Page Array – wh Law | We Help https://whlawoffices.com Attorneys at Law | North Little Rock, Bryant, Cabot, and Conway Thu, 14 Mar 2019 16:51:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 https://whlawoffices.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/cropped-whLaw-SMLogo-32x32.png Page Array – wh Law | We Help https://whlawoffices.com 32 32 New Name | Same Firm https://whlawoffices.com/new-name-same-firm/ https://whlawoffices.com/new-name-same-firm/#respond Sun, 24 Feb 2019 22:57:33 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=5168

Hey fellow Arkansans,

Looking for Wilson & Haubert law firm? Yes, you found us! We have simplified our name from Wilson & Haubert to  wh Law. We want our name to promote our goal: We Help.

Now, when you see our name, it may be in a combined fashion, the company name “wh Law” along with the company tagline “We Help”

“wh Law | We Help.”

Why did we change our name? Well, we aren’t your average law firm, so we don’t want an average law firm name (no one wants to type out Wilson & Haubert, PLLC, anyway). We got into this business to help people, and we think people should know what we do, not who we are. Ultimately, our name is not as important as the help we provide our fellow Arkansans here in Central Arkansas.

So, if you are looking for Wilson and Haubert, it is still us. We are here, we will be here for a long time to come, and we will help.

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What are Uncompensated Transfers and Penalty Periods? https://whlawoffices.com/penalty-periods-uncompensated-transfers/ https://whlawoffices.com/penalty-periods-uncompensated-transfers/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2019 03:02:36 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4830 Many people gift property to others to qualify for Medicaid only to find out that they’re still not qualified. Usually this situation is caused by Uncompensated Transfers.  These transfers trigger “penalty periods.” So, what is an Uncompensated Transfer? How do such transfers incur a penalty? What is the Transfer Penalty and how does it work? Here are some useful definitions.

Uncompensated Transfer:  This is the transfer of assets (cash, cars, real estate etc.) where less than equal value was received for the exchange.  That means you gave something to someone without getting paid the full value of the thing you gave away. For example, you gave your ’67 Mustang to your son for $10.  If you gave away anything valuable and didn’t get equal value back in exchange, that is an Uncompensated Transfer.

Look Back Period:  There is a time limit on looking at Uncompensated Transfers.  The state may only look back in time for a period of 60 months.  If the Uncompensated Transfer occurred more than 60 months prior to an application for Medicaid, then the transfer is not a penalizing transfer.  If the Uncompensated Transfer occurred within 60 months of applying for Medicaid, then the transfer gets you a Penalty Period.

Penalty Period:  This is the time period where the Medicaid applicant is disqualified from Medicaid because of the Uncompensated Transfer.  In other words, the applicant is otherwise qualified for Medicaid, but because of the Uncompensated Transfer, they are disqualified for a period of time.

Penalty Divisor:  This is a number set by the state which is used to determine the Penalty Period.  It is based upon the current average semi-private bed rate for nursing homes in your state.  It is adjusted once a year in order to stay accurate. In Arkansas as of the date of this article, the Penalty Divisor is $5,493.  

Calculating the Penalty Period:  The Penalty Period in Arkansas is determined by the following formula:

Amount of transfer (divided by) Penalty Divisor = Penalty Period.

Example:  If a person made Uncompensated Transfers totaling $100,000 during the 5 years prior to applying for Medicaid, those Uncompensated Transfers would result in a Penalty Period of 18.2 months

$100,000 (divided by $5,493) = 18.2 month Penalty Period.

Penalty Period Start Date:  The Penalty Period incurred for Uncompensated Transfers does not begin to run until:

1, The applicant is institutionalized (in a nursing home)

  1. An application has been submitted
  2. The applicant is Resource Eligible:  meaning the applicant had less than $2,000 in resources on the 1st day of the month when the application was submitted.  
  3. The applicant was Income Eligible:  meaning the applicant’s income was less then the state published Income Cap or a Miller Trust was in place on the 1st day of the month in which the application was submitted.  The Income Cap in Arkansas as of the date of this article is $2,250 per month.  Otherwise the applicant does not qualify for Medicaid or the start of the Penalty Period.

What is a Miller Trust?

There are a lot of rules to navigate when it comes to Medicaid qualification.  We know those rules and we can assist your family in the preservation of family wealth.  Give us a call if you have questions.

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When is Joint Custody Considered the Best Interest of The Child? https://whlawoffices.com/joint-custody-child-best-interest/ https://whlawoffices.com/joint-custody-child-best-interest/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2019 03:01:08 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4827 Clients ask us a form of this question almost every day.  Joint custody has been rare for the majority of the history of family law in Arkansas.  However, that trend is changing in many courts throughout the state.

