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Sometimes You Need a Little Help to Get Out of Debt – And That’s OK!

If you pulled aside at least ten people at random on the street, a good majority of them would tell you that debt is something clearly on their minds. They may not have a lot of debt right now, but they may be truly worried about accumulating a lot of debt in the future. They will do anything to get past the debt that they have, but they don’t really know where to begin. This is the general portrait of American debt life, and it’s not necessarily a pretty one. Most homeowners aren’t sure how they’re going to make their bills every month. They may be putting expenses on credit cards and juggling this as long as they can. This may work for months on end until a major event happens. Losing a job in a troubled economy means that it can be hard to get another one. Even if you find another job, it might not pay as much as the old job did.

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Instead of worrying about the future and going it alone, why not get a little help? At first, you might be embarrassed to “come clean” to a professional debt adviser about your finances. It’s a very intimidate series of information, so it’s perfectly understandable that you might be hesitant about speaking openly. Yet this is the biggest indicator of success with any future steps that you might take. If bankruptcy becomes a wise option based on your situation, then you will have to disclose a great deal of information to get processed through the courts. You want to not only enter bankruptcy but have your debts discharged. The only way to find out whether you can really declare bankruptcy meaningfully is to seek out an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

If you want our advice, checking out the local Milwaukee Offices – Debt Advisors, S.C. is a good idea. This is a skilled team of bankruptcy attorneys that treat you like a person — not just a number. Don’t be intimidated by the terms “lawyer” and/or “attorney”. These people are well versed in Wisconsin bankruptcy law, and they want to get your situation resolved. They’ve worked with thousands of cases, so you’re bound to get the service that you deserve. Deep down, don’t you think that you deserve that much? Check it out today!

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Our Top Common Scams and How To Avoid Them

In 2012, more than 22,000 people in the UK were scammed, says Citizens Advice. Although you can take precautions against burglars and snoops, fraudsters are much more covert in their operations. It’s not always easy to spot a scam, so here are some of the most common ones you may encounter, otherwise a case with a criminal lawyer may be necessary:

False Green Deals

Always be suspicious of anyone who is trying to sell you something unsolicited at your door or over the phone. Fake green deals can promise you thousands of pounds in funding for projects, such as insulation or solar energy. You will be asked to pay an admin fee.

Also beware of any ‘energy saving’ gadgets that promise to save huge amounts of electricity for an expensive price.

Damp?

Someone at your door will offer a free survey of your home, to establish if you have any damp. They will always find damp, even where there is none. He or she will say it needs immediate attention and will give you an extortionate quote on the spot that requires a deposit.

Common Scams

Fishy Salesmen

This may seem like common sense to most, but if someone comes around your house offering food, steer clear. Especially if it’s for ‘cheap’ fish that you have to buy by the box.

Broken Hearts

On a dating website, an attractive person – who lives abroad – contacts you, looking to start up an online romance. A little later down the line, your new internet lover asks for money to pay for emergency bills.

Council Tax Fraud

Any documents or phone calls to do with taxes leave most of us feeling cold. Don’t panic, however. It may be a scam if they are asking for an administration fee or are asked for your bank details for a refund. Always double check with the council before you commit to any actions.

Job Nightmare

You submit your CV to a job-searching website and you receive a response, guaranteeing you a position, as long as you pay a fee. Alternatively, you may see a high salary job advert, but you must pay for a training course before you can apply.

Lottery Prize

You receive congratulations that you won a lottery you can’t remember buying a ticket for. Already, alarm bells should be ringing. To collect your money pot, you will be asked to pay some sort of processing fee or to call a high-charge phone line.

Telephone Debt

You are called and told that you are in debt on your phone line for whatever reason. You’re then asked for immediate payment or you’ll be disconnected and face legal action. If you do end up putting down the phone, the fraudsters will attempt to trick you into thinking your line has been cut by staying on the line.

Holiday SOS

A friend or relative has had their email account hacked and an email appears in your inbox, begging you for money, as they are stranded abroad. This is a load of rubbish.

