Real Estate Litigation: Wrongful Foreclosure

Wrongful foreclosure is a civil action that is based on claims of foreclosure fraud. There are different aspects through which fraud may be committed during a foreclosure process and these include: predatory foreclosure mediators, botched documents or unscrupulous lenders. The most common cases of wrongful foreclosure, though, are forged signatures, altered documents and fraudulent eviction of homeowners by lenders, lawyers or consultants.

From 2009 and 2010 alone, 11 top financing institutions foreclosed about 1.2 million properties, causing the same number of homeowners to lose their homes. The move, though, was clearly seen as illegal as many of the homeowners: had just acquired bank approval either for the restructuring of their payment scheme or for a temporary delay in the payment of their mortgage; were not even late in their mortgage payment; or, their property was under the protection of federal laws.

The court proceedings that heard majority of the foreclosures during the housing crisis in the US revealed that these were not even the due to homeowners’ fault, who were thought to be defaulting in their loan payments. Rather, the foreclosures were due either to mistakes committed by banks or to practices (that are now held illegal) that highly and only favored banks and lenders.

While losing one’s home due to legitimate foreclosure can cause a homeowner a lot pain, a wrongful foreclosure, however, which is done through deception, can be subjected to a civil case wherein the affected homeowner may even be allowed to file for civil and punitive damages. Whereas the cause of the foreclosure is default in payment, banks or creditors cannot simply foreclose on it as the law offers property owners various means which will help them retain their property.

On its website, the law firm Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., says that homeowners have the right to seek the aid and protection of the law in protecting their properties from the wrongful action of profiteers, erring banks, and other lenders.

Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that as of February 2015, there are 15,700 nursing home facilities in the US. Nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities, are places for people who can no longer be given the necessary care at home, but who don’t really need to be in a hospital. These people may be: elders, usually 65 years old; individuals who, because of their illness (such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s), require extra care and assistance; and, those needing rehabilitation therapies. According CDC record also, the present number of residents in nursing homes total to 1.4 million.

Due to the frequency of nursing home abuses (as reported over the news), many families are rather opting for assisted living, visiting home health services or caregiving (which will allow older adults to stay at home), especially if the need is custodial care rather than skilled medical attention.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, the most common forms of abuse nursing home residents are made to suffer include physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse and, the most degrading and wicked of all, sexual abuse. This last type of abusive conduct is committed in various ways, including showing of pornographic materials, forced nudity, fondling, forcing another resident to kiss or touch the victim and, worst of all, forced penetrative acts.

Despite the gravity of the offense, sexual abuse turns out to be the least reported type of abuse due to the humiliation that the victim feels. And, rather than reveal the abuses that he/she is being made to suffer, the victim rather becomes withdrawn, silent, sensitive to touch, evasive of eye contact and low-esteemed. Often sexually abused victims also sustain laceration or other wounds which he/she would refuse to explain the cause of.

According to the website of the Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, these wounds can be a basis for a personal injury lawsuit. Any type of abuse in nursing homes, especially sexual abuse, should be addressed directly and immediately to save the victim from further harm, or any other resident from becoming the next target of abuse.

Pre-employment Capacity Testing

Posting a job vacancy ad and then going thru a stack of application forms and resumes in order to find someone whose credentials match the job requirements can be a lot of work, especially for a big firm. For smaller businesses, though, this task can be crucial as being able to land the right candidate in the job can be another step towards business growth.

Where hiring new employees is the issue, big and growing companies know how critical this is to company growth and in the creation of a healthy working environment. Thus, while there are businesses that still struggle in finding the right person for a certain job position (and later on regret having hired someone not really up to the tasks), many others just seem to be able to always hire people with the right knowledge, skills and personality that the job actually demands. According to the website of WorkSTEPS, this is why companies that entrust hiring concerns to functional employment testing firms.

The task of functional employment testing is to address and find solutions to an essential employer need, which is the creation of an objective, scientific, legally compliant, and medically safe way of matching an applicant’s specific strengths and skills (or functional capabilities) with the essential functions required of a certain job.

The many benefits that companies have enjoyed after using functional employment evaluations include: reduction in workers’ compensation claims; decreased employee turnover; increase in worker productivity; creation of safer work environment; reduced lost time and diminished incidences of fraud and abuse; smaller modifier rates and workers’ compensation premiums; and, reduced costs of group health insurance package.

All the stated benefits are quite easily achieved because an applicant’s skills, work behavior and fitness are sufficiently assessed through pre-employment screening in order to determine whether he/she is apt for the specific position he/she is applying for. This is especially important if the job applied for is more physical than intellectual in nature.

Other than pre-employment screening, companies also offer post-offer pre-employment testing, and post-employment testing, which includes functional capacity evaluations, sincerity-of-effort testing and fit-for-duty testing.

