Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Business Lawyers - Business Owners Legal Help

Lawyers provide a very valuable service to the public. They are there to help people fight cases that might have been brought against them or to help them fight cases that they themselves have brought against another party.

Lawyers help keep you out of trouble

Lawyers can also give people advice on what they should do in situations involving the law and how to prevent themselves from getting in trouble with authority figures and more. Their insight on different types of situations will have been obtained through the years of schooling that they have gone through and/or the years of experience that they have gained on the job. There are different areas of the law that lawyers can specialize in or practice in. For example, there are business lawyers who provide their services to businesses.

Choose a Law Firm to suit your businesses size.

There are law firms that focus on only small businesses.

Others help out all types of businesses. If you are a business owner, you might want to consider this before deciding on which business lawyer to hire to help you out. If you own a small business, then you might want to check out business lawyers who just cater for small businesses. This might be a good idea because there are probably different situations that small businesses are more likely to encounter that other businesses would not, and a business lawyer focusing on small businesses would probably know really specific and useful details that law firms with a broader focus might not.

Legal help when you need it most

However, whether you own a small or big business, you will need business lawyers to help you out when you face a legal problem.

The many different legal problems that businesses encounter include accidents that happen on the business premises, breaking of the contract, discrimination lawsuits, and more. A business lawyer might be able to advise beginning business owners on what type of insurance they will need in order to run the business. Business lawyer and solicitors might also be able to prepare them for the different types of legal problems they might potentially face and how to avoid them. Therefore, they can provide a lot of help to people who are running their own business.

Choose a Law Firm with experience

If they do get into some legal trouble and a lawsuit is maybe brought against them, then business lawyers can be hired to help them fight or settle their case. When looking for a business law firm or a lawyer to hire, the business owner should probably look for the ones who have the most experience, who have successfully fought or settled cases for other businesses, and ones who are affordable.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Strength of Lawyer is Your Legal Representative

What is really a ability of legal professional? Most folks have heard this phrase utilized prior to. But do you know what a energy of lawyer is and what they are applied for? Do you've 1? Do you would like to possess 1? There are lots of questions and we hope to have some of your answers.

A strength of lawyer(POA) is your authorized representative. This is somebody that you just authorize to act in your behalf in case you are unable to. Should you be out of the country, incapacitated or in some way otherwise unable to speak for yourself, the POA can do it for you personally. The POA has the legal right to signal your name.

This means they'll also have the legal correct to signal you up to contracts, loans and additional. The POA ought to also be someone that you just trust and is normally a spouse. You'll find different kinds of POA's but they all work to delegate ability to an individual else.

The person you opt for as your POA can make lawful, financial and property decisions on your behalf.

You'll be able to choose to have your POA written up giving the man or woman full authority or giving them limited authority. You would like to look at your needs in having a POA and who the particular person will probably be to assist you determine what sort of POA will be finest for you.

You'll find three basic varieties of strength of lawyer; "Nondurable," "Durable," and "Springing" Electrical power of Attorney. The nondurable will start instantly and will likely be in affect until you revoke it or you die or turn out to be incapacitated. The springing POA is going to be in place to start inside the event that that you are mentally ill or physically unable to speak or act on your behalf.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Getting a Loan Modification - Legal Strategy From a Massachusetts Lawyer

I have developed a loan modification and foreclosure defense method for Massachusetts homeowners that: (1) increases their chances of a successful workout agreement; (2) gets their cases prioritized and handled by the mortgage company lawyers, rather than a call-center operator with no authority; and (3) protects my clients' credit.

When I receive a call from a potential client looking for help with a loan modification or stopping a foreclosure, the most important question they ask me is "What are you going to do for me?" They want to know whether they're going to get results. My typical client is someone who has worked hard all their life and doesn't want to waste legal fees on some lawyer who's just going to do the bare minimum. Another question they have is "What makes using a lawyer different than using one of those 'loan modification companies'?" The difference is simple.

There are only two types of people who are allowed to legally represent you: you yourself, and a lawyer licensed in your state. This means that if you want your rights, your family, and your home protected, you either need to represent yourself or get a lawyer. And chances are that it will cost about the same dollar amount whether you use a loan modification company or a licensed attorney.

What does the average loan modification company do? Not much. They ask you to fill out a financial questionnaire, collect documents that show your income and expenses, such as your tax returns, pay stubs, and utility bills. Then they ask you to give them those documents. Then they submit those documents to the mortgage company. That's all they do! They collect your documents and submit them -- something you could easily do yourself -- and charge you thousands of dollars to do it.

No wonder the loan modification industry was recently called a "scam" by one of the most prominent state attorneys general in the country.

The method for Massachusetts loan modifications and foreclosure defense. After spending considerable time researching federal and Massachusetts mortgage and consumer-protection law, I have come up with a six-step process for getting a loan modification. It's legal, it's effective, and it's relatively simple.

1. Send a RESPA "Qualified Written Request" to the mortgage company.

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act governs what your mortgage company (called a "loan servicer") must do if you have a dispute with them. But the first thing you need to do is see if there is anything that is legitimately worth disputing. There could be over-escrowing, allowing the loan servicer to hold on to your money without any good reason. There could be disputes over how much you owe for certain fees the servicer is charging you. There are myriad problems. No matter what the problem is, the method for dealing with them is the same: sending a "qualified written request."

