Foreclosure Defense: A Way to Keep Your Home from Getting Foreclosed

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Finances

According to the America’s Debt Help Organization, about 4.2 million US homeowners lost their homes due to foreclosure between 2007 and 2014. Foreclosure, based on the definition of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a legal process wherein a creditor or mortgage lender puts up loan collateral (most commonly a house) for sale to recover mortgages unpaid by a borrower. The process that leads to foreclosure usually starts after a borrower fails to pay his or her mortgage for three successive months.

Foreclosure has two major types: Judicial and Non-judicial. In Judicial foreclosure, a lender or mortgagee, which is usually a bank, is first required to file and win a lawsuit to have the right to foreclose on a property. While lenders normally do not make a legal move until a debtor has failed to pay the mortgage for three consecutive months, they actually have the legal right to foreclose on a property even with just a single default on payment.

A Judicial foreclosure procedure takes several months or a year to be completed. Currently, this foreclosure process is available in almost all U.S. states except in Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

In Non-judicial foreclosure, a lender does not need a court order to be able to foreclose on a property. This type of foreclosure, however, is only allowed if a “power-of-sale” clause is included in the deed of trust. The power of sale, whether in a deed of trust or mortgage, indicates the consent or a borrower to the selling of his or her mortgaged property through non-judicial foreclosure in the event that he or she defaults in payment. The lender, however, will first have to notify the owner of the property before his or her property is auctioned off.

The list of states where Non-judicial foreclosure is available includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

In states where both foreclosure processes are available, non-judicial foreclosure should be the process used if the borrower signed a mortgage that contains a power of sale clause; the judicial foreclosure process should be used, however, if the power of sale clause was not signed.

In the Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, website, it is mentioned how foreclosure can be a serious threat, especially to those contending with other debts. This is because other financial concerns can quickly render mortgage payments unaffordable. There are steps, though, as stated in the website, which can be taken to help prevent or delay the foreclosure process. Foreclosure defense is one of these steps which can protect owners from creditors who intend to have their home from being foreclosed.

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Highway Defects Liability

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Car Accidents

Highway maintenance is one of the most important municipal responsibilities due to the vast amounts of traffic and travel done along the roads. When there are defects in the highway or there is a lack of safety structures, the risk to the public is greater. Highways are places in which drivers are traveling at high speeds amongst many other parties. If one driver hits a pothole that offsets their vehicle, the damage to themselves and others could be severe.

One of the most common highway defects are potholes. These indents in the pavement can occur over the normal wear and tear of a road, however they should still be repaired often to avoid drivers suffering flat tires or losing control of their vehicles. Other highway defects include uneven pavement, lack of signs, lack of guardrails, and shoulder drop-offs. All of these defects are capable of causing the threat of increased injury in the case of an accident.

According the website of the Hankey Law Office, highway defects liability may be shared between multiple organizations. While a municipal is responsible for the maintenance of highways, they also need to contract construction companies to perform the physical repairs. This means that defects that were incorrectly repaired or not fixed within a reasonable amount of time may be the shared liability of a construction company and municipal.

Highway defects can cause a multitude of injuries to unsuspecting drivers and their passengers. Like any serious car accident, a driver can sustain head and brain injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, and other potentially permanent damage. You should not be responsible for the medical expenses and lost wages associated with an accident caused by a highway defect.

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Driving Distraction: A Treacherous Driving Mistake

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Car Accidents

Based on the 2013 Traffic Safety Facts data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is a decline in the number of fatal traffic crashes from the previous year – from 33,782 in 2012 to 32,719 in 2013. In fact, except for an increase in the number of those injured in distraction-affected crashes, all other 2013 statistical details, which include deaths and (all other) injuries due to accidents involving passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks), large trucks, motorcycles and pedestrians, indicate declines from 2012.

These declines definitely show that either the government or vehicle manufacturers, or both, is/are doing things that are perfectly right, such as the stricter implementation of road safety rules and/or the installation of the latest safety technologies in newly manufactured vehicles. However, with millions of cars and other types of vehicles still running on US roads and highways every day and the number of traffic accidents still running above five million every year, the task of keeping the number of road accidents to a minimum remains to be a huge challenge for the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Causes of traffic accidents that top the NHTSA list include drunk-driving, reckless driving, speeding, driver error and distracted driving. Distracted driving, in particular, refers to any type of activity or movement which would turn a person’s attention away from driving. Distractions endanger lives, be it of drivers’, passengers’, pedestrians’ or other motorists’. And unlike drunk-driving, overspeeding and reckless driving which only a few drivers may be guilty of, distracted driving can be everyone’s grave mistake, but one that is most unnoticed. Chances are, all have been guilty of allowing distractions to make them turn their eyes and focus away from the road or take a hand off the wheel.

