August 22, 2014 - Alpha Natural Resources, one of the largest coal producers in the country, revealed last month that it plans to lay off approximately 1,100 coal miners and support staff by mid-October. These job cuts are sweeping through the country this year.
What can the dismissed employees do if they have problems paying their mortgage, household expenses or credit card debt?
There are Two Solutions – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy refers to the chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that contains the bankruptcy law. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes called "liquidation" bankruptcy. This is because a successful bankruptcy liquidates (wipes out) most of your debts.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy in both New York and New Jersey process takes from three to six months. Usually there is only one appearance. This is not in front of a judge, but in front of a Trustee ( a lawyer who represents the bankruptcy court). A New york or New Jersey licensed bankruptcy lawyer appears with you at the 341 meeting.
The Petition: To file for bankruptcy, you fill out a petition and several other forms. Normally a licensed New York or New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer prepares and files the petition and forms with the bankruptcy court in your area.
Once filed the automatic stay goes into effect!
The Automatic Stay: One of the most important benefits of filing bankruptcy is the "automatic stay." The automatic stay is very powerful and immediately stops your creditors from trying to collect what you owe them. Even if they have sued you in court state court or your property is being sold, everything must stop. Creditors cannot legally take (garnish) your wages, empty your bank account, go after your car, house or other property, or cut off your utility service or welfare benefits. This is true for New York, New Jersey and every other state. The automatic stay goes into effect immediately upon filing your bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court.
Court Control: Until your bankruptcy case is completed your financial problems are in the hands of the bankruptcy court. It assumes legal control of the property you own and the debts you owe as of the date you file. Certain properties are exempt, which is yours to keep and the court does not control. Until the end, nothing can be sold or paid without the court's permission. Whether a property is exempt depends on the state you reside. The exempt properties in New Jersey are different than the exempt properties in New York.
The Bankruptcy Trustee: The bankruptcy court appoints person called a "bankruptcy trustee." The bankruptcy trustee is interested in finding out what you own and what property you claim as exempt. This is due to the fact that the bankruptcy trustee's primary duty is to make sure that your creditors are paid as much as possible on what you owe them, if you have the ability to pay from your property that is not exempt. The more assets the bankruptcy trustee recovers for creditors, the more the bankruptcy trustee is paid.
The “341 Meeting of Creditors”: At the “341 Meeting” the bankruptcy trustee reviews the papers you filed and asks you questions, which you must respond. This meeting is usually very short and takes less than five minutes. Creditors are entitled to attend, too, but rarely do, unless there was some fraud committed. You appear with your bankruptcy lawyer.
At the conclusion of the bankruptcy process, the bankruptcy court wipes out most of your debts in what is called a “discharge in bankruptcy.” You are no longer in debt to your creditors. Note that you cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for another eight years from the date of your filing.
A chapter 13 bankruptcy is an ideal part of our federal laws. You apply it to stop a house foreclosure, make up the missed mortgage payments and keep the house. You can also pay off back taxes through your New Jersey Chapter 13 plan and stop interest from accruing on your tax debt. It lets you rearrange your financial affairs, repay a portion of your debts and put yourself back on your financial feet. The most important thing about Chapter 13 is that it will allow you to keep your valuables—especially your home and car—which might otherwise be lost. You repay your debts through a Chapter 13 plan. The plan shows how you intend to repay of all or a portion of your debts.
Under a typical chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, you make monthly payments to a person called the Chapter 13 trustee, who is appointed by the bankruptcy court. The chapter 13 Trustee collects the money paid by you under the plan and disburses it to your creditors as the plan directs. Upon completion of the payments in the chapter 13 plan, you will be discharged from liability for the remainder of your debts. The plan can last from 3 to 5 years.
You should consider filing a Chapter 13 plan if you:
Own your home and are behind in your monthly mortgage payments;
Are behind on debt payments, but can catch up if given some time;
Have valuable property, which is not exempt, but you can afford to pay creditors from your income over time.
You have a 2nd Mortgage and the value of your home has dropped.
You will need to have enough income in a debt consolidation plan to pay off your basic monthly expenses, including your monthly mortgage and have enough for the monthly Plan payments.
Meet a Bankruptcy Lawyer
In 2012 President Obama, using his executive power began a program that permits individuals who entered the United States before turning sixteen and who meet certain rules to file Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). If you are one of the thousand of people that have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), you may be able to travel outside the U.S. and return legally. The process is called “Advance Parole.” One of the advantage of DACA is that the recipient may seek permission to travel abroad temporarily for humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes.
