What Are the Legal Requirements of Purchasing a Home?

What are the Legal Requirements of Purchasing a Home

Buying a home is an important milestone in anyone’s life. Whether you are buying your first house, the home that you and your spouse own together or a vacation condo in Florida, it is an event to be proud of. However, you have to make sure that your purchase adheres to state and federal laws. What are some of the legal requirements to buying a home?

You May Need the Assistance of a Lawyer

Some states require that you use a lawyer when closing the deal. Your lawyer will make sure that the title is clear and that you understand the obligations that come with paying a mortgage and owning a home in general. As many lawyers may offer real estate services, you may be able to save money by shopping around.

You May Need to Submit to a Background Check

A lender may need to verify who you are as well as the source of the funds used to buy the home. This may be true whether you are using a government loan or are trying to get a traditional mortgage. A background check is done to ensure that a real estate purchase is not an attempt by criminals to launder money. It also ensures that an investor doesn’t use someone else as a front to purchase a property.

Tell Your Realtor About Your Obligations

Before you start looking for a home, you may want to talk with a realtor about the steps required to purchase a residential property. Some professionals, like those at Foxfire Realty Inc., will know what to do to help you through this process. He or she may also be able to supply you with any forms that you need to fill out or tell you what to bring when you close on the property.

You May Need to Meet Loan Qualification Standards

If you borrow using a government loan, there are minimum standards that you must meet to get the loan. For instance, you need a minimum credit score, a minimum down payment and proof that you haven’t filed for bankruptcy in the past year or two. Individual lenders may impose additional standards on top of those imposed by the government.

While buying a home may be a complex process filled with rules and regulations, your attorney and real estate agent can help guide you through it. Before you know it, you will be handed the keys to the home and starting the process of moving in to what is officially your property.

Author’s Information: Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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FDA Drafting Guidelines on Cigar Regulations

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The Hill reports the FDA is drafting guidelines to clarify health warning statement requirements for cigar manufacturers, distributors, and sellers, and to explain “which companies should submit a cigar warning plan, when to submit it, and what information to include for consumers.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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4 Tricks for Finding An Honest and Trustworthy Lawyer

When you’re facing any kind of court case, it’s important to have a lawyer who you can trust. There are some who might be in the business for the money, but there are some who genuinely care about the people they represent. You can easily find a lawyer who will talk to you about your trial and the possible outcomes while trying to encourage you at the same time.

Accounts

One of the things that you should ask about is a trust account. Most states require that lawyers have this kind of account for cases that are anything other than a flat fee case. Money that is paid for the case needs to go into a trust account. If the lawyer offers a flat fee, then you should be careful that the lawyer is not doing this only as a way to perform  minimal work. When looking at the accounts, you also need to ask if the lawyer charges to the tenth of the hour instead of for half an hour at a time as the amount will be significantly different.

Hearing From Others

The best way to find the best lawyer is by word of mouth. When you hear people talking about one or two lawyers over the rest in your town, it’s likely because that lawyer is good at the work that is performed. Once you hear about a lawyer from friends, family or others who you talk to while out and about in the town, you need to make sure the lawyer is one who can handle your case in the specialty area.

Bar Association

Most people will report a lawyer to the Bar Association if that lawyer doesn’t do good work. The Bar Association may also be able to give you referrals for those who have exceptional credentials and who have had exemplary remarks from clients. This is one of the easiest ways to find the best lawyers in the city and the state if you want to look past the county where you live.

Insurance Companies

Your insurance company will want you to have good representation if there is anything involving a claim. This means that the company will have a list of lawyers that it uses to suggest to you to call. If they can’t give you an exact name, they can refer you to the next best source.

From looking at the type of bank account that your lawyer has set up to talking to others about lawyers that are recommended, there are several ways to find an honest lawyer. Firms like The Jaklitsch Law Group offer free consultations, so set up interviews with the lawyers to talk to them before you hire one. Everything that is done needs to be in writing so that you have documentations about fees and communications.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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Featured Link — Traveling with a Medical Condition

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The website insurancewith.com has several good articles on traveling domestically or abroad with a medical condition or a disability. Here’s just a bit from the site:

Planning & packing for your holiday

For any trip to be a success you need to thoroughly prepare for the adventure. As such, packing will be an important part of the process and you’ll have to double check you’ve everything needed.

Whilst preparing for your getaway, make sure to ask the following questions:

• What is the duration of your trip?

• Will the temperature or humidity cause any problems?

• What medication will you need to take?

• Do you have specialist equipment?

• What are the luggage restrictions on the plane, ferry or train you’re taking?

After these initial questions, you should be able to start planning properly for the adventure. For instance, check with your airline if a mobility scooter can be taken onboard and make sure to get enough medication prescribed from your doctor.

