  Quon, Hong, and Skarie were allegedly rewarded for their assistance with misappropriated iPayment funds.

“As alleged in our complaint, these executives manipulated iPayment’s internal accounting systems, lied to the external auditor, and caused approximately $11.6 million in losses to the company,” said Sanjay Wadhwa.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Utah today announced criminal charges against Shakouri and Torino.

The SEC is seeking disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest and penalties as well as officer-and-director bars.

SEC, NATIONAL BANK OF BELGIUM AGREE TO ENHANCED COOPERATION AND INFORMATION SHARING REGARDING EUROCLEAR

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has entered into an arrangement with the National Bank of Belgium to enhance cooperation and information sharing regarding expanded services by Euroclear Bank, which provides clearance and settlement through its operation of the Euroclear System.

Brussels-based Euroclear Bank is subject to prudential supervision and oversight by the National Bank of Belgium as a credit institution and as a clearing agency.  The SEC granted Euroclear’s predecessor an exemption from registration as a clearing agency in 1998, allowing it to provide clearing services for U.S. government securities.  On Dec. 16, 2016, the SEC approved Euroclear’s application to modify its exemption from registration, enabling it to also provide limited clearing agency services for U.S. equity securities.

On March 9, 2017, the SEC and the National Bank of Belgium added an addendum to their 2001 Understanding Regarding An Application of Euroclear Bank for an Exemption under U.S. Federal Securities Laws regarding Euroclear’s clearing activities in the U.S., enhancing their ability to exchange information about Euroclear’s new services.

“This addendum will expand the signatories’ ability to cooperate and exchange information related to Euroclear Bank and augment the SEC’s oversight of Euroclear Bank’s activities under its exemption order,” said Paul A. Leder, Director of the SEC’s Office of International Affairs.

SEC CHARGES FIRMS INVOLVED IN LAYERING, MANIPULATION SCHEMES

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Ukraine-based trading firm accused of manipulating the U.S. markets hundreds of thousands of times and the Utah-based brokerage firm and CEO who allegedly helped make it possible.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Avalon FA Ltd touted itself to traders as a destination to engage in layering, a scheme in which orders are placed but later canceled after tricking others into buying or selling stocks at artificial prices, resulting in illicit profits.  Avalon allegedly made more than $21 million in the layering scheme involving U.S. stocks during a five-year period.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Avalon also made more than $7 million in illicit profits through a cross-market manipulation scheme in which the firm bought and sold U.S. stocks at a loss in order to manipulate the prices of the stock and its corresponding options so that it could then profitably trade at artificial prices.  Avalon allegedly used traders in Eastern Europe and Asia to conduct its trading, and the firm kept a portion of the profits and collected commissions from the traders.

The SEC’s complaint also describes fraud charges against Avalon’s named owner Nathan Fayyer and Sergey Pustelnik, who allegedly kept his controlling interest in Avalon undisclosed and embedded himself at Lek Securities as a registered representative, using his position to facilitate the schemes.

The SEC further alleges that Lek Securities and its owner Samuel Lek made the schemes possible by providing Avalon with access to the U.S. markets, approving the cross-market trading scheme, and improving its trading technology to assist Avalon’s trading.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Lek Securities also relaxed its layering controls after Avalon complained.  Avalon was the highest-producing customer for Lek Securities in terms of trading commissions, fees, and rebates generated.

“As alleged in our complaint, Avalon openly marketed itself as a destination for manipulative trading, and Lek Securities opened the gate to allow the schemes into the U.S. markets despite repeated warnings that its customer was manipulating the market,” said Stephanie Avakian, Acting Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

After filing its complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Utah, the SEC obtained an emergency court order freezing Avalon’s assets held in its account at Lek Securities as well as freezing and repatriating funds that Avalon has transferred overseas.