When a Judge is considering custody of children, they always look at what is in “the best interest of the child.” This “best interest” test is an all-encompassing look at the child’s quality of life, rather than just a factor test.

Joint custody is in the best interest of the child when the child will get equally good parenting and support from both parents. Joint custody is in the best interest of the child when the child is not going to be put under lots of stress from having to bounce back and forth from house to house. One of the main sources of this kind of stress is distance between the parent’s homes. It’s less of a strain child if the parents live in the same town or city. Living close allows the child to attend the same school and extracurricular activities regardless of whose house they’re at. So living close to the other parent is normally beneficial when parties are wanting joint custody.

It is always in the best interest of the child for that child to continue to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents. If the court believes one parent is going to intentionally harm the child’s relationship with the other parent, the court will be less likely to grant joint custody.

Overall, there are many factors which come into play when a court is considering if joint custody is in the best interest of a child.  We have experience in this area of the law and with the judges in Central Arkansas. If you would like to speak with someone about your specific facts, please give us a call and we will be happy to help.

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Child Support Payments – What to Expect https://whlawoffices.com/child-support-expectations/ https://whlawoffices.com/child-support-expectations/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 02:58:32 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4833 You probably landed here because you’re going through a divorce, or you’re thinking about it, and you have children. If so, you’re in the right place. There are many issues surrounding child support in Arkansas and it’s important to know what your rights are.

When will a court order child support payments?

A court will almost always order child support when one of the parents in a divorce is going to get “primary physical custody.”  That is the parent who is going to spend more time with the child than the other parent. The parent spending more time with the child is the “custodial parent.” The parent spending less time with the child is the “non-custodial parent.” If the court orders this sort of custody arrangement, it is going to order the non-custodial parent to pay child support.

To determine the child support amount, the court looks at the non-custodial parent’s income.  For more information on the factors going into the amount of child support you or your spouse might end up paying click here.

How do I change a child support amount after it’s established?

Many non-custodial parents experience life changes that make it harder or easier to pay child support. The law calls these “material changes in circumstances.” That’s just a fancy way of saying that things have changed dramatically enough to justify the non-custodial parent paying more or less.  The most common change is the non-custodial parent’s income going up or down.

When this happens, either parent can “move the court” to change the child support payment amount.  That just means that you file something with the court explaining that things have changed and the court should change the payment.  It doesn’t matter if you’re the custodial parent and you think that your former spouse just got a huge raise, or if you’re the non-custodial parent and you just lost your job.  Either of those sets of circumstances is good reason for the court to change the support amount.

One important thing to note is that Arkansas courts almost never honor private agreements between parents. For example, say you and your ex agree to you paying a smaller support payment, but you don’t get the court to approve it. Then, a year or so down the line, things go sideways with your ex.  If your ex wants to, they can ask the court to hold you in contempt. That means that you haven’t been complying with the court’s order. Because the court didn’t OK your smaller payment, you’re not doing what the court told you to do, even if your ex was alright with it at the time. It’s important to get a court to sign off on any change in a support payment to prevent this scenario from happening.

This is something we at wh Law | We Help do all the time.  If you are looking to modify a child support amount, give us a call.  We can review your case for a change of circumstances and move the court to change it for you.

What happens if I don’t pay my child support payments?

As I outlined above, you can be “held in contempt” if you don’t pay the right child support payment.  The same is true if you don’t pay any child support, at all.

If you’re not paying child support, the custodial parent can file a “motion for contempt” with the court.  The court will then order you to appear in court and explain why you haven’t paid. If the court doesn’t think you’ve had good reasons for not paying, they can hold you in contempt.

There can be serious consequences if you’re held in contempt of court.  You can be ordered to pay all the child support you owe right then and there.  The judge can jail you until you pay what you owe. If the court thinks the contempt is serious enough, it may just jail you for a certain period of time.  The judge can’t jail you for more than thirty days, though.

Bottom Line: There are a big number of legal issues surrounding child support.  If you are having an issue with a child support obligation, or getting one established, we can help.  We’ve handled a ton of cases in this area of the law and we know how to navigate the difficult issues.  Give us a call for a free consultation today.

Some other interesting blogs on the topic:

Child Support Laws: Equitable and Fair for Both Parents?

How Far Back Does Arkansas Child Support Go?

When Does Arkansas Child Support Stop?

