Covington Legal Issues Blog

How can I avoid debt relief scams?

Debt relief services claim to help people facing bankruptcy get current on debt and restore their financial standing. While many of these services can offer assistance, others may be scams to deprive a person from their money for help that never materializes. To help you identify debt relief red flags, the Federal Trade Commission offers the following advice.

Debt management plans and debt settlement programs are two debt relief options. Debt management allows you to reorganize your debt into one convenient payment which will be spread out among your creditors. You must make payments according to the set schedule or run the risk of having your new terms denied. With debt settlement, you hire a company to negotiate a lump sum settlement on your behalf that is lower than what you already owe.

When your divorce agreement starts holding you back

Situations change. People grow. New opportunities arise. You should know a divorce from your past does not have hold you back from making the most of your future life.

Kentucky statute allows modification of several terms of your divorce agreement under certain conditions. Some of the more common changes have to do with child custody, child support and spousal support agreements. 

Auto fatalities involving speed or alcohol

It is no secret that drinking and driving is dangerous yet you know doubt see or hear reports about people in Kentucky continuing to be hit by drivers who have made this risky decision. The same is true when it come to speeding as numerous people continue to make the choice to drive recklessly and ignore posted speed limits. These decisions put innocent people at risk for no good reason.

Sadly, the statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show just how many lives are lost to speeding or drunk drivers every year. In Kenton County alone, 57 people were killed in automobile accidents over the five years from 2013 to 2017. Of those people, 21 died in crashes in which alcohol was involved and another seven perished in wrecks in which excessive speed was deemed a factor.

Negligent entrustment explained

Whether one is involved in a high-speed collision or a simple fender-bender in Covington, the expenses that can result from a car accident can quickly become enormous. In some cases, one's financial liabilities arising from an accident may exceed insurance coverage limits. In such a case, those facing such expenses may be left with little choice but to take legal action against those that caused their accidents. Yet what if the responsible party was a teen driver? 

Recovering compensation from a teen might be next to impossible given the likelihood that such a party has limited financial resources. However, one might be able to hold whoever allowed a teen to drive their vehicle liable through the legal principle of negligent entrustment. Section 186.590(3) of Kentucky's Revised Statutes says that any vehicle owner who entrusts their vehicle to a driver under the age of 18 can be held liable for any damages the teen driver's negligent actions may cause. The reason for this law is the assumption that vehicle owners should know that teen drivers are more likely to drive recklessly.

Determining child support in Kentucky

When you and your spouse choose to divorce, you both likely understand that some sort of child support obligation will be placed on your both. Like most parents, neither of you has any issue with this; where people from Covington in your same situation that have come to us here at The Berger Firm do have concerns is knowing exactly how much they will be required to pay. You do not want to be placed in the position of thinking that you are being taken advantage of by your ex-spouse when it comes to paying child support. Understanding how the state determines what should be paid each month may help to ensure this does not happen. 

According to Section 403.212 of Kentucky's Revised Statutes, the court looks at yours and your ex-spouse's combined monthly gross income when determining your child support obligation. "Gross income" includes any of the following: 

  • Salaries and wages
  • Retirement and pension funds
  • Commissions and bonuses 
  • Dividends, capital gains and earned interest
  • Annuities and trust income
  • Workers' compensation, disability and Social Security benefits

Applying dram shop liability to your drunk driving case

Most of those who come to see us here at The Berger Firm after having been charged with driving under the influence in Covington typically state that they would never even previously thought of getting behind the wheel after drinking. You likely share the same assumption. The trouble is that one of the methods in which alcohol effects the body is to the depress the function of the frontal cortex of your brain, which regulates judgment. Thus, when intoxicated, your inhibitions often loosen, which lay lead to you making unwise decisions. The hope is that whomever is witnessing this knows when to cut you off. 