Advance parole , an administrative practice originating from the general parole authority in INA § 212(d)(5),. It gives an individual who is in the United States advance authorization to re-enter the United States after temporary voyage abroad. If the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grant s advance parole, it issues a Form I-512L, an advance parole authorization document. This paper allows a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or other immigration inspector at a U.S. port-of-entry to parole an person into the United States.
Who Is Entitled to Request Advance Parole as a DACA Beneficiary?
In order to be granted advance parole, a DACA recipient generally must show that s/he is traveling abroad for humanitarian, employment, or educational purposes.
Simply wanting to take a vacation is not enough to qualify DACA recipients for an Advance Parole travel document. You will need to show not only that you have been approved for DACA, but that you have a reason for traveling, either for:
Critical humanitarian purposes: includes obtaining medical assistance, attending a funeral service for a family member, visiting a sick relative, or other urgent family-related purposes.
Educational reasons : includes study abroad programs and academic research, or
Employment reasons , overseas assignments or client meetings, interviews, conferences, trainings in other countries, and travel needed to pursue a job with a foreign employer in the United States.
What proof must be submitted with the Advance Parole application?
DACA beneficiaries must provide as much proof as possible to justify the purpose of intended travel abroad. For a trip concerning a humanitarian purpose, appropriate evidence includes but is not limited to the following:
A letter from a medical professional clarifying the reason for the need to travel abroad to obtain medical treatment;
A letter from a hospital or treating medical professional describing the relative’s ill condition; and/or
A death certificate for a deceased relative
For a trip involving an educational reason, evidence includes but is not limited to the following:
A letter from an educational institution describing the purpose of travel abroad; or
A document showing enrollment in a program or class and documents showing the applicant is required to travel for a program or class or will benefit from such travel.
For a trip involving an employment reasons, appropriate evidence includes but is not limited to the following:
A letter from an employer detailing the need to travel abroad; and/or
A document showing an employment need, such as a conference or training program, and showing the applicant’s participation.
What are the Risks of Traveling With Advance Parole as a DACA Recipient?
Understand that your DACA status is not enough by itself to permit you to leave the U.S. and be admitted back upon your return. You must first apply for and be granted an Advance Parole Document. If you leave without Advance Parole, you will probably be denied reentry and your DACA approval will be cancelled.
However, being approved for Advance Parole is not a guarantee that you will be admitted back to the U.S.. The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer upon your return can deny your entry if he or she thinks you are “inadmissible,” usually for for health or security reasons.
Worse yet, if you have an outstanding order of removal or deportation on your record (perhaps because an immigration court ordered you deported, or you failed show up for a court hearing), leaving the U.S. could be viewed as self-deportation. You would not be allowed to return to the U.S. for numerous years (the exact span depends on the reason for which you were ordered deported). You should consult with an attorney if you are in this position. The attorney may be able to reopen the immigration proceedings and then have them administratively close the case based on your DACA grant.
How a DACA Recipient Applies for Advance Parole
To apply for Advance Parole, you will need to submit the following to USCIS:
Form I-131, issued by USCIS (see below).
Copy of a photo identity document, such as a driver’s license or passport identity page.
Proof that you have been approved for DACA (Form I-797).
Documents in support of your claimed basis for travel
Information about your intended dates of travel and the duration of your trip or trips (which you should provide in Part 4 of Form I-131), and
Application fee ($360 as of 2013; see the USCIS website for the latest).
Form I-131 is available from the USCIS website as a free download on the I-131, Application for Travel Document page of the USCIS website, as are the instructions.
Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney for an analysis of whether you should attempt to apply for Advance Parole and the risks of departure, and for assistance with preparing a convincing application, would be an exceptional idea.
Matt Taibbi got it a bit wrong. The "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" isn't just Goldman Sachs. It's the gigantic criminal enterprise that includes the entire Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil and their International Bankster/Corporate co-conspirators. It is sucking the world dry and strangulating it into submission.
