<![CDATA[Ernie Garcia, Attorney at Law - Blog]]>Fri, 23 Feb 2018 04:23:32 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[ To negotiate (with your future "EX") or not to negotiate, that is the question.  ]]>Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:31:35 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2018/02/-to-negotiate-with-your-future-ex-or-not-to-negotiate-that-is-the-question.html
So you have accepted the inevitable, the divorce has been filed, and so has the response. Your divorce is moving forward.

Now what? There are numerous things that can occur: you can appear before the Judge, mediation, or a mixture of the two. Normally, divorce cases end in mediation, which is a good thing. Mediation is a way for both parties to compromise on what property they have acquired during the course of the marriage, also referred to as the “marital regime.” Together you decide who gets what and how much. This includes all property that is considered part of the marital regime.

Additionally, if you have read my previous blog posts, this is where a PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT would come in.

This is not the end of the word, and, believe it or not, mediation is normally the best way for both parties to get what they want in the end.

Just a heads up, there is no duty to mediate! You cannot force your spouse to mediate with you, and if they decide not to then this could be a long and drawn out process for everyone involved. If this is the case, it is imperative you seek legal guidance. Know your rights and what you are entitled to since all of your financial and personal information must be presented to the Judge for her to make the final determination regarding the distribution of your assets and debts if you and your spouse cannot compromise.

Mediation is nothing to be afraid of. It is a helpful part of the process, and your attorneys are here to guide you through this process.

Remember, failure to plan is planning to fail. Give us a call! (832) 305-7694.

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<![CDATA[ She Filed for Divorce on Valentine’s Day. She’s Serious! ]]>Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:00:04 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2018/02/-she-filed-for-divorce-on-valentines-day-shes-serious.html
Valentine’s Day, a commercialized holiday used to exploit the true meaning of love with the purchasing of flowers, jewelry, candy, dinner, etc. This day is used to symbolize love and happiness but sometimes just the opposite occurs.

For instance, you are notified that your significant other wants a divorce on Valentine’s Day!

What do you do next? Some people would say, seek counseling and see if your marriage can be saved. This is a great avenue to explore, the majority of marriages dissolve due to irreconcilable differences so its completely plausible that you and your significant other can get back on the same page to save your marriage. Other’s may say, beat your significant other the punch by filing suit first. Honestly, if a divorce proceeding is imminent, it doesn’t matter who files first, the process will be the same.

What is most important is that you are informed of what your rights are and what you are entitled to receive if that unfortunate day comes. Divorce is a horrible ordeal that takes a toll of the best of people but being properly equipped to handle the coming 6 months to a year of litigation that comes along with the divorce itself will provide peace of mind.

It is imperative that you speak with an attorney to learn what your rights are and how an attorney can help you navigate the legal system. Divorce is not easy, with the complex issues of custody, child support, spousal support, division of community property, etc. being involved it is a bit overwhelming. An attorney will provide you with the guidance you need to properly handle every aspect presented by a divorce proceeding.

And let’s face it, if your significant other really lets you know they are divorcing you on Valentine’s Day, you can bet your bottom dollar they’re serious about it and you should be too.

Remember failure to plan is planning to fail. Give us a call! (832) 305-7694.
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<![CDATA[You’re Both in Love, Yes! But a Prenup Isn’t a Bad Idea]]>Tue, 06 Feb 2018 22:40:24 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2018/02/youre-both-in-love-yes-but-a-prenup-isnt-a-bad-idea.html
So you’ve found love! Congratulations!

Now comes the hard question, before the festivities celebrating you and your significant other commence, ask yourself, “Do I need a prenup?” This isn’t a question of loyalty, love, honesty, or planning for failure. This is a business decision that should be considered seriously by both parties. If you have considerable assets you would like to protect, a prenuptial agreement isn’t a bad idea.

The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to govern property division when both parties can agree on the distribution of their personal and real property in the event of an unfortunate situation like death or divorce. Prenuptial agreements also have limitations as to what can and cannot be controlled. For example, a prenup cannot waive a future spouse’s benefits under a 401k, violate public policy, defraud creditors, and cannot have a harmful or adverse effect on the right of a child to support.

Remember, a prenuptial agreement can be made to protect bot parties and their interests in the matrimonial regime which is formed during the course of the marriage. If you do consider a prenup, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney to be sure your prenup complies with the Texas Family Code, or else it may be deemed voidable.

Failure to plan is planning to fail. Planning to tie the knot? Give us a call! (832) 305-7694.

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<![CDATA[I Can’t Stand My Homeowners Association!]]>Wed, 31 Jan 2018 16:35:43 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2018/01/-i-cant-stand-my-homeowners-association.htmlPicture

I am often asked how someone can get out of their HOA. The short, very easy, very sarcastic answer is, “Well, move.”

Generally, your Homeowners Association is here to stay. You may not remember being notified that you were joining all the HOA fun that glorious day you bought your home and signed a mountain of paperwork (and read none of it). However, that’s your HOA now.

So how does one cope with their Homeowners Association? Well, you can find a current copy of your deed restrictions and get yourself familiar with twenty-or-so pages of mind-numbing legalese. You could acquaint yourself with your neighbors and swap HOA war stories. There are also regularly scheduled meetings to attend where the HOA Board, believe it or not, welcomes input from its follow homeowners. That’s right, the board is generally comprised of other owners (a lot like you).

When it comes to HOA issues, we encourage self-help. Many times, problems between homeowners and the HOA are resolved by sitting down and simply talking things out. Other problems, like a cease and desist letter from the HOA Board’s attorney, might require some professional attention.