Now you’ll need to start making a list of everything you need for a safe and enjoyable holiday. This would include all the usual suspects such as clothes and toiletries, through to any specialist equipment and medication you may need. Consider the climate of where you’re travelling to as well – don’t forget the sun cream and hat if you’re going somewhere particularly hot.

If on the other hand, you’ll be expecting colder weather, consider a waterproof jacket, extra layers and a coat. You’ll also want a few warm pairs of shoes.

Medication will be vital to your packing. You’ll need to plan for the length of your trip and ensure you have enough for both the duration plus a little extra, in the event of delays. Whilst many countries overseas will have some brilliant pharmacies to stock up on your medication, there could be a language barrier that’ll prevent you getting your message across. If you do need to visit a pharmacy on your travels, make sure you know both the name of the medication and what it does – this should help you out somewhat in translation.

Whenever you’re travelling overseas you should always keep a doctor’s letter on your persons too. This will outline your disability, the medication you’re on and the conditions of your health. It will definitely help should you experience any difficulties abroad and need to receive treatment.

Depending on your impairment or disability, the airline may ask you to complete a form with your conditions and the medication you’re taking. This is known as a Medical Information Form (MEDIF) and varies from company to company. You should be able to print this off from the respective website though.

As mentioned in the first chapter, travel insurance will also be crucial. This safeguards you from paying out for medical bills and expenses because of a problem occurring overseas.

You’ll want to consider the equipment you require too. Whilst you wouldn’t think much of it at home, it’s extra luggage you’ll need to bring along for your travels. Make a note of everything you need and contact the airline to find out if they’ll have to make specific arrangements. For instance, those with a mobility scooter may need to remove the battery and have it stored separately during travel.

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Personal Injury Superheroes: How to Make Sure You Have a Winning Legal Case

Personal Injury Superheroes How to Make Sure You Have a Winning Legal Case

Each day, personal injury lawyers across this country get numerous calls from people wanting to sue for an injury they obtained. Some cases are cut and dried while others take some investigation. Unfortunately, not every injury is grounds for a lawsuit. Sometimes accidents just happen. There must be a few things present to be able to have a successful outcome in a legal battle. Are you wondering if you have a potential claim? There are three basic elements needed for any case. An attorney will make sure these elements are there before they take you on as a client.

1. Liability/Fault

First and foremost, there must be liability and fault of another party. Did someone else’s negligence cause your injuries? If it was a grocery store, did they leave a spill without proper signage and you slipped? What about a sidewalk in front of a hardware store? Was the concrete busted and you fell and suffered injuries? These are cases where there are clear signs of neglect. Store owners are required to maintain their property, both inside and out. Neglect can clearly be seen in these examples, but sometimes, the fault is not so easy to prove.

2. Damages/Injury

You must have injuries to file a claim. A bump, scratch, or a headache doesn’t constitute grounds for a claim alone. You need to have lacerations, bruises, sprains, broken bones, the need for surgery, concussions, back and neck injuries, and so on. There must be a verifiable injury that caused you medical problems. These medical issues need to be documented, and you should have some record of your medical treatment.

3. Causation

A direct link between the person’s negligence and your injuries must clearly be established. Their negligence must have caused your injuries. If there is no correlation between the two, then a law firm, like Otorowski Johnston Morrow & Golden P.L.L.C., cannot prove your case.

Legal Counsel Can Mean Winning or Losing

As the victim of an injury, you must provide as many details as you can to an attorney. They will need all the facts, medical assessments, and any witnesses to the accident. A lawyer will assess the information and decide the best method to pursue the claim. Personal injury cases work on a contingency basis, which means an attorney doesn’t get paid unless you win. They screen cases throughout to make sure that they can win. Due to their settlement strategy and courtroom tactics, having an attorney can mean the difference between winning and losing a case.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.

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Case Closed? Why You Should Pursue a Lawsuit After Being Denied Workers’ Comp

Case Closed Why You Should Pursue a Lawsuit After Being Denied Workers' Comp

A Workers’ Comp claim denial can be a crushing blow. By the time a claim is denied, many missed work days and physical pain have taken their tolls. With tenacity and advocacy, a workers’ comp denial may not be the end of your case.

Insurance and Workplace Loopholes May Be Overcome
Every workplace maintains its own definitions of “on the job” and “job-related,” and uses these to scrutinize claims and avoid liability. Even more employers use insurance claims adjusters with experience in navigating the laws of each individual state for loopholes to deny claims.

Individual workers may be intimidated by these combined forces and give in to a claims denial. A lawsuit leaps over these forces and provides a fresh take on your case.

Workers’ Comp law experts such as Oxner + Permar, LLC partner with experienced workers’ compensation board certified specialists, to provide fair evaluation on if an attorney may help you. They can determine if employers respected all your rights within valid definitions, and their findings will help attorneys pursue litigation only for what you are legally entitled to.