Driving distractions has countless forms, like eating and/or drinking, talking to a passenger, reading a map, adjusting a radio or any other electronic gadget, grooming, lighting a cigarette, and so forth. The most alarming forms of distractions, which take drivers’ focus off of driving, however, are conversing with someone over the phone and texting.

The website DISTRACTION.GOV: Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving says that the average time that one’s eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds, the same length of time needed to drive through a football field at the speed of 55mph.

Often, a brief act of carelessness is all it takes for a tragic accident to occur and, once one occurs, its physical and emotional repercussions, as the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm website puts it, can be serious and long-lasting.

Though the injuries and the trauma resulting from the accident can never be erased, an injured victim may at least have the chance of being found eligible by a court to receive compensation from the guilty party. This compensation is intended to cover all the damages suffered by the victim, such as high cost of medical treatment and lost wages.

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Buying a New House: Like a Marriage?

Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Natural Hazards

Marriage can be more complicated than you might initially think. You don’t just marry someone you’ve just met and call it true love, as has once been said. In real life, it is folly to make such a huge, permanent commitment without looking into the partner with whom you wish to dedicate spending the rest of your life with. This same kind of commitment can be likened to purchasing a house and, just as with finding out on whether your partner is “The One”, you need to take certain precautions.

One of these precautions is to acquire the natural hazard disclosure (NHD) report. More often than not, some have even stated that this is the likelihood 99% of the time, the sellers are the ones who are expected to provide these reports. However, there must be special care taken when getting these papers.

Going back to the marriage analogy – who would you rather trust with your partner’s history: your partner’s family or your partner’s Twitter followers? The same can be said of those who can provide NHD reports. Anything can be found on the internet these days and anyone who is not an expert on these reports could be duped by false (or incomplete) facts. That is why it is important to get a reputable source to find out the kind of natural hazards that might be present within the house.

Is the environment susceptible to fires, floods, or earthquakes? What is the crime rate of the neighborhood? How old is the house in question and when were the foundations last fortified? If previously foreclosed, what was the reasoning behind it? There are plenty of questions you need to ask and there might be answers that you need that you never thought to ask for. A source or agency that can be trusted, for about $50 more, can be the price that saves you from expenses that go to hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs due to ignorance or misdirection.

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What You Need to Keep in Climate Controlled Units

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Storage

Climate controlled storage units are typically 25% more expensive than standard units of the same size. For example, a regular 5 ft x 5 ft unit in Pond Springs Mini Storage is $55 a month while a climate-controlled one is $70 a month. However, the price difference may be worth it. Deciding to get a climate-controlled until will depend on many circumstances.

1. The items are irreplaceable or expensive.

The added expense of the climate-controlled unit may be a pittance compared to how much your item will depreciate if not store properly. Wood and leather, for example, can warp, crack or discolor with changes in temperature. If your $5,000 antique table warps because of humidity, it can reduce the value to less than $1,000. However, if your items have no intrinsic value, then it may not be worth the cost of a climate controlled unit.

2. You need to store them for a long time.

Since the main problem with temperature-related damage is over time, you won’t need a climate-controlled unit if you only intend to store your items for a couple of months. A good example is when transferring to another home. There may be instances when certain portions of the home is not yet ready, in which case you can store the intended furniture temporarily.

3. There is high humidity and/or extreme climate conditions in the area

Some regions have low humidity and more or less even temperatures the whole year round. In such cases, you probably don’t have to worry about temperature-related damage to your stored items. In Austin, however, where it gets really hot in the summer with high humidity, you will want a climate controlled unit. Also keep in mind the threat of flood water which can find its way into storage.

Whatever you decide, make sure that you check the unit first and get details about how the storage company intends to control the climate. Since you are paying a premium for it, you have the right to know if you will be getting what you paid for.

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Defective Safety Features Could Kill You

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Personal Injury

Airbags are supposed to protect drivers and passengers from injury in case of an accident, but that is presuming that they work properly. Unfortunately, airbags are just as prone to defects as any product if the quality is not properly monitored and controlled, and even worse is that airbag manufacturers supply their products to more than one automobile manufacturing company. This means more cars and more potential victims.