Yet what if they do not? You may have previously heard of dram shop liability. This allows vicarious liability to be assigned to establishments for the actions of patrons to whom they served alcoholic beverages. This law may seem to be limited to those who you might have injured if your alleged drunk driving resulted in a crash, yet in actuality, you may be covered by it as well. Section 413.241 of Kentucky's Revised Statutes specifically says (in referencing an establishment serving alcohol to you) "shall be liable to that person or to any other person." This opens up the door for you to potentially pursue if you believe an establishment was negligent in serving you. 

Some viral challenges can endanger others

Social media is more than a way to keep in touch with friends and family for many Kentucky residents, especially young people. Now, social media outlets such as YouTube and Instagram have evolved into entertainment platforms for millions of devoted fans. Many online “challenges” have gone viral, and as you can guess, some have resulted in injuries.

You may remember the recent “Tide Pod challenge,” in which social media users dared each other to eat toxic Tide Pods, with predictable results. People shook their heads at the foolishness of such a stunt, yet it seems there is a great lack of common sense when it comes to getting views or “likes” online.

Detailing the homestead exemption

The most common question asked by those contemplating filing for personal bankruptcy in Covington is whether or not they will be able to keep their homes. People need personal assets when attempting to rebuild their financial lives following bankruptcy, and a home is typically one's most valued asset. Thus, the fear of losing it may keep many for whom bankruptcy might be a valid option from investigating it until it is too late to enjoy the protections it affords. For this reason, both the federal and individual state governments have created homestead exemptions

A bankruptcy homestead exemption allows one to exempt their interest in a property or asset in order to avoid said asset from being liquidated as part of a bankruptcy case. It works as follows: if one has $25,000 in equity in their home, and their state's homestead exemption is above that amount, then the home cannot be sold by a bankruptcy trustee to help pay their debts. However, if the state's exemption amount is less than $25,000, then the trustee would sell the house, pay off the mortgage, and then give the debtor an amount equal to that of the state's homestead exemption. Any remaining balance from the sale would be used to pay back creditors. 

Lexington car accident claims man's life

There are some who may question the motives behind initiating legal action following a lawsuit in Covington. After all, most car accidents are likely just that: accidents. Without the element of intent present, it may seem to some that those seeking action are just looking for some way to punish those responsible for their collisions. In reality, a good deal of car accident compensation cases may be filed by people not looking for sort of retribution, but rather assistance in handling the expenses that can result from such an incident. 

Sadly, those results can often be tragic. This fact was clearly evidenced in a recent crash that occurred in Lexington. Authorities say that two vehicles traveling in opposite directions on Man o' War Boulevard struck head-on when one crossed over the median and entered into oncoming traffic. Two of those involved suffered minor injuries that required treatment at a local medical center, while the driver of one of the vehicles died at the scene. Accident investigators have yet to release whether or not he was at fault in the accident. 

Detailing Kentucky's alimony laws

Many of those who choose to seek a divorce from their spouse's in Covington may immediately assume that they are entitled to alimony payments (also referred to as "spousal maintenance"). This likely comes from the notion that many may subscribe that alimony is akin to a punitive action leveled against the spouse who makes the most money. Yet those expecting alimony as part of their divorce settlement may ultimately end up disappointed. That is because spousal maintenance is typically only awarded after a careful review of one's case by the court. 

The purpose of alimony is to temporarily support a spouse whose earning capacity will not allow them to sustain the same standard of living that they currently enjoy once their divorce becomes finalized. Indeed, Section 403.200 of Kentucky's Revised Statutes says that two elements must be proven before the court can consider awarding alimony: that the spouse seeking alimony be shown to have insufficient resources (including whatever marital property allocated to them) to support themselves, and that their capacity for employment or their responsibilities as custodian of their children make it unreasonable to assume that they will immediately be able to secure gainful employment. 

Official Local County Resources
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    Kenton County
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    Boone County
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    Campbell County
  • Hamilton-County-State-Of-Ohio
    Hamilton County
  • Clermont-County-State-Of-Ohio
    Clermont County
  • Butler-County-State-Of-Ohio
    Butler County

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Covington, KY 41011

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