Archive for November, 2012

Landlords Better Watch This Closely and Take Action Now!

Kentucky led the nation on new law making Landlords the “Legal Owner” of their Tenant(s) Dogs. Now Pennsylvania follows in a close second.

Protect Yourself Now – Brand New Animal Application Forms Package

Will Your State Be Next?

ATTENTION LANDLORDS! Do NOT act like an ostrich. If you have tenants or if you are expecting tenants, you MUST take action on this now to “NIP IT IN THE BUD” as old Barney Fife screams. This will be coming to your town and your insurance company soon.

What are Your Comments about this new law and this article?

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Pennsylvania attorney Thomas J. Newell, who specializes in personal injury claims, announced that his firm has just obtained a $508,613.84 settlement from a landlord’s insurance carrier after a tenant’s pit bulls attacked a young boy.

The landlord allowed the tenant to keep the dogs.

According to Newell, the dogs jumped a three and a half foot fence into a homeowner’s yard and mauled the boy. He sustained serious injuries which required 17 surgeries.

His mother was also injured when she tried to help her son fend off the dogs. The family’s bills exceeded $500,000.

The landlord’s insurance company filed lawsuits in both federal and state courts arguing that, due to language in the policy, it could deny financial responsibility for the attack. However, Newell says he was successful in fighting those claims, and the insurance company ultimately conceded, agreeing to pay the victims the liability policy limits.

In July, an appellate court in Kentucky overruled a lower court’s decision that a landlord was not liable for injuries when a tenant’s dog bit someone across the street from a rental property.  Now, landlords in Kentucky may be viewed as “statutory owners” of tenants’ dogs simply by approving a pet request.

Protect Yourself Now – Brand New Animal Application Forms Package

Conversely, a Wisconsin court decided in March, 2011 that a landlord could not be held liable when a tenant’s pit bull attacked a neighbor, enforcing a longstanding policy in the state that landlords are only liable if the animal belongs to the landlord or is specifically under their control.  Judges found that being in control of the rental property is not enough to show control over the dog.

A number of cities and counties across the country, including some in Pennsylvania, have considered breed-specific legislation banning pit bulls and other breeds thought to have vicious propensities. Those laws have come under heavy opposition by animal rights advocates who say the individual dog, not the breed, determines whether the animal is a risk.

Newell  says he has recently represented a number of dog attack victims throughout Pennsylvania

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Protect Yourself Now – Brand New Animal Application Forms Package

Now you have seen this happen in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Ohio and this new law WILL SPREAD across America. Think about it. If you owned an insurance company, would this be a money saver for insurance companies.

Take action now.

Share this article, Email and forward to fellow investors and REIA Groups!

What are your thoughts?

A Georgia woman who headed DocX pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud Tuesday afternoon in a case that ties back to the robo-signing scandal and the mishandling of thousands of mortgage documents.

The case ends at least one part of the massive foreclosure document-handling crisis that surfaced in Florida in the wake of the housing crisis.

U.S. prosecutors say Lorraine Brown agreed to plead guilty in a scheme that involved the hiring of dozens of workers to sign and fraudulently notarize thousands of mortgage-related documents even though employees signing the forms were not authorized to do so.

The allegations in court records suggest Brown was hired by mortgage servicers to handle loan documents. When servicers used Brown’s services, she allegedly promised the availability of authorized signers to handle and authorize documents for mailings and public filings.

Prosecutors claim Brown reneged on those promises and began allowing in 2005 the forging and falsification of signatures on official documents tied to mortgages and foreclosure filings.  

A court filing by prosecutors says, “Unbeknownst to DocX clients, the authorized signers were instructed by Brown and other DocX employees to allow other, unauthorized DocX employees to sign, and to have the document notarized as if the actual authorized signer had executed the document.”

Brown pleaded guilty to one federal charge of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District in Florida Tuesday. The offense comes with a possible 5-year prison sentence and up to $250,000 in fines.

Lorraine Brown’s path to federal court began during the massive demand for the moving of thousands of loan documents during the national foreclosure crisis. But Brown’s firm had been around in some formation for nearly two decades.

Brown is a Georgia resident who founded DocX in the 1990s in Ohio Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

When the landlords of a Georgia rental house found drugs inside, they did what most landlords would do — they called the authorities.  Now, the landlords say they will be forever hesitant to take that step.

According to a news report, the couple had stopped by the property, with their child in tow, to secure it after their tenants had been busted for drugs during a traffic stop.

Earlier in the month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security had arrested the three tenants when drugs were discovered in their vehicle.

The landlords were asked to provide federal agents with information from the rental applications. According to the report, the landlords say that federal officials had released the house back to them to secure and restore.

But when the couple went into the property, they discovered bags of drugs still hidden inside a hole in one of the walls. The next thing they knew, they were in jail.
 
 When the landlords discovered the hidden cache, they called the same ICE agent they had been working with.  That agent, according to one landlord’s statement, told them to call 911 to dispatch local police to retrieve the drugs. The landlords then waited outside.  Their child remained in the car.

Local police arrived first, and then appeared disgruntled that the ICE agent was involved, according to the landlords.  They say that once the ICE agent left the scene, local police separated the couple and began to interrogate them.

Detectives accused the couple of complicity and tampering with evidence.  Both were arrested at the house,  while the panicked child was left behind with a bystander who promised to contact relatives.

The landlords remained in jail for two days before being arraigned, and are now out on bond, facing the state tampering charges, according to the report.

Both federal and state authorities have denied responsibility, according to the report.  Federal officials say the couple was not arrested under federal law; state officials said the case is being investigated by federal authorities.

The couple says their cellphone contains a message from the federal agent apologizing for the confusion, according to the report.

 

On October 21, USA TODAY published an article entitled Investment Firms Look to Single-family Rentals.  With the number of vacant, foreclosed properties on the market, investors are striking bulk deals and renting out the homes which might otherwise remain vacant and appealing to criminals.

Investment firms look to single-family rentals

As homeownership rates continue to fall, a new type of single-family home buyer has emerged: large corporate investors.

With house values still depressed in many areas, investment funds and real estate trusts have been scooping up thousands of foreclosures across the U.S. in the hopes of managing houses the same way large real estate funds hold apartment complexes and office buildings.

That trend has accelerated recently as Fannie Mae announced its first two bulk sales of foreclosed homes to investment companies, selling 94 Chicago properties and 699 in Florida to firms that have pledged to rent them for at least three years. The federal mortgage-finance giant expects to sell nearly 2,000 units, the majority of them single-family homes, to stabilize cities hit hard by the housing crisis and to lighten its portfolio of foreclosed houses, which in June numbered about 109,000. Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

Tuesday is THE DAY!

Make sure you VOTE and make your vote count.

You have no room to squawk or complain about anything if you do  not vote.

Good luck to my little brother Denny who is running for 38th District State Representative!  Go Denny!