Re Establishing Your Credit After Bankruptcy

Learn the Best Practices for Re-establishing Your Credit After Bankruptcy

Building a Better Credit Report

Your credit report is a file about you. It is full of information on where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you have been sued, arrested or filed for bankruptcy. Creditors use this information to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment or a lease. A credit score is a way for creditors to find out whether to give you credit and how much to charge you for it. A credit score is a total of points from different factors. The factors are your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts. The higher your credit score, the better the chance of you getting a loan.

To re-establish your credit, consider applying for a secured credit card. A secured credit card requires you to open and maintain a bank account or other asset account as a financial institution as security for your line of credit. Your credit line is usually a percentage of your deposit, typically from 50 to 100 percent. It is not uncommon to incur application and processing fees. Further, secured credit cards usually have higher interest rates than non-secured cards.

Improving your Credit Report

Ensure that your credit report is accurate and complete. The creditor and credit bureau are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information. To correct any erroneous information, follow the instructions at www.equifax.com, www.experian.com, or www.transunion.com. Once the erroneous information has been verified, all three consumer reporting agencies will correct the information and send you a free credit report with the correct information. This credit report does not count as your free annual credit report.

If you have any negative information on your report, which is accurate, time is the only way for it to be removed. Most accurate negative information stays on your reports for seven years and bankruptcies stay on for ten years.

Identity Theft and your credit report

Here are some indications that you may have been the victim of identity theft:

  • Failing to receive mail, signaling an address change by the identity thief.
  • Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply.
  • Receiving calls from debt collectors about merchandise or services you didn’t buy.
  • Denial of credit for no apparent reason.

If you suspect that your identity has been stolen then there are two important steps to take right away.

First, place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Contact any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies and place a fraud alert on your credit report. The initial credit bureau will contact the other insurance companies and they will also put an alert on your report.

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 or www.equifax.com.

Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com.

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 or www.transunion.com.

Second, close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently and contact the security or fraud department of each company. Follow up in writing and include COPIES of supporting documents.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information used by nation’s consumer reporting companies. There were recent amendments that were made to the FCRA. Those amendments expanded consumer rights and placed additional requirements on consumer reporting companies and businesses that provide information about consumers to consumer reporting companies.

Types of Information that Can be Collected

There are four basic types of information that consumer reporting companies can collect and sell:

  1. Identification and employment information: This includes your name, birth date, Social Security number, employer, and your spouse’s name. It also includes your employment history, home ownership, income, and a previous address.
  2. Payment history: This shows you how much credit has been extended and if you have paid on time. Also, it shows if a creditor has referred your account to a collection agency.
  3. Inquiries: The consumer reporting companies must keep a record of all the creditors who have asked for your credit history within the last year. They must also keep a record of individuals or businesses that have asked to see your credit history for employment purposes within the last two years.
  4. Public record information: This shows events that are a matter of public record, such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, short sales, or tax liens.

If you have questions about rebuilding your credit after Chapter 7 bankruptcy then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.

Real ID Act

The FAA just issued new rules for small unmanned aircraft remote ID and flight over people.

New Rule on Remote ID of Unmanned Aircraft

There are three options for unmanned aircraft (UA): 1. Standard Remote ID with broadcast directly from the UA, 2. Remote ID Broadcast Module as a separate broadcast device on the UA, and 3. FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIA) where UAs without Remote ID can fly.

Option 1: Standard Remote ID

  • Broadcasts remote ID messages directly from the UA via radio frequency broadcast (likely Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology)
  • The broadcast will be compatible with existing personal wireless devices.
  • Standard Remote ID message includes:
    • UA ID (serial number of UA or session ID);
    • Latitude/longitude, altitude, and velocity of UA;
    • Latitude/longitude and altitude of the Control Station; 
    • Emergency status; 
    • A time mark.
  • Remote ID message will be available to most personal wireless devices within range of the UA’s broadcast.
  • However, correlating the serial number or session ID with the registration database will be limited to the FAA and can be made available to authorized law enforcement and national security personnel upon request.
  • The range of the remote ID broadcast may vary, as each UA must be designed to maximize the range at which the broadcast can be received.

