Articles Posted in Consumer Law

If you are overwhelmed by debt, filing bankruptcy is often the best possible solution. A successful bankruptcy can wipe out all of your unsecured debt and give you a fresh start financially. Unfortunately, the process of filing for bankruptcy is not free. Between attorney’s fees and court filing fees bankruptcy can be pretty expensive, which is a major concern for people who are already under financial stress.

In this post, we will look at how much it can cost to file for bankruptcy in Maryland. We will look at the going rate currently charged by Maryland bankruptcy attorneys and the filing fees for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Court Filing Fees for Bankruptcy

This week, the Maryland Appellate Court issued an unreported opinion in Montgomery Mall Condo, LLC vs. Peking Palace Corp.  We usually do not summarize unreported opinions because you technically cannot cite unreported opinions.  But that line is getting more blurred in 2023. This case addresses the application of res judicata and collateral estoppel doctrines in a case, which are issues of interest to Maryland personal injury lawyers.  This case involves a breach of lease and a breach of guaranty claim but the doctrines are applied with equal force in injury cases. This case also underscores that while many people did well economically during the COVID pandemic, some businesses were destroyed.

Facts of Montgomery Mall Condo, LLC vs. Peking Palace Corp

Montgomery Mall, a really great mall back in the day, entered into a lease agreement with Peking Palace, a restaurant business owned by Liu. As part of the agreement, Liu personally guaranteed the full payment and performance of Peking Palace’s obligations under the lease.

The Maryland Appellate Court decided in the Matter of Mark McCloy, a handgun permit case.

In 1999, Mark McCloy pleaded guilty to witness tampering in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced to six months of home detention and five years of probation.

In 2015, McCloy applied for a Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL). The Maryland State Police (MSP) approved his application. McCloy used this license to purchase several firearms. When he applied for a renewal of his HQL in 2021, police did another background check and discovered his 1999 conviction. The MSP sent McCloy a letter informing him of the permit denial and his right to appeal the decision.

Last month, the Maryland Appellate Court involved an interesting landlord-tenant dispute involving the Maryland Security Deposit Act.

Security Deposit Law in Maryland

Before we get to the case, let’s talk about security deposits in Maryland. Security deposit laws in the state of Maryland play a crucial role in protecting the rights and interests of both landlords and tenants.

Financial difficulties can be overwhelming. Considering bankruptcy is a challenging decision. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the available bankruptcy options in Maryland, the processes involved, and the implications of each choice. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about your financial future to find a path to get back to where you should be.

Bankruptcy in Maryland

As a personal injury lawyer, I get questions from people wanting to know if they can sue in various situations.  All of our attorneys do.  One of the questions we get most often is, “can I sue if my dog gets attacked and injured by another dog?”

The emotional motivation is easy to understand, right? People love their dogs and view them as full family members. If your beloved dog gets viciously attacked and injured or even killed by another dog right in front of you, it’s only natural to want justice.

Our lawyers get this question so often because dog-on-dog attacks are widespread. According to the VCA, attacks by other dogs are the most common reason for emergency veterinarian care.

Last, week, the Maryland Appellate Court decided Patriot Construction, LLC v. VK Electrical Services, LLC. The case involved a subcontract between Patriot and VKES for electrical work on an NSA project, including an important notice, pay-when-paid provision, and additional ticket work that Patriot did not authorize in writing. So the opinion raises some intersteting issues about whether a part will be bound to a contract when it makes agreements outside of the written language of a pay-when-paid contract.

Facts of Patriot Construction, LLC v. VK Electrical Services, LLC

Patriot had a contract with the Maryland Procurement Office of the National Security Agency to provide general contractor services for a project at Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County. Patriot subcontracted VKES to perform electrical work for $495,000. The subcontract stated that no changes could be made without written approval from Patriot. The subcontract also included a “pay-when-paid provision.”   I’ll explain what a pay-when-paid provision is in a moment.

This post will explain the applicable statute of limitations on the collection of debt under Maryland law. Throughout this post, we will refer to the person who borrowed money as the “debtor,” and the lender of that money will be the “creditor.” The statute of limitations is basically like a legal time limit or deadline. If the statute of limitations has expired, the creditor no longer has the legal right to enforce the debt against you in court.

The applicable statute of limitations in Maryland will depend on the type of debt involved.

Credit Card Debt: 3-Year Statute of Limitations

Under Maryland law, a legally binding contract must be supported by consideration provided by both parties.  Consideration is something of value that is bargained for and received by a promisor from a promise. In practical terms, this means both parties have to be giving up something for there to be a valid contract. Let’s do a quick example to make sure we are reading off the same page.  You say you like my shirt.  I say I’ll give it to you if you like it that much.  Let me just wash it for you.  I change my mind.  We do not have a valid contract because you did not give or promise to give me anything of value. Let’s change it.  You say you like my shirt.  I say I’ll give it to you if you promise to drive me to the store to get myself a new one.  That offer to drive me to the store is valid consideration because you now have a bargained-for exchange, albeit maybe an unfair one.

Maryland Law on Contract Consideration

Under Maryland Commercial Law Article, Section 3-303(b), consideration is defined as any consideration sufficient to support a simple contract. Like many states, Maryland courts will not get bogged down in how valuable the consideration was or whether the deal is fair.  So unless there if foul play, Maryland courts will not inquire into the adequacy of value exacted for a promise so long as it has some value. Blumenthal v. Heron, 261 Md. 234, 274 A.2d 636 (1971).  Even $1 in consideration may be sufficient to form a contract under Maryland law.

Blood v. Stoneridge at Fountain Green Homeowners is an interesting case not only because the opinion begins with an Elton John verse from “Don’t Let the Sun Come Down on Me.”

Facts of Blood v. Stoneridge

In Blood, two Harford County (Bel Air) homeowners installed solar panels on their roofs. Big solar fans apparently, they installed fifteen solar panels on the front roof and thirty-three solar panels on the rear roof.