SEC FREEZES BROKERAGE ACCOUNTS BEHIND ALLEGED INSIDER TRADING

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an emergency court order to freeze assets in two brokerage accounts used last week to reap more than $1 million in alleged insider trading profits in connection with a merger announcement by telecommunications companies.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Utah, highly suspicious transactions have been detected surrounding last week’s announcement that Liberty Interactive Corp. had agreed to acquire General Communication Inc.  The traders, who are currently unknown, allegedly used foreign brokerage accounts in the United Kingdom and Lebanon to purchase call option contracts through U.S.-based brokerages and on U.S.-based exchanges in the days leading up to the April 4 public announcement of the acquisition.  The court’s order freezes the foreign accounts’ assets contained in the U.S. brokerages.

According to the SEC’s complaint, some of the risky options positions taken in these accounts represented virtually 100 percent of the market for those options.  Following the acquisition announcement, General Communication’s shares rose more than 62 percent and the brokerage account customers allegedly sold the bulk of the contracts.

“As alleged in our complaint, the timing, size, and profitability of the trades as well as the absence of any recent trading by the accounts in these particular securities make the transactions highly suspicious,” said Michele Wein Layne.  “We don’t hesitate to act quickly and proactively to freeze accounts and prevent proceeds from dissipating while we continue to investigate dubious transactions and identify the traders behind them.”

The emergency court order obtained by the SEC requires the traders to repatriate any funds or assets located outside the U.S. that were obtained from the alleged insider trading.  The traders are prohibited from destroying any evidence.  The SEC’s complaint charges the unknown traders with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5.  The SEC is seeking a final judgment ordering the traders to disgorge their allegedly ill-gotten gains plus interest and penalties and permanently enjoining them from future violations.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC
4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

I got a new job, can I still file Bankruptcy?

Real Estate Lawyer

Injury Lawyer

Family Lawyer

Tax Lawyer

Contract Lawyer



via Michael Anderson http://www.ascentlawfirm.com/sec-charges-executives-with-stealing/

Friday, 20 April 2018

Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy

We all know college is expensive. But just how hard is it to pay off student loans? According to new information published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), choosing the right school to attend can have a huge effect on your future — but not just on what type of job you might be more likely to get with a fancier college on your resume. It might impact your ability to pay off student loans. This topic is important to bankruptcy lawyers because if you ever get behind on payments…. well, read on.

Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy

Sure, picking a $40,000-per-year-tuition college over one that’s half the price should be a serious topic around the dinner table when you’re a high school student. How many grants or scholarships are you eligible and applying for? How big of a loan will you need to get to cover the rest? And how will you pay it all back?

The Treasury Department staffers who authored the working paper for NBER found that low- and middle-income college borrowers struggle with loan burdens after leaving school by matching tax data with information in the Department of Education’s Student Loan Data System. Most low-income borrowers haven’t touched repaying any of the original balance of their student loans five years after college, while a borrower from a high-income family has repaid about 19%.

This is because the employment outcomes for students from low-income families aren’t as fruitful. More than 1 in 10 students from families earning fewer than $30,000 per year are unemployed five years after leaving school, while another 36% are working but earning fewer than $25,000. Meanwhile, only 27% of students from families earning $75,000 to $100,000 are earning fewer than $25,000, while 8% are unemployed.

Additionally, about 1 in 4 borrowers from low-income families default on student loans within five years of entering repayment.

Why the difference?

According to the data gathered for NBER, students from low-income families face tougher challenges with student loans based on their lack of access to wealth. Often, the balance of their loans is larger than when they originally took them out, five years after graduating. Wealthier borrowers also rely less heavily on student debt to finance college, according to left-leaning think tank Demos.

However, the NBER paper suggests that when low-income borrowers attend less selective schools that are still in the middle of the road in terms of economic mobility, about half end up earning more than $25,000 a year after entering repayment.

It’s important to note that the data was collected for student loans in repayment between 2004 and 2009, the tail end of that being right around the time of the economic collapse.

According to the Equality of Opportunity Project, schools that ranked best for upward mobility for low-income borrowers were:

  • Cal State-Los Angeles
  • SUNY-Stony Brook
  • CUNY System
  • Glendale Community College
  • University of Texas at El Paso

The percent of students who come from families in the bottom fifth but reach the top fifth of income distribution are included in the analysis by the Equality of Opportunity Project. Cal State-Los Angeles has the best mobility rate at nearly 10% of students achieving that tier, while the average college in the U.S. only churns out 1.9% of graduates who dramatically increase their wealth.

