Foreign Investors and EB-5 Visas

Posted by in Money

Foreign investors asking for a permanent resident status in the United States has the option of applying for an EB-5 Visa. In order to acquire the EB-5 visa, foreign investors should be able to meet with the requirements placed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) particularly the required amount for capital investment, prerequisites for job creation, and make sure that the invested business qualified for the EB-5 program. After all the requirements from the USCIS have been met and approved, the EB-5 applicant, their spouse and children (under the age of 21) will be awarded with permanent residency green card.

According to the website of the AmLaw Group, in order for EB-5 applicants to qualify, they should invest in a new commercial enterprise, which can be any for-profit enterprise for an ongoing legal business like a corporation, partnership, joint venture, a holding company, or even a sole proprietorship. The legal definition for new commercial enterprise is those which were established after November 29, 1990 or those on or before that date provided that (1) it was purchased and already existing and restructured/ reorganized that can qualify it as a new commercial business or (2) it was expanded through investment which resulted in a 40-percent increase in net worth or number or employees.

There are other investments that an EB-5 applicant can choose in order to get a green card. It is common for the USCIS to reject more applicants than it accepts.

Read More

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Posted by in Money

The recent downturn of the U.S. market affected countless of businesses across the country. From small businesses to big corporations, today’s financial instability has become quite a struggle to surpass. Several businesses have been forced to close their doors in the midst of their financial troubles. Chapter 11 under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code may be able to offer these businesses the relief they need.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is specifically meant for businesses struggling with meeting their debt payments. Filing a Chapter 11 petition can result in the court granting a reorganization plan that will allow businesses to keep operating as they pay off creditors over a specific period of time. The court may also have a few of the debtor’s assets or properties be liquidated to cover their payments. This will lead to a business downsizing their operations, but keeping their doors ultimately open.

According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., Chapter 11 is pretty similar to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, allowing debtors to repay their balance in regular installments. The only difference is that Chapter 11 is the only option for those whose debts exceed the limit specified in Chapter 13, making it the particular option for small businesses that are structured as corporations, limited liability companies, or business partnerships that have insurmountable debts but refuse to cease their operations. As a result, Chapter 11 bankruptcy has been the option for giant corporations like General Motors, K-Mart, and United Airlines.

Filing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy can be a tedious and time-consuming process compared to other types of bankruptcy petitions. It can also be significantly expensive. The U.S. federal courts require petitioners to pay a case filing fee of $1,167 and a miscellaneous administrative fee of $550. Like other forms of bankruptcy, petitioning for Chapter 11 grants a debtor an automatic stay. This will prohibit creditors from making any sort of action in regards to the remaining debt, essentially protecting the petitioner from the threat of foreclosure or repossession. To learn more about Chapter 11 and if it’s the best solution for your financial situation, don’t hesitate to seek out experienced legal counsel in your area.

Read More

What to Look for in a Storage Unit

Posted by in Storage Tips

Nature can have a huge effect on items that we deem very valuable, which is why it is important to protect them when planning to put them in storage facilities. Aside from temperature, humidity is something that can be very damaging to fragile items. This is why when looking for storage units, the website suggests finding ones that offer climate control. Storage facilities that offer these features often put additional costs – also called climate-control premium – and can depend on the size of the unit or the supply-and-demand.

Even in an air-conditioned room, items can still suffer damages from humidity. High humidity can damage photos and cause them to stick together, bring about cracks in leather pieces, and make wood and other furniture warp. Any items that are sensitive to humidity can greatly benefit from being stored in a climate-controlled storage unit. Anyone who is planning to pack away items of value (whether historical or sentimental), the cost of paying additional fees for climate controlled storage units are worth it, especially if they will be stored for a significant amount of time.

In order to get the best from your rented storage unit, the first thing you need to check is the conditions of the storage unit. Aside from being clean and secure, make sure you are comfortable with the temperature and humidity of the unit. This is vital if you want to protect your items. Your best option to lower the risks of damage to your valuables is to go with climate-controlled storage units, since despite the additional cost, it would prevent natural changes from outside conditions from harming your items.