Option 2: UA with Remote ID Broadcast Module

  • Broadcast Module may be a separate device that is attached to an unmanned aircraft, or a feature built into the aircraft.
  • Enables retrofit for existing UA, and Broadcast Module serial number must be entered into the registration record for the unmanned aircraft.
  • Broadcast Module Remote ID message includes:
    • Serial number of the module;
    • Latitude/longitude, altitude, and velocity of UA;
    • Latitude/longitude and altitude of the take-off location, and time mark.
    • UA remotely identifying with a Broadcast Module must be operated within visual line of sight at all times.
  • Broadcast Module to broadcast via radio frequency (Wi-Fi or Bluetooth).
  • Compatibility with personal wireless devices and range of the Remote ID Broadcast Module message similar to Standard Remote ID UA.

Option 3: FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIA)

  • Geographic areas recognized by the FAA where unmanned aircraft not equipped with Remote ID are allowed to fly.
  • Organizations eligible to apply for the establishment of a FRIA include community-based organizations recognized by the Administrator, for example the Academy of Model Aeronautics. Additionally, primary and secondary educational institutions, trade schools, colleges, and universities may apply to establish a FRIA.
  • Must operate within visual line of sight and only within the boundaries of an FRIA.
  • The FAA will begin accepting applications for FRIAs 18 months after the effective date of the rule, and applications may be submitted at any time after that.
  • FRIA authorizations will be valid for 48 months, may be renewed, and may be terminated by the FAA for safety or security reasons.  

Design and Production Rules for Manufacturers

  • Most unmanned aircraft must be produced as Standard Remote ID Unmanned Aircraft and meet the requirements of this rule beginning 18 months after the effective date of the rule.
  • Remote ID Broadcast modules must be produced to meet the requirements of the rule before they can be used.
  • The final rule establishes minimum performance requirements describing the desired outcomes, goals, and results for remote identification without establishing a specific means or process.
  • A person designing or producing a standard UA or broadcast module must show that the UA or broadcast module met the performance requirements of the rule by following an FAA-accepted means of compliance.
  • Under the rule, anyone can create a means of compliance. However, the FAA must accept that means of compliance before it can be used for the design or production of any standard remote identification UA or remote identification broadcast module.
  • FAA encourages consensus standards bodies to develop means of compliance and submit them to the FAA for acceptance.
  • Highlights of Standard Remote ID UA Performance Requirements:
    • UA must self-test so UA cannot takeoff if Remote ID is not functioning
    • Remote ID cannot be disabled by the operator
    • Remote ID Broadcast must be sent over unlicensed Radio Frequency spectrum (receivable by personal wireless devices, ex: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth)
    • Standard Remote ID UA and Remote ID Broadcast Modules must be designed to maximize the range at which the broadcast can be received.  

Other Provisions in the Remote ID Final Rule

  • No Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out or Air Traffic Control (ATC) Transponders
  • However, ADS-B Out & ATC transponder authorization is likely for large UAS operating in controlled airspace.
  • Operators can seek special authorization to operate UA without remote identification for the purpose of aeronautical research or to show compliance with regulations.
  • UA registered in a foreign country can be operated in the United States only if the operator files a notice of identification with the FAA.

Major Changes from Proposed Rule to Final Remote ID Rule

  • Network-based / Internet transmission requirements have been eliminated. The final rule contains Broadcast-only requirements. 
  • UAS operators under the Exception for Limited Recreational Operations may continue to register with the FAA once, rather than registering each aircraft. However, each Standard UA or Broadcast Module serial number must also be entered into the registration record for the unmanned aircraft.
  • “Limited Remote ID UAS” has been eliminated and replaced with Remote ID Broadcast Module requirements to enable existing UA to comply. 
  • Educational institutions may now apply for FRIAs as well as community-based organizations.

Final Rule on Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Over People

The new rule allows routine operations over people and routine operations at night under certain circumstances! The rule will eliminate the need for those operations to receive individual Part 107 waivers from the FAA.

The final rule establishes four new categories of small unmanned aircraft for routine operations over people. It also allows for routine operations over moving vehicles.

Category 1

  • Eligible small unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 0.55 pounds and contain no exposed rotating parts that would lacerate human skin.
  • Operations over people:
    • No exposed rotating parts that would lacerate human skin.
    • Operation prohibited in sustained flight over open-air assemblies unless the operation meets the requirements for standard remote identification or remote identification broadcast modules established in the Remote ID Final Rule.