Empire is not enough. The satanic concept has been described in euphemistic jargon as Full Spectrum Dominance or The Shock Doctrine on Steroids. It is driven by shameless immorality, limitless greed, almost-cosmic corruption, breathtaking arrogance combined with astonishing ignorance, a collective malevolent uncontrollable psychopathy and lunatic lust for power, not to mention hate, paranoia and racism. Its terrible tools include massively destructive violence and brutality, terror, torture, murder, brain-numbing propaganda, almost pornographically intrusive surveillance, a Mt. Everest of lies and dishonesties, and every imaginable manner of fraud, thievery, trickeration and con. American Exceptionalism, indeed!
Tootling tunes of "Yankee doodle dandy","freedom" and "democracy" like a 4th of July fife & drum corps, the chest-pounding American Gigantasaurus big-foots across the globe leaving a trail of tears and collateral damage almost everywhere.
If you are keeping score at home, since World War 2, the last real war America actually won (with more than a helping hand from the Soviet Union), the good ole US of A has attempted to overthrow the governments of more than 50 countries; meddled in the elections of over two dozen; covertly or clandestinely infiltrated numerous nations around the globe; loudly and brazenly invaded others; bombed civilian populations and infrastructures with all manner of deadly explosives including chemical and biological WMDs (and a couple of nukes!); concocted or supported coups against at least a dozen legitimate governments; tried to assassinate a number of foreign leaders and succeeded more than a few times; trained and turned loose death squads on virtually every continent; and trashed and looted the economies of sovereign states all over the world. You can add the never ending "war on terror" and the new old Cold War to the diabolical dance card.
Lately, however, the chickens have begun coming home to roost from the monstrous war crime that was the "Lie-raq War". Pimped, pumped up and promoted to a fare-thee-well after 9/11 by the Bush-Cheney regime of unindicted co-conspirators as a righteous "cake-walk" campaign to preserve "our freedoms and way of life" from Islamist fiends and the WMDs they didn't have, the Bush-Cheney Lie-raq War utterly destroyed that hapless country, its infrastructure and functioning society. More than 4,500 US dupes...uh...troops were killed and over 32,000 wounded (both mentally and physically) for no legitimate reason. They stopped counting Iraqi casualties after 200,000. Four million Iraqis were made refugees. And maybe $1 trillion (who's counting?) was war profiteered out of Iraq's hellish misery and our own gullible citizens’ constantly propagandized fear that "Al-Qaeda is coming! Al-Qaeda is coming!"
Mission Accomplished. Not exactly.
In a stunning bit of regional blowback from that 8-year-long Iraq war crime and the current brutal 3-years-and-still-going-strong Syrian Civil War against the creepy dictator Bashar Al-Assad (150,000+ dead so far), in which the US has remained primarily a dazed and confused spectator, a largely unheard of gang of Allah-crazed and Saudi-created and -funded Sunni Islamist jihadis, who had been battling Syrian Army forces and other assorted jihadi fighters in this particularly grisly multi-sided Middle East death-match, suddenly stormed across the Syria-Iraq border into Iraq's heavily Sunni-populated Anbar province. They called themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ISIS, it was breathlessly reported, was baaaaad. How baaaaad? Even Al-Qaeda kicked them out of the Crazy-for-Allah Club for being too crazy. And now, to everyone’s and no one's surprise, ISIS was going for the gold. And for the ultimate Islamist wet dream/US nightmare, the creation of a new global "Caliphate".
In a kind of blitzkreig not seen since Hitler's Panzers rolled into Poland in 1939, about 1,000 of these blood-thirsty Islamic militants in their matching black uniforms and shiny white armored-up Hyundai SUVs and Land Cruisers, overwhelmed this huge chunk of Iraqi territory quicker than you could say "Show me the money!" In a matter of days, they had captured Mosul, the country's 2nd largest city (pop: 2 million) and Tikrit (Saddam's hometown). In their continuing onslaught they have executed any Shi'ite men, women and children who crossed their path; wrecked Shi'ite mosques and monuments; taken over Iraq's largest oil refinery; reportedly robbed the Mosul branch of the Bank of Iraq of $250 million and set their sights on Baghdad, 220 miles away. The Iraqi Army (American-trained to the tune of $25 billion!) skedaddled at the first whiff of grapeshot and their corrupt and cowardly officers ran away even faster.