If by chance you have trouble with money and can’t get a climate-controlled storage unit, you can help lower the change of damage from humidity by keeping the unit it well ventilated. This can be very difficult since the unit will be closed for security reasons, so you can space out your items to let them “breathe”, avoid sealing your things in plastic bags to avoid condensation and mildew, and putting additional layers of polish to avoid rust. There are some other things you can do to protect your stored items, and you can read more on this mini storage website for further information.

Read More

Drunk Driving and Its Destructive Effects

Posted by in Car Accidents, Drunk Driving, Personal Injury

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified the various causes of car accidents in the US, which number to more than five million and claim at least 40,000 lives every year – these include factors that fall outside the driver’s control, like defective car parts and road defects, and factors that drivers are totally responsible for, such as driver error (including distracted driving), reckless driving, speeding and drunk driving.

Sadly, but true is the claim of the Ritter & Associates on its website, which says that though safe driving techniques may reduce the risk of being involved in an accident-causing injury, a defective car part, a lack of road signs or the carelessness of another driver, will not. This injustice is something that needs to be addressed.

Thousands of car accidents can definitely be avoided, if only drivers will be more observant of traffic rules and be more considerate on the road. Many drivers, however, are unmindful of others’ presence on the road with them. One classic example of this is drunk driving, which actually registers the highest number of accidents; this is despite the constant and continuous reminder not to drink and drive. To discourage individuals from drinking and then driving right after, the US government has issued a federal law that lowers the blood alcohol content (BAC) in drivers to 0.08% (which is about 4 – 5 bottles of beer consumed within an hour). Surprisingly too, a research conducted has found out that the highest number of drunk driving cases involved people between 16 and 24 years old.

Regardless of your age or your body’s tolerance to alcohol, liquor will lessen your capacity to react fast to impending road activities and dangers. This decrease is what makes other motorists and pedestrians quite unsafe on the road with you. Your decision not to care for others’ safety, however, will lead to higher fines and severe punishments, like a longer jail term. This is besides the fact that a mere conviction in a DUI case can ruin your reputation, your professional life and your future, in general.

This is why it’s important for anyone accused of a DWI to find a lawyer who will help them fight the charges against them. When you are found guilty of a DUI charge, an expunction might be the best option. The penalties for a DWI conviction are harsh and can have far-reaching impact on the rest of a person’s life. Therefore, if you’re facing an alcohol-related charge, you will absolutely want someone who is qualified to represent you in court so that you can do everything in your power to avoid the thousands of dollars in fines and months in prison that such a conviction would cause.

Read More

AIDS Cure from Zimbabwe

Posted by in Health

Many will agree that AIDS is a nightmare disease, having infected and taken the lives of millions of men and women worldwide even long before it was first discovered in 1959. By destroying a person’s immune system, this disease renders the inflicted defenseless against its spread and worsening, and since there is no known medicine that can effectively kill the virus that causes it, slow, painful death becomes an inevitable occurrence.

Research and medical advances have somehow helped scientists come up with various therapies and treatments for HIV and AIDS patients, but these can only improve a patient’s quality of life to let him/her live longer, not take away the disease.

During the first week of November 2013, however, news broke out in the South African country of Zimbabwe about an herbal medicine, called Topvein, which was 99% effective in getting rid of AIDS. Topvein, a scientifically tested herbal cure for HIV and AIDS, is said to be capable of restoring immunity by boosting the CD4 and CD8 cells of infected patients;  it was also declared to be capable of killing the very source of infection that causes AIDS  and AIDS Related Complexes (ARC).

Read More

Probable Cause for a Celexa Lawsuit

Posted by in Personal Injury

Depression is a serious medical condition that can be as debilitating as any serious physical illness. It is a mental disorder with no apparent external cause, and it does not just go away. In the US, 20 million people suffer from some form of depression, and typical onset is between the ages of 15 and 30. Women are more likely to be affected by depression. It is no wonder that manufacturing antidepressant drugs is good business.

One type of antidepressant medication is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI, and one of the most popular SSRIs is Celexa, currently manufactured by Forest Laboratories, Inc. Celexa is used to treat not only depression but a host of other conditions including panic disorder, anxiety, ADHD, body dysmorphic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, although some of these applications are considered “off label” or without Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

And therein lies the problem.