So, which college is right for me?

You’ll need to weigh a lot of factors when choosing which college is right for you: programs offered, acceptance rate, location, price, and more. If economic mobility is important to you, it’s good to have the data behind trends seen in colleges today.

The colleges reporting the lowest median parent income on the list include schools in New York, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, and Florida. Of the lowest set of parent median incomes, the best child (individual) median income was reported from graduates of Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in New York, where graduates ages 32-34 are earning $53,000 per year compared to their parents’ $30,900 per year.

No goal of becoming a pilot or engineer? That’s OK. If you go to University of Texas, most campuses will show results of a higher child income than parents’ income — many of which also tend to be in just the $30,000 range.

At City College of New York, you’ll earn $48,500 per year compared to your parents’ $35,500. At Cal State-Los Angeles, you’ll earn $43,000 for your parents’ $36,600.

Meanwhile, some schools aren’t the best choices, economically. Beauty schools, like Paul Mitchell in Costa Mesa, California — the lowest child median income on the list at $10,300 per year compared to their parents’ $85,200 per year — and some technical and community colleges can affect upward mobility rankings. However, students earning two-year degrees at public colleges, in addition to four-year ones, generally have an easier time paying off student loans. Community college also can help students save a lot of money by earning general credits they’d pay big bucks in tuition for per credit hour at a four-year school.

For students, both child and parent, who never attended college, they’re making just $11,500 per year on their parents’ $35,200.

Interested in what school results in the highest median income for students? It’s Saint Louis College of Pharmacy in St. Louis, Missouri. The median child income is $123,600 — but that’s also coming from a parent median income of $92,500.

What’s the best plan for paying off student loans?

Student loan debt can be tough. It’s important to explore all college payment options when also considering adding student loan debt, and when you’re able to start repaying your debt, you should begin doing so immediately.

It’s also important to know that if you’re feeling crippled by student loan debt years after college, you have options. However, the law makes bankruptcy only an option in discharging student loan debt if you can show undue hardship. If you can satisfy each of these requirements, you may be able to discharge student loan debt:

  1. Based on your current income and expenses, you’re unable to maintain a minimal standard of living for yourself and your dependents if you’re forced to pay off your student loans.
  2. You have additional circumstances that indicate that this state of affairs most likely will continue during most of your repayment period.
  3. You have made good faith efforts to repay your loans.

Erasing Student Loans in a Utah Bankruptcy

Student loans are considered to be in the lowest category of general unsecured debt when you’re looking at bankruptcy, which includes credit card and medical debt. It’s incredibly difficult to get a discharge on student loan debt, even though a growing number of influencers in consumer bankruptcy think that it should be dischargeable. Right now, our office will only file a motion to have student loan debt discharged is if you are permanently disabled and will never earn sufficient income in your lifetime to pay it back.  Even then, there is no guarantee we can do it.  The best route, however, would be to research all your financing options fully before choosing a college, possibly pursuing a degree that may land you a job that allows for loan forgiveness, like being a public school teacher or a nurse, and getting on a repayment plan after you graduate and sticking to it.

Free Consultation with Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a bankruptcy case, call Ascent Law now at (801) 676-5506. Attorneys in our office have filed over a thousand cases. We can help you now. Come in or call in for your free initial consultation.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC
4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit?

Utah Bankruptcy Attorneys

Bankruptcy Law in Utah

Bankruptcy Lawyer Salt Lake City

Chapter 7 Lawyer



via Michael Anderson http://www.ascentlawfirm.com/discharging-student-loans-in-bankruptcy/

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Who are Debt Collectors?

When you fall behind on a debt for an extended period of time, creditors will often send your account to “collections.” As many of you probably already know, this means that you will have a debt collector calling and writing to you in an attempt to collect on the debt. Millions of Americans are pursued by debt collection companies every year, however, very few are familiar with their business model, the laws that regulate them and how best to put a stop to their abusive tactics. As a bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve seen this time and again. This post will help you get up to speed on the debt collection industry and give you practical tips for dealing with the letters and phone calls.