Workers’ Comp is Calculated for Employers, Not Workers
Many factors affect the premiums employers pay for workers’ comp insurance and what employees receive if they need it. The size of the employer’s payroll is one factor. Another is employee classifications according to the presumed risk employers feel each particular job function entails. These classifications do not take into account a wider variety of injuries and scope of accidents employers cannot predict.

If the ultimate cost of damages inherent in the claim outweigh allowable levels for your employee classification, your claim can be denied. A legal claim overrides your employer’s classification system and serves you as an individual with equal legal rights.

Immeasurable Damages Must Be Recovered
A job injury or accident can cost much more than missed work and medical bills. These are calculable Economic Damages. They are all Workers’ Comp is mandated to consider. If an employer documents you had sufficient paid-time off and medical bill reimbursement, your case is closed in their eyes.

Depending on your injury, mental anguish and emotional distress can crush healthy areas of your life and affect other people who need you. A lawsuit is the only way to gain consideration for these losses and their consequences.

The journey from injury to claim denial is exhausting and time-consuming. Injured workers may fear retaliation for questioning a denial, or may feel a lawsuit against their employer guarantees a bad reference for future jobs. However, after a claims denial is time to summon the most strength. Your options are wider than you may think.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.

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Catastrophic Injuries: What to Expect in Your Court Case

Catasrophic Injuries What to Expect in Your Court Case

Accidents occur every single day and in a variety of unexpected ways. While some accidents are unavoidable, others are caused by the negligence of someone else. If you have suffered catastrophic injuries due to another person’s negligence, you are most likely worried about what the future will bring. Fortunately, personal injury law provides accident victims with a way to obtain compensation for their injuries by bringing a lawsuit. Below is an overview of how this process works and what you can expect to happen during your court case.
Do You Have Catastrophic Injuries?

While there is no legal definition of catastrophic injuries, the term is typically used to describe injuries that are long term or disabling for the victim. Long term injuries are defined as an injury that is expected to disable or incapacitate the victim for at least one year. When a person’s life is altered and not expected to be the same after an injury, it is considered catastrophic. Some examples of injuries that may fall into this category include spinal cord injuries, burns, brain injuries, closed head injuries, paralysis, facial scarring and the loss of a limb.

How Damages Are Calculated in Catastrophic Cases

Personal injury lawsuits are designed to make you whole again with a monetary settlement. This means if your injuries are lifelong and will alter your ability to make money and live a productive life, you may be awarded significantly higher damages than if your injuries were less severe. Damages you may be awarded include cost of future medical care, hospital bills, therapy fees, cost of medical devices, doctor bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and future lost income.

Calculating just how much your medical bills, lost wages and future lost wages will be is a difficult task when catastrophic injuries are involved. Law firms like Clearfield & Kofsky have extensive experience in these types of personal injury cases. It may benefit you to speak with them regarding your case.

While it is impossible to know exactly how much you will receive after a personal injury trial, statistics show that you have a better chance of a favorable outcome if you hire an experienced lawyer. Insurance companies typically offer lower settlements to accident victims who do not have legal representation. While catastrophic injuries are often difficult to live with, obtaining a fair settlement may help you move forward with your life as you recover.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.

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Abortion Veto? How a New Law Could Give Fathers More Rights

Abortion Veto - How a New Law Could Give Fathers More Rights

Fathers typically do not seem to have the same rights as mothers concerning abortions of unborn babies, but a new Arkansas law is looking to give fathers more rights.

Recently, after the majority-Republican House voted 78-10 in favor, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, a law banning Dilation and Evacuation Abortions (DEAs). This procedure, conducted during second trimester pregnancies, is the most common type of abortion performed at this stage of development. In fact, the DEA procedure accounts for 95% of second-trimester abortions. In 2015 alone, 683 of the 3,771 abortions performed in Arkansas were DEAs, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Arkansas Representative and Arkansas Right to Life president Andy Mayberry co-sponsored the bill and went on record calling the DEA a “gruesome, barbaric procedure.” Many, including Mayberry, refer to the DEA procedure as a “dismemberment abortion.”

A clause written into the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act allows for a minor woman’s parent, guardian, or health care provider to sue the clinician slated to perform the procedure for either injunctive relief to cease the pending abortion or for civil damages. Husbands can also hire lawyers to help them sue their wife’s physicians for civil damages or injunctive relief. Mayberry claims that the bill will only affect women seeking abortion by the DEA method. In the case of rape or incest, the father cannot win money for damages. However, under these given circumstances, a father can still stop an abortion through injunctive relief.