Category 2

  • Eligible small unmanned aircraft must not cause injury to a human being that is equivalent to or greater than the severity of injury caused by a transfer of 11 foot-pounds of kinetic energy upon impact from a rigid object, 
  • Does not contain any exposed rotating parts that could lacerate human skin upon impact with a human being, 
  • Does not contain any safety defects. 
  • Requires FAA-accepted means of compliance and FAA-accepted declaration of compliance.
  • Operations over people:
    • No operation in sustained flight over open-air assemblies unless the operation meets the requirements for standard remote identification or remote identification broadcast modules established in the Remote ID Final Rule.
    • Requires means of compliance and declaration of compliance by the applicant.

Category 3 

  • Eligible small unmanned aircraft must not cause injury to a human being that is equivalent to or greater than the severity of injury caused by a transfer of 25 foot-pounds of kinetic energy upon impact from a rigid object, 
  • Does not contain any exposed rotating parts that could lacerate human skin upon impact with a human being, 
  • Does not contain any safety defects. 
  • Requires FAA-accepted means of compliance and FAA-accepted declaration of compliance.
  • Operations over people:
    • No operation over open-air assemblies of human beings.
    • May only operate if one of the following conditions met:
      • The operation is within or over a closed- or restricted-access site and all human beings located within the site must be on notice that a small unmanned aircraft may fly over them
      • The UA does not maintain sustained flight over any human being unless that human being is directly participating in the operation of the small UA; or located under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft.

Category 4 

  • Eligible small unmanned aircraft must have an airworthiness certificate issued under Part 21 of FAA regulations
  • Must be operated in accordance with the operating limitations specified in the approved Flight Manual or as otherwise specified by the Administrator. 
  • The operating limitations must not prohibit operations over human beings.
  • Must have maintenance, preventive maintenance, alterations, or inspections performed in accordance with specific requirements in the final rule.
  • Operations over people:
    • No sustained flight over open-air assemblies unless the operation meets the requirements of standard remote identification or remote identification broadcast modules established in the Remote ID Final Rule.

Operations at night 

  • Remote pilots in command must complete either the updated initial test or the updated recurrent online training.
  • The small UA must be equipped with operational anti-collision lights that can be seen for 3 statute miles and have a flash rate sufficient to avoid a collision. 

Operations over moving vehicles

  • Must be Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3, eligible to operate over people, may not maintain sustained flight over moving vehicles; transit operations only.
  • Throughout the operation, the small unmanned aircraft:
    • Must remain within or over a closed- or restricted-access site, and all human beings located inside a moving vehicle within the closed- or restricted-access site must be on notice that a small unmanned aircraft may fly over them; 
    • Or must not maintain sustained flight over moving vehicles.
  • For a Category 4 operation, the small UA must
    • Have an airworthiness certificate issued under part 21.
    • Be operated in accordance with the operating limitations specified in the approved Flight Manual or as otherwise specified by the Administrator. 
    • The operating limitations must not prohibit operations over human beings located inside moving vehicles.

Remote Pilot knowledge test changes

  • The final rule updates the initial Remote Pilot knowledge test to include night subject areas. 
  • The final rule replaces the requirement to complete an in-person recurrent test every 24 calendar months. The updated requirement is for remote pilots to complete online recurrent training which will include night subject areas. 
  • The online recurrent training will be offered free of charge to remote pilots.  

Inspection, testing, and demonstration of compliance

  • A remote pilot in command, owner, or person manipulating the flight controls of a small unmanned aircraft system must:
    • Have in that person’s physical possession the remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating and identification
    • Present his certificate and identification upon a request from the FAA, NTSB, TSA, or any Federal, state, or local law enforcement officer. Wow! It is very interesting that local police officers will now be able to ask a UA pilot for their credentials.
    • Make available, upon request, to the FAA any document, record, or report required to be kept under FAA regulations.
    • Upon request, must allow the FAA to test or inspect the small unmanned aircraft system, the remote pilot in command, the person manipulating the flight controls of a small unmanned aircraft system, and, if applicable, the visual observer to determine compliance with the rule.  

