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Check back for the latest articles about the law and other fascinating stories.

By oldhamdei76735407, Sep 30 2016 04:06PM

Pit bulls often have a bad reputation. One pit bull, appropriately named Hero, has shown we should not to be so quick to judge. On July 22nd a man was assaulting a Georgia woman with a knife when seven-year-old Hero came to her rescue and separated the woman from her assailant. Unfortunately, Hero was stabbed several times and left for dead. When two responding officers saw him, they found an after hours vet and rushed him to a local animal hospital.

Carla Welch is the director of the pit bull rescue facility, Fighting for the Bullys. She heard about Hero on Facebook, and once she found out that he survived being stabbed five times she raised money to pay for his vet bill, which was discounted by the vet to reward Hero for his bravery. He lost almost all of his blood and died twice during surgery, but ended up surviving. Hero was placed for adoption, but until he found his forever home he recuperated with Carla in Knoxville at Fighting for the Bullys.

Hero spent most of his life on the street, but is believed to have once had a home due to the microchip found in him during the operation. Hero became available for adoption in early August, once his wounds had healed. Carla said that Hero is “very laid back, very sweet. He likes to talk to you. He’s going to make somebody a great companion. Hero will get his second chance. He will get a fantastic family, and he will finally get his happily ever after.”

About a month later Hero was adopted by the Simpson family. Of his adoption Carla said, “It’s very bittersweet today. We’re bonded already and I try not to, but with this boy you can’t help it. He’s very amazing. He has taken everything in stride. He’s healthy and awesome now. He loves everybody. He’s just a great boy.”

Sarah Simpson already has two other dogs. “I’m really excited to give someone who’s never had a home, a home, and I say someone because dogs to me are more than just dogs,” she said. “They’re people. They’re your family.”

This has been a great adventure with him, something I will never forget, and we’re going to miss him,” Carla said.

You can visit the Fighting for the Bullys website here: http://www.fightingforthebullys.org/about.html

If you’re feeling bullied about a legal situation, call Oldham and Deitering at 937-898-7673.

By oldhamdei76735407, Sep 30 2016 04:05PM

Summer has come to a close and school has started back up. Many students entering college for the first time are going to take out loans in hopes of finding their dream job and will pay the loans back once they graduate. This is the first in a three-part series where we discuss student loans, what happens if you default on your loans, and how to avoid default.

Loans are great in allowing students the education they desire, but when it comes to paying the loans back it isn’t always as easy as we had hoped, especially when the large number appears.

Most loans that students receive are from the government, which means that it’s the government that is going to come looking for its money upon graduation, and it has more ways of getting its money than the lender of a private loan. The government can seize tax refunds, deny new student loans, garnish wages, take a portion of Social Security benefits, and even charge large collection fees.

Private loans are becoming very popular since higher education is becoming so expensive. It’s important to be cautious when pursuing one of these loans as there are no interest rate limits on private loans. These loans can be more expensive for borrowers with poor credit history.

There are options available to borrowers that are having trouble repaying their loans. It is up to you, the borrower, to pursue these options if you need them. The options available depend on the type of loan that you have. FFEL (Federal Family Education Loans) are guaranteed by the government but given out by banks and other financial institutions. A Direct Loan is given directly from the government with assistance from the schools. Both FFELs and Direct Loans can be any of the following:

- Stafford Loans Can be subsidized or unsubsidized. If it is subsidized, that means that they are given out based on financial need and there will be no interest charged until repayment begins. Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need, and charge interest from the moment the loan is dispersed until it is paid off. Repayment on Stafford loans usually begins six months after graduation.

-PLUS Loans Are loans taken out by parents to help their children pay for school. Repayment will begin as soon as the loan is fully disbursed. The government can deny a PLUS loan based on a poor credit history.

-Consolidation Loans Is a program which allows you to combine your loans into a new loan that, in theory, will have better terms.

In addition to FFELs and Direct Loans, there are also Perkins Loans, which are made directly from the school. These loans have a lower interest rate and are available only to borrowers with exceptional financial need.

