Posts by Paul

How banks cheat you on your mortgage

Posted By on Oct 6, 2017

Though it’s a shame to say so, not all lenders are honest. While we might hope that those we deal with in business or with private loans are upright and eager to follow the rules, that isn’t always the case. That lack of honesty can mean a lot of bad things can happen to your finances if you aren’t careful. Even worse, you could lose not just some money or your credit score, you could lose your home.

It’s important to be aware of the ways lenders can take advantage of homeowners. With the help of the Gagnon, Peacock and Vereeke site, here is a list of potentially illegal practices a lender may try to pull on you.

  1. A failure to provide proper notice

Keep track of every notice you receive, because if there has not been enough given, you may be entitled to sue and keep your home. It’s required that banks give notice of missed payments and notify you when your home may be foreclosed upon. If they failed to do that, you have a case.

  1. Lender bad faith

Did your lender refuse to let you pay? No matter the reasoning behind this, if you made a good faith effort to make a payment and your mortgage company refused to take it, you once again have a case that any foreclosure is not due to your own fault. Missed payments would be on the bank.

  1. Overcharging for late payments

It’s a common practice for late payments to come with a fee. However, if your bank was overcharging for these late payments, and that led to a greater increase in your debt which resulted in a foreclosure, you shouldn’t be held responsible for it. This shameful activity should be stopped immediately. It’s another good reason to hold on to any statements you receive and to watch your bank balance to make sure there are no extra fees being taken out.

  1. Predatory Lending

This term became national news during the Great Recession, but unfortunately, such practices continue today. Predatory lending means a bank offers extremely unfair terms for a loan and it doesn’t explain those terms upfront. If you signed up for a loan and only found out later that the interest rates were far higher, the fees much greater, and those facts made the loan impossible to pay back, then you should be looking at contacting a lawyer.

While I wouldn’t wish any of these things to happen to anyone, it’s important to be aware of the practices upfront so you can better protect yourself. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and knowing that any of these are possible will give you the chance to keep an eye on your bank.

Always remember, a bank is a business, and businesses want to make money. While many bankers are upstanding people, none of them are your friends, and some of them are as unethical as people in any other profession. Keep your eyes open and don’t take anything at face value.

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Head Ache

Posted By on Aug 5, 2017

The human brain is responsible for the entire networking operations of the human body. However, when exposed to even slight trauma, the brain can be seriously injured. Extensive brain injuries can leave victims entirely dependent on caregivers for constant care. Studies done by the CDC have shown the intense damages experienced by victims and family members affected by serious brain trauma.

A particular accident in Massachusetts involving an underage drunk driver left two people injured after the driver ran a red light and collided with another car. The two injured victims were evacuated to receive medical care as one showed severe life threatening injuries. Severe head trauma experienced by this individual is entirely the fault of the nineteen-year-old drunk driver. Besides injury to the observable physical body brain injuries also have lasting psychological effects on patients. In addition, the tremendous and often daunting medical bills that the patient incurs due to their injury can also have an effect on their recovery. In any case, it would be wise to seek legal help in order to be best represented with chances of victory in a court of law.

The CDC notes that in the year 2013 there were nearly 2.8 million traumatic brain injury-related emergency hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S.

In the Massachusetts case, the driver attempted to flee the scene of the original crash but was found down the road with the passenger severely injured. The same study found that across all age groups, incidents involving a vehicular crash were the third major cause of traumatic brain injury related deaths.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s study into traumatic brain injury is eye opening in respects to the sheer amount of data they collected. While most brain injuries occur from falling it is still frightening that the third major cause is due to vehicle accidents. More adequate safety features and airbags designed to protect rather than concuss the passenger on impact should also be advocated for. Thankfully new technology in car systems is making our roads safer. Soon these traumatic brain injuries may indeed be a thing of the past in relation to auto accidents. Until then it is the responsibility of lawmakers to implement legislation that works to remedy brain related injury medical costs for patients. Once the individual sustains a heavy injury, it is very unlikely that they will ever return to their former lifestyle, which leaves them at the hands of caregivers in whichever form they may take.

To conclude, without the brain, we could not exist in relation to the world around us, and victims at the hand of irresponsible drivers deserve better than they have experienced. There remains much work to be done on the side of automobile manufacturing and driver’s education programs. Events like the one mentioned above have become too normalized in the desensitized culture we live in. Starting now, together, we can bridge the gap in order to build a safer space for every party involved.

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The Wonderful Things that Trees Provide

Posted By on Jul 23, 2017

According to the U.S. Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, trees do more than just create an outdoor living environment that is beautiful, healthy and safe. Trees offer and provide all these benefits and more:

  • They lower blood pressure, slow heartbeat, and relax brain wave patterns;
  • They provide inviting and cool areas for recreation and relaxation;
  • They capture carbon dioxide (CO2), helping reduce the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere;
  • They act as natural air-conditioner, lowering the temperature, especially during summer, from 6 to 8 degrees as compared to neighborhoods without trees;
  • They reduce residential heating costs from 10-15 percent and residential air-conditioning costs from 20-50 percent;
  • Homes landscaped with healthy trees sell more quickly and add as much as 20 percent to a property’s market value;
  • They provide homes for more than 80 species of wildlife, such as birds (woodpeckers, nuthatches, and eagles), and other animals, like salamanders and squirrels.
  • A community that is lined with trees increases the value of homes by 25 percent;
  • Trees attracting business – people linger and shop longer when trees are present;
  • Where a canopy of trees exists, apartments and office spaces rent more quickly; workers also become more productive and there is less absenteeism.
  • Trees reduce runoff and improve water quality by absorbing and filtering rainwater.