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Best Interest of the Child | Do Judges Get It Right? https://whlawoffices.com/child-best-interest-judge-correct/ https://whlawoffices.com/child-best-interest-judge-correct/#respond Tue, 29 Jan 2019 02:57:11 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4835 We always feel disappointed when our clients do not get what they want in court. After pouring time and effort into a case, it can be heartbreaking. We may never feel the brunt of the disappointment like the client, but it hurts. Knowing that feeling motivates us

Occasionally, we have lost cases we should have won. There are other times when we won cases that we maybe shouldn’t have.

Both of those scenarios are rare.  The key to winning family law cases is hard work and preparation.  We’re good at that.

Family law judges have seen every case under the sun. They hear every possible story and every possible argument about why something matters for the best interest of a child. Usually, judges hear the same stories from the same people multiple times. Family law judges see the results of their previous decisions and, hopefully, learn from them.

Family law judges get lied to.  A lot. Many times, there is no real evidence to be seen that can confirm the truth, so a judge is left to depend on their gut. It may sound crazy, but it’s a fact that judges often make decisions based on who they think is telling the truth.

Most family law judges can see past the individuals and understand the entire family dynamic. The parties and their lawyers are focused in on what makes the client look good and the other person look bad. But a family is a lot more than just individuals with good and bad traits. Understanding how a family operates can make otherwise-significant facts less important and could elevate facts that might not seem that important in isolation.

Generally, family law judges are good at what they do.  Most of the time they make decisions that are in the best interest of children.

There are, however, a few recurring issues where a lot of judges might miss the ball, including:

  1. Drugs. Many family law judges apply little or no nuance when weighing drug use. All illegal drugs are given the same weight, which is probably more than they ought to, while prescription drug use is largely ignored.

 

  1. Mental health. Though it is far less than it used to be, there is still a societal stigma about seeing a mental health professional. The stigma can extend to family court, where a judge is suspicious of a parent because of attendance in therapy or a mental health diagnosis. Unfortunately, the parties to a child custody proceeding are often in desperate need of a mental health professional but cannot see one because of its potentially negative effects on a custody case.

 

  1. Parental alienation. There are many judges who do not give one parent’s effort to cut out the other parent enough weight when deciding what is in the child’s best interest. A parent who will deliberately disrupt a child’s relationship with the other parent does not have the child’s interest in mind. A judge is often prone to weigh some drug issue or minor criminal charge or inconsistent employment more heavily than alienation, which is a problem. A parent who leads a clean life but cuts the other parent out will often be worse for the child in the long run.

 

A big part of having a judge make the right decision on your case is having the right representation, including a team of lawyers who are familiar with what certain judges want.

When you hire us, you are hiring specific knowledge about the judges in Central Arkansas and what is persuasive in their courtroom.

Other interesting blogs on the topic:

What are some examples of what is in the best interest of a child?

Arkansas Divorce Myths and Facts

Family Visitation Supervised

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How to Stop Wage Garnishment https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-stop-wage-garnishment/ https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-stop-wage-garnishment/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 21:45:11 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4921

If your wages are currently being garnished, or if you are in danger of having them garnished, the attorneys at wh Law | We Help can stop the process.  We have attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy, who will use the bankruptcy code to prevent your wages from being taken from you, once and for all.

A little known feature of the bankruptcy code, known as the “automatic stay,” can prevent your creditors from collecting any debt you owe, in addition to stopping your wages from being garnished.  The automatic stay goes into effect as soon as you file for bankruptcy.  It is a court order which stops all collection efforts against you.  Wage garnishment is a collection on a previous judgment against you, and so your creditors must stop the garnishment.  Creditors can ask the court to get rid of the stay, but it is incredibly rare for bankruptcy courts to do this.

Wage garnishment typically happens when a creditor has sued you and gotten a judgment against you for a debt you owed.  Next, the creditor has to get a second court order allowing for a wage garnishment.  Finally, the sheriff usually has to serve the garnishment order on your employer, who then withholds part of your check for your creditor.

There are a few exceptions to the automatic stay, in which case the garnishment would continue.  The most notable, and most common, is garnishments for child support.  Because of the government’s interest in making sure children are supported, wage garnishments for child support continue, even when the automatic stay is in place.

As soon as you file for bankruptcy, you must provide a list of your creditors to the court.  The court will then send notice of your bankruptcy petition to your creditors, who must then stop all their collection efforts against you.  You can speed up this process by delivering a copy of your bankruptcy filing directly to your creditors.

Most of the time, when your bankruptcy case ends, the court will discharge your debts.  This means you’re no longer responsible for the discharged debts.  What this means, is that your creditors won’t be able to go back to garnishing your wages.

