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Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens & Cammarota Blog

The Effect of Jointly Owned Property and Bankruptcy

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In many instances, marital couples intertwine their financial affairs. This causes the vast majority of both real and personal property owned by the marital couple to be jointly owned property. This blog will explore the effect that jointly owned property has on a bankruptcy case for purposes of residential real property and jointly owned bank accounts.

Putting the Screws to a Bad Home Improvement Contractor

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Remodeling or adding to your home is often a necessary undertaking to stay current and accommodate a growing family. It is also a stressful and costly endeavor. During the process, homeowners struggle for months, if not years, over plans, drawings, finances, carpets vs. hardwood, paint color and especially, which contractor to trust with the job. These are just the initial stressors of the undertaking and can be the least of a homeowner’s problems if the wrong contractor is hired. Luckily, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“NJCFA”) applies to most “home improvement contracts” and can be useful tool in the event of unforeseen delays, defects, disagreements, or rising costs.

Evaluating Whether to File A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Proceeding When You Own A Home

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Often, individuals who are contemplating bankruptcy have some equity in their residence and are debating whether it will be better to file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding. This blog will explore what happens when you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy and how you should evaluate your decision making.

April 15th is Approaching: Are you Eligible to Discharge Income Taxes Through Bankruptcy?

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According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average refund this tax season has decreased by 8.4%. This, of course, is mainly due to the recent changes in tax laws and the loss of certain tax deductions that were available in previous years. With the April 15th tax deadline right around the corner, this could potentially mean that you could be owing taxes when you really expected a tax refund. And if you already owe income taxes for previous tax years, you could be facing an even larger tax debt when the dust settles. With that said, you still have options, and the filing of a bankruptcy can help minimize your already existing tax debt. This blog will explore how bankruptcy can help you get rid of some of that tax debt.

How Are Damages Argued to a Jury in a Personal Injury Case in New Jersey

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In personal injuries cases, the courts in New Jersey do not allow the attorney to ask the jury to award a specific amount of money for pain and suffering or non-economic losses.  For example, an attorney cannot argue that my client should be entitled to 2 million dollars for her permanent back injury that required a fusion surgery and has limited her life in all ways.  In some states the attorney can argue in that way and suggest a specific number.   

How Liens can Affect a Personal Injury Case

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One of the more difficult issues that can evolve during a personal injury case is the assertion of liens by a healthcare insurance carrier and provider, Medicaid and Medicare, and workers’ compensation insurance carrier, or for past due child support obligations.  In short, liens are a property interest held by a third-party against the financial recovery awarded for personal injury settlement or final judgment obtained. In other words, a Plaintiff may be required to pay a portion of their settlement proceeds to a third-party for a related lien.


This can sometimes be a surprise to an injured party, because after years of litigation they believe the fight it over. However, counsel for the plaintiff may need to challenge and negotiate down a lien to ensure a larger net recovery for the injured client. This article will discuss some of the common liens that may affect the potential net recovery by a plaintiff in a personal injury case.

The Rise of Auto Loan Delinquencies: How Can Bankruptcy Help?

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According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Bank Reserve of New York, 7 million Americans with auto loans were 90 or more days delinquent in 2018.  More importantly, the study demonstrates that majority of those who were delinquent on their auto loans were low- to middle-income borrowers, under 30 years of age, and with subprime credit scores (credit scores of 620 and lower).

Treatment of Judgement Liens in Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcies

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If someone has obtained a judgment against you and docketed that judgment with the clerk of the superior court in Trenton, then that judgment-creditor has obtained a lien on all your real property located within the State of New Jersey. Often, judgment-creditors think that this act is sufficient to protect their interest in their judgment. However, this blog will evaluate the impact that a bankruptcy filing can have on a judicial lien.

Alternative Solutions to Bankruptcy

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Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization has and remains a viable option for companies in distress.  The Bankruptcy Court provides a singular judicial forum where all creditors are required to participate.  The Bankruptcy Court also has enormous powers and its procedures are well-oiled and generally predictable.

However, and particularly with respect to smaller companies, bankruptcies have become relatively expensive, making the process inefficient and costly for such debtors.  For these “smaller” companies, therefore, other non-bankruptcy alternatives should be considered.  One alternative solution to a Chapter 11 reorganization is known as an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, commonly referred to as an “ABC”.

New Jersey Motorcycle Accidents

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While the thrill of riding motorcycles is second-to-none, the risks associated with operating a motorcycle are evident. Those risks are generally unrelated to trained motorcyclist operating a bike in a safe manner, but instead are associated with the potential negligence of individuals driving automobiles on the same roadways. While wearing helmets, protective clothing, and safe riding techniques do reduce the risks, bikers are simply more prone to serious injuries. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a collision. From 2011 to 2015, there have been over 12,000 crashes in New Jersey involving motorcycles. In 2015, there were 2,300 motorcycle accidents in New Jersey, which resulted in 49 fatalities.The most common injuries sustained in motorcycle collisions are skull, spine, elbow, leg, wrist and arm fractures, tendon and ligament damage, brain injuries, internal organ damage, and soft tissue injuries such as herniated discs.

This blog will focus on motorcycle insurance, liability, and their relationship with New Jersey law.

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