Law offices of Melissa B. Jaffe, LLC about resources
Business Lawyers: Do You Need One?

Learn when you need to hire an attorney for your business.

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Business Plan Basics

All business plans must show two things: a winning idea and a clear shot at a profit.

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Can I refinance after a bankruptcy?

QUESTION:

I was forced to declare bankruptcy last year because of a layoff. I managed to hold on to my house because I did not have equity in it. I have a new job at 60% of my previous salary and am having trouble making ends meet. I would like to negotiate a lower interest rate with the mortgage holder, but am not eligible for refinancing because of the bankruptcy. How can I approach the lender about this? I am assuming that the bank would rather continue to receive my mortgage payments than foreclose.

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Can I use facts from articles and newspapers in my novel?

QUESTION:

I'm writing a book that deals with a long-running news story. I'm getting my facts from newspapers and magazines and turning the story into a novel, based on fact. Do I have to get the sources' permissions to use the facts? How do I give proper credit in the book to these sources?

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Can my car be repossessed without warning?

QUESTION:

I am behind on my car payments. The bank hasn't sent me any delinquent notices, but my neighbor saw someone lurking around my driveway recently. Could it have been the "repo man" coming to take my car away without my permission?

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Choosing the Best Ownership Structure for Your Business

The right structure -- corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship -- depends on who will own your business and what its activities will be.

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Copyright Registration, Notice, and Enforcement FAQ

How to register your copyright and get maximum protection from the U.S. federal copyright laws.

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Dealing With Collection Agencies FAQ

What you need to know about dealing with debt collectors.

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How do I improve my credit position after bankruptcy?

QUESTION:

I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy seven years ago. I've been told that it takes ten years for a Chapter 7 to "fall off" your record. Is there anything I can do in the meantime to get a lower rate on my car loan and credit cards?

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Is it infringement if someone uses my company's name for a different business?

QUESTION:

While doing an Internet search, I found that another site is using my company name. It is a construction company and is using the name for a construction product. I have a software development company. Is there a possible infringement on the name even though we are both using it for completely different purposes? I would like to avoid spending a lot of money on trademark searches if possible.

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Six Tips for Women Entrepreneurs

 

 

Start-up tips for women business owners.

 

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Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You'll Need to Do

From insurance to accounting to taxes, here’s what you need to do to start a business.

 

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When is a mechanical royalty due?

QUESTION:

My husband's band is recording a CD of cover tunes. We know we have to list all of the writers and owners of the songs, but where do we go or whom do we register with before the release of the CD? Do we have to pay royalties to anyone?

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Why shouldn't I reaffirm my credit card debts in bankruptcy?

QUESTION:

A lawyer recently instructed me not to reaffirm any of my creditors in bankruptcy even though I wanted to and had not been late in my payments with these creditors. He said that even if I continued to pay the my credit card bills on time they would cancel my card and I would be left with nothing but the debt. Can they do that if I have kept my payments current and stuck to the terms of my creditor? Also, could they legally increase my interest rate even if I have kept my payments current?

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Will My Business Make Money?

Prepare a break-even analysis before spending time on a complete business plan.

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  • Oregon State Bar

    This site provides useful information about general legal questions.  It is also a place where you can find a Modest Means Referral, or possibly a Pro Bono Attorney.

  • US Copyright Office

    You can find answers to general copyright questions, application forms for registration, and other useful information.  

  • US Patent and Trademark Office

    Get general information regarding all types of Intellectual Property (IP), such as copyright, trademark, and patents.  This site is a useful starting place if you are considering making a move to protect your IP, or if you feel your IP has been attacked.

  • Multnomah County Circuit Couthouse

    Good research tool to discover information about the Multnomah County Courthouse on SW4th in downtown Portland.  If you have a courtdate, please explore this site prior to heading down to court.  

  • Nolo Press

    This is a great place to check for the basics on a variety of legal issues. If you have additional questions, I am always available via phone or email.

  • Schedule a call

    Here is a link to schedule a brief call to discover if we are the right fit for you.