WASHINGTON – The U.S. Federal Trade Commissioner, Rohit Chopra, has called for scrapping the use of a legal instrument called confession of judgment in small business lending contracts. Chopra urged the agency forum to be accountable for cleaning up this market. Use of such terms in small business loans contract since the last few years have led to several legal actions against small business borrowers.
The unregulated merchant cash-advance industry has got an edge over small business borrowers as it could not lose court dispute if someone agrees to legal terms such as confessions of judgment. Since 2012, small business borrowers have not managed to defeat cash-advance companies in over 25,000 judgments in the US. Under this, lenders have a right to legally seize borrowers’ bank accounts and other assets. A huge number of bad credit small business loans options are available which simply help business owners to arrange money in the case of emergency. Small business loans market has been witnessing growth at a huge rate. Many popular online sources such as capitalforbusiness.net have given many consumers an option to get a loan even if they have a bad credit.
Earlier, FTC had banned the use of confessions of judgment by using 1984 Credit Practices Rule. However, the rule was not applicable for small businesses. There are many reports of unfair marketing, sales, and collection practices in the small business finance market, so FTC has been taking action under the FTC Act to tackle such conduct. Chopra said that FTC is the only federal regulator in the non-bank small business financing market, so it has to keep an eye if any violation of law is there or not.
Katherine Fisher, who advocates for cash advance companies, said that FTC took the appropriate decision to ban confession of judgments as consumers don’t have much-needed protection due to limited options available. However, small businesses could easily resort to many other options, so there is no need to impose a ban on this case.
Reckless Driving in the State of Virginia
The state of Virginia is strict in its enforcement of laws against reckless driving. According to section 46.2-852 of the Virginia Code, reckless driving is listed as a criminal offense. In addition, the Virginia Code categorizes all driving that endangers the life and property of others as reckless.
Several behaviors that motorists exhibit while behind the wheels can qualify as reckless driving in Virginia. “Reckless driving causes nearly a third of all deaths involving major car accidents, which are more than 13,000 each year,” explains attorney Karin Riley Porter. As a result, you can be charged by an officer and can be found guilty or not guilty by a judge.
Types of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is in different forms and includes:
1. Driving a vehicle with a mechanical fault
Va. Code § 46.2-853 considers driving a vehicle with faulty brakes as a reckless driving offense. Therefore, if a driver cannot maintain proper vehicle control, the driver will be held liable for reckless driving. However, if a driver could prove that they didn’t have prior knowledge that the vehicle was faulty, it would be possible to avoid conviction.
2. Not giving out the right signals when required
Not giving out a signal while driving on Virginia road is an offense under section 46.2-860 of the Virginia Code. Motorists are required to start signaling 50 feet away from the place they would be turning where the speed limit is not above 35 mph. In situations where the speed limit is above 35 mph, drivers are required to signal 100 feet away from where they would take a turn.
3. Driving alongside another vehicle on a single lane road
In Virginia, driving two vehicles abreast on a one-lane road is considered a reckless driving offense. This rule, however, only applies to vehicles and has no implications on motorcycles and bikes. If found liable, the offender will face charges.
Different Virginia roads are subject to variable speed limits. A driver can face charges for reckless driving if they exceed the speed limit specified by law on each road network. According to the Va. Code §46.2-862, a driver can face convictions for reckless driving if they exceed the specified speed limit by 20 mph or drive above 80 mph.
5. Driving with an impaired view
Some drivers overload their cars or carry passengers who prevent them from seeing all sides of the road. Overloading is most common in trucks. If the passenger’s sitting position in any way obstructs the driver’s view, then the driver can be charged for reckless driving.
6. Racing on Public Property
Section 46.2-865 of the Virginia Code considers car racing on any property that is open to the members of the public without authorization as reckless driving. If found guilty, the state can withdraw the license of the driver for up to six months.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia
A reckless driving conviction may attract different penalties to the offender, some of which may include:
- A suspension of the driver’s license for six months or more
- Up to one-year jail term
- Fine amounting to $2,500
- Increase in auto insurance
- Ineligibility for car rentals
- Possibility of permanent seizure of vehicle if found guilty of unauthorized car racing
Reckless driving is a severe offense in Virginia. If you are charged with the crime and convicted, it can stay in your driving records for up to 11 years. However, with the help of an experienced Virginia traffic attorney, you can get a lesser charge for the offense.
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