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College Park Legal Blog

Is Chapter 13 bankruptcy right for you?

When you find yourself swimming in debt, you may also find yourself in an ocean of debt-relief options. Which one do you choose? First, be aware of scams. Many people under the guise of a legitimate company will take advantage of your desperation, offering too-good-to-be-true plans for eliminating debt that do nothing but make more of your money disappear. 

An option you may be considering is bankruptcy. Two types exist for consumers: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 eliminates certain debts, so you do not have to repay them and can start with a clean slate. Chapter 13 involves a reduced payment plan so you can retain property. How do you know if Chapter 13 is right for you?

Marijuana: How much is too much?

As a Maryland college student, you probably have more than a passing acquaintance with marijuana. While public perception of this drug and its effects on young people has changed significantly over the years, you nevertheless need to keep in mind that marijuana possession is still prohibited in Maryland.

The good news is that if law enforcement officers catch you with no more than 10 grams of marijuana, at least this is not a crime. You do, however, face paying a $100 fine if this is your first conviction. The fine increases to $250 on your second conviction, and could be as high as $500 for your third and subsequent convictions. In addition, if you are a minor under 21 years of age, the court will require you to submit to a clinical substance abuse assessment and complete a drug education program.

Can a DUI impact college scholarships?

Even with the knowledge that it's not safe to drink and drive, some estimates show that over 3 million college students drive while intoxicated every year. A DUI can have a profoundly negative impact on a person's life. It may be more difficult to get certain jobs. You also need to consider your overall reputation because a DUI conviction will show up on any background checks as part of your permanent criminal record.

For college students, there is also one consequence that could be catastrophic: losing scholarships. 

Bankruptcy's impact on college students

There are a variety of reasons why someone ultimately needs to file for bankruptcy. The most common explanation is medical bills, according to an article from USA Today. Another common explanation is the rising cost of attending college.

Many students end up taking out loans to get an undergraduate degree. However, students every year also get into too much debt simply because they do not know how to handle their finances on their own. It is easy to accumulate too much debt when you get a credit card for the first time.

How college students can avoid driving while intoxicated

The first week back at school is right around the corner for many college students. A new year brings new possibilities. However, one wrong step can put an academic career into serious jeopardy, and one of the biggest mistakes to make is driving under the influence of alcohol.

A first DUI offense could lead to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 in the state of Maryland. It could also lead to loss of academic scholarships or expulsion from the university entirely. No party is worth it. This year, students should make sure that they and their friends are safe. Some simple tips can allow students to go to parties with peace of mind.

The disadvantages of self-representation for criminal charges

If you are facing criminal charges in College Park, you may think that you can represent yourself to resolve the situation. Regardless of the charges you face, you should never dismiss your right to legal counsel. Criminal charges are not something to make light of. They come with serious consequences that can affect you throughout the rest of your life. 

To better understand why you should work with a criminal defense attorney, here is a brief overview of the disadvantages of self-representation. 

What are the leading causes of bankruptcy?

When you have overwhelming debts that you cannot pay, the pressure can quickly take a toll on your physical and emotional health and affect your personal and professional relationships. Bankruptcy is an option that allows you to obtain some type of fresh start and give you hope for your financial future. To decide whether it's the right choice for you, it is important to understand what types of debt cause most people to file for bankruptcy.

What debts can I not discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Any Maryland resident can fall on hard times financially. If you have reached the point where you can no longer pay your debts and other expenses, you are likely considering your options to have some, if not all, of your debts eliminated. One option you may have considered is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Known as a liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 allows you to discharge some of your debt so that you can begin to rebuild your finances. However, you need to understand what debt you cannot eliminate through this type of bankruptcy.


The Law Office of Ronald L. Schwartz
4907 Niagara Road Suite 103
College Park, MD 20740

Phone: 301-892-3410
Fax: 301-474-6607
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