Posted by William Charles on March 23, 2017
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Published on March 23rd, 2017 | by William Charles

59

Got A Question For An Attorney? Ask As Part Of Our ‘Ask An Attorney’ Series

Introduction

Previously we’ve run an Ask A Banker series, that had a positive reception so we thought we’d do something similar but this time with an attorney as we get a lot of legal questions on this blog that I don’t have any experience on expertise when it comes to the legal system I thought we’d find somebody who does.

Alexander Bachuwa’s Bio

Alexander Darr’s Bio

  • Ohio and Illinois Attorney focusing on Plaintiff-side work and consumer arbitration
  • Website at DarrLawOffices.com
  • Miles and Points Afficianado

Ask Your Questions

Ask your questions in the comments below and we will pick some of the more popular questions (if somebody asks a question you’d like to see answered, let us know in the comments) to be answered in a following post. Big thanks goes to Alexander for agreeing to do this, fingers crossed we get some interesting comments below!



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Ron
Ron

Is it okay to get a Business credit card if you are on a H1 Visa? H1 visas are sponsored by the employer and do not allow you to own a business. Can sole proprietary business be legally claimed in this case?

Ryan
Ryan

Interested in this as well.

What about for businesses that are operated abroad wherever home is?

F1 student
F1 student

+1. Also curious about F1 visa (not in a CPT/OPT status). F1 visa holders are not allowed to work outside school. Is holding a business credit card violating this policy? Thanks in advance.

Heidi
Heidi

Yes.

Heidi
Heidi

On an H1, you are not allowed to have any type of employment, including paid, non-paid, or self-employed, other than with the sponsored employer.

Neil
Neil

Hi Alex!

What would you say is the best resource/simplest way for someone to move from a sole proprietorship to an LLC?

I run a small software consulting business on the side that doesn’t do much revenue. I’d like the LLC to protect myself, but am concerned about all the paperwork involved.

Particularly:
– More complicated taxes
– Additional state fees
– Changing to business bank accounts or using “DBA”. (Is a business bank account even necessary? They seem to add fees but offer no more value and aren’t insured in the same ways)

a
a

+1

NinjaX
NinjaX

Neil, you need to speak with a CPA and a corporate formation lawyer. there are so many damn questions that i would have to ask you that everyone is YMMV. its best you speak with them directly.

– More complicated taxes – YES
– Additional state fees – YES
– Changing to business bank accounts or using “DBA” – irrelevant. no its not necessary depending on what youre doing and if you care about the IRS or someone suing you. asset protection knowledge comes into play here.

Sue
Sue

This. And to piggyback, is it more beneficial for me to be a partner with my sister in the formation of an LLC or be an independent contractor?

Ryan
Ryan

Hello-
My significant other has a minor drug possession felony on her record and this conviction has always caused anxiety in planning/taking any vacation together. Our typical process is to call each country’s US-based consulate and explain the situation and ask whether or not she will be denied entry at the border/customs.

Do you have any advice/guidance on how to approach the process of determining whether she can enter individual countries? Might it be worth applying for a visa in advance and approval of the visa would indicate no concerns at Customs?

Some countries on our ideal/immediate travel radar are the following: Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Thank you so much in advance for your help here!!

NinjaX
NinjaX

Ryan. i can tell you have not done enough research. Aside from the fact that Alex is not that kind of attorney, you need to understand how countries use and access the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Canada is a big deal. they have ties with the US. other countries, they have no clue. you show them the passport and you KCCO. if you have a drug possession felony, you probably dont even have a passport. this requires you to do a lot of digging.

NinjaX
NinjaX

oh yea. i also forgot to mention that since your focus is on Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, there are other international black lists that countries check. so you just gotta do your research man. dont think you are the only felon who wants to travel.

however, just think about this. why do you think criminals leave the US and go to Thailand and Vietnam? you think they get denied entry? go check out Snowden. Hes chillin in Russia dude. You think he has a clean US record? haha.

