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Monday, October 31, 2011

5 More Reasons to Change Your Will

 5 More Reasons to Change Your Will



  1. You no longer own certain items specified in your will. (If you thought you were going to make Junior happy by passing your ’65 Mustang onto him but then had to sell it when your Enron stock went bad, Junior may be left empty handed.)

  2. The beneficiaries of your will have had significant life changes. (If Niece Belinda has quit the symphony orchestra for good and moved to Amsterdam, do you really want to give her the Stradivarius, knowing she may just parlay it into some top grade Dutch hash?)

  3. Your financial situation has changed. (Given that your Enron stock didn’t work out so well and you’re now living hand-to-mouth, does that third cousin on your mother’s side really need something, or do you want to focus what you have left on your kids?)

  4. You aren’t the same person you used to be. (I don’t mean this in a Chastity / Chaz Bono kind of way – at least not for most of you. I mean that, over time, your own values and decisions about what you want to do with your belongings may have changed.)

  5. Elvis has left the building. (The reality is that we sometimes outlive those whom we thought would outlive us. If one of the potential beneficiaries has passed on, you may want to update your will.)


 McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC provides will services in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Ohio: http://mcgrathspielberger.com/areas-of-practice/wills.


 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Women Don't Like Working for Female Partners?

Women Don’t Like Working for Female Partners?


 


A female law professor in Chicago surveyed 142 legal secretaries (almost all of them women) at larger law firms and asked them if they preferred working for male partners, female partners, male associates, or female associates. Not a single one preferred working for a female partner. Not one!


Disclaimer: ladies, please don’t shoot the messenger here – I am only reporting what this survey found!


Most of the legal secretaries polled in this 2009 online survey were middle aged and had significant professional experience. Some of the reasons they gave for not wanting to work for female partners:



  • Female partners are passive / aggressive.

  • Female partners make it emotional / personal but males don’t.

  • Female partners are less flexible.

  • Female partners may tend to be demeaning.

  • They are “such a pain in the ass!”

  • They are either too mean or too nice/too emotional and can’t handle the stress. “Either way, their attitude/lack of maturity somehow involves you being a punching bag.”*


*A female attorney once told me “You have to be a bitch; if you’re nice, they walk all over you.”


As time goes by, it has become more generally recognized that women in higher level, demanding positions can face more challenges than their male counterparts for many reasons, often involving societal expectations and the challenge of establishing an acceptable work / life / family balance.


The medium sized firm I was previously a partner in had one of the best diversity rates in the state; we had an almost equal number of male and female partners. Legal support staff members seemed to prefer working for the male partners, and I did hear comments similar to the ones reported by this survey.


 McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC provides legal services in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We are happy to work with clients of all genders.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CAN MY CREDIT CARD COMPANY STILL SUE ME?

Can My Credit Card Company Still Sue Me?:  A Summary of the Statutes of Limitations for Credit Card Debt


In today’s struggling economy incurring debt seems to be inevitable. In particular, consumer credit card debt is at an all-time high and is severely impacting the financial and emotional lives of millions of Americans. Credit card companies often attempt to charge exorbitant interest rates, make harassing collection calls and, quite often, file collection lawsuits to gain judgments against consumers who are ill-equipped to defend themselves. But often times, unknown to the consumers, a viable defense to such lawsuits exists – expiration of the statute of limitations.


In short, a statute of limitations is a period of time within which a lawsuit or claim must be filed before it can be dismissed as not being timely. There are statutes of limitations of various timeframes for many different areas of the law (e.g., filing a personal injury lawsuit, collecting on a judgment, etc.) which begin to “run” at various times (e.g., time of the injury, date of the judgment, etc.). The statutes of limitations applicable to the filing of lawsuits based on nonpayment of credit card debt vary in length by state and generally begin to run from the date of the first missed payment. However, please keep in mind that there are a number of events which can re-start the statute of limitations time period.


The following is a summary of the statutes of limitations that may apply to credit card debt collection lawsuits in the Southeastern Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. However, this summary is provided merely as a starting point for consumers - there are many factors which can affect the applicability or relevance of a particular statute of limitations and many of such factors are beyond the scope of this article. Consumers should consult with an experienced debt negotiation attorney before proceeding to raise these time-barring defense tools against credit card companies.


North Carolina



  • The statute of limitations for credit card debts is generally three (3) years

  • The statute of limitations for promissory notes is generally five (5) years


South Carolina



  • The statute of limitations for credit card debts is generally three (3) years

  • The statute of limitations for promissory notes is generally three (3) years


Georgia



  • The statute of limitations for credit card debts is generally four (4) years

  • The statute of limitations for promissory notes is generally six (6) years


Florida



  • The statute of limitations for credit card debts is generally five (5) years

  • The statute of limitations for promissory notes is generally five (5) years


 McGrath & Spielberger helps consumers by providing viable, personalized solutions to their debt problems.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top 5 Reasons to Change Your Will

Top 5 Reasons to Change Your Will 


 



  1. You don’t have a will. (So having one would be a change!)

  2. Your marital status has changed. (Do you really still want your ex getting all your stuff?)

  3. You have moved to a new state. (It’s possible that not every part of your New York will would be enforceable once you get old & cranky, move to Florida, start playing golf 5 times a week and eat dinner at 4:30 p.m.)

  4. Your family has grown. (I’m mainly referring to having a child, not the 25 pounds you may have packed on.)

  5. You don’t like your family any longer. (Unfortunately, ill will – pun intended - within families is one of the primary motivators for will changes.)


McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC provides will services in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Ohio: www.McGrathSpielberger.com.


