Differentiating Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Most people know that in the event they can no longer meet their financial responsibilities, they can opt to file for bankruptcy to relieve the burden. However, some people do not fully grasp what bankruptcy law entails. The most common misunderstandings come about when people are thinking of Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcies. This is why it would be essential to enlist the services of a lawyer to walk you through the different bankruptcy options available to you. Here are some of the different ways that Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies differ.

Bankruptcy Eligibility

Before filing for bankruptcy, one has to be eligible. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, individuals as well as businesses and corporations would be eligible to file for bankruptcy. With this type of bankruptcy, the individual or the business gets to have some debts eligible for elimination. This option is the most common type of bankruptcy that people will file for. It is allowed for individuals or businesses that are at the median income or below that median income of the state that the debtor resides in to file. To determine if one qualifies for this, a “means test” would have to be conducted. 

With Chapter 13, individuals that are receiving a regular income are those that will be eligible. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan gives the debtor a chance to propose a payment plan for the debts owed and, depending on how much they earn, a time period will be set in which the debts can be repaid in installments. Chapter 13 is best suited for people who will be financially capable of paying off the debts while still maintaining their living expenses.

Mode of debt repayment 

One of the major differences between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies is the mode in which the debts will be repaid. As aforementioned, with Chapter 7 bankruptcy there are some debts that can be simply eliminated from the debtor’s record. With Chapter 13, the debtor is required to formulate a payment plan so as to ensure that the creditors get back what is owed to them. This payment plan is court ordered; thus, they make the assumption that you will be able to pay off your debts during a specified period of time. 

With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor is not required by law to formulate any type of payment plan and that is why some debts can be eliminated. However, this does not mean that all the debt can be eliminated. One would still be liable to pay off debts such as taxes, child support, student loans, criminal fines and the like.

When can recorded materials be submitted in court?

There is a growing number of Family Court cases which use illegally recorded materials as part of the evidence. The growing sophistication of smartphones as recorders, as well as the smaller size or surveillance cameras and recorders, has made it much easier to capture phone calls and personal interactions. Here are some guides as to when and how recorded materials can be used in court. 

Can the person expect that they are being recorded?

If your staff work in a retail environment, for example, they can expect to be recorded if the workplace is signposted that security cameras are in place. Whilst the primary use of the cameras may be to record customer behaviour any illicit behaviour by staff that is caught on camera can be used in disciplinary action, and in any subsequent court action. As many commercial recording systems discard recordings after a certain period it’s a good idea to copy any footage that you use as proof to discipline staff to a separate format so that it can be stored and accessed later if there are any disputes over what has occurred. 

How probative (relevant) is the information being recorded?

Family Court recordings are often used to record suspected physical or sexual abuse of children. As this cannot be easily proven by other means, in some cases parents are willing to bypass the legalities of illegally recording a spouse to get direct proof of this issue. The court will consider the nature of the recording. Recordings that directly prove that the child is in physical harm may result in contact being supervised while the matter is being investigated. 

Conversations that are manipulated to try and achieve a result will not often be allowed, particularly where children are involved. The court views both the actual circumstances being recorded as well as the situation around getting the recording when considering how to treat the evidence. In some cases obtaining and submitting the recordings can reflect poorly on the person submitting the recordings, particularly if they have attempted to manipulate the child or their ex-spouse. 

If you are not sure whether you can use recorded materials to support an upcoming court case, it is wise to get advice from a lawyer. They can help to review relevant case law in the area and advise on the best way to build a case and maximise you chances of a successful result. 

A Safe Haven For Asylum Seekers Who Get To Australia By Boat

If you are planning to seek asylum in Australia, you will need a visa to keep you in the country. Asylum seekers are always at a disadvantage when it comes to visa application; they are hardly given permanent visas. But thanks to Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV), asylum seekers who get to Australia by boat can now manage to live in Australia and enjoy certain social amenities like the locals. Even though it is still not a permanent visa, it surely feels like one.  

Why Should You Go For Safe Haven Enterprise Visas?

If you want to stay in Australia, a SHEV is what will keep you in the country for the next five years. And it not only gives you protection but also certain benefits like access to jobs, Medicare, short-term counseling for trauma and torture, and access to Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). AMEP offers 510 hours of English tuition so that you can be able to learn the English language as well as settlement skills; learning about language and skills will help you to contribute economically and socially in the society.

Another benefit of a SHEV is that if you have been granted one, you can later apply for other visas except a permanent protection permanent visa. All that is required of you is to meet what is called the SHEV requirements; the requirements state that you must be a SHEV holder and you must have been studying or working (or both) in regional Australia (Tasmania and New South Wales) for forty two months.

Are You Eligible For A SHEV?

You may be eligible for a SHEV under certain conditions. One is if you have been invited to apply for one. Another is if one or at least one of your family members has the will and intention of working or studying in a regional area. He or she must also not apply for Centerlink payments. Centerlink is a government agency that offers a wide range of services including unemployment benefits to people who live on low income or without an income at all.  

Are There Any Limitations If You Are A SHEV Holder?

As an asylum seeker, there are things you can’t do even if you have been given temporary protection in Australia. One is that you cannot go back to the country that you are running from. Another limitation is that you cannot sponsor any of your family members with a visa.

Although a SHEV does not cover for all the services one may wish for, it is really helpful if you are an asylum seeker. For more information, contact a migration lawyer.