Lawmakers behind this bill clarify that it is the physician performing the abortion, not the woman wishing to receive it, who is held legally liable. The bill does not prevent the procedure from being done if there is a serious health risk involved in a pregnancy.

Legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas Holly Dickson claims that this bill creates new rights for husbands and family members to sue and calls the bill unconstitutional. The legislature is scheduled to conclude its session in the late spring, possibly as soon as April. The ban will be enacted 90 days after the session ends. The ACLU of Arkansas intends on challenging the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act before the legislation session ends.

To date, six other states have passed similar legislation, and these bills have been challenged and struck down in four of those states (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia).

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find Dixie on Facebook.

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How to Protect Your Business From Litigation

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In recent decades, millions of small businesses have been sued for everything from property accidents to false advertising. Find protection from all kinds of lawsuits that are unsettling and disastrous to many owners. Look for numerous ways to prevent your business from being sued and save money in the process.

Get Liability Insurance

According to Attorney Stephen Whitmore, premises liability is the rule stating that property owners are responsible for personal injuries that occur on their property. Common injuries are slips and falls caused by various problems, such as wet floors, broken pavement or uncleared debris. Also, owners may be responsible for robberies that occur as a result of poor building security.

Protect yourself from this rule when you obtain liability insurance. This type of insurance is mandatory for companies that provide risky products and services. Similar to home and car insurance, pay a monthly premium for the type of policy you choose.

Hire a Paralegal

Paralegal

A paralegal is cheaper than an attorney and may have the same level of expertise. Choose an experienced professional to help you avoid problems and teach business law as it relates to professional liability. He or she should guide you in the right direction and discuss real-life stories about businesses like yours.

Improve Product Quality

Owning a building that people visit often is a risky liability. It is even riskier to sell products that could be hazardous to the buyer’s health. There are many reasons why customers sue, and one major reason is that they are not satisfied with the products, particular the products’ safety features.

Maintain the high quality of your products to prevent people from complaining in the first place. Hire a team of people to test product efficiency and gather feedback from customers.

Focus on Employee Training

Many business lawsuits are brought by customers who have received poor customer service. They may have gotten into verbal disputes, received the wrong order or not received prompt responses. If they are not satisfied with the workforce, they can sue for lack of professional quality in service.

Train your work team to deal with unsatisfied customers properly and not aggravate the situation. They must learn how to handle complaints and know when to report to supervisors.

Breaching a contract and delivery of defective products are a few reasons that business people get sued. Add new legal experts to your team, and increase the expertise of your current employees. Find other ways to prevent litigation that puts major dents in your business plan.

Author Information: Rachael Murphey is an entrepreneur and writer on the topics of business, economics, and politics. She has written for Host Review and HR.com. She currently lives in Denver with her dog Charlie. You can find her on Twitter.

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Workplace Tumbles: 4 Steps to Follow After Falling on the Job

Photos taken on several residential construction sites which use fall arrest systems in Phoenix, AZ over a week in August 2012

Having a slip and fall incident, falling down steps or falling on something at work is at the very least a workers’ compensation issue. At the most, it could have something to do with a hazardous work environment. Unless you were drunk or high, which happens a lot in blue collar jobs, there are some important steps to take after having some type of fall on the job resulting in an injury. Here are the four basic steps you need to take.

Report it to the Manager

You need to make sure you get medical attention immediately if you have seriously injured a limb or something else extreme. If it is nothing extreme, you have to make your employer aware of your fall, where and how it happened, so they can possibly prevent other injuries from happening to your fellow coworkers, and to make a record of your injury. If you do seek medical treatment, you have to let your employer know within a certain time frame depending on your state in a verbal or by written notice about your fall and injury. Informing your employer as soon as possible is a crucial step because you are required to do so.

Visit Your Doctor or Go to the Emergency Room

Your employer may try to convince you otherwise, especially if the fall happened because of some kind of gross negligence. A visit to a doctor establishes a paper trail, gets you pain relief and establishes a treatment plan. However, you should make to visit a doctor that works with your company’s insurance. This should be done whether or not you’re on that insurance as to make the entire process easier.

Seek Legal Counsel

You will need to gather your medical records and any eyewitness statements or names you have and seek out a workers’ comp or personal injury lawyer, such as one from Oxner + Permar, LLC. Try and find a lawyer in your area similar to this one. They focus on quality work because a higher settlement for you is a higher payday for them. They choose quality over quantity.

Speak With Your Human Resources Department

You may ultimately decide against legal action for several reasons. It could be because you are not seriously injured or loyalty to your company. Whether you choose to legally pursue it or not, you should inform the human resources department to help prevent the incident from being repeated to someone else.

These four steps should not be ignored if you have a fall at work under any circumstances. They are important safety and legal measures. You could be saving yourself a lot of financial hardships or someone else a painful incident by following them.

Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.

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