These are some of the reasons why, in landscape architecture designs, one element that is ever present is trees. According to the Hamlin Tree Care, trees are assets and, therefore, worth investing into whether in residential or business areas.

In recognition of the many benefits of trees, a bill, called the Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act, was introduced in the U.S. Congress. This Act hopes to help lower energy usage and utility bills through the targeted planting of residential shade trees. It explicitly cites the benefits of proper tree siting, including storm water management, reduced energy load demand, and carbon sequestration. It would establish a grant program to assist electricity providers in planting shade trees to insulate residential buildings and minimize home heating and cooling demands.


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Those who Suffer due to Medical Negligence may be Entitled to Pursue Financial Compensation for Their Losses

There are certain types of health problems wherein doctors would recommend surgery, but only as the last form of treatment – if all other non-surgical forms of treatment do not work. Surgery is a complicated and risky medical procedure; but while many patients successfully go through it, others are just too weak to make it through the operation or a short while after the operation. There are cases, however, as shown through government and hospital records, when patients either suffer complications or never make it, not because they have weak bodies, but due, rather, to mistakes committed by those in charge of the surgical procedure.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, committing of errors during surgical procedures is just one of the many forms of medical mistakes which doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, hospitals and clinics are guilty of. Other items in the list of medical mistakes include, but are not limited to: misdiagnosis; failure to diagnose; delayed treatment; wrong medication; and birth injury. All these mistakes result either to new health problems or to the worsening of an existing illness, diminishing the quality of life of the patient.

In 2010, as reported by the Office of the Inspector General for Health and Human Services, about 180,000 Medicare patients died due to medical mistakes. The actual figure, however, as printed in the Journal of Patient Safety, patient deaths (including those not covered by Medicare) fall between 210,000 and 440,000.

From the figures given above, surgical errors account for, at least, 4,000 cases each year. Specific cases of surgical error include:

  • Wrong-person surgery;
  • Incorrect surgical procedure;
  • Wrong-site surgery;
  • Improper suturing;
  • Accidental puncture or laceration;
  • Removal of wrong organ;
  • Foreign bodies left inside a patient’s body;
  • Wrong dosage of anesthesia;
  • Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma;
  • Physiologic and metabolic derangement;
  • Wound dehiscence, a surgical complication wherein a wound ruptures along a surgical suture;
  • Pulmonary embolism; and,
  • Wrongful death due to complications from negligent surgery.

Medical mistakes, especially surgical error, happen more frequently than many others think. What is disturbing is that many of these are committed even by well trained and experienced surgeons and the best hospitals in the U.S. Take, for example, the case of a 70-year old patient who died after two surgeons mistakenly removed his wrong kidney; there are also reports of operating on the wrong side of a patient’s brain which happened three times within just a year, and all in the same hospital.

As explained by Madison personal injury attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, “When a patient visits a doctor for medical treatment, it is with the implicit understanding that his or her physician will provide the individual with the care and treatment expected of that medical profession. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are held to high standards, as even seemingly minor errors can have dramatic consequences on patients’ health and well-being. Unfortunately, not all doctors act as carefully and responsibly as they should, exposing their patients to the threat of serious illnesses or injuries. Because of the devastating repercussions that medical malpractice can have on a patient’s life, it is often possible for victims of negligence to receive compensation for their damages.”

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There are more than 15,000 nursing homes in the U.S. that shelter more than 1.5 million residents – elders, individuals who may be physically or mentally incapacitated, and those in need of rehabilitative therapy due to illness or accident.

To protect and uphold the interests of these residents, the Nursing Home Reform Act was enacted by the US Congress in 1987, mandating nursing homes participating in Medicare and Medicaid (or receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds) to “provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care.”

The Act also states that “the resident has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.”

It seems, however, that no kind of law would stop acts of abuse and neglect from being committed against residents of nursing homes because these inhumane acts continue to be committed every year. Though reported acts of abuse and neglect number to thousands, it is believed that so many more remain unreported, especially the more sensitive and humiliating cases, namely sexual abuses.

Acts of abuse and neglect do occur in nursing home facilities in the U.S. and the most common reasons why these acts happen include understaffed facilities, overworked personnel, very demanding needs of the residents and the defenselessness of the victims.

Federal nursing home regulations define abuse as any form of act that deliberately inflicts injury, deprives care or service, or results to intimidation, unreasonable confinement, or punishment resulting to physical harm and/or mental anguish. Neglect, on the other hand, is defined as failure to provide a resident with the necessary care and service which will ensure freedom from pain or harm, or a failure to assist a resident during potentially dangerous situation that can result harm or anxiety; neglect may by intentional or non-intentional.

Abuse and neglect of nursing home residents are crimes since these are directed against defenseless people whose care have been entrusted to those who promise to provide quality care and service. Thus, it is important that families of these residents are always sensitive to any sudden changes in their loved ones (during visits) as any unexplainable changes may just be manifestations that something is wrong. Contacting a highly-qualified nursing home abuse lawyer or personal injury lawyer immediately may be necessary for the possible legal actions the family may decide to take.

According to the law firm Mokaram & Associates, P.C., “Personal injury law is a wide branch of tort law that encompasses civil cases brought against other citizens. These cases typically arise when the negligence of one person causes injury to innocent party. This negligence can be created through action or inaction either directly or indirectly. Frequently these cases result in compensatory damages to assist with the injuries incurred.”

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