The Governor has wisely ordered that any Oregonian's CARES check be free from garnishments by creditors (except for restitution garnishments for criminal justice debts) during the COVID-19 emergency. The top picture is the key provision. If you want the full text and all the details and definitions, the full order is shown below that and you can download it by clicking on the down-facing arrow.
Kudos to Gov. Brown for acting to help Oregon families survive this crisis in this critical period.
Outstanding FREE Online Resource "SURVIVING DEBT" to read if you are struggling financially due to COVID-19 (or for any other reason)
The heroes at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC.org) have made their comprehensive 50th Anniversary guide for debtors called “Surviving Debt” available at no charge for ANYONE.
This is an outstanding resource for ordinary folks who don’t want to try to read law books or statutes etc. It’s in clear, plain English. I have given away more than two dozen copies to friends and clients and it’s usually the first book I reach for when someone has a question about how to manage their debts of ANY kind.
While you isolate in place, if you are worried at all about your finances, take the time to read the first 10 short chapters and then the chapters for your type of debts. So you don't have to read it all -- just the first couple chapters and then the chapters that pertain to your type of problem.
(And if you yourself are able to make a contribution to NCLC, they would welcome it and put it to good use.)
Find it here: https://library.nclc.org/SD
OREGON & COVID 19: insurance firms must extend premium & claim deadlines; and State offers help desk you can call with questions
State issues grace period order for insurance deadlines
If any business seller tries to make you sign something where you agree not to post a negative review, make sure you get a copy of the agreement (then call me)
REMEMBER: Federal law prevents businesses from sticking fine print into their contracts that prohibits you from writing or posting a negative review of the business! (The Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”) became law in March 2017.)
The Federal Trade Commission recently slapped three companies who had form contracts that said the consumers could not post negative reviews about the products or services from the businesses. Worse, these form contract also had confidentiality clauses -- those said that the consumers would PAY money damages to the businesses if the consumers disclosed information they got while using the products or services was confidential.
Reuters has a must-read story with implications for everyone in America:
"That evidence was clearly compelling: In a 2004 ruling, Judge Stephens rejected Purdue’s motion that he dismiss the case and sided with the state’s assertion that the material could convince a jury that Purdue’s sales pitch was full of dangerous lies.
But Stephens sealed the evidence on which he relied in that ruling. And when Purdue and the state reached a settlement that year, before the case went to trial, the evidence remained hidden, out of sight to regulators, doctors and patients. Over the next few years, as OxyContin sales and opioid-related deaths climbed, more than a dozen other judges overseeing similar lawsuits against Purdue took the same tack, keeping the company’s records secret."
Read the whole thing here: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-courts-secrecy-judges/
There are no “quick fixes” to clean up your credit
Mortgage Closing Scams: How to protect yourself and your closing funds
By Melissa Yu – JUN 03, 2019
Your Mortgage Closing Checklist
Closing is one of the most important stages of buying a house. Learn how to prepare and what to expect so you can close with confidence.
Closing on a new home can be one of your most memorable life moments. It’s the final and one of the most critical stages in the home-buying journey, but with the exchange of key paperwork and a sizable down payment, it can also be a stressful experience, especially for first-time homebuyers.
The FBI has reported that scammers are increasingly taking advantage of homebuyers during the closing process. Through a sophisticated phishing scam, they attempt to divert your closing costs and down payment into a fraudulent account by confirming or suggesting last-minute changes to your wiring instructions. In fact, reports of these attempts have risen 1,100 percent between 2015 and 2017, and in 2017 alone, there was an estimated loss of nearly $1 billion in real estate transaction costs.
While it’s easy to think you may not fall for this kind of scam, these schemes are complex and often appear as legitimate conversations with your real estate or settlement agent. The ultimate cost to victims could be the loss of their life savings.
Here’s what you should know and how to avoid it happening to you.
How it works
Scammers are increasingly targeting real estate professionals, seeking to comprise their email in order to monitor email correspondences with clients and identify upcoming real estate transactions. During the closing process, scammers send spoofed emails to homebuyers – posing as the real estate agent, settlement agent, legal representative or another trusted individuals – with false instructions for wiring closing funds.
