Spring has been with us for over two months now but it is never too late to undertake some cleaning. Cleaning takes many forms but here we will focus on a key cleaning: review of some aspects of your legal life. Shall we?
Review your credit report. For a free copy of your credit report visit www.annualcreditreport.com. If you see accounts, debts, judgments, or other items that are incorrect you should take action. Gather any relevant documentation you may have and file a dispute with the three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Be sure to set the appropriate reminder(s) for follow-up. If you cannot obtain the results needed to correct your credit report you should contact an attorney for a consultation as to what to do next.
Organize your important papers and decide which documents to keep or trash. Certain things can get the old “heave ho” into the trash after about 12 months. Other items you should keep for longer periods of time. Click here for a good article on some rules of thumb for document retention. And be sure to consider if you should scan documents and destroy the paper.
Decide whether and how to handle that lingering legal matter. Do not rely on the “advice” of a non-lawyer to determine your rights and responsibilities in legal situations. Consult with an experienced legal professional who can help you adequately assess your situation and your possibilities and prospects for further action. If you are a business owner facing a claim or lawsuit you should consult your business insurance policy to see if coverage is provided for the claim(s). If so, your insurance company will provide a lawyer and be responsible for paying a settlement or judgment within the limits of your liability.
Even if you decide not to hire a lawyer you may decide to handle the matter yourself in a forum such as Small Claims Court also known as Magistrate’s Court. Further note there are statutes of limitation and repose which will end your right to make claims. If you decide to investigate or pursue a legal matter do not wait much longer lest you wait too long and too late…
Take care of those unresolved traffic tickets! If you fail to appear in court for a traffic citation an order or warrant may be issued for your arrest. And you will likely have to pay additional court fees…..and DMV will likely suspend your license. Continuing to drive with a suspended license subjects you to additional traffic citations, fees, and jail time. One absolute no-no is driving out-of-state when your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended. An out-of-state arrest could mean an immediate visit to the local jail.
If you have any unresolved tickets DO NOT just pay them. Paying a ticket=pleading guilty to the offenses with which you are charged… which could have negative effects on your driver’s license status and your insurance rates. Do not engage in guesswork. Consult an experienced traffic law attorney to determine how best to resolve these tickets so you can restore or retain your driver’s license.
Soon we will have some warmer weather to enjoy. If you do your cleaning now you should have more time to enjoy. Best of luck with your Spring-Almost-Summer legal cleaning and contact me if you need me.