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  • Unemployment is up in NC, but bankruptcies are down – so far

    July 20, 2020: RALEIGH, N.C. — The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on North Carolina’s economy:

    • The state unemployment rate jumped to 12.9 percent in April as businesses were ordered closed to limit the spread of the virus. As restrictions have eased, the jobless rate fell back to 7.6 percent in June, but that is still double what it was before the pandemic.
    • More than 800,000 people statewide have received about $6.1 billion in unemployment benefits, with about two-thirds of that coming from federal benefits that are set to expire at the end of the week.
    • More than 1,600 North Carolina companies also obtained anywhere from $150,000 to $10 million through the federal Paycheck Protection Program – another 105,000 received lesser amounts – to keep workers on their payrolls.

    WRAL Investigates found that those investments have paid off on at least one front so far – personal bankruptcies are down in North Carolina. But that safety net could soon run out.

    Ciara Rogers discusses her hopes for the future and how to successfully plan for financial security. >>READ MORE

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  • Oliver & Cheek, PLLC offers free consultation to those financially affected by COVID-19

    The Law Office of Oliver & Cheek, PLLC sends its best wishes to our friends and neighbors in Eastern North Carolina as we all work our way through this difficult period.  Should you or your family experience job loss or income reduction causing you to fall behind on your monthly expenses, we are here to help.

    To aid in the recovery from this unprecedented crisis, our firm will advance the up-front costs of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case for those who qualify.  This means that $0.00 is paid up front and the advanced costs of $362.00 for an individual or $390.00 for a couple are reimbursed through the monthly Chapter 13 plan payment.

    If you are experiencing COVID-19 related financial hardships or have questions whether you qualify, please give us a call at 252-633-1930 to schedule a free remote or telephonic consultation.

    Disclaimer: Qualification for advancement of costs is determined on a case by case basis after consultation with one of our attorneys.  We are debt relief agency.  We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.  This is for informational purposes ONLY. No attorney-client relationship is established by or should be inferred and The Law Offices of Oliver & Cheek, PLLC does not accept new clients before conducting a conflict of interest check and executing an engagement letter.

  • Ciara L. Rogers to Participate in 2019 Next Generation Program in Washington, DC

    For Immediate Release                                             For Information, Contact:
    June 18, 2019                                                          Cathi Miller, 252.633.1930

    Ciara L. Rogers to Participate in 2019 Next Generation Program in Washington, DC

    The Law Offices of Oliver & Cheek, PLLC are pleased to announce that our partner, Ciara L. Rogers, has been selected to participate in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges “2019 Next Generation Program.” Each participant was selected randomly, but all have satisfied the NextGen qualification criteria, which requires ten or fewer years in practice, a focus on bankruptcy law, and a demonstrated commitment to the highest standards of civility, ethics, and professionalism, as well as the continued educational development of bankruptcy professionals and to professional activities that benefit the pubic, the bankruptcy bar, and the court system. 

    “This is a distinguished honor, but we are not at all surprised that Ciara continues to actively demonstrate what it takes to join such a prestigious group of fellow attorneys. She is not only an asset to our firm, but to the people in North Carolina,” said George Oliver, Managing Partner.

    Last month, Ms. Rogers was inducted into the 2018 North Carolina Pro Bono Society, which includes members who have provided more than 50 hours of pro bono legal services in 2018 to clients unable to pay without expectation of a fee. Ms. Rogers received her B.S. degree in Political Science from Averett University and her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is a member of the North Carolina and Virginia Bar Associations. Her focus is on Debtors’ and Creditors’ Rights, Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Representing Chapter 11 and 7 Bankruptcy Trustees, General Litigation, and Employment Law.

    Before joining Oliver & Cheek, Ciara was a law clerk to the Honorable J. Rich Leonard and the Honorable Randy D. Doub of the Eastern District of North Carolina Bankruptcy Court. She also served as a magistrate judge under the Supreme Court of Virginia from 2009 to 2010. Ms. Rogers also interned with the Bankruptcy Administrator of the Eastern District of North Carolina, in 2008. She has been with Oliver & Cheek, PLLC since 2012.

    The 2019 NextGen Program will take place during NCBJ’s Annual Meeting, which will be held from Wednesday, October 30 to Saturday, November 2 in Washington, DC. More information about the selection process and the 2019 NextGen Program can be found online at www.ncbjmeeting.org.

    Oliver & Cheek, PLLC is a full service business firm providing a wide range of legal services to clients in North Carolina. Major practice areas include bankruptcy; employment law; alternatives to bankruptcy; business law; estate planning and administration; receiverships; commercial real estate; tax planning and controversies; and state and federal civil litigation. Oliver & Cheek, PLLC has offices in New Bern, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Wilson, NC.

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    law offices of oliver and cheek, locations, New Bern Nc, Business law, Consumer law, estate planning,
  • Ciara Rogers Inducted into the 2018 NC Pro Bono Society

    Congratulations to Ciara Rogers of Oliver & Cheek, PLLC, who has just been welcomed into the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society!

    The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center (PBRC) is proud to announce the induction of 468 attorneys into the 2018 North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society. Society members reported providing 50 or more hours of pro bono legal services in 2018 to clients unable to pay without expectation of a fee, an aspirational threshold set by Rule 6.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct.

    “The North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society helps us as a legal profession to shine a light on those attorneys making outstanding contributions to North Carolinians who need, but cannot afford, legal help,” said Chief Justice Cheri Beasley of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. “By recognizing these important and valuable pro bono services, we celebrate our state’s lawyers committed to ensuring equal access to justice for all.”