Who are Debt Collectors

Who are these shadowy figures that call at all hours to collect on past-due debts?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a piece of federal legislation that regulates the activity of debt collectors. The FDCPA defines debt collectors as:

any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.

Just as the name implies, debt collectors are individuals or businesses whose primary job is to collect debts. Although they usually have funky names like RNC Financial or Arrow Financial Services, collection law firms who regularly pursue past due accounts qualify as debt collectors. It is important to be aware be aware that original creditors, such as a bank or credit card company, will not be governed by the FDCPA because they do not fit the definition of a debt collector. The principal purpose of their business is not to collect debts. Generally speaking, the only time an original creditor will qualify as a debt collector under the FDCPA is when they use a name other than their own to collect the debt. In these cases, the FDCPA considers creditors to be debt collectors because they are behaving like collectors.

How do debt collectors get paid?

There are two common arrangements under which creditors work with debt collection companies: contingent payment and debt sale. Under a contingent payment arrangement, the original creditor hires a debt collection company to pursue a delinquent debt, with the collection company receiving a percentage of the amount they are able to collect. Depending on the type of debt, the age of the account and how many attempts have already been made to collect on it, the fee for successfully collecting could range from 10% to 50%. The advantage for debt collectors in a contingent arrangement is cost; they aren’t required to front any money in order to gain the right to pursue the debtor.

By contrast, the second most common arrangement under which creditors work with debt collection companies, selling debt, requires debt collectors to purchase past due debts so that they can then try to come after the debtor for the full outstanding balance (or as much of it as they can get). In cases where a borrower has fallen behind and the creditor views the likelihood of successful collection to be small, they may elect to sell the debt at a highly discounted rate to a debt collection company. For example, Creditor X is owed $500,000. Based on the financial picture of the borrower, Creditor X calculates a very small likelihood of collecting the full outstanding balance. In order to recoup some money, Creditor X sells the $500,000 debt to a debt collector for $100,000 or 20% of the outstanding loan balance. The debt collector then pursues the debtor for as much of the outstanding balance as possible. Everything they collect over and above $100,000, is profit.

Consumers need to be aware that the sale of debt in no way guarantees that the debt collector has the legal right to collect. In many cases they do not. Numerous articles have been written on this Forum about debt collection companies who buy “zombie debt,” i.e. debt that is no longer owed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. In other words, it is not uncommon for debt collection companies to try to pursue consumers for debts that they do not legally owe.

Who regulates debt collection companies? How can I stop them from calling?

Debt collectors are regulated by state and federal law. The scope of this article is to short to address all of the various state laws on the subject, so we will continue to discuss the federal FDCPA instead. I you have questions about your state’s consumer protection laws, it’s always best to contact a local attorney.

Now back to the FDCPA. In order to address widespread abuses in the debt collection industry, Congress passed the FDCPA in order to rein in the tactics of debt collectors. The FDCPA prohibits abusive or coercive behavior in pursuit of a debt and awards consumers statutory damages of $1,000 for each violation of its code of conduct.

Specifically, debt collectors are prohibited from contacting 3rd parties, such as family members and friends of the borrower, when they have knowledge of the borrowers current contact information and address. They must limit collection calls to reasonable hours and must not intentionally harass debtors. Further, once a consumer communicates to a debt collector in writing that they wish for communications to cease or the collector learns that the debtor has hired an attorney, the collection efforts must stop.

Always send written correspondence via fax or certified mail so that you can prove it was sent. If it becomes necessary to pursue a claim under the FDCPA, proof of written communication will help your case.

Debt Collector Law Summary

Debt collectors are third-party businesses whose sole purpose is to collect debts. Under federal law, original creditors do not qualify as debt collectors unless they are attempting to collect under a different business name than was used to extend credit in the first place. Debt collectors get paid when they collect on delinquent accounts; either as a percentage of what they’ve collected or after purchasing the debt outright. State and federal law regulate the debt collection industry. The FDCPA prohibits abusive or coercive tactics on the part of debt collectors when they are pursuing a debtor. If you find yourself overwhelmed by collection calls or letters, it is always a good idea to meet with a local attorney. There are powerful laws that can help.