Coming down with a case of the HOA blues? Give us a call, we’d love to help.  

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<![CDATA[Bad Debt Goes Away After Seven Years, Right?]]>Thu, 25 Jan 2018 20:50:29 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2018/01/-bad-debt-goes-away-after-seven-years-right.html
Wrong.

First of all, you shouldn’t let bad debt linger, and seven years is way too long! Clients give me this line all the time. I think they really hope that it’s true, and it sounds somewhat logical, but, no. It doesn’t work that way.

Generally speaking, there is a FOUR year statute of limitations for “bad debt” (whatever that means) to wind up in a lawsuit. However, most people don’t know the scary truth. Debts can actually come back from the DEAD! Additionally, if a debt is reduced to a judgment, it just tacked on at least TEN additional interest-bearing years! It’s common to have debts last 10, 15, 20 years or more based on how the debts were structured, how they have been used, and whether or not the debts were ever part of a lawsuit.

Not sure if your debt has risen from the dead? Maybe your debt’s alive and well, just around the corner, and gearing up to yell, “Boo!” Do something about it. Call an experienced professional. We’d love to answer your debt related questions and talk to you about cost effective solutions which protect your credit, your property, and your bank accounts from attacks you might never see coming.

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<![CDATA[Do You Qualify for SSDI BenefitS?]]>Tue, 02 Jan 2018 21:16:24 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2018/01/-do-you-qualify-for-ssdi-benefits.html
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, your condition must make you unable to work for at least 12 months, and you must be unable to earn more than $1,180 a month (for 2018). You must also have a total of 40 work credits (20 of which must be earned in the decade before a disability arose).

The maximum amount of credits a person can earn in a year is four, one every three months. The minimum amount to earn for a work credit is $1,260. People who have worked for at least five of the last ten years with a record of paying into Social Security payroll taxes meet the technical qualifications for eligibility.

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<![CDATA[They sued Me and my business! What do I do?]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:04:46 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2017/12/they-sued-me-and-my-business-what-do-i-do.html
You started a corporation to keep from getting sued, but you got sued anyway. Good news/bad news... The good news is you may have a great defense to get any personal liability off of you as an individual. The bad news is, you have to present that defense and have the court agree with you.

The bottom line...talk to a professional who can advise you regarding the risks of conducting business with just a D/B/A. You may want to shield yourself from personal attack by forming an LLC, a PLLC, a corporation, or some other business entity. Registering your company with the state is not as expensive as you might think, but doing business without registering could end up costing you more than you ever imagined. 

If you have questions, we have answers.
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<![CDATA[The Home I Rent was Flooded by Harvey, What are my Repair Rights?]]>Mon, 11 Sep 2017 17:08:15 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2017/09/the-home-i-rent-was-flooded-by-harvey-what-are-my-repair-rights.html Within two days of the flood, I received multiple emails for help. One person said, “My rent house was completely flooded, and my landlord kicked me out. I have no place to go.”

Whether you are a Landlord or a Tenant, you have certain rights and obligations with a rent house after a natural disaster. For a quick review of your rights, read your written lease. You may also want to speak with a professional who practices Landlord/Tenant Law. For a free consultation, call (832) 305-7694.

How long does a Landlord have before repairs must be completed?

Do you have the right to terminate your Lease?

Can a renter withhold rent while repairs are pending?

What must a landlord do if a residential rental unit is uninhabitable?

Can hotel and food costs be refunded?

Don’t act without knowing the answers to your specific questions. Many answers are fact specific to your situation and to your lease. Don’t risk making yourself a target for an Eviction or a Repair & Remedy lawsuit.

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<![CDATA[THAT'S on my credit report? Now what?]]>Mon, 26 Dec 2016 19:55:54 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2016/12/thats-on-my-credit-report-now-what.htmlIn the market for a car or your first home? Do you know what's on your credit report?

You may find that your report is full of old claims, lost credit cards, or worse, accounts opened by identity thieves. Your credit report is your responsibility. Not only should you be familiar with what's on your credit report, it's up to you to make sure that anything that doesn't belong there is promptly removed.

There are three credit reporting agencies: Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. If your report reflects old or inaccurate information, you should contact the creditor and all three credit reporting agencies to make sure that your credit report is up-to-date.

Your credit score is important. Make sure you treat it that way. For information on obtaining a free credit report visit:

https://www.annualcreditreport.com

or call (877) 322-8228.
 

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<![CDATA[Can an HOA own your home for unpaid assessments?]]>Wed, 16 Nov 2016 19:09:10 GMThttp://attorneyeg.com/1/post/2016/11/can-and-hoa-own-your-home-for-unpaid-assessments.htmlThe short answer is "Yes."

State law allows a Home Owner's Association (or HOA) to sue you in state court to recover unpaid assessments. Additionally, you might be on the hook for late fees, interest, and various legal costs. A seemingly small yearly or monthly fee can quickly snowball into large sums of debt that an HOA can demand in court. If the debt remains unpaid, the HOA can eventually foreclose, and your home could belong to them.

That means that you may be perfectly up-to-date with your mortgage but a few hundred dollars behind with HOA assessments and lose your home. Don't get caught in an avalanche of debt. If you have been sued by an HOA for unpaid assessments or other violation of your deed covenants, give us a call before a court signs a judgment and you lose much more than you bargained for.

A lawsuit against you is not the end of the world, but it does mean that you have a limited amount of time to act. We have settled many of these types of lawsuits and usually find a way to keep home owners right where they belong. 
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