There is something you can do.  If you’re having trouble paying your bills or making ends meet because of a wage garnishment, we can help.  The first step to getting your creditors off your back, and stopping your wages from getting garnished, is giving us a call.  If you need help you can text or call.

wh Law, is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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How to stop your car from being repossessed https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-stop-your-car-from-being-repossessed/ https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-stop-your-car-from-being-repossessed/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 21:44:17 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4932

Automobile dealers and lenders like to try and scare people into scrambling to make up behind payments by threatening to repossess a vehicle.  Don’t let yourself be fooled.

When you are behind on payments and don’t know how to make them up, filing bankruptcy can give you more time to figure out how to get caught up on your payments.  When you file for bankruptcy, the court will issue an order called the “automatic stay.”  This is a fancy way of telling your creditors that they have to stop trying to collect money you owe them while the court hears your bankruptcy petition.  If creditors continue harassing you after the automatic stay has been issued, they can be sanctioned and fined with hefty penalties.  While some creditors don’t know about the automatic stay, we’d be more than happy to write a strongly worded letter to educate them about how they’re no longer allowed to pester you.

Filing bankruptcy won’t necessarily stop all attempts at repossessing your vehicle, though.  In some cases, a lender can ask the bankruptcy court for permission to take the vehicle back.  However, most lenders don’t understand the process for doing this, and we can help you fight the process.

While bankruptcy can wipe out your responsibility to pay back your loan on a car, it doesn’t always get rid of the lender’s lien on the car (see our main bankruptcy page for more information on getting your debts discharged).  What this means is that even though you no longer have the responsibility to pay the lender, they can still take back possession of the car.  The upside is that filing for bankruptcy can buy you some time before repossession, and give you some leverage to renegotiate the terms of your loan.  Most lenders would rather get some of the money you originally owed them than go through the trouble of repossession and reselling the vehicle.  Note that to get a better deal on your original loan you have to “re-affirm” the debt, which wipes out any discharge the bankruptcy court may have issued, which means you are now personally responsible for the loan again.

Additionally, redeeming the car might be a good option for some debtors.  Oftentimes, the market value of a car is less than what people still owe on the vehicle.  If that is the case, you can “redeem” the vehicle.  That means that you can pay the market value of the car in one lump sum and wipe out your existing loan responsibility.  For example, if you still owe $20,000 on a car, but the market value of the car is currently only $10,000, if you can somehow come up with the $10,000, you can wipe out your responsibility to pay the $20,000.  Obviously, this isn’t an option for a lot of people who are in bankruptcy, but it can be an attractive option for some.

Don’t let creditors boss you around.  If you’re getting calls from creditors or threats of repossession, give us a call.  We can help. If you need help you can text or call.

wh Law, is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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How to stop Foreclosure https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-avoid-foreclosure/ https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-avoid-foreclosure/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 21:43:43 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4927

The attorneys here are WH Law all have families and small children, so we understand the importance a stable home has for a family.

Don’t let your concerns about bankruptcy prevent you from keeping your home.

Many attorneys don’t understand the ins and outs of the bankruptcy code, but we do. If you are behind on payments on your mortgage, or even if you are already in the foreclosure process, filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you get caught up on your behind payments, or even stop the foreclosure process altogether. When you file a bankruptcy petition, all of your debtors must stop efforts at collecting on your debts. If they continue to harass you after filing, they can be sanctioned and fined. Don’t let frequent calls from the bank and other creditors ruin your peace of mind. There’s something you can do about it: give us a call.

In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will determine what your monthly payment obligations are for necessary living expenses, and use leftover income for monthly payments to the bank on your past due mortgage payments, as well as your other creditors. So, in that way, bankruptcy can help you get caught up on your mortgage, in addition to any other creditor payments you’re behind on. Since the single monthly payment you’ll have under your bankruptcy is based on your disposable income, the payments are usually fairly small, and spread out over three to five years. Once you reach the end of the payment period, most people are caught up on their past due payments, and can resume paying their monthly payments as they were before the bankruptcy filing.

Have questions? The attorneys here are WH Law all have families and small children, so we understand the importance a stable home has for a family.

Don’t let your concerns about bankruptcy prevent you from keeping your home.

Many attorneys don’t understand the ins and outs of the bankruptcy code, but we do. If you are behind on payments on your mortgage, or even if you are already in the foreclosure process, filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you get caught up on your behind payments, or even stop the foreclosure process altogether. When you file a bankruptcy petition, all of your debtors must stop efforts at collecting on your debts. If they continue to harass you after filing, they can be sanctioned and fined. Don’t let frequent calls from the bank and other creditors ruin your peace of mind. There’s something you can do about it: give us a call.