Takata Corporation, an airbag manufacturer that supplies to Honda Motor Co. as well as other automakers, is being investigated for at least two deaths that are being linked to faulty airbags that originated from them. According to reports, the airbags deployed with excessive force because of tainted ammonium nitrate, the compound responsible for inflating the airbags when activated. This excess of force can send metal parts of the airbags into the vehicle, causing serious injury or even death.

Lawsuit have been filed against the company, but Takata has so far been able to settle claims out-of-court and continue to resist calls for a nationwide recall of vehicles that have been installed with the defective airbags. Honda has also been named in some lawsuits for its use of Takata airbags. To date, more than 14 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide because of the faulty airbags.

Current and future personal injury lawsuits are based on two claims: that Takata knew or should have known that the airbags were bound to fail because of the numerous complaints about it and that the company failed to warn vehicle owners about the high probability of airbag failure. A group of plaintiffs looking to recoup costs and damages for replacing their airbags are looking into filing a class action suit against Takata and Honda.

However, if you have already suffered serious injury because your airbag failed to work properly, you may be eligible to claim more than out-of-pocket expenses. Consult with a personal injury lawyer like Dwight Ritter as soon as possible so that you can get an idea of what you’re up against.

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What is Grand Theft Auto?

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Criminal Defense Law

The term “grand theft auto” has become part of everyday lexicon mostly because of the game of the same name, and even law enforcers use it. Technically, however, not all auto theft is grand theft, and not all grand theft involves automobiles.

Basically, theft is the unauthorized appropriation of property or services with the intent to deprive the legal owner of its value. In most states, Texas included, theft is classified as either petty or grand depending on the value placed on the property or service in question. The determination of the value varies from state to state, but in Texas it is based on fair market value. As can be easily surmised, petty theft is when the value of the item or service taken is less than a certain amount which again will depend on the state, although some states considers theft of specific property such as a credit card as grand theft by default. In Texas, anything over $500 in value is considered grand theft.

Going back to grand theft auto, it should be pointed out that while most cars that are stolen are valued at more than $500, it is still possible that it is not. In such cases, it would probably not be called petty theft auto, though. The more correct term for car theft is “motor vehicle theft” which makes no distinction in terms of market value, but the charges are more serious for more valuable vehicles. In other words when you use the term “grand theft auto,” you should be referring to a stolen vehicle that has a market value of more than $500.

Note that according to the criminal defense lawyers of LOMTL the term “unauthorized” is subject to many interpretations, and a simple miscommunication can land you in a world of hurt if you are arrested and charged for grand theft auto, a felony in Texas. If you have been unlucky enough to be charged with motor vehicle theft, consult with a competent criminal defense lawyer to represent you.

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Overview of Vinyl Chloride

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in Personal Injury

We all now know that plastic is bad for the environment because it takes so long for it to break down. But few people know that the immediate health concern is with the production of plastic products, especial those made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which also includes pipes we use in our homes. PVC is produced using vinyl chloride, which is a colorless gas that has a mildly sweet smell in high concentrations. It is a synthetic substance than easily incorporates into the soil, water, and the air when it is not disposed properly.

Being a gas, vinyl chloride exposure most commonly occurs through the air we breathe and the water we drink. Contaminated water also releases the substance when we cook or shower. Aspirating significant amounts of vinyl chloride induces sleepiness and dizziness that can be dissipated by breathing fresh air. Because it is heavier than the ambient air, exposure tends to be prolonged in an enclosed area. Prolonged exposure to the substance is believed to increase the risk of kidney, lung, and liver damage and may lead to immune disorders. Industrial exposure increases the risks of developing cancer, miscarriage and birth defects.

Vinyl chloride is a known toxic agent, and there are government standards in place for water and air quality specific to the presence of vinyl chloride. However, as any Tennessee personal injury lawyer will explain, an individual may be exposed to it in the course of their occupation or by being in close proximity to a manufacturing plant that uses it. In some cases, such as the Conrail derailment in Paulsboro, New Jersey, accidental spills may sharply increase exposure. Conrail is currently facing personal injury lawsuits because of the incident which allegedly killed at least one person and resulted in harm to a whole community.