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Traumatic Car Accident? Helpful Advice for Recovery

Car accidents come with a side serving of physical and emotional trauma. Allow yourself time to heal…as new age and wishy-washy as that sounds. Don’t even think about going to work. You have a date with your duvet, a bowl of soup, and your favourite TV series. Take a break from your normal routine, and for once, let the kids bring you breakfast in bed!

Go Home

Rest. Relax. Leave yourself time to recover from your injuries and process the emotional trauma of your car accident. If you’re lucky enough to have someone in the house that can work the kettle and knows their way around the stove, let them take care of you. Don’t feel guilty about putting up your feet. Your body needs lots of sleep and recovery time. Tell work you’re going to be off-sick for a while.

See A Doctor

As soon as possible, receive medical attention. You may need treatment for the pain and a professional can offer advice on how to make your injuries more comfortable. If you plan to make a claim, you’ll need a doctor’s diagnosis to do so.

Listen To Your Body

Take things in baby steps. If you feel tired and in pain, listen to your body’s cues and rest. Take relaxing bubble baths and eat healthily. Although you’ll want to spend a lot of time chilling out, do make some time to go for small walks, just to stop your muscles from getting stiff (and increasing any aches in your body). Take someone with you, just in case you need a piggy-back home!

Use Your Support Network

It’s time to talk. Get your closest friend or family member over for a cup of tea and a chat. After experiencing a car accident, it’s important that you talk about it with others. Cry, hug, and get it all out on the table. Depending on how serious the incident was, people may have lost their lives. Whether that was someone in the other vehicle or someone close to you, you need to talk about your feelings. Also, there are a range of charities available who can help provide care and support to people involved in road accidents.

Don’t Rush Back Into Driving

You may need to slowly come to terms with driving again. Don’t push yourself into the driver’s seat as soon as you’re physically able. Instead, approach it gradually. Begin by just driving around your road and build up your confidence again.

Be aware that getting behind the wheel after an accident can cause anxiety attacks while driving. It’s best to take someone with you, just in case you do start panicking – preferably someone insured on the car that can drive you both home, should things get too serious. [Read more…]

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Assessing Protective Measures to Combat Serious Injury in Sport

For anyone who loves the sport they play, injuries can be extremely frustrating. Often, these problems could’ve been prevented by the athletes if they’d taken the proper precautions. Aim to avoid injuries in the future with these tips:

Wear the Right Gear

Protective gear isn’t just for wusses. If there are specific things you need to wear to help safeguard your body, get them on. Whether that’s mouth guards or pads, never turn up to training without the right equipment.

If you’re training outside, always wear light colours so you’re extremely visible. Also, invest in a fantastic pair of trainers (for running and other high impact sports) so the joints are protected by cushioning in the heel (unless, of course, your sport requires a particular style of boots).

Rest

It’s a common misconception that consecutive days of training are good for you. Rest is absolutely integral to keeping injuries at bay. It’s better to give yourself a day off than have to take off weeks to heal your injury. Rest actually makes you stronger, as it slowly helps regenerate the muscles and combats fatigue.

Warm Up

Before you begin any workout, make sure your muscles are nice and warm. It’s not a good idea to just throw yourself into a rugby match without priming your body for activity. Any stiff and cold muscles are very easy to injure. Stretch after you’ve warmed up for greater mobility.

Play by the Rules

During team sports, always play by the rules – they’re there for a reason. When you start making illegal moves, you run the risk of injuring yourself and the players around you. Give bad sportsmanship the red card!

Stay in Shape

Some activities are very physically demanding. Keeping up an exercise routine full of varied workouts will help retain your fitness and flexibility. Condition your body and get into shape! Work on core muscles for support in all sports.

Eat Right

You need to fuel your muscles for activity. Restrictive diets and heavy exercise do not make a good combination. Be sure to eat healthily and regularly. Don’t starve yourself because you want to lose weight. It’s counter-intuitive. [Read more…]

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Are Banks Still Vulnerable To Money Laundering In The UK?

