We are excited to announce the launch of Finney Law Firm’s new website. We have worked hard to create a modern website that is easy to navigate and fun to use. Our website is optimized to work on your laptop, desktop, tablet, and smartphone. Our new social features make it easy for you to connect with our professionals and share content on all your favorite platforms. Please take a look: www.finneylawfirm.com and let us know what you think.

Responsive Design

One of our primary goals in creating our new site was to make our content accessible to all our clients and visitors. Our new website employs what is called a “responsive design” that dynamically resizes to fit your browser. This means that no matter what device you are using right now, our website will change to give you a great viewing experience.

Clean, Modern Design

We are committed to keeping you up to date on the latest legal and business issues. To reinforce this commitment, our new website delivers rich content in a clean and organized way. We have changed the organizational structure of our Blog and have narrowed down our categories for easier searching. Our website infrastructure has been developed to make this content easily accessible and fast to load.

Partnership with Holland Adhaus

We are thrilled to have found an agency that shares our values and integrity. Their honest and open communication every step of the way has helped us to enhance Finney Law Firm’s presence in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Holland provides a comprehensive suite of marketing services for small businesses and large companies alike. Please visit www.hollandadhaus.com for more information.

Thank you for your continued support of Finney Law Firm. We look forward to servicing all of your legal needs and in particular, please check out our new Practice Area, Small Business Solutions Group, at this link: https://finneylawfirm.com/practice-areas/small-business-solutions-group/

Tonight, the Centers for Disease Control issued this proposed Order  that will prohibit most residential evictions nationwide. The Order is scheduled to take effect on September 4, 2020, this Friday, and last through the end of the year. 

Previous rulings by the federal government limiting evictions were limited to projects financed with special HUD loans, which were few and very large projects. In contrast, this ruling applies to almost all residential tenants in all States and US Territories (except American Samoa) with the following exceptions:

  1. Engaging in criminal activity while on the premises;
  2. Threatening the health or safety of other residents;
  3. Damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property;
  4. Violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or
  5. Violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).

The Order also will not apply to residents who earn more than $99,000 individually or $198,000 if filing jointly.

In order to qualify for the protection, the resident must sign a CDC-prescribed form that says:

  • The individual has used best efforts to obtain government assistance for the payment of rent.
  • The individual falls below the above-income thresholds.
  • The individual can’t pay rent due to loss of income or medical expenses.
  • The individual is using best efforts to pay the rent or as much of it as he can.
  • Eviction would render the individual homeless.

The Finney Law Firm sees this as a significant shift in the balance between landlords and tenants in fulfilling leasehold obligations through year’s end. It will cause economic hardship for many landlords, and could force many projects into default.

Contact Chris Finney (513-943-6655) for more details and to learn how we can help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen E. Imm – recognized since 2010 in Commercial Litigation, since 2011 in Litigation and 2012 for Employment Law

Kevin J. Hopper – recognized since 2009 in Environmental Law and Water Law

About The Best Lawyers in America©

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Our methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.

ABOUT FINNEY LAW FIRM

In 2014, led by Christopher P. Finney, seven bright, hard-working attorneys and a dedicated and talented staff, came together to form Finney Law Firm. Our team is committed to a unique practice of law that makes a positive difference for our clients by focusing on defining and then arriving at the best outcome for them. Finney Law Firm’s practice has extensive experience in the broad range of legal services that individuals and businesses may need:

  • Business formation and development
  • Residential and Commercial Real estate
  • Estate planning and administration
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Public interest law
  • Labor and employment law
  • Small Business Solutions Group
  • Bankruptcy
  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Water Law
  • Affiliated Title Company – Ivy Pointe Title, LLC

We work relentlessly to add value for our clients by applying cutting edge legal strategies and utilizing highly productive technology. This approach allows us to keep pace with the changing demands of our clients’ own challenging personal and business environments. ~ Christopher P. Finney

Visit us at finneylawfirm.com

Last week, the Small Business Administration agreed to disclose the business names and locations, number of employees and loan amounts for all Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans in excess of $150,000. The Administration released the information this morning at 10 a.m. CT. As a result, the loan for your small business may become public as part of the disclosure.

Even though your bank may treat loan information as confidential, in this case, the disclosure of information is directly from the SBA as part of the Freedom of Information Act outlined in the PPP instructions. For more information, please refer to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website.

If you need assistance with obtaining or forgiveness of a PPP loan, please contact Rebecca Simpson Heimlich (513.797.2856).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attorney Susan Browning

In Part One of our Bankruptcy Basics series, we discussed Ohio Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, which can be read at this link. In Part Two of our series, we discuss Ohio Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

The previous blog provided information regarding chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, chapter 7 is not necessarily the right choice in every case. What do you do when you do not qualify for chapter 7 or you might lose an unprotected asset in chapter 7?

What is chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 is a payback of your debt over a period of time. The debtor submits a chapter 13 plan to pay creditors a percentage of their debt. A chapter 13 debtor must have regular income in order to make monthly payments to the trustee. The trustee then distributes the funds to the creditors as directed in the plan. There are three main reasons for filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

First, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for debtors who make enough money to pay back a percentage of their debt. If your income exceeds the median income for your household size and your reasonable and necessary expenses do not offset that income, the court determines that the amount remaining, “disposable monthly income”, can be used to repay your creditors a percentage of your debt. This percentage can vary from 1% to 100% depending on each debtor’s circumstances. You must have a regular source of income to file chapter 13.

Second, Chapter 13 is a tool to discharge debt and keep assets you may otherwise lose in a chapter 7 because there is too much unprotected, “non-exempt”, value. In this case, over the length of your chapter 13 plan, you would pay back at least the value of what the unsecured creditors would have received in a chapter 7.

