Beebe and O'Neil

Norwich Law Blog

Closing day can bring surprises

After house searching, negotiating on price and signing a purchase agreement, soon-to-be new homeowners in Connecticut may think everything is smooth sailing once closing day arrives. However, there are certain issues that may arise and cause problems with the final closing. Potential owners should be aware of some of the common issues so they are not taken by surprise or can even prevent them from occurring.

According to FindLaw, financing issues is one of the reasons there are problems closing on a house. If any information is incorrect, whether intentionally or by mistake, on the mortgage application, the bank will probably withdraw the loan. Also, if the appraisal amount comes in at less than the amount of the original purchase agreement, the potential owners typically need to come up with cash to cover the gap. If there is a dip in a lender's credit during the time between approval and closing, the bank may withdraw the loan offer.

Factors involved in claiming an insanity defense

People who are standing trial in Connecticut may wonder if they are eligible for claiming insanity. This ruling may find the person not guilty due to their mental condition, or the judge may give a lighter or different sentence because of it. While television shows and movies seem to use this term quite a bit, it is not a common defense strategy, and it is important to understand the legalities that go along with it.

One of the big hurdles that the defense team has to cross is to prove an insanity plea. According to the United States Department of Justice, the burden of proof is the job of the defense, and this takes convincing and clear evidence. This differs from the prosector's job during the original trial, which is to prove guilt regarding the crime.  

What happens during a DUI arrest?

Seeing police lights in your rearview mirror may be a frightening experience, especially if you have consumed alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel. Getting pulled over by Connecticut law enforcement personnel may require you to submit to a test of your blood alcohol concentration. A police officer may arrest you without knowing your BAC if he or she witnessed you violating traffic laws.

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles states that an arrest for Operating Under the Influence includes a reading of your rights. A police officer may transfer you to a police station in his or her vehicle. The police will likely arrange for a towing company to move your car to a designated location. In most cases, you will have to pay for the towing charges. Law enforcement personnel may use breath, blood and/or urine testing to determine your BAC. If the result is 0.08 or above, you could face OUI charges. You may have to wait at the police station until someone meets the bail requirements to obtain your release.

What debts can you legally discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Many American households are only one health incident or job issue away from financial problems. Quite a few people live paycheck-to-paycheck, meaning they don't have adequate reserves and savings to protect them if they lose their income or incur substantial unexpected expenses.

When your creditors start calling and your income is no longer high enough to cover all of your costs of living, you will have to start considering debt relief solutions, potentially including bankruptcy. Those with income below the state median in Connecticut have the option of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

How and when to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

According to MarketWatch, bankruptcy filings are at the lowest point since 2007. This is great news for people in Connecticut who may worry about the odds of falling off track financially. However, even though the adds are less stacked against them, many people still find themselves in court trying to discharge their personal or business debts.

Another eye-opening fact cited by MarketWatch is that people may choose not to file for bankruptcy because they view it as an additional expense. If they can hardly afford to keep up with bills, if at all, they may not believe they can afford to file. Another disturbing finding is that older Americans are filing at alarming rates due to lower income levels but higher health care costs.

How to tackle joint credit card debt in divorce

The divorce process has a way of forcing you to think about your finances. If you don't prepare accordingly, you may find yourself making poor decisions in the future.

When it comes to joint credit card debt, there's no right or wrong way to tackle the situation. You must consider all your options and then make a final decision based on what's best for you, your soon-to-be ex-spouse and your financial situation.

What to do about inherited property

Over the past year, the media has become fixated on the fact that millennials and Generation X will soon inherit trillions of dollars from the baby boomer generation. What many of these articles fail to cover is that baby boomers themselves are still inheriting from the generation that preceded them. Regardless of the age, many people in Connecticut feel an emotional attachment to the property they inherit, especially when it comes from parents or a spouse.

According to the New York Times, those emotions are especially strong for baby boomers. Many people from this generation hang on to the property for years, unwilling to do anything with it. They may take years to sell homes and may allow a quarter of a million dollars to sit in a checking account or low-yielding treasury bonds. However, after a while, many are able to think of the property as their own and soon use it for riskier investments to earn higher yields.

How much does employee theft cost U.S. businesses?

Businesses in Connecticut often employ security guards and surveillance technology to keep an eye on visitors and customers. Many of them fear that customers may steal from the business via shoplifting. However, employee theft costs companies too. According to CNBC, the estimate stands at $50 billion across the U.S. each year.

You may think that only big corporations are affected, but smaller businesses experience this too. It is often worse for small businesses because they are often already cash poor, or at the very least, do not have the deep pockets of bigger competitors. Many small businesses may also not have insurance policies that sufficiently cover their losses.

This year may be a buyer's market after all

Last year the media warned consumers to reconsider purchasing a home in 2019. Predictions included that higher interest rates and the increased prices of homes would make it unaffordable. Ironically, for these exact reasons, homes may actually become more affordable throughout the rest of the year.

According to CNBC, by the start of 2019 asking prices started trending downward. While they are still higher than they were a year before, sellers began to compromise. As more buyers shy away from the market for the aforementioned reasons, more sellers hoped to coax them back with more affordable prices.

Rebuilding your credit after Chapter 7 bankruptcy

When people in Connecticut find that they can no longer keep up with their financial obligations they may consider filing for bankruptcy. Even so, they may be reluctant to go through with it for some time. There are two main reasons for hesitance: losing assets and the hit to their credit score.

NerdWallet, a personal finance company, notes that Chapter 7 is the most common and the fastest way for consumers to file for bankruptcy. While it may involve giving up some assets, such as a car or jewelry, most filers actually get to hang on to their belongings. In return, most unsecured debts are forgiven and the filer can focus on paying off the rest. But, what about your credit score?

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