Most drugs have their concomitant side effects, and some medications are sometimes considered to create more problems than they solve. While SSSRIs are considered efficacious in treating depression and other conditions, it should be prescribed with caution. According to the National Injury Law Center website, SSRIs in general have been associated with birth defects in children of mothers who were taking the medication during their pregnancy. SSRIs are also associated with inducing violence and mood swings in children and adolescents. Off-label prescriptions of Celexa for these populations when encouraged by the manufacturer is a recipe for a Celexa lawsuit for product liability; this also applies when no adequate warning about the potential side effects was provided to the patient even when used as approved by the FDA.

Prescribing drugs such as Celexa is always a toss-up between the benefits and side effects. If the problem is severe enough that it prevents the patient from leading a normal life, the tough decision is made by the physician to take the risks. However, both physicians and patients should be provided by the manufacturer with everything they need to make an informed decision. Failure to do this can lead to problems, such as a class action Celexa lawsuit.

Read More

Removing Allergens from Carpet

Posted by in Health

Many individuals are plagued by allergies on a regular basis. Toxins in the environment and allergens such as pet dander in the home can make it difficult to carry out daily tasks. You may not be able to control the allergens in your outdoor environment, but there are many things you can do to keep your house from becoming a home to irritants.

Pets are a huge part of a family, but their dander doesn’t have to be. Dander is dead skin that is dropped by cats and dogs, and contributes to the “pet smell” that can be found inside some homes. Many people are under the impression that choosing a short-haired or bald pet will help with allergies because they don’t shed as much, but that does not remove the dander issue. Other major allergy triggers in homes are dust mites. These tiny creatures can live anywhere in your house, and feed on the dead skin that builds up in carpets, mattresses, and other furniture.

So what can you do to get rid of the allergens in your home? The truth is that you can’t remove every single allergen, but you can definitely lower their presence. Having your ventilation system regularly serviced can actually play a large role in the quality of air in your house, because ventilation systems can cause dirt and dust to be recirculated in all areas of your home. When it comes to carpet cleaning, routine vacuuming may not be enough because most vacuums can’t remove tiny or microscopic particles. However, vacuuming with a hepa-filter is more efficient because it can help minimize the amount of dander, dust mites, and dust in your house. Frequently deep cleaning your carpet is also important. You can do this yourself, but it is beneficial to hire an Austin carpet cleaner who has the expertise to effectively remove allergens.



Read More

How the SSA Determines Disability in Texas

Posted by in Social Security

The Social Security Administration uses a five-step process to decide whether a person is disabled. Someone is only considered disabled if their injuries or illness prevent them from doing their past work or adjusting to new work.

The Chris Mayo Injury Lawyers in San Antonio, Texas lay out the five-step process that the SSA uses as a general guideline. The steps include determining:

  • If the individual is currently working
  • If the individual’s medical condition is severe
  • If the condition is on the list of recognized disabilities
  • If the individual can perform the work they once did
  • If the individual can perform any type of work

If you were working the year you are applying for benefits, and your earnings average more than $1,040 per month, then you typically cannot be considered disabled. A condition is considered severe if it interferes with basic work-related activities. The SSA maintains a list of conditions that are severe enough to mean that you are disabled. If the list does not contain your condition, then the SSA has to decide if it is of equal severity. To determine if you can perform the work you once did in Texas, the SSA will need to know things such as the tasks you performed, skills and equipment required, amount of hours worked, and payment. If your condition does not interfere with these things, then your claim will be denied. Lastly, if you can’t do your previous work, then it will be decided if you can adjust to another type of work. If it is found that you cannot adjust to new work, then your claim will typically be approved.

This process serves to evaluate an applicant’s medical condition in order to best determine whether or not they are eligible to receive disability benefits. If you or someone you love has a disability that prevents you from working, then a disability lawyer may be able to help you determine your rights and options.