Jeffrey
Jeffrey

Hi Alexander,

Just curious if there might be any remotely reasonable claim that can be possibly used to argue Chase’s 5/24 policy is unlawful? I know Federal law prohibits discriminating against credit applicants based on a variety of factors, could there be any way to argue that the 5/24 policy is not a reasonable evaluation of an applicant’s creditworthiness and even potentially unlawful? Not really familiar with law stuff so hope I wasn’t being unreasonable or absurd. Would love to see this answered. Thanks!

Jana
Jana

The short answer is no. I am a retired fair lending specialist with a federal agency. There are certain prohibited factors. Chase rule does not use any of the prohibited factors, so does not violated the fair lending laws.

Miles Hustler
Miles Hustler

What law/rule/regulation identifies the “prohibited factors”?

sirtheta

Equal Credit Opportunity Act. There’s a readable primer at https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/compliance/manual/4/IV-1.1.pdf

Al
Al

Hi,

I’m 33 with wife and one kid. I was told I need to have my last will and testament set up. I’m looking for ways to do this myself. The simplest option I found for my state (MI) and others is to simply use the free will generator at rocket lawyer. Then, get it signed by 3 witnesses.

Is this wise for simple situations? Is there a better do it yourself route to go?

NinjaX
NinjaX

you need to speak with your estate planning attorney. whenever you are talking about local and federal laws of inheritance and taxes, you do NOT just wing it yourself via legalzoom or whatever website youre using. i would first educate myself on how you want to pass down assets to your family and protect urself from taxes. you need all kinds of protection such as trusts and life insurance. if you want to give the government all your crap then yea, just have a will. that should be enough to give the courts plenty of free money at your expense. dont think your wife or kid can just grab anything easily. estate planning is required.

Rebekah
Rebekah

+1

Jonathan
Jonathan

Last year I had an online checking account levied because of a legal situation, though the legal problem was not directly linked to me – I was listed as a joint account holder.

Last week I applied for a small business credit card through the credit card division of this bank, was approved and received the card via mail. However, upon activation I discovered that the account was canceled, and the bank rescinded their credit to me. The reason they gave was a “history of activity that didn’t hold up to the bank’s standards.”

I am being punished for something that I didn’t do, but only because my name was associated to the checking out that was levied. Will this black list me from this bank forever? Also, will this affect my future attempts to receive credit from other creditors?

Thanks!

Helmholtz
Helmholtz

A friend recently ran into a situation with a gift card reseller who misstated the value of a gift card she sold to them, by a factor of 10. She sent them irate messages, but the balance was already drained and the check for the 10% of payment delivered.

My friend did eventually get her rightful payment, but supposing the gift card site hadn’t acknowledged their error, would there have been a recourse? In general, what should one do in such situations?

Dee
Dee

Hi Alex,

I apologize if this is off-topic but I’ve been wanting to consult with a lawyer myself and this looks like a great opportunity to do so. Of course, this may be out of your domain of expertise but I’m trying my luck anyways.

I have a towing-related collection account on my credit report. It’s been there for a couple of years now. It stemmed from the towing of my motorcycle back in 2014. My argument against this collections account is that

a) this motorcycle of mine was actually stolen in 2013 and the towing was a result of the cops nabbing the culprit.
b) I was actually on foreign soil (I’m a non-resident alien on an H1b visa. I initially moved here as a student and then later converted) at the time the police found my motorcycle.
c) It was the police that contacted the towing company.
d) The towing company actually sold my motorcycle already (without my knowledge of course).
e) And they are now asking me to pay an additional $1,230 on top of that. This is what the collections is for.
g) I was not aware of any of the above while I was away. I did not have any addresses or phone numbers here for people to contact me and of course I can prove my absence with travel records.

The collections has severely affected my credit history to such an extent that I was even turned down for rental applications when I returned.

Do I have legal grounds to sue the towing company here?. Thanks.

Ann
Ann

IMO before spending money on a lawsuit, if your goal is to get that off your credit record, try sending a dispute letter with a copy of the police report to the collection agency and the credit bureaus.

Deepak Ravindran
Deepak Ravindran

I did dispute ownership with the CRAs but the collection agency updated them saying I did owe them.