 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rating Wells Fargo Bank's Mortgage Loan Modification Performance

Rating Wells Fargo Bank's Mortgage Loan Modification Performance


 Wells Fargo Bank's performance in assisting distressed homeowners was ranked as average among large mortgage loan servicers, according to the Federal Government's most recent report. The Making Homes Affordable ("MHA") Final Report for the second quarter of 2011 states that Wells's performance is in need of "moderate" improvement. Let's take a closer look at how Wells performed in five (5) key categories, with all the information below based on conclusions by the Federal Government.


1.  Did Wells effectively follow guidelines for identifying and contacting homeowners who may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP")?  No. Wells did not meet the required standards, with moderate improvement needed.


2.  Did Wells effectively follow guidelines for evaluating and assisting homeowners?  Yes. Wells met the required standards. However, minor improvement may be indicated.


3.  Did Wells effectively follow guidelines for general program management, program data reporting, and program compliance?  Yes. Wells met the required standards. However, minor improvement may be indicated.


4.  How often did Wells make errors greater than 5% in calculating the homeowner applicant's income (a crucial factor in determining eligibility for a HAMP mortgage loan modification)?  This occurred 4.4% of the time, with moderate improvement needed.


5.  How often did the Federal Government disagree with Wells as to whether a homeowner was eligible for a permanent HAMP mortgage loan modification?  The Government disagreed with Wells on this issue only 0.4% of the time and concluded that Wells was performing adequately by this measurement. Additionally, 1.3% of the time, the Government was unable to determine whether Wells made the correct determination on a homeowner’s eligibility.


Conclusion: President Obama's administration has concluded that Wells requires moderate improvement in its performance as a mortgage loan servicer participating in HAMP, and that the Federal Government will not withhold incentives until improvement is shown.


McGrath & Spielberger provides legal services in an attempt to assist borrowers seeking mortgage loan modifications or other mortgage - related relief.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rating Citi's Mortgage Loan Modification Performance

 


Rating Citi's Mortgage Loan Modification Performance


 For a 2 minute video of this blog, please click here: Citi Mortgage's HAMP Performance.


 CitiMortgage's performance in assisting distressed homeowners was ranked as average among large mortgage loan servicers, according to the Federal Government's most recent report. The Making Homes Affordable ("MHA") Final Report for the second quarter of 2011 states that Citi's performance is in need of "moderate" improvement. Let's take a closer look at how Citi performed in five (5) key categories, with all the information below based on conclusions by the Federal Government.


1.  Did Citi effectively follow guidelines for identifying and contacting homeowners who may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP")?  No. Citi did not meet the required standards, with moderate improvement needed.


2.  Did Citi effectively follow guidelines for evaluating and assisting homeowners?  Yes. Citi met the required standards. However, minor improvement may be indicated.


3.  Did Citi effectively follow guidelines for general program management, program data reporting, and program compliance?  No. Citi did not meet the required standards, with substantial improvement needed.


4.  How often did Citi make errors greater than 5% in calculating the homeowner applicant's income (a crucial factor in determining eligibility for a HAMP mortgage loan modification)?  This occurred 12.0% of the time, placing Citi into the worst category, with substantial improvement needed.


5.  How often did the Federal Government disagree with Citi as to whether a homeowner was eligible for a permanent HAMP mortgage loan modification?  The Government disagreed with Citi on this issue only 0.5% of the time and concluded that Citi was performing adequately by this measurement. Additionally, 5.5% of the time, the Government was unable to determine whether Citi made the correct determination on a homeowner’s eligibility.


Conclusion: President Obama's administration has concluded that Citi requires moderate improvement in its performance as a mortgage loan servicer participating in HAMP, and that the Federal Government will not withhold incentives until improvement is shown.


McGrath & Spielberger provides legal services in an attempt to assist borrowers seeking mortgage loan modifications or other mortgage - related relief.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rating Bank of America's Mortgage Loan Modification Performance

Rating Bank of America's Performance
Under the Federal Goverment's Mortgage
Loan Modification Program (HAMP)


Click here to watch a 2 minute video summary: Bank of America's HAMP Performance


Bank of America's performance in assisting distressed homeowners was ranked as one of the worst among large mortgage loan servicers, according to the Federal Government's most recent report. The Making Homes Affordable ("MHA") Final Report for the second quarter of 2011 states that BOA's performance is in need of "substantial" improvement. Let's take a closer look at how BOA performed in five (5) key categories, with all the information below based on conclusions by the Federal Government.


1. Did BOA effectively follow guidelines for identifying and contacting homeowners who may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP")? No. BOA did not meet the required standards, with moderate improvement needed.


2. Did BOA effectively follow guidelines for evaluating and assisting homeowners? No. BOA did not meet the required standards, with moderate improvement needed.


3. Did BOA effectively follow guidelines for general program management, program data reporting, and program compliance? No. BOA did not meet the required standards, with moderate improvement needed.


4. How often did BOA make errors greater than 5% in calculating the homeowner applicant's income (a crucial factor in determining eligibility for a HAMP mortgage loan modification)? This occurred 13.2% of the time, placing BOA into the worst category, with substantial improvement needed.


5. How often did the Federal Government disagree with BOA as to whether a homeowner was eligible for a permanent HAMP mortgage loan modification? The Government disagreed with BOA on this issue only 0.8% of the time and concluded that BOA was performing adequately by this measurement. Additionally, 8.2% of the time, the Government was unable to determine whether BOA made the correct determination on a homeowner’s eligibility.


Conclusion: President Obama's administration has concluded that BOA requires substantial improvement in its performance as a mortgage loan servicer participating in HAMP, and that the Federal Government will withhold incentives until improvement is shown. (We wonder if BOA would be discussing the monthly debit card fee if they were going to receive the financial incentives.)


McGrath & Spielberger provides legal services in an attempt to assist borrowers seeking mortgage loan modifications or other mortgage - related relief.