Free Consultation with Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a bankruptcy case, call Ascent Law now at (801) 676-5506. Attorneys in our office have filed over a thousand cases. We can help you now. Come in or call in for your free initial consultation.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC
4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Dismissal After Passing Chapter 7 Means Test

Probate Lawyer

Estate Planning For Blended Families

Financial Planning for Beginners

Trial Lawyer

Different Types of Liability in a Restaurant or Bar



via Michael Anderson http://www.ascentlawfirm.com/who-are-debt-collectors/

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Estate Planning for Blended Families

When parents remarry, children naturally feel the need for security and love from their parent. A blended family can be a major adjustment for all children and spouses. With some thought and planning, you can ensure that all of your loved ones are provided for in your estate plan, and ensure that your family remains harmonious and integrated even through the most stressful times.

Estate Planning for Blended Families

An estate planning lawyer can sit down with you and your spouse, learn your unique needs and concerns, hopes and fears, and then craft a custom estate plan and gifting strategy that will respect your wishes and ensure they are carried out.

Second Marriage

So you’ve gotten married, have settled in, and are ready to start your new life with a wonderful new life partner. Congratulations! Second marriages present many opportunities for happiness and fulfillment. They also present the opportunity for spouses to work together to prepare a comprehensive estate plan that considers the needs and concerns of both spouses, their respective children, children born into the marriage, and any goals the new family has set for their future.

Considerations in Estate Planning

When spouses have prior children, unique estate planning strategies are needed to ensure that the blended family remains harmonious and cooperative throughout the marriage and after the death of one spouse. We are all too familiar with the family contention and discord that happens when a parent dies without an estate plan in place. Add the concerns presented by children from multiple marriages and it becomes readily apparent that a comprehensive estate plan and gifting strategy is more important than ever: a plan that considers the assets of each parent, their wishes to help their children later in life, and the new couple’s own children’s needs, possibly.

Many people feel that leaving their property to their spouse at death is the easiest way to deal with estate planning. But vague assurances or even the most optimistic of hopes that the children and surviving new spouse can work it out are no substitute for a real estate plan. Leaving property to the spouse does not ensure that all the children of both spouses are provided for. It can also result in unwanted tax consequences, eroding the legacy you worked so hard to provide. Children from the previous marriages need to feel security: they need to know that with dad’s new wife or mom’s new husband, they will not be forgotten. Cherished family heirlooms are meaningful to them, and they want to make sure special memories stay in their lineage.

Beware of joint tenancy

Property held in joint tenancy poses a special danger for the blended family: when one spouse dies, title automatically transfers to the surviving spouse and becomes part of his or her estate. Eventually, it will pass to the children of the surviving spouse only. Your children may have grown up in and become attached to that home, but may end up disinherited from those fond sentiments while the home goes to their step-siblings who do not have the same emotional investment in it.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC
4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Estate Lawyer in Utah

What is Estate Planning?

Dismissal After Passing Chapter 7 Means Test

The Cook Islands Trust

Basic items in an Estate Plan

How to Probate an Estate



via Michael Anderson http://www.ascentlawfirm.com/estate-planning-for-blended-families/

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Financial Planning for Beginners

Earlier this year, household debt balances in America rose to $12.73 trillion, the highest in our history. In fact, 73% of us die in debt. With this much debt, it’s hard for many people to reach long-term goals such as retirement savings, or shorter-term goals such as paying for a wedding. Many of us just wing it when it comes to our finances, thereby decreasing our opportunities and our joys in life. But with a bit of planning, we can take control of our finances, which gives us much more control over our lives and our futures.

Financial Planning for Beginners

You will find that the following guidelines make a big difference.

Set Your Financial Goals

We all know it’s impossible to get anywhere without knowing where we want to go. Many of us have more than one financial goal, which means we need to set priorities. That doesn’t mean you can’t work toward more than one goal at once. Think about what is the most important thing to you now:

  • Paying off debt;
  • Contributing to an emergency fund;
  • Saving for short- or medium-term goals, such as paying for a wedding or a vacation; or
  • Saving for long-term goals, such as retiring comfortably.