Design and Production Rules for Manufacturers

  • Some existing Category 1 small unmanned aircraft may meet the performance-based requirements to be eligible for Category 1 operations over people of this rule beginning the effective date of the rule (Those that have already been produced with propeller guards/shrouds that prevent the blades from causing laceration to human skin upon impact).
  • Manufacturers may bring to market retrofit propeller guards to install on existing small unmanned aircraft to make them eligible for Category 1 operations over people beginning after effective date of this rule.
  • Some existing small unmanned aircraft may meet the performance-based requirements to be eligible for Category 2 operations over people of this rule once FAA-accepted MOC and DOC are received.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may meet the performance-based requirements for Category 2 of this rule upon FAA-Accepted MOC/DOC 9-12 months after the effective date of this rule.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may meet the performance-based requirements for Category 3 of this rule upon FAA-Accepted MOC/DOC 9-12 months after the effective date of this rule.
  • Category 4 small unmanned aircraft for operations over people may receive an airworthiness certificate beginning 6-12 months after the effective date of this rule.  

Major Changes from Proposed Rule to Final Rule

  • Category 1 small unmanned aircraft cannot have any exposed rotating parts that would lacerate human skin.
  • Category 1, Category 2, and Category 4 [sic] remote pilots are prohibited from operating a small unmanned aircraft in sustained flight over open-air assemblies unless the operation meets the requirements of standard remote identification or remote identification broadcast modules established in the Remote ID Final Rule.
  • Added a Category 4 of small unmanned aircraft that may be eligible for operations over people and moving vehicles.
  • Allow operations over moving vehicles.
  • Remote pilot, owner, or person manipulating the controls must have in their physical possession and readily available their remote pilot certificate.

If you would like help obtaining waivers or have questions about the new FAA final rules then contact the UAS Law Center at 623-252-6884 or message us HERE.

What is Voir Dire

What is voir dire & why is it important?

Voir dire is the process of questioning potential jurors to determine whether they are fit to serve as jurors for a particular trial. For Arizona lawyers, the goal of the voir dire process is to ensure that no members of the jury harbor biases that could jeopardize the outcome of the case.

Without a strategic, well-prepared voir dire process, you run the risk of starting from behind with the jury when the trial begins.

The voir dire process

Each judge in Arizona handles the Voir Dire process differently but the process typically looks like this:

  1. Potential jurors are randomly selected from a pool of people who show up for jury duty.
  2. The judge asks standard questions to ensure that everyone is capable of serving on a jury. For example, if they’re a U.S. citizen, don’t have any hardships that would prevent them from sitting through the entire trial, etc.
  3. After those who are deemed incapable are excused, the Arizona attorneys deliver a mini-opening where they offer a 3-5 minute overview of the case.
  4. Following the mini-openings, both Arizona attorneys ask questions of the remaining potential jurors to determine bias.
  5. Following the questioning period, the Arizona attorneys can request that potential jurors be removed with cause of potential bias, with the judge holding the power to deny the requests.
  6. Arizona attorneys also have the right to reject a limited number of potential jurors without cause. The attorneys may feel these individuals have potential biases, but aren’t able to fully justify their feelings to the judge.

CDC Bans (Some) Evictions

On September 1, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) released an Order titled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19” (the “Order”).  The Order is effective Friday, September 4, 2020, and expires December 31, 2020. 

CDC EVICTION ORDER APPLIES TO ALL 50 STATES

This Order applies to all states without an existing eviction moratorium providing “the same or greater level of public-health protection” than the Order’s requirements. The Order will apply in Arizona because the Order provides greater protection than Governor Ducey’s Executive Order halting the execution of writs of restitution.

Based on the Order’s language, I believe a landlord can still serve a 5-day non-payment of rent notice and even file an eviction action for non-payment in court, but if the tenant presents the landlord with the declaration, the writ of restitution could not be executed and the tenant could not be removed from the property. Unfortunately, however, we do not know this for sure.  

It is possible the Order was intended to prohibit even the filing of an eviction action, this is a question that will likely need clarification from the Arizona Supreme Court.

CDC ORDER IS limited TO NON-PAYMENT

The Order only applies to cases involving non-payment of rent.  It does not prohibit evictions based on criminal activity; threats to health and safety of others; damaging or posing an “immediate and significant” risk of damage to property; violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or violating other contractual obligations. I believe, based on the Order’s language, that non-renewals will still be permissible—although this is just an initial opinion.

