Bankruptcy: North Carolina’s Guidelines

While the filing process and results of bankruptcy are similar, nationwide, the specific laws vary from state to state. Each state has different bankruptcy exemptions and may handle bankruptcy cases differently.

If you’re filling bankruptcy in NC, you’ll need to understand the specific laws of the state. Or, better yet, hire a North Carolina lawyer to help you with the process. Filing for bankruptcy is complicated, and having an attorney walk you through the process can really be helpful. Still, if you would like to get a handle on the bankruptcy policies of North Carolina, this article is a good place to start.

Piggy bank china

Piggy bank china (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Community property

 North Carolina is not a community property state, which means that it is possible to file for bankruptcy without involving a spouse. In a community property state, an individual must file with his or her spouse, because both of them “own” the debt and finances. In North Carolina, though, you only have to include a spouse if he or she co-signed on a loan.

Bankruptcy exemptions

 Most states allow a certain number of property exemptions, even if it is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The exemptions in North Carolina include automobiles (with a certain amount of equity), and real estate (again, with a limit on equity). Limited amounts of other property may also be kept, as well as insurance, retirement savings and a few other assets. As compared to other states, North Carolina offers relatively generous exemptions. In 2005, when Congress revised the bankruptcy laws to prevent abuse of the system, North Carolina increased the value limits on a few exemptions.

Petition preparer

 In North Carolina, any individual (including the debtor) can file for bankruptcy as a petition preparer. The preparer files for the debtor, and charges a relatively small fee. Hiring a petition preparer can help make filing easier, as the preparer will know how to comply with federal guidelines. However, hiring a lawyer is safer, since some petition preparers have minimal experience.

Discretion

Bankruptcy is a public record in North Carolina. However, that does not mean that everyone you know will learn about your bankruptcy. If you’re famous, and the news picks up on it, then you’re in trouble. Otherwise, if you don’t gossip about your bankruptcy, it’s unlikely that it will be common knowledge.

In the end, filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina is a lot like filing in other states. And, just like in other states, it is a pretty complex process. Now that you know a few of the details of an NC bankruptcy, it would be a good idea to start looking for a good attorney. He or she can help you figure out what kind of bankruptcy to file, and what exemptions you will be permitted. Also, you may learn that you can keep certain assets, such as your home, with the help of a good bankruptcy attorney.

Is Greed Good?

In the 1987 classic, Wall Street, Michael Douglas makes the controversial claim, “Greed is good!” When you first hear those words they sound almost contradictory, “greed is good?” you might think, “that’s absurd! In our culture that’s almost as crazy as saying that bad is good!” However, this speech actually has a good grounding in political thought.

Cover of Wall Street (20th Anniversary Edition)

The Grumbling Hive

In Bernard Mandeville’s The Fable of the Bees, written in the early 1700s, Mandeville describes a hive of bees that serve as an analogy for London. In the beginning, these bees are full of vice and the hive hums along productively. However, once they realize that they are “wicked,” they pray to God to make them virtuous, which God then does and everything falls to pieces. Essentially, without greed or the desire for more than is necessary for life, the bees regress into — well — bees in a stump. For Mandeville, the “private vice” of greed had enormous “public benefits.”

David Hume

Writing just 50 years after Mandeville, Hume took Mandeville’s idea that the public benefits from private vices and expanded upon it. Without getting into all the details, Hume argues that greed drives people to work harder and fuels innovation. Without greed, according to Hume, people would work only hard enough to secure food and shelter for themselves, which in turn means that no one produces excess food. Not only does this leave the entire human race vulnerable to the whims of nature, but it leaves no room for art, science, music, or any number of other things that most people would definitely agree are good.

Image via Wikipedia

Basic Assumptions in Economics

However, you might say, “that’s all very well. They have pretty theories but I’m still not sure I buy it.” Well, if that’s the case, let’s step back from the historical examples for a moment and consider some of the basic assumptions in modern economics. Economics assumes that people are rational and defines rationality as, “the perceived benefit for some action is greater than the perceived cost.” This implies that there is no such thing as a selfless action, and could even be taken to mean that all actions are greedy. Also, because we gain “utility” — a kind of made up currency that measures happiness — by getting more money, economics essentially correlates money to happiness, or at least perceived happiness. Some modern scholars, however, challenge these assumptions because the success of economics in predicting the outcome of a given market is a powerful argument in its favor.