In order to reduce both your risk and your anxiety, it’s best for most people to prioritize paying down their debt and building an emergency fund but without ignoring their retirement. Of course, your goal setting will depend to a large extent on your priorities in life. Recognize what those are and plan your spending accordingly. For some people, buying a large, comfortable house is paramount. For others, travel and new experiences are more important. Neither is right nor wrong. The point is to plan and act to make your personal goals become a reality.

Pay off Debt

Many people wonder how they got into so much debt and they don’t see a way out of it. But you can climb out of debt with good planning. If you are part of an average American household, you may have $15,654 in credit card debt, $27,669 in auto loans, and $46,597 in student loans. And almost half of credit card holders have revolving debt, meaning rather than paying off their debts every month, they carry it forward. If you have these kinds of debts, you are probably paying thousands of dollars per year just in interest.

Also, if you are in debt, you may occasionally overdraw your bank account trying to cover payments. That’s usually a minimum $34 bank fee and more if you don’t repay the money almost immediately. Banks are thrilled when you overdraw. They make more than $30 billion every year in overdraft fees.

Contribute to an Emergency Fund

If anything is constant it’s that nothing is constant. Life happens, and you need to be have a little cash put away for an emergency. Try to have at least enough money to get you by for three months. Six months is better. Shockingly, about 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in the bank. If you have sudden medical bills, an accident, or lose your job, you need some cushion. If you don’t have an emergency fund, this should be a top priority.

Save for Short- and Medium-Term Goals

Once you have your debts under control and have a comfortable emergency fund, you may want to turn your attention to some short- or medium-term goals. This could be anything from buying a car, going on vacation, or buying a house. Life is to be enjoyed. Just don’t pursue these goals while going deep into debt or ignoring putting money aside for an emergency.

Save for Long-Term Goals

Of course, a long-term goal everyone should have is saving for retirement. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Start putting money aside as soon as you can, even if it’s only $50 per week.
  • Don’t put your retirement behind everything else. It is far too easy to push it off. Don’t steal money from your retirement to renovate the kitchen or fly to the Bahamas for a few days.
  • If your employer will match retirement funds, put in the maximum amount they will match.
  • If you are over age 50, you can make a larger retirement contribution. Do this.

Know Where Your Money is Going

The first step to reaching your goals is understanding what you have to work with. You need to know where your money is going before you can redirect it to be more in line with your goals.

  • Go through your bank statements and receipts and list what you are spending on.
  • Separate your costs into two groups. The first group is fixed costs, such as rent or mortgage payment and insurance. The second group is flexible costs such as going to the movies and other entertainment, eating out, and gasoline.
  • Make a note of your assets and net worth.
  • Check your credit scores.
  • Add up your debt.

You don’t need to go back years. Just take a look at your spending and financial information from the last few months.

Build a Budget

Just as you can’t get anywhere without deciding where you want to go (your goal), you also can’t get there without a plan. Once you have a firm grasp on the money you have coming in, your debts, your expenses, and how you spend your extra money, you need to make a budget.

“Budget” is a word that can strike terror into the hearts of many people to the point that they become paralyzed with fear. The word can conjure images of failure, similar to the word “diet.” There is no need to put yourself through this. Your budget doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. Recognize your personal priorities and be realistic.

If you are saving for a short- or medium-term goal that is extremely important to you such as a big wedding or a vacation, you might be willing to tighten your belt in some areas for a bit. But if you live and die for weekend golf or morning lattes, those may not be the first place to look at cutting your spending.

Just realize you may not be able to have it all, at least not all the time.

Get Help if You Need It

Some people become almost paralyzed with fear when it comes to dealing with their finances. If sifting through your financial records and creating a budget is too much for you, get help. There are various levels of help according to your needs. Help can come in the form of budgeting software, budgeting services, financial advisors, accountants, and bankruptcy attorneys.

The most important thing is that you get started immediately, because your future won’t wait.