How to avoid a mortgage phishing scam
What to do if it happens to you
While it can be easy to think you’ll never fall for a scam of this nature, the reality is that it’s becoming more and more common, and the results can be disastrous for eager homeowners. By being mindful and taking a few important steps ahead of your closing, you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
To learn more about the closing process, including how to prepare for your closing and common pitfalls to avoid, check out our Mortgage Closing Checklist. For information and resources for the each stage of the home-buying journey, visit the Bureau’s Buying a House tool.
The resources on mortgage closing scams are part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s work to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices. We arm people with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions.
If you buy shoddy goods from Dealer D who then sells your financing contract to Lender L, there's a special rule to help you fight L and win
Certain kinds of goods -- such as appliances, cars, RVs, motorcycles, vacuums, etc. etc. -- tend to be problems. They are hard for consumers to evaluate objectively, and are often sold with high-pressure tactics by unscrupulous dealers who have a lot of experience confusing the buyers and preventing the buyers from getting help in evaluating the worth of the goods on offer.
One of the tricks shady dealers (call them D's) of these kinds of goods use is "selling the paper" immediately after the dealer makes the financed sale (immediately as in "before the ink dries"). By selling the paper, the dealer gets paid immediately and the supposedly innocent lender (call this lender L) acts as if all the shady techniques the seller used are irrelevant to the buyer's obligation to pay on the contract -- even for goods that were totally not as represented and that fell apart as soon as you got them home. Over the years, many consumers have been duped into thinking that even though the dealer ripped them off horribly, they're still stuck on the loan, because the Lender L didn't participate in the fraudulent sale.
Because of this ancient game by shady dealers and shady lenders, something called the "Holder Rule" emerged. That name comes from a key phrase in consumer law:
"The holder (of the loan) takes the loan subject to all the claims and defenses the buyer would have been able to bring against the seller."
But if that's too much legalese, you can simply think of the Holder Rule as the
"Keeping the Holder of Your Loan from Weaseling Off the Hook When You Got Scammed Rule."
Under this special rule, when you find out you got scammed on goods you borrowed money to buy, you can usually raise the same claims against the Lender (L) that you could have brought against the Dealer (D) -- even though, in theory, Lender L was (supposedly) totally not involved in the shady sale of the goods and didn't make the misrepresentations about the goods.
(I say Lender L was supposedly not involved because shady dealers usually or sometimes only send customers who need loans to buy their goods to certain preferred finance companies. Sometimes the lenders even pay kickbacks or "referral fees" to the dealers or the same person owns both. Such "preferred" lenders are well aware of how often the dealer's shoddy goods fall apart or are total rip-offs, but the lender likes to pretend to be completely innocent about what a ripoff the dealer is; these lenders turn a blind eye and pretend that the shady dealer is a reputable seller, and they certainly aren't going to tell you about the holder rule, which lets you bring up the sins of the dealer when you are explaining why you stopped paying the Lender.)
FTC Completes Review of Holder Rule
Crowdfunding is great as long as everyone's honest.
The problem is that, with the internet,
EVERY CRIMINAL IN THE WORLD IS JUST ONE CLICK AWAY FROM YOU.
In other words, crowdfunding makes it impossible for you to do the normal kind of verification you would do if you met someone in your own town who pitched a new idea and investment at you. Every smooth talking scammer who can buy or hijack a website can appear to be 100% legit, thanks to the magic of the Interwebs.
You should think of crowdfunding as a form of gambling and, as with any gambling opportunity, don't invest money you can't afford to lose.
Avoid crowdfunding scams
John Gear Law Office -
LAWYERLY FINE PRINT:
John Gear Law Office LLC and Salem Consumer Law. John Gear Law Office is in Suite 208B of the Security Building in downtown Salem at 161 High St. SE, across from the Elsinore Theater, a half-block south of Marion County Courthouse, just south of State Street. There is abundant, free 3-hour on-street parking throughout downtown Salem, and three multi-story parking ramps that offer free customer parking in downtown Salem too.
Our attorneys are only licensed to practice law in Oregon. This site may be considered advertising under Oregon State Bar rules. There is no legal advice on this site so you should not interpret anything you read here as intended for your particular situation. Besides, we are not representing you and we are not your attorneys unless you have hired us by entering into a representation agreement with me. While we do want you to consider us when you seek an attorney, you should not hire any attorney based on brochures, websites, advertising, or other promotional materials. All original content on this site is Copyright John Gear, 2010-2020.