In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will determine what your monthly payment obligations are for necessary living expenses, and use leftover income for monthly payments to the bank on your past due mortgage payments, as well as your other creditors. So, in that way, bankruptcy can help you get caught up on your mortgage, in addition to any other creditor payments you’re behind on. Since the single monthly payment you’ll have under your bankruptcy is based on your disposable income, the payments are usually fairly small, and spread out over three to five years. Once you reach the end of the payment period, most people are caught up on their past due payments, and can resume paying their monthly payments as they were before the bankruptcy filing.

Have questions? If you need help you can text or call.

wh Law, is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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How to Stop Creditor Calls and Harassment https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-stop-creditor-calls/ https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-stop-creditor-calls/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 21:41:45 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4929

Creditor harassment is a major reason people seek bankruptcy assistance. Phone calls at home, work, threatening letters, lawsuits, garnishments, and bank seizures can make your life more difficult than it already is. When the creditor harassment is too much, call an experienced bankruptcy attorney and get some relief! Once you file your bankruptcy petition, all creditor harassment must stop immediately.

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that protects consumers from creditor harassment. Part of this law prohibits third party collectors from directly contacting you after you have retained an attorney to deal with your debt, which includes a bankruptcy attorney. An original creditor, the one you aculatty borrowed money from, is not a “third party collector” and does not fall under the FDCPA. This includes: Capital One, Bank of America, Chase, Synchrony Bank, as well as your local banks and many more. A collection agency or an attorney hired by the bank your borrowed money from is a third party collector, and cannot continue to call or write you. Third party collectors must call your attorney, although any legal action can continue until you file your bankruptcy case.

Creditor harassment could continue even after you hire a bankruptcy attorney. The likely reason for this is that the creditor has not received any information that changes your status. Letting the creditor know that you have hired an attorney is generally good enough to stop the harassment. Tell the creditor, “I’m filing bankruptcy, call my attorney!” and give the caller your bankruptcy attorney’s name and telephone number. (Our number is 501.891.6000) Original creditors usually stop telephone contact after this for fear of violating the bankruptcy automatic stay. Third party collectors know that by law they can no longer call you.

Once your bankruptcy petition is filed, the clerk of the bankruptcy court will send notices to all of your creditors informing them of the bankruptcy automatic stay. Contact your attorney immediately if you are contacted by a creditor after your bankruptcy case is filed.

Hiring a bankruptcy attorney can provide temporary relief from creditor harassment. Filing bankruptcy and obtaining a discharge of your debts guarantees that you are no longer legally liable for the discharged debts. Any further contact from a discharged creditor violates the federal court order and subjects the creditor to sanctions for contempt of court. If you need this powerful legal protection from creditor harassment, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney today! If you need help you can text or call.

wh Law, is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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How to deal with Credit Card debt https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-deal-with-credit-card-debt/ https://whlawoffices.com/how-to-deal-with-credit-card-debt/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 21:40:31 +0000 https://whlawoffices.com/?p=4925

In most cases, if you have already decided to file for bankruptcy, continuing to make credit card payments is a waste of money. So,if you are going to file bankruptcy, then you should probably stop paying your credit cards. But if you are still undecided about bankruptcy or may not file your case for a long time, stopping your credit card payments can subject you to collection calls and lawsuits or cause unnecessary damage to your credit.

When you file for bankruptcy, all of your unsecured debts are eliminated, meaning you do not legally owe these bills any longer. Credit card companies who choose to pursue you for old, discharged debts will do so in violation of the law and will be subject to sanctions by the bankruptcy court. Furthermore, unlike debts that are forgiven through private negotiation with a lender, there is no tax liability for debts that are discharged in bankruptcy.

While the general rule is that credit card debt is easily eliminated by filing for bankruptcy, fraudulent activity can jeopardize your entire bankruptcy discharge. Using credit cards for luxury purchases prior to bankruptcy creates a presumption of fraud which can be difficult to overcome. Don’t use credit cards after meeting with a bankruptcy attorney unless you’ve decided not to file. The bottom line is any use of credit cards with the intention of not paying the debt back is fraudulent. The bankruptcy code protects debtors who behave in good faith and punish debtors who to try to game the system. For more information see: Using Credit Cards Before Bankruptcy is a Big No No! If you need help you can text or call.

wh Law, is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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