The Moak Law Firm - January 2020

Make a Change

A Bankruptcy and Personal Injury Attorney You Can Trust


Here’s to a Brighter Future

One reason people struggle to make the changes in themselves is because they are often caught in their own memories. I like to reflect on memories because they can be wonderful things, but so often we aren’t reflecting on our successes — we’re dwelling on our failures. When we live in the past, we use that as an excuse for why we can’t change. As human beings, we tend to create stories about what happened to us in the past. These stories aren’t always true, but they’re what we tell ourselves. And if anyone will sit still long enough, it’s the story we’ll tell them over and over again. When we hold onto these stories for too long, they don’t just become the story of our past — they dictate the story of our future. If you have your past always in your mind, then it’s an obstacle blocking your future. But the past is only in the way because you put it there. If you can let go of the past, you can change yourself and change your future. This isn’t to say we should forget everything that ever happened to us, good or bad. Rather, we must learn to accept the past without giving it the power to define us. The business I’m in is all about remission. We’re looking at forgiving debts. This is the time when you can let go of the past and focus on the future. It would be unwise for someone to forget the mistakes that led them to bankruptcy; they’ll only end up repeating them. But when they get out of debt, they shouldn’t punish themselves for those mistakes or live in fear of them. They can move forward, change, and grow. The world is what we make it. Yes, there are some bad things, but when you make the change to be a better version of yourself, you can see a better version of the world, too.

“We cannot control what the rest of the world does. We can only control ourselves.”

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

This is a quote I’m very fond of. Though it’s usually attributed to Gandhi, there’s no documentation to prove he actually said these words. However, the popular quote sounds like an alteration of something Gandhi did once say: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” Gandhi’s real quote wouldn’t fit on a bumper sticker, but it does better capture why the quote speaks to me. The only thing you can really change is yourself. And when you make that change, it creates change in your whole world. For better or worse, the way the world responds to you changes. There are a lot of people who complain about how terrible the world is, but the reality is that if we want anything to change, we must first be willing to change ourselves.

Do you want to make the world a kinder place? Be kind.

Do you want people to be more honest? Be honest.

Do you want the world to be peaceful? Practice peace.

We cannot control what the rest of the world does. We can only control ourselves. But it seems like many of us underestimate the control we have.

–Walter E. “Pete” Moak


January 2020

480-755-8000 •

Celebrate National LEGO Day!

Indulge in the World’s Favorite Brick

Watch a LEGO movie. There are several LEGO movies you can choose from for National LEGO Day. Put in family favorite “The LEGO Movie” and join Emmet and his friends as they fight to save the world. Hit the dojo with Lloyd, who is secretly the Green Ninja, as he and his ninja friends fight Lord Garmadon to protect Ninjago City in both the animated film “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” and the TV series “Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.” And let’s not forget Batman and Robin as they fight to save Arkham City in “The LEGO Batman Movie.”

From giant, colorful building blocks to intricately designed kits, LEGO has been a source of entertainment and delight for people of all ages for over 80 years. This toy’s popularity is not surprising, as there is endless potential for what you can create with LEGO bricks, but their impact stretches far beyond mere building blocks. LEGO- related video games, movies, and even theme parks have sprung up around the world for people to enjoy. National LEGO Day falls on Jan. 28, giving you an opportunity to delight in what this toy is all about. If you want to celebrate with your family, consider the following activities. Plan a trip to LEGOLAND. With the new year just getting started, why not plan a family vacation? LEGOLAND is filled with rides, attractions, and amazing LEGO creations, including busts of historical figures and entire cities. There are two LEGOLAND

resorts located in the U.S., one in Carlsbad, California, and the other in Winter Haven, Florida. Plus, 13 LEGOLAND Discovery Centers are spread out across the nation. Put together a kit. If you’re unable to go to LEGOLAND, take a few minutes to visit a local LEGO retail store to pick up a LEGO kit the family can put together or dig a well-loved one out of your attic. Challenge yourself and family members to make the tallest tower before it falls, or get creative by placing the same set of LEGO bricks in different bowls and seeing what everyone creates from the pieces.