Third, there are some benefits a debtor can take advantage of in a chapter 13 that are not available in a chapter 7. If you are behind on your mortgage or car payment, you can avoid foreclosure or repossession by catching up the payments in the chapter 13. You may even be able to improve the terms of your car loan. In some cases, a debtor can get rid of a second mortgage if the value of the real estate is less than what is owed on the first mortgage. Chapter 13 debtors can catch up on debt payments that are not dischargeable such as taxes and domestic support obligations.

How long is a chapter 13?

Payments in a chapter 13 plan will last from three to five years depending on your income and/or the goal of your chapter 13 plan. If your income is below median income for your family size, you may be able to complete your Chapter 13 plan in 36 months. However, depending on what you are paying back in the Chapter 13, you may need up to 60 months to make the payments affordable. If your income is above median income for your household size, you will be required to make payments for 60 months.

 What if something happens and I cannot make my monthly payment?

Inevitably there will be changes to your financial situation during the three to five years you are paying into the chapter 13 plan. During that time period, you must notify your attorney of any changes to your financial circumstances. If there have been changes that make it difficult to make payments, your attorney will attempt to modify your chapter 13 plan. These modifications must be approved by the chapter 13 trustee, creditors, and the bankruptcy court.

What happens at the end of my Chapter 13 plan?

After you have made all your required payments into your Chapter 13 plan, the remainder of your unsecured dischargeable debts are discharged. Your car loans that were being paid through the plan will be paid off, and if you made all required payments, you should be current on your mortgage. Non-dischargeable debts, such as student loans, will remain after the bankruptcy case is over.

If you are struggling financially and would like more information about bankruptcy, please contact Susan Browning, 513.943.6650 at the Finney Law Firm for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Attorney Casey Jones

Back in February, I wrote on the Ohio Dog Bite Statute (R.C. 955.28) and debunked many of the myths surrounding liability for such claims. You can read that entry here.  Recently, our litigation team was able to achieve a settlement for our client, through a dog owner’s/homeowners’ insurance policy, of more than 12 times our client’s economic damages.*

Under Ohio law, dog owners/keepers/harborers are strictly liable when their dog injures another person (with very few, limited exceptions), even if it is the dog’s first incident – i.e., there is no “one free bite.” However, in instances where the dog has demonstrated aggressive tendencies previously, a victim may also be entitled to additional, punitive damages under common law. As responsible pet owners (and as the owner/lover of two extremely sweet, but large German Shepherds myself), it is our obligation to make sure that we understand and acknowledge our dogs’ temperaments and propensities, both for the safety of others and for our own economic interests.

The consequences of a dog attack can be severe and long-lasting for the victim, both from a physical and financial perspective, as well as mentally, and even for those victims who love dogs or may even have a dog of their own.

If you have been injured by a dog and would like to discuss your options, please feel free to contact me at (513) 943-5673 or casey@finneylawfirm.com, and I would be happy to discuss the matter with you at no charge. I am also offering remote consultations to during this time to honor COVID-19 health concerns.

 

*Case values are dependent upon the unique circumstances surrounding each case and do not necessarily predict the value of any other case.

I am especially proud of the drafting, mostly by Curt Hartman, in today’s Reply Brief on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction in our case to open Ohio Music Festivals: Bellwether Music Festival, LLC, et al, v. Dr. Amy Acton, et al. Even for non-attorneys, it is a great explanation of our constitutional rights to Free Speech and Equal Protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

Read the brief here and below.

[scribd id=466727693 key=key-uPlL1v2HNuWQknf2eXmx mode=scroll]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attorney Rebecca Simpson Heimlich

New Regulations regarding changes to PPP in Flexibility Act

On Friday, June 5, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was signed into law and significantly loosened many Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) rules to make it easier for small businesses to use the loans in a way that will be forgivable. Two of the major changes to the PPP in the Flexibility Act where:

  1. The loan forgiveness covered period (“Covered Period”) was extended from 8 weeks to 24 weeks, so borrowers have 24 weeks after receiving their funds to spend them
  2. The required payroll percentage was reduced from 75% to 60%, so borrowers can spend up to 40% on covered non-payroll expenses (mortgage interest, rent, utilities)

These and other changes in the PPP Flexibility Act raised many questions about the impact of the new rules on the calculation of PPP forgiveness.

In the last few days, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has issued three new sets of regulations announcing revisions to prior PPP SBA regulations, to make the regulations consistent with the changes in the Flexibility Act.

Major Revision Impacting Self-employed and Independent Contractors

One of the revisions announced by the SBA raises the cap on how much self-employed and independent contractors can pay themselves out of their PPP funds.

Prior to the PPP Flexibility Act and the SBA revisions to the regulations, in general the amount that self-employed and independent contractors could pay themselves out of PPP funds was capped at the lessor of:

  • 8 weeks (or 8/52) of 2019 net profit, OR
  • $15,385 per individual in total across all businesses

According to a revision issued by SBA yesterday, that cap for the 24-week Covered Period has been raised to the lessor of:

  • 2.5 months (or 2.5/12) of 2019 net profit, OR
  • $20,833 per individual in total across all businesses

This higher cap applies to those who file a Schedule C or F and who use the PPP 24-week Covered Period (rather than the 8-week Covered Period). Although the Covered Period was increased from 8 to 24 weeks in the Flexibility Act, if your PPP loan was made before June 5, 2020, you may elect to have your Covered Period be the 8-week period beginning on the date of your PPP loan. If, however, you want to take advantage of the higher cap described above, you will need to use the 24-week Covered Period.

Conclusion

As part of our new Small Business Solutions Group, we will continue to stay on top of changes that may impact your PPP loan forgiveness and we will post updates on our blog. If you need assistance maximizing the forgiveness of your PPP loan, please contact Rebecca Simpson Heimlich at 513.797.2856.