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), major banks are likely to be facilitating money laundering due to insufficient internal processes. The survey, which assessed 17 banks and major UK lenders, showed that they were vulnerable to ‘dirty’ money being transferred through their account system.

The FCA has warned these banks that these criminal gangs wash £10bn through the UK economy every year, and that their financial institutions may be supporting illegal practices. Banks are being urged to look closely at transactions and not turn a blind eye.

Instances of Major Money Laundering

After last year’s HSBC scandal, the bank was fined $1.9bn by US regulators for aiding Mexican drug cartels and smashing Iranian sanctions. And it wasn’t alone. Standard Chartered was fined $327m for financing Iranian, Libyan, and Sudanese trade.

Lloyds and Barclays also fell afoul of money laundering law, which paints a pretty bad picture of UK banks. Many of these banks narrowly missed criminal prosecution.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that economies work off the back of their banks, these financial institutions have become too big and important to fall. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to charge them with a criminal offence, because it could cause financial instability for the country.

HSBC only got away with just a hefty fine by signing a controversial deal with the US. They publically apologised for their poor money laundering controls and had to claw back some of the bonuses paid to senior executives, in order to pay for system improvements. [Read more…]

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Using a Lawyer for PPI Claims

A PPI claim is when you request back money that you paid for payment protection insurance because you feel that you should not have been sold it. These can be quite simple, but if you have a lot of claims to make or may have trouble proving that it was miss sold, then you could have a more difficult case.

There are websites online which will show you exactly how to make a PPI claim yourself. You may only need to write a few letters to be able to get the money back from the lender without having to get the courts involved. Most lenders now have a reserve of money to pay people back if they were miss sold PPI. You just have to show them when you paid it and prove that it was not something that you wanted, needed or knew that you had.

This is pretty simple and many people have already made PPI claims without the help of a lawyer. However, there are also many people who have chosen to use one. It is worth being aware that it is your choice and so if you do not want to have to pay a lawyer, you do not have to. Some people think that the lawyer will be free because they have a no win, no fee policy, but all that means is that if you do not win they will not charge you their fee. If they do win the case, they will charge you fees and in both cases you are likely to have to pay out for insurance anyway.

So think hard if you are making a PPI claim as to whether you want to pay a lawyer. The choice is yours and could depend on the complexity of your case and how much time you have to deal with it. You may not need to do very much to make a claim and it could be costly if you got a lawyer to do it for you. On the other hand, the case may be complicated or you may just not have the time to bother with the required paperwork.

Do spend some time considering your decision and finding out more about PPI claims and the cost of having a lawyer to do one for you. You could save a lot of money if you deal with things by yourself.

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Save Money by Avoiding Driving Offences

Each year, the amount of money us speed lovers in the British Isles pay out on driving offences just gets bigger and bigger – we seeming petrol-heads are just getting more driving offence fines! And this is bound to only keep on increasing, as it was recently reported that the Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has put the wheels in motion on a plan to up the current driving fines from £60 to an eye-watering £100!

Clearly, we have to end our love affair with high speeds and dangerous driving. If you want to avoid splashing out on a completely unnecessary expense (as well as sidestep the hassle of dealing with points on your licence), then it would be wise to watch out for some of the most common driving offences.

Here they are, coincidentally, in handy list form! Avoid them; avoid fines.

Speeding

Unsurprisingly, speeding is the most common driving offence out there. Expect that reliable old friend, the fixed penalty fine of £60, to show up, as well as a perfectly lovely three points on your license, sir or madam.

And that’s if you simply break the speed limit by 10%. The punishment will only increase as your speed does – if you are caught doing double the limit (or over a ton), expect an immediate ban. Two years without your car: not much fun!

Drink-Driving

Drinking and driving, or a DUI (driving under the influence) is a very serious offence, as you’d imagine it would be. It is, rather sadly, quite common too, but that doesn’t make it any less severe.

It is completely unnecessary and utterly preventable, but puts many lives at risk. You won’t be surprised to learn that the punishments for being caught drink driving are harsh – you’ll get a pretty lengthy driving ban, as well as a possible jail sentence, especially if you harm someone or cause an accident.