Read More

An Attempt to Make US Roads Safer from Big Rigs

Posted by in Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Trucking Accidents

Handling a vehicle that weighs about 80,000 lbs. or 40 tons and which extends up to 70 feet is a huge challenge, especially if you have been driving for 11 hours straight and is behind schedule. Thus, being so big and if driven by a drowsy or intoxicated driver, trucks would pose great on the road, particularly to smaller vehicles. These road mammoths would easily crush any vehicle (and its driver) that will block their path.

Accidents involving motor vehicles are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States – this is factual information stated in the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP. The need to drastically bring down the number of fatalities and severe injuries has prompted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the US Department of Transportation, the division in charge of trucking and all other transportation-related industries, to issue a standard for training before recognizing a driver as worthy of earning a commercial driver’s license and mandate the maximum number of hours that a driver can render.

Despite the extra training and education on how to operate and handle a truck properly, FMCSA states that:

  • Drivers can render duty for a maximum of 14 consecutive hours
  • Maximum driving time is 11 hours, which is within the 14-consecutive-hour duty period (the extra 3 hours ought to be allotted for rest/sleep)
  • Drivers should be off-duty for the next 10 hours following his/her 14 hours of service

Trucks are designed with a sleeper berth area where drivers can take their much needed rest between drives or anytime they feel fatigued or drowsy. Trucking firms should ensure their drivers’ strict compliance with all stipulations that promote road safety to ensure smooth and totally safe traffic flow. Everyone needs to understand that even a small driving mistake can result in a serious accident that can destroy properties and take lives. As Williams Kherkher explains on the Truck Accident Resource Center, “Trucking regulations exist to not only help the truck driver, but also other motorists who share the road with these big rigs.”

Read More

Determining Child Support and Custody: Factors Considered by Courts

Posted by in Child Custody, Divorce

Two essential issues divorcing parents need to settle are: who will take custody of the child and how much child support will the non-custodial parent pay. Child custody or full guardianship of the child is a decision that the court awards to the more qualified parent; its directive is never to compromise the well-being of the child. Whoever is designated as the custodial parent, whether the father or the mother, he or she will have to take responsibility and decide on the child’s education, medical care and other developmental needs.

There are occasions when the court assigns custody of the child to both parents, instead of just one, to make sure that the child enjoys their continuous participation. In any case, the court has four types of child custody to choose from, these are:

Legal custody: gives the custodial parent the right to decide for the child’s welfare. If the court awards legal custody to both parents (called joint legal custody), though, then both custodial and non-custodial parents will be responsible over the child and will have the right to decide for the child’s welfare.

Sole custody: which becomes the court’s option, but only if the judge sees one parent as unfit to continue caring for his / her child. Being unfit may be due to alcoholism, drug dependency, child abuse, mental incapacity or because of an unsuitable new partner.

Physical custody: allows the custodial parent and the child to live in the same house. The court may decide for joint physical custody, though, if both parents happen to live near each other and both still continue to spend equal time with the child.

Joint custody: which may refer to joint physical custody, joint legal custody or joint legal and physical custody.

In determining the rightful child custodian, the court usually considers the following factors:

  • The parents’ capability to address the needs of the child, physical limitations, work schedules, emotional state and capacity to understand the child’s needs
  • The relationship between child and parents
  • The parents’ financial stability
  • The quantity and quality of time the parents have spent with the child before separation

Child support, on the other hand, is payment given by the non-custodial parent (also known as obligor) for the child’s food, clothing, shelter, education, dental and medical needs. Support is required by law until the child’s 18th year and may include vacations, camps, advance studies and other activities deemed necessary by the court. One important factor considered by the court when deciding the amount of support is the obligors financial stability and capability.

In all matters, it is the child’s well being that the court will prioritize. An article found on the website of Marshall & Taylor, P.C. says it most clearly: “When parents of minor children divorce, the top priority of the courts and all interested parties is protecting the children’s best interests.” The website of BB Law Group PLLC likewise reiterates the same message in its discussion about child support. It states that though the court takes into account the obligor’s financial situation and needs, it is the child’s benefit that will be considered most. And being a legal mandate, failure to pay the support on a timely basis or, much more, refusal to pay it, will result to penalties, a jail term or, in some states, suspension of the obligor’s driver’s license.

Read More