After the first shock and awe at the speed of the near-collapse of one-third of that Allah-forsaken country we had looted and ruined for eight years and left to its own discombobulated devices three years ago, the Bush Administration perps, who had originally lied us into this war crime, rose up on their hind legs and began to yowl: We won that war! We never should have left Eye-raq! We need to go back immediately and bomb bomb bomb Eye-ran...uh…Eye-raq! ISIS is coming! ISIS is coming! Eeek! It's all Obama's fault! As for the current Administration, Secretary of Botox John Kerry, predictably blustered and bloviated nonsensically. Obama, for his part, reverted to his natural Rodney (Can't we all get along!) King gene and hoped for a change... of subject.
Enter, once again, from stage left (or right) Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ever since the Obamacons and the old gang of unreconstructed Cold Warriors in Washington financed and orchestrated the February 22nd crypto-Nazi/fascist/oligarch coup d'etat against the corrupt but democratically elected Ukraine Government in Kiev, Uncle Sam has been pimping and promoting a bigger and better war crime. A new hot Cold War. Or better yet, World War X, the long wished-for looting and destruction of Russia. The once-upon-a-time Evil Empire. The big bad bear. The eternal boogeyman. Wolfish Western Banksters and Vulture Capitalists are standing by, salivating at the $zillions to be devoured from that corpse.
In delusional and dishonorable pursuit of that mad objective, Washington has engineered and been encouraging what has turned into a Ukrainian Civil War between our stooges in Kiev and the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine, who reject the Kiev coup government. Officials in Kiev, eager to play their ghoulish part, refer to the eastern Ukrainians as "terrorists", "pro-Russian rebels", “insects” to be exterminated. Never as fellow-Ukrainians. A former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko (jailed for corruption in 2011 but released in time for the coup) actually expressed the wish that the Kiev government would nuke eastern Ukraine and all its ethnic Russians. Charming! To that end, the Ukraine military and its neo-Nazi militia accomplices have been bombarding eastern Ukraine and, in one terrible case in Odessa, burning at least 40 Russian-speaking Odessans alive after they had been locked inside a torched government building. While ever since their coup succeeded, the Obamacons and their fellow travelers have been feeding an endless stream of lies and propagandist tripe about Putin, the Russians and the eastern Ukraine population, to an over-enthusiastic but breathtakingly ill-informed and uncritical western Media that laps it up and spreads it thick to an ignorant but too easily manipulated public as if it were 2002 again. The mushroom cloud/smoking gun revisited?
Last week a Malaysian Airlines commercial jet was shot out of the sky over eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air-missile, killing all aboard. The yelping, alibing and lying began immediately (if not sooner) on all sides. Nobody really knows who did it. Except, of course, the villains who did it and they're not saying. But every one of the players in this months-long murderous farce knows for sure that the other guys are guilty. American surveillance systems and spy satellites over eastern Ukraine might know the truth. But US Intelligence has had little credibility since being hoisted by its own petard over the known unknowns and unknown knowns of 9/11 and Lie-raq. (Can you say: “Curveball”) Seizing with unseemly speed on the tragic event, the Obamacons declared with straight faced theatrical outrage that they are dead certain Putin did it, even if he didn’t. And the Media has been breathlessly delivering that hoo-haa at fever pitch.
The Greek dramatist Aeschylus is believed to have wisely remarked 2,500 years ago that the first casualty of war is truth. That appears to be an accurate observation on most if not all the wars provoked by the American Empire in recent memory. Can you say: Gulf of Tonkin. Kuwaiti baby incubators. WMDs. It's not about the oil. You can now add to that daisy chain of dishonesty: What coup d’etat? The Kiev government is legitimate. Putin invaded Crimea. Putin shot down the Malaysian airline. Putin’s the real killer….no…wait…that was OJ.
Just as the Bush-Cheney political opportunists quickly climbed over the victims of 9/11 to provoke their long and too-much desired smackdown of Iraq with all its accompanying highly profitable destruction and chaos, the Obamacons and their Kiev puppets are crying crocodile tears and excitedly waving the bloody shirt over this tragic airline incident hoping to paint Putin as the patsy, the fall guy, for the new hot Cold War they hope to ignite.
It is actually not surprising to see President Pusillanimous (the Nobel Peace Prize winner!) rush to the front of this anti-Russia parade. For the past six years, continually lambasted and obstructed by the GOP loons and Teabaglicans, he has been largely feckless and ineffective on the home front except when it comes to handing out get-out-of-jail-free cards to felonious banksters and delivering Obamacare to the health insurance companies despite their pre-existing condition of greed. On the National Security dark side, however, he has been enthusiastically all in on droning to death real and imagined terrorists from Afghanistan to Yemen (including several American citizens!), supporting not-even-the-sky’s-the-limit global surveillance, cheerleading a war on whistleblowers and keeping the Military/Industrial Complex cash registers ka-chinging.