The best way to avoid being caught under the influence? Don’t do it.

Using a Mobile Phone

This one is becoming ever more common as mobile phones continue their global prevalence in our lives. Although you may think it’s a stupid thing to be punished for, the reality of the matter is that it’s a very dangerous thing to do – anything which takes your attention away from the road is a big ol’ no-no.

This is another offence that you can expect to receive the fixed penalty fine for (but remember, guys and gals, that it may be about to rise), and police are on the lookout for it more than ever, so you are more likely to get caught! Be safe – don’t talk, text or browse and drive.

What You Can Do

Well, first of all – don’t commit any sort of driving offence! That’s the simplest way to avoid punishment and save money. If, however, you do get caught – mistakes can happen! – try visiting www.drivingoffence.com for some motoring solicitors, helping reveal your next steps.

There are loopholes available. Though that may seem shady, they are perfectly legal, and they open up the chance of you avoiding those pesky fines and troublesome points on your licence.

Prevention is still the best cure though, so drive safe.

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Key Steps to Follow after an Accident at Work

After an accident at work, you may be in a lot of pain and unsure of what to do. We’ve taken out all the hard work in this article; all you need to do is follow these stages:

Medical Attention

Every company should have a trained first aider in the house who can attend to any injuries. Afterwards, you should visit A&E or your local GP. From a legal perspective, you must receive medical attention as soon as possible. Not seeking out a doctor can be seen as an attempt to exacerbate injuries.

Reporting Your Injury

After you’ve received medical attention, it’s important that you report the incident to the relevant office at work and log the details in the accident book – all businesses should have one of these. Make sure your manager also knows. When you receive an accident report, take the time to read through its contents before you sign. Don’t sign the document if there is any information you don’t agree with.

Talking To Witnesses

If your accident is due to occupational negligence, it’s a good idea to take a picture of the scene. Also, take down the contact details of witnesses who saw the incident happen. Make notes of what happened, so you can reference to this later (it’s amazing what the brain can forget with time).

Find out if any other accidents like this have happened before; pursuing this case isn’t just about getting the compensation that you deserve but making sure that no-one else falls foul of health and safety malpractice.

Get Legal Advice

You could be entitled to work compensation for the accident, if the company is at fault. While you’re convalescing, you won’t be getting paid (or will be receiving statutory sick pay, at the most). Record the wages you’ve lost due to your injury and consider making a claim.

Talk to a ‘no win, no fee’ solicitor to make sure you have a case. It’s unlikely that he or she will take you on, if your claim isn’t strong enough to win, as the lawyer won’t get paid.

You may need to attend an independent review of your injuries from a medical professional, for legal purposes; but other than that, wait until you’re healed up. Pursue your case only when you feel well enough. Although you have a three year leeway on bringing a claim to court, the fresher the case, the better.

Negotiations

Once you’ve got a solicitor on-board, enter into negotiations with the company for a compensatory pay out. It’s in everyone’s best interests to keep the case out of court, so it’s ideal if you can make a settlement now. If the company refuses to give you the compensation you deserve, and your lawyer gives you the go-ahead, don’t be afraid to escalate the case.

Always record any expenses you’ve paid for that are related to your injury. You may be able to claim these back on top of your compensation.

Jigsaw Law are specialist personal injury solicitors with a focus on work related injuries – visit their team for further advice relating to a claim.

Visit their address here: Jigsaw Law Ltd, Pioneer House, Pioneer Business Park, North Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 1AD or follow them on Twitter @jigsaw_law

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Car Accident Claims Just Make Sense!

When you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, there are a lot of emotions in play. You might feel shock, worry, fear, agony, pain, guilt or nervousness. Fighting for compensation isn’t something that our society talks about much. We assume that everyone pursuing compensation is just looking for an easy payday.

Our thoughts? Fighting for compensation is all about going for what’s right, not necessarily what’s popular. While it’s not popular to get compensation, the truth is that you have medical bills and other bills to take care of. If you are a person taking care of a family, then you have to think about your family’s needs above everyone else’s. There’s no need to base all of your decisions on what people will think about you. After all, won’t people think ill of you if you aren’t thinking about taking care of your family?