Check out your next news letter when we discuss the ways to possibly cancel your loans altogether. If you need help with your loans contact the Department of Education either online or call. You can submit your problems online at www.fsahelp.ed.gov or call 877-557-2575.



By oldhamdei76735407, Sep 30 2016 04:03PM

A Great Britain judge has ruled that a surrogate mother gets to keep the baby she carried, despite having no biological ties.

The story that sounds like it could have happened in one of Britain's famous soap operas began two years ago in a Burger King. An unnamed gay couple looking to have a child via surrogate turned to Facebook where they found a group that will match couples with surrogates. In the 30-minute meeting the couple and woman (all unnamed to protect the child's identity) agreed that she would carry the baby using an anonymous egg from America and the sperm of one of the men. In exchange they would pay her the equivalent of $11,500. In Britain it is illegal to be paid for surrogacy, but the person or couple can pay for expenses the surrogate may encounter while pregnant.

The woman was originally pregnant with twins but miscarried one of them and soon planned to abort the other, so she told the men that she miscarried both of the babies. However, she had a change of heart and carried the second baby to term, then refused to turn the child over to the fathers (who only found out one of the babies was still alive just before his birth).

The baby was born in July of 2015 and the case has finally been settled over who gets to keep him. Ms. Justice Russell ruled that the woman suffers from learning difficulties that prevent her from being able to “consent freely or unconditionally” to entering into the private surrogate arrangement. A medical expert said that she had "created a fantasy" in which she imagined going on a "journey" with the baby and "creating some sort of alternative family".

Ms. Justice Russell also ruled that the couple were “manipulative and dishonest” in their dealings with the mother and “at the very least, potentially exploitative.” She said that the mother had "demonstrated commitment, willingness and ability" to give the little boy - who was born with medical problems - what he needed to thrive.

Under British law she is the child's legal mother unless she signs the rights over to the couple, which she has said will not happen. She told The Daily Mail “He is my little boy. I gave birth to him. I felt him kick for the first time. I’m the one now breastfeeding him. He’s happy and so loved. I’m absolutely terrified I’m going to lose him.”

According to the ruling, the biological father and his partner will be able to see the child once every eight weeks and will be financially responsible for his upbringing, along with his mother and her partner. The baby's birth certificate will be amended so that the child has his father's last name.

With no laws to enforce surrogacy contracts, Great Britain is notorious for problems of this nature.

By oldhamdei76735407, Sep 15 2016 01:56PM

"I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world, I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood." - Susan B. Anthony, 1896.

The latter part of the 19th century was a time of great change. American was in th midst of the industrial revolution, the suffrage effort was in full swing, the separation of labor between men and women was being redefined, and woman were dicovering the joy of bikes.

A relatively affordable and accessible peice of technology, bikes gave women the ability to leave the house more easily. According to Sue Macy, author of "Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom, “when women rode bicycles, they weren’t confined to the home. They were creating public personas, and back then, that was not the norm for women to have a public life. It was definitely a plus to be able to be in the world, to be more connected to life outside the home.”


One of the more controversial effects of women riding bikes was that they traded their skirts and petticoats for bloomers. Women would ride their bikes in City Hall Park in New York City, and wear bloomers while doing so. However, if they were still wearing bloomers when they left th park they would often times have rocks thrown at them. A woman wearing what were basically pants was scandalous in the late 1800's, so some women would bring a change of clothes so that they could make it home without being attacked.

Bicycles gave even more freedom to African-American women. During a time when some streetcars prohibited black women from ladies' cars, bicycles gave these women the ability to get where they needed to go, despite the racist rules that tried to hold them back.

Of course there were people that didn't think women should be riding bikes. Charlotte Smith fought hard for women's rights in the workplace. She created the first directory of women-owned businesses and had a habit of hitting men over the head with an umbrella whenever she saw one being disrespectful to a woman. However, she thought that women cyclists were going straight to hell and opening themselves up to physical and moral attacks by men. She even went so far as to start an organization to fight against women riding bikes.