Of course, National Security and foreign affairs have often been the fallback default position of American Presidents sinking in the polls or considered weak. As the Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil knows full well, “Shock and Awe” worked better on the Homeland than it ever did on Baghdad or Hanoi. And having wars is even better bu$ine$$ than winning them…
By Micki Mihich
Francisco de Assis Domingos, 55, lost his sight at 25 while hunting. He was hit by lead pellets from a shotgun accidentally fired by a friend. Francisco’s story forms the basis of the new film by Brazilian filmmaker Yves Goulart, born in Urussanga, in southern Santa Catarina, in the same hometown as the protagonist. “I remember that accident very well,” recalls Goulart, who heard that story as a child. “The whole neighborhood was shocked. It was also the first time I saw a disabled person walking with a cane in the street.” Goulart couldn’t have imagined that the story that so touched his childhood would be told by himself years later through cinema.
But to tell this story, Goulart mixes styles and challenges pre-established formats by using both fiction and documentary within the same work. Francisco’s past, from his birth up to his accident and blindness, from the moment he realizes his life is changed forever to the moment he accepts his disability and starts using a cane, is told under a fictional format, with actors playing real characters. From there on the film moves into documentary and we have Francisco himself and the people who are part of his life speaking directly to us. “It's like Francisco seeing the world through a fictional point of view before becoming blind and, after he’s blind and aware of the new challenges and limitations, he starts seeing the world through a real point of view,” says Goulart.
Not only does the mixture of styles give the film a unique identity: all scenes were shot in locations where the story took place, thus infusing the project with the energy of the sites. Francisco himself couldn’t hold back tears while listening to the actors’ voices during the shooting of the accident scene. With his back to the set, he ended up covering his ears not to relive the painful memories of the past. The participation of Francisco’s family members as actors also gave the film a unique authenticity. Adriano Domingos, 25, who played his father, reveals that he took this opportunity as a way to learn his father’s story: “I was born after the accident and never asked why it brought him bad memories. The script made me understand many things about life and especially what really happened on that day.”
The project took four years to be completed and counted on the collaboration of filmmaker Micki Mihich, who was brought on board to build the film narrative for the script and editing. “Goulart knew exactly what the first part of the story, the fictional one, would look like. But the documentary part was different,” says Mihich. “There are several ways you can tell a documentary story and he was trying to find the ideal one. Francisco’s story is epic and special, and Goulart wanted to make a film to reflect this. By watching and getting familiar with the material, I identified a huge similarity of Francisco's life with the Hero's Journey, also known as the Monomyth by Joseph Campbell. We decided to follow this path and everything fit together very well.”
“Epic” and “special” are adjectives that do not exaggerate when used to describe Francisco de Assis Domingos’s story. How many people do you know who are masseurs, bocce champions, radio presenters, country music singers and composers and motivational speakers? And all at the same time? And after becoming blind?
This is just an example of what Francisco de Assis – A Life Lesson has to show – and teach – the viewer. A story full of humor and emotion, tragedy and overcoming, sin and redemption. Francisco de Assis – A Life Lesson is one of those stories that are hard to believe happened, but they did – and we have a lot to learn from it.
President Obama is angry. Following a year of trying to convince Congress to pass an immigration reform law, President Obama vented his fury today in a scorching White House speech, saying it's time for him to act alone on the issue.
"The failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it's bad for our economy and it's bad for our future," he said. "If Congress won't do their job, at least we can do ours."
Obama explained that he would begin with refocusing immigration enforcement on the Mexican border following an avalanche of children illegally crossing the Mexican border from Central America.
"I take executive action [order] only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing," Obama said. "And in this situation, the failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it's bad for our economy and it's bad for our future."
The president's declaration comes two years after he circumvented Congress to modify administration policy for young people who have lived in the U.S. since before the age of 16, among other requirements.
The president's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order directed immigration officials to desist deportation of young people who had lived in the U.S. continuously since 2007 and had no criminal record.
Republicans claim is was Obama’s unilateral action in creating DACA that has led to the present humanitarian crisis on America's Mexican border. Unaccompanied minors have been slipping through our border ever since DACA went into effect.