Won’t people be shocked if you let a bunch of medical bills keep you from giving your family the quality of life they deserve?


Mayiclaim car accident claims can make the difference, because this is an agency that really does work hard to get you the money that you deserve. There’s no reason to believe that it’s impossible to get things done just because you’re surrounded by negative opinions. Remember that they are just that — opinions. It’s probably safe to say that there’s nobody around you that’s an active solicitor in any way.

You have to take power and control back by getting the best expertise possible. This is the only way to move on and get things done. If you do anything else, you’re not going to get the results that you deserve. Who really wants to go through life that way? Who really wants to suffer just because they can’t get all of the pieces together, fitting properly? That’s what we thought.

Make sure that you really are thinking about everything involved in the process of getting things done with your car accident claim. Writing down exactly what happened and all other points of important detail is really important.  You don’t want to get those details lost, especially when they can help your case. Likewise, you should make sure that you save any official documentation. Make multiple copies so that nobody has to have your originals. Good luck with your upcoming case!

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Discriminating Against Same-Sex Couples: Charity Status Stripped from Adoption Agency

Recent investigation, conducted by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Family Research, into the quality of life of adopted children under same-sex parents, revealed that children are just as well parented under a homosexual couple than a heterosexual one (surprise, surprise).

The common misconception is that kids are bullied at primary school for having gay parents, but the study showed that this was not the case – the vast majority were free from discrimination. In fact, secondary school posed the greater threat for discrimination against a child’s same-sex foster parents.

It was also uncovered that children’s gender and sexuality are also unaffected by having same-sex parents, which will hopefully quieten down the fears of “gaywashing” young people. As if a leopard can change its spots.

Same-Sex Couples Seen As Last Resort

Judging by the actions of St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society in Glasgow, however, this adoption agency doesn’t agree with the University of Cambridge’s findings. In fact, homosexual couples were discriminated against when applying for adoption, in favour of heterosexual couples (preferably Catholic), who’d been married for at least two years.

Following a complaint from the National Secular Society, The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) was forced to review the practices of St Margaret’s, in view of a breach in the 2010 Equality Act.

Although OSCR concluded that St Margaret’s was providing a valuable service to the public, they were given until April 22nd to comply with equality legislation, or lose its charitable status. That means no more corporation tax cuts or rate discounts for this adoption agency if they don’t mend their ways.

Some officials described the move as “equality extremism,” including John Deighan – a Scottish Catholic Church parliamentary officer.

But when did offering every human being equal rights become a radical notion in the 21st century? Must have missed that memo.

OSCR’s Plans for St Margaret’s

In a statement, OSCR defended its decision to strip St Margaret’s of their charitable status, as discrimination of same-sex couples is hardly an altruistic or generous thing to do. OSCR stated that St Margaret’s no longer qualified as ‘acting in the public benefit’ and that OSCR has a duty to take measures against organisations that breach the Equality Act 2010.

The National Secular Society has welcomed this move by the OSCR and recommended that St Margaret’s drop their connections with the Catholic Church, so their charitable status can remain unblemished. They’ve surely been on the phone to their charity solicitors about this issue.

Described as ‘crude discrimination,’ the actions of St Margaret’s no longer have a place in a society that accepts same-sex couples, instead of stigmatising their partnerships. Especially seeing as much of the money St Margaret’s receives comes from public tax payers’ pockets, whatever their religion or sexuality.

However, Mike Russel, SNP Education Minister, expressed regret that OSCR’s decision would affect the ‘best interests’ of the children at St Margaret’s, which he assumedly thinks are to be brought up Catholic and by heterosexual parents.

But if we can send children to homes where open-mindedness, understanding, and tolerance are preached at the dinner table, have these children really missed out?

Composed on behalf of Barlow Robbins charity solicitors who specialise on a number of issues surrounding charities and helps to resolve any complications such as the above.