A Modern Example

Let’s move even further into familiar waters with an example that hopefully you get to experience in real life. Pretend for a moment that you have just won a progressive jackpot and are now a multimillionaire. Would you be happy about it? would you consider it a good thing? Perhaps most importantly, would you give all but the bare essentials away to charity? I am guessing the answers to those questions — almost unanimously — go: yes, yes, no. I know that’s what I said, and I don’t blame either you or myself for answering that way. You know why? Because greed can sometimes be good.

United States Election Glossary pt 10

Part of knowing how to participate in a United States election is to have a thorough understanding of the language and lingo. Just like with watching sports, you would not understand nfl if you don’t talk the talk. This is part ten of the United States election glossary, including the more prevalent terms that you need to know.

Swing Voters – These are voters that do not have an allegiance to any one particular political party.

Term Limits – These are limits that are imposed on the length of time any politician is allowed to remain in office. As an example, the President of the United States can only serve up to two terms of four years in length in his office.

Third Party – This is any political party that is not one of the two primary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats.

Town Meeting – This is a gathering of voters in a specific town in order to discuss certain issues and to arrive at decisions about those issues.

Vote – This is a way to show preference and to choose an elected leader or to decide upon an initiative. Voting can be done by marking paper, raising hands or by filling forms out on a computer depending on the type of election that is being held.

Voting Booth – This is the small enclosure where a person can vote privately.

Voting Machine – This is a mechanical device that is used for the purpose of voting. There are numerous different types of machines used for this purpose in order to streamline and to automate the voting process.

Defending Your Right to Vote

Everybody works to preserve and grow their rights, including their right to vote for their leaders and the rules of their society. Some people enlist in the military, while some other people go into activism on the local stage. No matter how you choose to do so, you should always work to defend rights as important as voting.

With your right to vote, you stand above a lot of other countries. With your right to protest, you have even more abilities that far too many people don’t get in this world. It’s vitally important that you gain the knowledge necessary to protect your rights and freedoms. With your freedom and the knowledge you gain from an online degree, you can make a lot of great things happen in this world. You can also keep a lot of potential bad things from ever happening.

For one, everyone needs to be constantly on guard against losing our freedoms due to paranoia or fear of losing security. While defending ourselves is necessary, we must keep ourselves from making one of our leaders into an overt dictator just because we’re scared. With fear comes irresponsibility, so we the people need to be empowered to preserve our freedoms. If you do your part by getting educated and using your knowledge to the best of your ability, you’re a great citizen. Some of the worst things in the history of the world have happened because good people have done nothing.

 

Why an Education Can Benefit You

Getting an education can prepare you not only for a career, but also to have a more rich and active life. You can benefit greatly from pursing a degree program, whether it is a certificate program, associate degree, bachelor degree or higher.

One advantage of getting an education is the well-rounded nature that it will your life. The core curriculum taught at schools covers a range of topics, including civics, biology, history, foreign languages, literature, math and English. These give you a better base upon which to build your own perceptions about society and your role in it. You can now more easily pursue an online degree, which can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Your core classes are complemented with the more specific ones that match your major area of choice. These are often intermingled with the core classes as you advance. You can graduate with a general studies degree, which takes you across the curriculum into a variety of subject areas. This is a good choice for those who are unsure of the career path that they want to take.

When you have a higher education under your belt, you can more actively take part in society and enjoy culture at a whole new level. The arts, literature and other areas will have a deeper and richer meaning due to your greater understanding of them. It also makes you more competitive on the job market, which is something that you definitely want to take advantage of.

 

The Spread of Democracy

voting day in a small town

Image by Muffet via Flickr

Democracy is not just an American idea. Democracy has become one of the biggest forms of government around the world. That means that people all around the world are beginning to enjoy the rights that many Americans take for granted, such as voting. Most places consider Democracy a welcomed change over other forms of government, like Communism, Dictatorships, and Fascism.

One place that has recently turned toward Democracy is the Former Soviet Union. The Russian Federation is now run as a Semi-Presidential Republic, similar to how America is set up but with a President and a Prime Minister sharing duties. The Russian people are happy to have this new democratic government, though Communism is still a popular idea in Russia, as the Communist Party is one of the largest political parties in the Russian Federation.

Kazakhstan, also previously part of the Soviet Union, is now a Presidential Republic similar to America. Communism is still very predominant in the country, as the current Kazakhstan President and most of the Federal Government are members of the Nur Otan Party, which has many Authoritarian and Communist views, though they attempt to make their views work well within the parameters of Democracy.

Democracy has been gaining popularity world-wide since America declared its independence from Britain in 1776. Now more and more people are getting the right to vote and elect their officials. Whether it is in the form of a Republic, a Democratic Republic, or a Representative Democracy, the influence of Democracy is spreading through the world and is giving more people the right to have a say in their Government.

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