A qualified written request is simply "a statement of the reasons for the belief of the borrower, to the extent applicable, that the account is in error or provides sufficient detail to the servicer regarding other information sought by the borrower." This means that you have to tell the servicer what they did wrong, and give them enough information to verify that that something was actually done wrong.

After you send the qualified written request, the mortgage company has approximately one month to send an acknowledgement letter to you (simply stating your request was received), and three months to resolve your issue. If they fail to do either of these in a timely manner, you can sue them for money damages.

And, perhaps most importantly, it protects your credit. While the qualified written request is pending, the mortgage company is absolutely prohibited from doing any negative credit reporting about your account. This means that if you stop making your mortgage payment during this time, they can't report it to the credit bureaus. This is immensely important, especially if you are trying to refinance or keep your credit score up.

2. Demand the mortgage-related documents and payoff information from your mortgage company.

Here in Massachusetts, we have a wealth of consumer-protection laws. Take advantage of them. Some of our fellow citizens in other states aren't quite so lucky, no matter what your opinion is of the lawmakers on Beacon Hill. For instance, if you send a demand for the payoff amount (the amount you would have to pay to pay off your entire loan today), the mortgage company is required to inform you of the amount within five business days. Further, if you send a demand to your mortgage servicer for a copy of all documents related to your account and all documents that have your signature on it, you must received a response within five days.

In the real world, most of these mortgage companies don't care enough to send you this important information within the time allowed. That means that, if they don't send you the information in time, you can sue them for statutory damages, as well as for attorney's fees (if you get an attorney).

3. Analyze your mortgage documents for legal claims.

Getting a mortgage is a complicated process, and there's a lot that can be done wrong during it. Even when you get the mortgage, there can be many reasons that the documents you signed at the closing are defective or could give you a claim against the mortgage company or its agents. It is a highly regulated process. For example, did you know that certain Truth in Lending Act violations actually allow you to rescind your mortgage and get back every single dollar in interest that you've paid to the mortgage company? Did you know that if you paid fees at the closing that are unfair and deceptive, you could have a lawsuit against your mortgage broker? Did you know that it's an illegal trade practice if your broker put you into your loan at a high interest rate, telling you that the mortgage is only temporary and that you can refinance in a few years? From the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act to the Truth in Lending Act, to the Massachusetts Consumer Credit Cost Disclosure Act to the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, there are many potential claims that you have against your mortgage company.

But what do all these claims give you? Leverage over the mortgage company. You can hold the threat of these claims over the mortgage company's head and use them to force the company to give you a loan modification.

4. Analyze the mortgage company's responses to 1 and 2.

In addition to the claims in the previous letter, you can also analyze the mortgage company's responses to the demands you sent mentioned in Paragraphs 1 and 2. If there are any issues that were ignored, responses that weren't given, or documents that weren't presented (or weren't presented within the time requirements), you have additional claims. Most times -- at least in my Massachusetts law practice -- the mortgage company doesn't respond in time. This gives you even more leverage on top of the other claims you found described in the previous section.

5. Send a demand letter under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.

This is usually the last step. Let me be clear -- the goal here isn't to go to court, it's to get you a loan modification. But you need to threaten the mortgage company with a lawsuit or else they won't pay attention.

Under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, M.G.L. Chapter 93A, there is a specific process that a consumer must go through in order before he or she can file a lawsuit under that act. The process is that a consumer must send a "demand letter" stating what the mortgage company did wrong, and requesting a dollar amount that will right the wrong. If the company doesn't send a response with a "reasonable" offer of settlement within 30 days, and you then file a lawsuit against them and win, the amount you win will be tripled by the court. This is a form of punitive damages that encourages companies to try to settle consumer disputes before they go to court.

What will probably happen is that you'll receive a call from someone at the mortgage company asking you to hold off on the lawsuit in exchange for a loan modification agreement. You'll get to work with someone higher up in the mortgage company hierarchy; someone with decision making authority who will realize the strengths of your position. At this point, you will of course need to submit information to the mortgage company documenting your income and expenses, and then you'll be done -- hopefully with lower payments and more money in the bank to take care of yourself and your family.

6. File a lawsuit to enforce your rights.

This is the last step, and one that you may not have to take. Your hope, if you are like most people, is that you will simply get a loan modification, resume making payments (although at a lower, more reasonable rate), and get on with your life. This process can be draining, and most people are glad to conclude it.

But if the mortgage company is being difficult, this is a guaranteed way to force them to deal with you, one-on-one. At this point, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is get an attorney. Keep meticulous records during the preceding process and present them to the attorney. The dollar amount of your claims will bring the mortgage company to the table.

Conclusion. By following the above steps, you have a much higher chance of getting the loan modification you're looking for. The mortgage company will be forced to deal with you, and you'll get the benefit of dealing with someone with the authority to give you what you want for your loan modification. Remember, these steps are specific to Massachusetts homeowners. Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: This article is made available by Culik Law P.C. and Attorney Josef Culik for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand and acknowledge that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.