It's been 120 years since Susan B. Anthony made her quote about women on bikes, and bicycles are still changing the lives of women. Women in the Middle East are getting on their bikes and finding a little bit of freedom and independence. Afghanistan’s National Women’s Cycling Team was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

One of the riders said that “People are watching us from behind our backs, it is horrifying” and another adds: “Some people believe women are meant only to stay at home, and all they can do is cook food and do housework. They say a bicycle can destroy a girl’s future. People say a lot of things. If we listened to them we would never leave our houses”.

Lorie Mertes, director of public programs at the National Museum of Women in the Arts said, “The bicycle is a designed object and it’s one that has changed so little in terms of its basic machinery and design over those 120 years — and yet its impact remains incredibly relevant and powerful today, especially for women.”



By oldhamdei76735407, Sep 15 2016 01:53PM

Has money gotten a little tight and you’re finding it hard to make your mortgage payments? If so, you need to contact your lender right away. Their contact information will be located on your statement. When you call, be prepared to explain why you are unable to make your payment, whether the problem is temporary or permanent, and details about your income and expenses. If contacting your lender makes you nervous, you can call a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agency to help you understand your options free of charge.

There are a couple of things you can do after contacting your lender to help you along the way. First, make sure you’re opening all of the mail that you receive from your lender. Not opening your mail isn’t an excuse for not being aware of what is going on with your loans. Correspondences from your lender will contain important information and maybe even important legal information. The next step is going to be to try to help your bank account. Is there anywhere you can save money? Can you cancel your cable or Netflix? Try eating out less often. Can you get a part-time job? Showing your lender that you’re serious about repaying your loan will only help you out in the long run.

Once you contact your lender they should inform you about all of the options available to you. While they may vary by lender, the following will give you an idea of what is available to you:

Special Forbearance Your lender may provide a temporary reduction or suspension of your payments to allow you time to work out the issue that has affected your income. They then may offer you a payment plan where you will pay back the missed payments a little at a time until you are caught up again. If you are actively seeking employment you could be offered an extended forbearance.

Mortgage Modification This option will permanently change your loan. The overdue payments may be added to your loan, the interest rate changed, and length of the loan extended.

Partial Claim With a partial claim, the borrower will receive a second loan in the amount necessary to bring the delinquency current. This second loan will be interest free and doesn’t need to be repaid until you pay the first mortgage or sell your house. This option is only available to borrowers with FHA-insured loans. If you don’t have this type of loan, ask your lender if they offer an “advance claim”.

Federal Housing Administration Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP) This option combines a partial claim with a loan modification. The partial claim loan will not only include the amount necessary to bring your mortgage current, but it may also include an amount to reduce your existing loan balance by up to 30%. The reduced balance will then be modified to lower your monthly mortgage payment to an affordable level. Again, the partial claim is interest free, but must be paid off when your pay off your mortgage or sell your house.

Sometimes your income or expenses have changed too drastically and even with the plans offered by your lender you still can’t afford your mortgage. Here are some options to consider if you can no longer keep your home.

Pre-foreclosure sale With the permission of your lender you can put your house for sale and offer it at a fair market value, even if that amount is less than the amount you owe. If you meet certain conditions, you may be eligible to receive relocation expenses.

Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure As a last resort, you may be able to voluntarily give your property back to the lender. If you leave the property clean and undamaged you may be eligible to receive relocation expenses.

Finally, be aware of anything that sounds too good to be true. Just because an organization contacts you with an official sounding name doesn’t mean they are official. If it sounds too good to be true it very likely is. Never sign any papers that you don’t fully understand. Check with a lawyer, your lender, or an HUD-approved housing counselor before entering into any deal involving a loan assumption, contract of sale or a transfer of the deed to your new home.

If you have any questions you can contact Oldham & Deitering at 937-898-7673, a HUD counselor at 1-800-569-4287, or FHA Resource Center at 1-800-225-5342

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