Beyond Workers’ Comp

3 Rules of Third-Party Benefits

may be able to file a personal injury claim to cover expenses not paid for by workers’ comp. However, there are strict rules around third-party claims. 1. Remember the statute of limitations. In Arizona, there is a limit on how much time you have to file a personal injury case after an accident. If you are a worker who has been injured by a third party while on the job, you just have one year to file a claim. You may be able to get another year if you get a formal assignment of the claim from the worker’s compensation insurer. If you fail to file a lawsuit or obtain an assignment within the first year after your injury, you will lose your right to pursue the third-party claim and you would only be able to receive worker’s compensation benefits. 2. Notify your insurance carrier. If you plan on filing a claim against a third party, you must first notify your insurance

carrier of your intention. The insurance carrier has an interest in the case, so you will have to keep the insurance carrier up to date on pleading and rulings related to the claim. 3. Prepare to reimburse for workers’ comp. In Arizona, if you win your third-party lawsuit, you will likely be required to reimburse the workers’ comp benefits you’ve already received. After repaying your benefits, you will be allowed to keep whatever is left over. This is why it’s so important to work with a personal injury attorney who knows how to deal with third-party personal injury lawsuits related to workers’ comp cases. You want to make sure you get enough compensation for yourself. Many workers’ comp cases also qualify as third-party lawsuits. Unfortunately, few workers even realize this option is open to them. If you’ve been injured on the job, call 480-755-8000 today to discuss your case and learn all the options available to you.

Workers’ compensation is an invaluable protection for American workers. If a worker is injured while on the job, they are entitled to medical costs and a portion of their lost wages. Unfortunately, workers’ comp isn’t always enough to cover the full extent of someone’s injuries. This is why workers must be ready to act if their on-the-job injury was caused by the negligence of a third-party — someone who is not themselves, their employer, or a coworker. This is called a third-party claim. We often see this situation come up with delivery drivers. If a delivery driver is on the job and they’re rear- ended by a drunk driver, the driver is entitled to collect workers’ comp benefits from their employer and can file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver. If a third party was responsible for your on-the-job injury, you

Do you know anyone overwhelmed with debt o

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Surrender or Redeem? How to Reduce Car Payments During Bankruptcy

Redeem the Vehicle The redemption right, outlined under section 722 of the bankruptcy code, means debtors have the right to buy the vehicle from their lender for what it’s worth. For example, if you still owe $30,000 on a vehicle that’s only worth $15,000, you can pay your lender $15,000 to buy the vehicle outright. However, you must make the payment in a single lump sum. If you can get the cash together, redemption is a great option to eliminate debt and keep your car. Finding Help With Redemption Redemption is often a choice that will work well for many debtors, but they don’t always have enough money on hand to buy this car outright. This is why The Moak Law Firm works with financiers who specialize in helping debtors keep their cars. With the judge’s permission, the debtor can take out a new loan to pay off a lienholder and keep their car. This option is usually recommended because the new loan is often much cheaper than the old car loan, which means the loan payments are significantly smaller. Filing for bankruptcy is a path to financial freedom. If your car payments are holding you back from that freedom, ask your bankruptcy attorney how to alleviate this burden and get a fresh start.

A few months ago, we covered how Arizona’s property exemption laws can help you keep your car when filing for bankruptcy. Long story short, if you have less than $6,000 of equity in your car, you will not be required to sell your vehicle in order to pay back your debts. But just because you can keep your car when filing for bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If your car is “underwater” — the vehicle is worth less than you owe on it — you may find the car payments to be literally more trouble than they’re worth. However, you have some choices about whether to eliminate your responsibility to pay those high payments on a vehicle that is worth less than the amount you owe. This is why debtors have options for dealing with vehicles that are too expensive to pay for. Surrender the Vehicle If you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have

the option to surrender your vehicle. This is basically a voluntary repossession. Your

bankruptcy will protect you from any liability for the amount of debt owed on the vehicle. You will lose the car, but you’ll also lose the debt associated with it.

Hoppin’ John

Word Search

Inspired by Epicurious

A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.


1 cup dried black-eyed peas

1 smoked ham hock

5–6 cups water

1 medium onion, diced

1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)

1 cup long-grain white rice


1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining.

4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.




who was injured in an accident? We can help!

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480-755-8000 1820 E. Ray Road Chandler, AZ 85225


We are ranked by Ranking Arizona as the #2 Law Firm that deals with Creditor’s rights and Bankruptcy.

INSIDE This Issue


How to Change the World


Building Memories One Brick at a Time One Injury, Two Lawsuits Is Your Car Underwater? Bankruptcy Can Help! Hoppin’ John



Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig

Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish?

humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets.

have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!

Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her

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