If you have suffered harm from vinyl chloride exposure, you may be eligible for compensation. Confer with a toxic exposure lawyer in your area to find out more about your legal options.

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Xarelto a Major Dilemma to Patients

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in Personal Injury

Before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use Xarelto in July 2011, Warfarin served as the standard anticoagulant drug for Americans (from 1954 to 2010, the year Pradaxa gained FDA approval).

Pradaxa and Xarelto are both considered direct thrombin inhibitors (DTI), actually the first two of this type of prescription drugs. But while Pradaxa was formulated to directly block thrombin production (a thrombin is a blood enzyme that causes the formation of blood clots), Xarelto was engineered to hold back the production of Factor Xa, the protein necessary in the formation of thrombin. Both medications, however, did not require the exercise, kind of diet and regular blood tests necessitated by Warfarin, making them more preferable for doctors, especially Xarelto, which proved to offer more benefits than Pradaxa.

Xarelto, the generic name of Rivaroxaban, is jointly produced by two giant pharmaceutical companies: Bayer Health Care and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals. It was approved by the FDA for the following uses:

  • As a blood thinning drug for patients recovering from knee surgery or hip replacement surgery
  • To reduce the risk of blood clot formation and stroke in patients suffering from irregular heartbeat, which is a condition called atrial fibrillation
  • To prevent the risk of the formation of blood clot in the lungs, or pulmonary embolism, and blood clotting in deep veins, usually in the legs, which is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Records show, though, that blood thinners, even those that came after Xarelto, had one severe side-effect in common: uncontrollable bleeding. While the bleeding caused by the anticoagulant Warfarin could be reversed by vitamin K (including vitamin K-rich foods), Xarelto had no antidote, making internal bleeding a possible fatal situation for patients.

Uncontrollable bleeding was not the only adverse effect linked to Xarelto, however. The Institution for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), a non-profit organization, also reports of the following adverse effects as being linked to the use of Xarelto: spinal or epidural hematoma, which can permanently paralyze an individual; brain hemorrhaging; nose bleeding; blood in stools and in urine; heart problems, stroke, and so forth. Despite these serious harms to health, stopping the use of Xarelto can also prove dangerous as it can result to the formation (or recurrence of the formation) of blood clots in patients.

Xarelto, indeed, poses a great dilemma to patients, who are at risk of severe, or even fatal, injury whether they continue to use or decide to stop using the product. And while those who have been affected already number to the thousands, some doctors continue to prescribe Xarelto to unsuspecting patients.

Xarelto lawsuits are being filed all across the United States (and in many other parts of the world) by patients who have already been harmed by the drug. Those who are yet to file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturers, it is highly recommended that they first seek legal help from highly-competent professionals, such as the Xarelto lawsuit lawyers at the National Injury Law Center.

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Dog Grooming

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Pet Care

Many people have negative ideas about dog grooming: that they are just a luxury and a waste of time and money. This is not true. Grooming your dog is vital in keeping them healthy and happy as well. Aside from preventing your pet from smelling (and looking!) bad, dog grooming can help in keeping you on top of your dog’s health, allowing you to see possible health risks that could be life-threatening to your dog if not immediately addressed.

Regular grooming does not necessarily require everyday showers and hair cuts at costly dog salons: you can do it at home. Brushing or combing your dog’s hair on a regular basis not only helps keep it clean and well-groomed, by doing it yourself you will be immediately alerted of fleas, ticks, possible cuts, infections and other skin concerns that your dog may be suffering from. Brushing helps take away dirt and dead hair, making way for new and healthier hair. This would also mean lesser chances of your dog shedding on your furniture and all over your house. Having a clean pet can also benefit others in the house that has allergies.

Mats and knots on your dog’s hair could be a potential cause for larger parasites to live in your dog’s fur. These mats and knots can tug on your pet’s hair which could cause pain, giving way to an irritated dog. They often form because of the accumulation of dead and loose undercoat that is trapped in the top part (guard) hair. Although they can be easily removed and prevented by regular brushing, they can be extremely difficult to remove if they have already solidified. Taking your dog to a groomer would be a better option than to cut it yourself.

Aside from keeping your dog looking smart and clean, regular dog grooming could also aid in establishing you and your dog’s bond. It is part of your dog’s socialization, and could lead to a more relaxed pet. It has been known that stroking your pet’s hair can help relieve stress, and it is not only for humans but for the pet as well.

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