Free Initial Consultation with a Utah Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC
4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Contract Lawyer

Probate Lawyer

Trial Lawyer

Real Estate Lawyer

Injury Lawyer

Family Lawyer



via Michael Anderson http://www.ascentlawfirm.com/financial-planning-for-beginners/

Monday, 16 April 2018

An Employee is Hurt During a Workplace Emergency Can the Employer be Held Liable?

Whenever a crisis arises in the workplace, there is often concern regarding who is liable — whether it’s the government, a healthcare provider or the company itself. Liability during emergency situations is a tricky matter, and many businesses could be held accountable for employee injuries if they respond in the wrong way or fail to respond at all.

An Employee is Hurt During a Workplace Emergency - Can the Employer be Held Liable

Emergency situation liabilities can stem from a wrongful death case to a slip and fall case that may involve a lawyer. This can put a lot of pressure on both employers and government officials from West Jordan, Utah to the rest of the state.

Potential Areas of Liability

Emergency first responders can potentially be held liable under matters of civil and criminal liability. They may be protected by different liabilities and waivers, but there’s still room for egregious conduct when responding to an emergency situation. For instance, an unfortunate slip and fall could arise during an emergency — and first responders could potentially be held liable on grounds of negligence.

Civil Liability

Civil liability is most likely where liability issues are going to arise. Civil liabilities include negligence, intentional harm, privacy violations, discrimination or misrepresentation. Even though one particular employee may have been responsible for an injury, the employee’s company would be held liable, as an employee acts as a representative of his or her company. However, an intentional tort can place blame upon an individual, if intent to harm can be successfully proven.

So if an employee were to intentionally trip someone, resulting in a slip and fall injury, then the employee could be held liable. If an accident were unintentional, then a company would have to hire a good lawyer out of West Jordan in order to ensure a smooth court case.

Defense in Intentional Torts

If you and your lawyer find yourself involved in an intentional tort case, there are two general arguments that you can make: you can either argue consent or necessity. In the argument of consent, such as in the case of a drug injury, one can argue that the patient was informed beforehand of what drug was going to be administered. This argument can also be used if medicine was administered while the person was unconscious.

Another argument that can be used is necessity. This could be used in a case in which someone intentionally causes a person to slip and fall in order to protect the person from further harm. These are a couple of routes that your West Jordan-area lawyer may take if you are involved in an intentional tort lawsuit.

Negligence

In an emergency situation, employers should do everything within their power to assist employees in danger — if not, they could be held liable for an injury due to their negligence. This could be a tough case for your lawyer to argue, especially if you had to opportunity to provide assistance but failed to take action. Your West Jordan-based company could be found liable for an injury due to negligence if you weren’t properly prepared, or breached some kind of employee confidentially.

If you find yourself in court in West Jordan Utah due to a slip and fall case during an emergency situation, use this knowledge and be prepared.

Free Consultation with a Utah Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC
4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Related Posts

Business Lawyer in Utah

Business Lawyers

Business Law Services

Trusts Relation to a Business

Business Law Report

What Areas of Business Law do you Handle?



via Michael Anderson http://www.ascentlawfirm.com/an-employee-is-hurt-during-a-workplace-emergency-can-the-employer-be-held-liable/

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Claims in a Business Divorce

When conflict within a privately owned company cannot be resolved through negotiation and the parties stand at the brink of filing litigation to resolve their disputes, the parties must analyze whether their claims are direct or derivative in nature. The distinction between direct and derivative claims and claim procedures may trap the unwary.

Claims in a Business Divorce

Direct Claims in a Business Divorce Case

Direct claims are those claims brought by an owner for losses suffered directly to that owner and are unique to the owner. In the personal injury context, the plaintiff is entitled to bring claims based upon their bodily injuries caused by the wrongful conduct of the defendant(s).Similarly, claims by a business owner must only be for the economic harm or equitable relief necessary to correct the wrong by the defendant(s).

Derivative claims are claims brought by an owner on behalf of or in the right of a corporation or LLC. The shareholder steps into the shoes of the company to enforce the rights of the company against the defendant(s).The owners’ claims arise because of their ownership in the company.

