October 2011 Archives

Reaffirming Debts in Order to Keep Vehicles after Filing Bankruptcy

In Roberson v. Ford Motor Credit Co. LLC the Maryland Court of Appeals held that Creditors can require that individuals filing bankruptcy execute reaffirmation agreements if those filers or debtors want to keep their motor vehicles. Reaffirmation agreements "reaffirm" the original contract terms. Thus, the debtor signing the reaffirmation agreement, is on the hook for any deficiency if their vehicle is repossessed after bankruptcy for a failure to make the loan payments and sold for an amount which is less than the balance of the loan. Despite the Roberson decision, most debtors are better off not reaffirming. Ford Motor Credit is one of the few creditors that require reaffirmation agreements. Most creditors understand that it is better to receive payments from a debtor while that debtor can make them than repossess a vehicle and sell it for an amount which will not satisfy the loan.

The importance of a construction business owner establishing a relationship with an attorney

I have had situations where clients obviously did work and were obviously owed money; however, they neglected to register their company in the state where they needed to bring their case. As a result, they lost their cases. These cases provide an example of one of the snares among many in the minefield of legal technicalities out there. Avoiding being entrapped by a law, rule or regulation that could seriously harm your business requires legal guidance. Requirements mandating registration and licensing of a business are just the tip of the technicality iceberg. The risk these technicalities create impacts every aspect of your business from the language of your contract to your method of interaction with customers to the appearance of your jobsite.

Paid when paid/ Paid if paid/ Flow through contract clauses

They are the lifeblood of general contractors and despised by subcontractors. Flow through agreements provide for payment of a subcontractor when or if a general contractor is paid. Contractors will tell you they need flow through clauses in their contracts, for among other reasons, to insure that their subs do work which satisfies the owner. Subs will tell you that flow through clauses provide contractors with excuses not to pay them when a job is underbid or is improperly managed by the general contractor.

Subcontractor not Responsible for injuries caused by OSHA/ MOSHA violation after leaving job

In the recent case of C & M Builders, LLC v. Strub the Maryland Court of Appeals held that a framing subcontractor was not responsible for injuries caused by OSHA/MOSHA violations when it had left the job for three weeks and had surrendered control of the jobsite to allow work to be performed by other subcontractors.

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