NinjaX
NinjaX

Dee, you have to speak with a Debt Collection Attorney and dispute the debt with a Collections Agency and CRAs. they can handle it very quickly for you since its not your fault. you will have to gather all the required info and they will send demand letters. otherwise you can sue and you will win. there are many consumer protection agencies on your side related to this, but will require a lot of work for you to activate them. you should do this ASAP.

Deepak Ravindran
Deepak Ravindran

Thank you soo much!. I will do as you say.!

Kevin
Kevin

Can we do a class action on AirBNB for forcing customers for using DCC on its international booking?

alastairdeacon

My husband and I were Hyatt Diamond last year. We wanted to re-qualify and become Globalist this year. We each did 25 stays before February 28 and all those did post with the correct dates in January and February. However, Hyatt did not post them until after March 1st. Because they were posted by Hyatt after the March 1st date, we were not given Globalist status.

After several phone calls we were manually given the status, but Hyatt customer service said they could not give us the benefits that went with it. Because the stays posted after March 1st. Which they failed to post in a timely manner.

After more contact with them on my part, my husband and my accounts were credited with enough points to cover the hotel certificate stays. However, we didn’t get the United club visits or more importantly for us, the 4 Upgrade certificates each.

It would seem to me that they made a public offer with certain conditions that needed to be performed. We performed them and paid money. They should perform their side of the deal and give us the benefits that were published.

Your thoughts? Thank you

Miguel
Miguel

I do $10K/week in manufactured spending and I make (save/receive cashback) between $562-$849/week. I don’t earn miles, I earn cashback (between 5.9-8.9%). I do not need to pay any kind of taxes on this do I?

NinjaX
NinjaX

hes not a CPA, but the answer is no. unless u give us more detail, cant be 100% sure.

kadoku
kadoku

9/10 answer is No.

BR
BR

How in the world do you get that kind of cash back MSing??

Cytraveler
Cytraveler

In the IRS statement 2002-18, it says the following:
“Consistent with prior practice, the IRS will not assert that any taxpayer has understated his federal tax liability by reason of the receipt or personal use of frequent flyer miles or other in-kind promotional benefits attributable to the taxpayer’s business or official travel. Any future guidance on the taxability of these benefits will be applied prospectively.
This relief does not apply to travel or other promotional benefits that are converted to cash, to compensation that is paid in the form of travel or other promotional benefits, or in other circumstances where these benefits are used for tax avoidance purposes.”

If someone has a small business with employees, who have credit cards that are AU accounts under the credit card of the owner (and the owner is fully responsible for payment and the owner’s credit score was used to obtain the cards), the points all accrue to the owner’s account. If the owner doesn’t use those points for cashback for the business or personal gain, but for personal travel, are those travel benefits taxable? My reading says “no” but then again, I’m not an IRS lawyer.

Justin
Justin

Take the recent Stop and Shop $15 off a $15 purchase promo for example, where the fine print says “one per household.” For those who use this promo multiple times, what are the repercussions should the store take action? Would it extend into actual legal territory?

Stephen
Stephen

Hi Alex,

I am a frequent manufactured spender and I regularly run into issues with merchants regarding gift cards. One issue that has occured twice now is that when I purchase a 500 dollar gift card (when done 20 times, mistakes happen), the cashier does not activate it properly and will put the value into some limbo but still charge my card. Most recently, I had to threaten to call the police before they escalated it to a director to give me my money back. They did not believe me at first because the gift card they sold me did not match the receipt, but that’s what the cashier handed me. If this happens again and I pay for a gift card and the value is not on there, what can I do? Thanks!

Roger Chiang
Roger Chiang

My credit union promised me applying for a loan would not be a hard inquiry. I confirmed this with them 4 times and then right before accepting, they told me it had been a hard inquiry when I applied.
Any resource to getting the hard inquiry removed? I’m in California.

NinjaX
NinjaX

go talk to your CU. if you had that in writing then ur fine. if it was all verbal then it will be a challenge. escalate within the CU first.

DrRyan
DrRyan

I had a similar situation happen. My credit union ultimately asked me to make the removal request to them in writing, but they removed it within 2 weeks.

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