ARIZONA TENANT’S DECLARATION OF PROTECTION

To invoke the Order’s protection, the tenant must provide their landlord with a Declaration stating that:

  1. The tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing; 
  2. The tenant either: (i) expects to earn not more than $99,000.00 in annual income in 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing jointly); (ii) was not required to report any income to the IRS in 2019; or (iii) received a stimulus check pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act; 
  3. The tenant is unable to pay the full rent because of substantial income loss, loss of compensable work hours or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; 
  4. The tenant is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as their circumstances permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and 
  5. An eviction would likely render the tenant homeless or force them to move into close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting because the individual has no other housing options. 

Note, landlords do not get to verify the information in the affidavit, the tenant is protected by simply signing the declaration and delivering it to the landlord! Additionally, this Order applies to ALL types of residential rental properties: houses, buildings, mobile homes, land in a mobile home park, or similar dwellings leased for residential purposes.

SEVERE PUNISHMENT FOR VIOLATing THE ORDER

The Order states that the U.S. Department of Justice may initiate court proceedings against landlords for violations. Penalties for violating the Order are extreme; they are both criminal and financial. For individual landlords: If the violation does not result in a death, the penalty is a fine of not more than $100,000 or one year in jail, or both; If the violation results in a death, the penalty is a fine of not more than $250,000 or one year in jail, or both; 

SUMMARY of cdc’s eviction order

For now, it appears we can proceed with eviction filings. However, if a resident provides a signed declaration or attestation—that even closely resembles what is required in the Order—immediately stop all eviction action.

If you are an Arizona landlord and have questions about how the CDC’s new Order applies to your rental properties then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.

Unfortunately, things for Arizona landlords have become even more difficult in the past few weeks. Until a few weeks ago Arizona landlords could evict a tenant for wrongfully holding over. If a landlord sent a 30-day notice to terminate the lease of someone who is on a month to month tenancy or at the end of their lease However, the courts are now denying evictions in situations where the tenant is behind on rent and the landlord serves a 30-day notice to terminate the tenancy. Judges see these evictions off a 30-day notice as a roundabout way of evicting tenants because they are behind on rent.

Eviction Granted if the Property is to be Sold or Landlord Occupancy

A landlord must show that there is a reason to evict other than simple wrongful holdover. However, where a tenant has wrongfully held over and the landlord is going to sell rental property or move into it. If you intend to sell or move into the property then you would fit that exception.

Eviction Because of Failure to Properly Maintain the Property

While I understand that some tenants may not be good stewards of your property, rarely does their behavior reaches a levels so atrocious that a judge would evict them based off of improperly maintaining the yard. Maybe under normal circumstances but not in this era of COVID.

Future Lease Provisions            

Additionally, I understand your motivation to amend future leases to avoid the current Federal/State rules evictions. However, you cannot create a contract that would deprive people of their protections. A common example of this situation is when a creditor will write into a contract that this debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Even though it may be written into an otherwise valid contract this is not enforceable and the debt will still be discharged by the bankruptcy court.

If you are an Arizona landlord and have questions about how the CDC’s new Order applies to your rental properties then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.

Gov. Ducey: Some Evictions

Governor Ducey Extends COVID-19 Eviction Protection until October 31, 2020

Governor Doug Ducey today signed an Executive Order extending a moratorium on residential evictions–for non-payment of rent–until October 31, 2020, providing continued protections for renters who are facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. The order ensures renters impacted by COVID-19 will be able to stay in their homes while extending the time to access rental assistance programs.

not granted to all arizona tenants

Governor Ducey’s executive order protects Arizona tenants from eviction if they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. For example, they’ve been laid-off, had their hours reduced, actually had COVID-19 or someone else in the house has. The executive order comes into play after the entire eviction process is complete and a writ of restitution is filed to remove the tenants. If the constable goes to the property to remove the tenants but decides that they are protected under the Governor’s exemption.

motion to compel enforcement

If the constable won’t remove the tenants from your property then we have to file a Motion to Compel. With this motion we are asking the judge to order the tenants removed. A special hearing will be set. At this hearing, tenants can provide evidence and testimony showing that they fall under Ducey’s exemption and they should stay in the house. We will then be given the opportunity to explain why they are not exempted and should be removed. If the judge rules in our favor the constable will remove the tenants. However, if the judge rules in their favor they can’t be removed until the executive order expires, October 31, 2020

If you are wondering how Governor Ducey’s Executive Order is impacting your landlord – tenant situation then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or message us HERE.

*** VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE: THIS WAS SUPERCEDED BY THE CDC’S STAY ON EVICTION***