Strokes

A stroke, also known as brain attack or Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), is a life-threatening occurrence that can either paralyze or kill a person instantly. It is usually the result of a blood clot in blood vessels which causes an interruption in the flow of blood to any area of the brain. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and, though, it can affect anyone at any age, those 65 years old and above are the ones most susceptible to it.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), from 2001 to 2011, at least 795,000 people suffered a stroke; about 185,000 are recurrent stroke events, while 610,000 are first occurrences. Though a stroke may occur unexpectedly, it does have symptoms but, which, unfortunately, are not easily identified (as signs of an imminent stroke) even by doctors due to these symptoms’ similarities with other types of illnesses. The list of stroke symptoms include: numbness in the face, arm, and/or leg, especially if this occurs on only one side of the body; sudden trouble speaking, difficulty understanding speech or confusion; sudden dizziness, lack of coordination, loss of balance, and/or trouble walking; and, sudden trouble seeing (in one or both eyes).

The effects of a stroke depends actually on the area of the brain affected (the specific area where obstruction of blood flow occurs) and the extent of the affected brain tissues. If a stroke, for instance, were to affect the back of the brain, one highly probable result is disability in vision. If the affected area, however, is at one side of the brain, then neurological complications will be on the side of the body affected (which is the opposite side since one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body). This means that, if the right side of the brain were affected, then some of the effects may be memory loss, vision problems, and/or paralysis on the left side of the body. By affecting the left brain, however, it will mean paralysis on the right side of the body, plus speech or language problems and memory loss.

A major stroke is usually preceded by a Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA, which medical professionals commonly call a “warning or mini stroke.” TIA typically lasts for about 20 minutes; the flow of blood resumes after this.

For the effective treatment of stroke patients, as well as to help them recover fully, the American Stroke Association, the American Heart Association and the US Food and Drug Administration recommend that they be treated with a tissue plasminogen activator or tPA, a clot busting drug, within three hours of the start of stroke symptoms.

The website of Massachusetts lawyers Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, says that “stroke is a common and potentially life-threatening occurrence for patients of all ages.”

Reality, though, is proof that many doctors continue to err in providing appropriate medical treatment to potential stroke victims. By not fully examining these victims’ condition, not requiring them to undergo tests or by wrongly interpreting results of medical tests, doctors can be held liable for any harm any victim unnecessarily undergoes. When a doctor’s mistakes increase a stroke victim’s suffering, a Houston personal injury lawyer may be able to help the hurt person recover compensation for their medical expenses.

Rollover Accidents Involving Trucks

One of the deadliest accidents a motor vehicle can be involved in is a rollover, wherein a vehicle overturns or tips over onto its roof or side. A rollover accident can happen on any vehicle, depending on certain factors or conditions; however, due to the center of their gravity being higher from the ground,
compared to regular cars SUVs, minivans, pickups, and trucks, are much more susceptible to this type of accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents total to more than 280,000 every year, claiming at least 10,000 lives. But while the accident more frequently involves SUVs, the much more serious results (such as severe bodily injuries, death and major damage to properties) get registered if the vehicles involved are trucks.

Aside from the strict federal requirements on knowledge and skills on how to operate a truck safely, drivers are also required to pass certain tests before getting to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also distributes printed publications on how drivers can prevent getting involved in accidents, especially rollovers. All these measures for safety are implemented by the both state and federal governments to help ensure that trucks never become threats to other motorists with whom they share the road.

Sadly, though, the yearly reported number of trucks rolling over is still high – at 239. There are various factors and situations that contribute to a truck rollover accident, but the three major contributors that have been identified are speed, poor control and inattention. FMCSA’s more extensive study about these three showed the specifics that greatly affect each of the contributors:

  • Speed: the load carried by the truck, road surface, condition of the brakes, intersection conditions and ability of the driver to adjust truck speed during road curves
  • Steering or Poor Control: failure to steer enough to maintain lane, over-steering that results to having to counter-steer in order to remain on the road, and over-steering which results to rolling over
  • Inattention: feeling drowsy, falling asleep, and driving distractions – all resulting to inability to react fast enough in emergency situations

According to the website of the Ausband & Dumont Law Firm, a truck’s load also greatly affects its overall stability, especially if its weight is unevenly distributed. This (load) and the contributors only show that, despite the demanding requirements for acquiring a CDL, many truck drivers are yet to learn how to actually handle situations that can lead to a rollover – lessons that many drivers do learn but only after having the misfortune of experiencing the accident first hand.

The trucking industry has a significant positive effect on the nation’s economy. However, being on the road, trucks pose risks of serious injuries to drivers of smaller vehicles in case of an accident. This is why their insurance providers have to be ready for just about anything. The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® has more information about how these sorts of things ultimately end up working out.