    Each member of this year’s cohort of the Honor Society receives a certificate from the Supreme Court of North Carolina in recognition of their valuable contributions to the people of North Carolina. This group of attorneys provided more than 41,000 hours of pro bono legal services in 2018 to North Carolinians living in poverty. All 1,420 attorneys, or more than 5% of active attorneys in North Carolina, who shared information about their pro bono volunteerism together provided nearly 54,000 hours of pro bono legal services in 2018.

    The PBRC, led by Sylvia Novinsky, launched in April 2016 and began collecting responses from attorneys about pro bono involvement through the state’s first voluntary reporting process in January 2017. The PBRC, a program of the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, works to increase North Carolina attorney pro bono legal service as a way to meet the legal needs of people of low-income and modest means in our state.

    “Pro bono lawyers are a crucial resource for those North Carolinians who cannot afford legal services,” said PBRC Director Novinsky. “I am inspired by the volunteer spirit of the North Carolina bar highlighted by pro bono reporting. The growing list of attorneys recognized by the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society serves as a symbol to other attorneys that finding time to volunteer is doable.”

    Rule 6.1 encourages a variety of activities in addition to the pro bono legal services recognized by the Honor Society. Other encouraged activities include providing legal services at a substantially reduced fee; engaging in activities that improve the law, the legal system, or the legal profession; participating in non-legal community service; and contributing financially to North Carolina legal aid organizations. The reporting process, administered by the PBRC, collected basic information about all of these activities. The Honor Society celebrates the unique volunteerism that only lawyers can give.

  • Planning for Your Aging Parents

    America is getting older. The overall age of the population of the United States has shifted dramatically over the last 60 to 80 years, and experts agree that its impact on the family is clear.

    The overall age of the population of the United States has shifted dramatically over the last 60 to 80 years, and experts agree that its impact on the family is clear.

    The overall age of the population of the United States has shifted dramatically over the last 60 to 80 years, and experts agree that its impact on the family is clear.

    “There is definitely a changing age structure within families today,” says Neal Cutler, PhD. He is the executive director of the Center on Aging for the Motion Picture and Television Fund in Woodlawn Hills, Calif. “Its cause is simply greater longevity.”

    With more Americans living well beyond their 70s, more adult children are now left in a position where they must take on the role of caregiver for their aging parents.  And though being a caregiver is something that sounds relatively straightforward, it actually involves a host of issues that requires a mix of legal, financial and governmental resources. 

    From a legal perspective, there are certain documents you need to have in place in order to be able to care for your aging parents, and studies have found that nearly half of the adult population in the United States does not have them.  The legal documents you will need to have in order to become involved in the day to day affairs of your parent’s lives include the following:

    FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY

    A power of attorney (or POA) is a legal document through which an individual authorizes someone to act on his behalf. The person who gives the authority (your parent) is called the principal, and the person who has the authority to act for the principal (you) is called the agent or the attorney-in-fact. Financial power of attorney grants you the legal authority to act on your parents’ behalf for financial issues such as accessing financial accounts, paying bills, taxes, medical expenses, managing real estate assets and more should they become incapacitated and unable to carry out those tasks themselves.

    Generally, the timing of when the POA becomes effective is dependent upon future the occurrence of a certain event.  The most common future event is the incapacity of the principal which could be due health issues leaving them unable to make necessary and important life decisions. It is a good idea to become familiar with your parents’ affairs before the POA becomes effective.

    HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY

    A healthcare power of attorney allows one or both of your parents to grant you the authority to make medical and end-of-life care decisions on their behalf. It allows them to name a trusted person (you) to oversee that their wishes are carried out, or to use your judgment in directing decisions about their medical care. In addition to granting you power of attorney, they should name a successor, such as your sibling or other close relative or friend, in case you become unable to fulfill the duties. 

    LIVING WILL

    A living will is a type of estate plan that allows your parents to express their medical and end-of-life treatment decisions, in order to provide family members and health care personnel with clear medical care instructions. In general, if a living will meets legal requirements, then the instructions it provides are legally valid and binding. It does not appoint anyone to make decisions for your parents and only applies if they are in a terminal or permanent unconscious condition.

    One of the biggest benefits of the living will is that it helps avoid unwanted treatments and disputes between family members over your parents’ care.  It will allow your parents to name a trusted person (you) to ensure that their end-of-life wishes are carried out should they not be in the position to make that clear for themselves.

    HIPAA CONSENT FORM

    HIPAA — the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act — provided the first nationally recognizable regulations for the use and/or disclosure of an individual’s health information. It is the federal legislation responsible for keeping personal health information private.

    If your parents want you to be privy to information about their healthcare, they must sign a HIPAA document that grants their health care provider permission to share it with you.  At that point, you will have the right to request and obtain your parents’ health information when necessary.

    Of course, none of these forms will be helpful unless someone knows they exist! You should have the originals, and your parents’ regular doctors should be provided with copies to keep in the medical records files. If your parent is planning to enter the hospital, you will probably be asked prior to admission to provide the hospital with copies of these documents. 

    When it comes to making arrangements for your aging parents, most experts would advise you not to wait until it may be too late to engage in proper legal planning. We encourage you to make a point of having these conversations with family members while they are still of sound mind and able to contribute to the conversation and comprehend exactly what documents they are signing and why. These discussions can be difficult, but an experienced elder law attorney can help guide the process and ensure that it goes smoothly. At Oliver and Cheek, we can help you outline exactly what is needed as you and your family plan for the future care of your aging parents.  If you’re ready to start the planning process, or if you have any questions, please contact the law offices of Oliver & Cheek by calling (252) 633-1930 or visiting www.olivercheek.com.

    (sources: www.nbc.com, www.findlaw.com, www.agingcare.com)

    Oliver Cheek New Bern NC can help you with planning for aging parents. Elder law.

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