Stemming from these basic definitions are issues related to whether damages being sought are truly direct or damages suffered by all shareholders. If the damages claimed are suffered by all shareholders then the claim is not direct.

Derivative Claims in a Business Divorce

In Utah, the code discusses the necessary steps for a derivative claim. An LLC derivative proceeding is governed similarly under the Utah Code Annotated as well. First, a shareholder may not commence or maintain a derivative proceeding until it is established that the shareholder was an owner in the corporation at the time of the act or omission or became a shareholder through transfer by operation of law from someone who was an owner at the time of the wrongdoing. In addition, the shareholder must fairly and adequately represent the interest of the company in enforcing the rights of the company.

A shareholder may not start a derivative lawsuit until a written demand has been made upon the corporation to take suitable action to correct the wrongdoings and recover losses for the company. In addition, once a written demand is received, ninety days must expire from the date of the demand before a lawsuit may be commenced. Exceptions to this rule exist when the demand has already been rejected, the statute of limitations will expire within the ninety days, or irreparable injury to the company would result by waiting for the expiration of the ninety days. The purpose of the written demand is to give the company an opportunity to investigate the claims and take action prior to being embroiled in litigation. If the corporation does commence an inquiry even after the demand and a Complaint has been filed the court may take action to stay the derivative proceedings for a period necessary to complete such investigation.

If the parties are now prepared to file their litigation, they must also comply with the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. The Complaint should be verified and allege that the plaintiff was a shareholder or member of the company at the time of the transaction or obtained their ownership interest by operation of law from someone who was such an owner. The Complaint must further allege with particularity the efforts made to obtain the action desired from the directors or other management authority of the company and the reasons for the plaintiff’s failure to obtain the action sought or for not making such an effort. In addition, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they fairly and adequately represent the interest of all shareholders or members similarly situated in enforcing the rights of the company.

Termination of Derivative Proceedings

A derivative proceeding may not be dismissed or compromised without approval of the court after notice. On the termination of the derivative proceedings, the court may make orders with respect to expenses incurred including attorney fees. If the court finds that the plaintiff’s derivative action has resulted in a substantial benefit to the corporation it may order the corporation to pay the plaintiff’s expenses and fees. However, if the court finds that the derivative proceeding was commenced or maintained without reasonable cause or for an improper purpose, the court may order the plaintiff to pay all defendant’s reasonable expenses and fees.

The Utah statutes have a procedure which effectively terminates the plaintiff’s derivative claim and the right to be heard before a jury or a judge if certain conditions are met. First, if the corporation investigates the matter and resolves internally the issues raised in the derivative demand the basis for the lawsuit is eliminated. The second method available to obtain early termination of the litigation is for the corporation to move the court to appoint a panel of one or more independent persons to determine whether the maintenance of the derivative proceeding is in the best interest of the corporation. The court appointed panel, like the company appointed panel, must conduct a reasonable inquiry in good faith and if it concludes that the maintenance of the derivative proceeding is not in the best interest of the corporation, the corporation may ask the court to dismiss the claim. In sum then, the plaintiff’s claim falls to the hands of either a court appointed or company appointed independent panel to determine whether or not the claim should effectively be maintained in litigation. If in fact it is determined by this panel that the maintenance of the derivative proceeding is not in the best interest of the corporation, the plaintiff then has the burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the panel has not acted in good faith, may not have conducted a reasonable inquiry and has drawn a conclusion that is not in the best interest of the company.

In a business divorce context, plaintiffs pushing for separation who file direct or derivative claims, effectively have two fronts to attack the wrongdoers or those from whom they would like to separate. Derivative proceedings present a procedure that may reduce the cost of litigation by use of the independent panel. The pressures of litigation may force the parties to separate hopefully by settlement rather than litigation because of the direct or derivative claims.

Free Consultation with a Utah Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC
4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Trust is Crucial in Attorney Client Relationships

Payday Loans and Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Lawyer

Probate Lawyer

The Cook Islands Trust

Exercise, Eat Healthy, and File Bankruptcy



via Michael Anderson http://www.ascentlawfirm.com/claims-in-a-business-divorce/