Saturday, February 24, 2018


Foreclosure is a legal process that results from a borrower defaulting on their mortgage payments. In this process, the lender attempts to get the rest of their money by selling the property set as collateral (usually a house).

Types of foreclosure

1. Judicial foreclosure
This involves selling of the mortgaged property and using the proceeds to pay the mortgage. This is all done under the supervision of a court and is usually initiated by the lender.

2. Non-judicial foreclosure

Non-judicial foreclosure is only applicable when there is a power of sale clause in the mortgage or deed of trust used. This makes it possible for the lender to sell the property once the borrower defaults without the supervision of any court.

3. Strict foreclosure

This type of foreclosure is rarer than the previously mentioned ones. It is only available in a few states and involves a court case. If the lender wins the court case, they are given the right to seize the collateral property without being obliged to sell it. It is usually applicable when the value of the debt is higher than that of the property.

The foreclosure process
Although the process of foreclosure varies from state to state, it usually starts when a borrower is unable to make their mortgage payments for a period of six to eight months. At this point, the lender has the right to file what is known as a Notice of Default at the county recorder’s office.

At this point, the borrower is granted a grace period known as pre-foreclosure. This gives them a period of about 30 to 120 days to clear their payments. Failure to do so leads to seizing of the collateral property and its auctioning.
Reasons why a borrower would opt to stop their mortgage payments

picture of a sign that says foreclosure

Apart from obvious financial difficulty, there are other reasons someone may default on their mortgage payments. For instance, the borrower may be tired of managing the property. Also, they may discover that the property’s value has decreased to a level that it is lower than that of the mortgage.

The right of redemption
In some states, it is possible to get back property that has been foreclosed. This is through what is known as the right of redemption. This involves paying the lender all that you owe them or paying the new owner of the property the price which they paid for it.

Another way of dealing with foreclosure is to issue a claim against the lender and sue for damages.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Employment Lawyers

These are lawyers that deal with cases involving workplace disputes. They can be hired by either an employer or an employee and are specialized in employment laws. They help employees that feel that they have been wrongfully terminated, mistreated, have been denied their wages or feel that their employment contract has been breached somehow.

They also help employees who are being coerced to sign agreements that they do not fully understand. In the case of employers, these lawyers represent them in cases where an employee files a suit against them involving wrongful termination, discrimination or harassment amongst other claims.

Employers who do not have a good grasp of their state employment laws could also benefit from this kind of lawyer. Apart from legal representation during actual court proceedings, these lawyers also represent employers during proceedings due to filing of claims or complaints.
It is advisable that employers should have employment lawyers that check the legality of their decisions such as employment classifications. Also having a lawyer look through any company contracts, agreements, policies and employee handbooks is highly advisable. This helps to avoid any potential risks, therefore, protecting the employer.

Advantages of hiring an employment lawyer
If you are an employee having a dispute with your employer or former employer, only an employment lawyer can help you. This is because you are not as informed about employment laws and stipulated time frames for the process of filing the complaint as the lawyer is.

Your lawyer will easily explain to you the rules and regulations in layman’s language. The lawyer will also save you from going through confrontational situations with your boss. Additionally, chances are that your employer or former employer will take you a whole lot more seriously once they discover that you have adequate representation.

In the case of employers, hiring an employment lawyer always ensures that all your contracts and agreements have your best interests in mind and it also protects you from potential future conflicts.

Finding an employment lawyer
The most common way to find an employment lawyer is through referrals either by friends or other lawyers, or by contacting The Rick Zimmer Law Firm! Checking out local bar associations is also a great way to find one. Once you find one, always make sure to find out how much the services cost and what kind of payment plan the lawyer offers in advance. adults at an employment hearing

The cost usually varies depending on where you live. The payment plan may be hourly, in monetary advance or on contingency. Payment on contingency refers to when the lawyer agrees that you pay him no money up front on the condition that you will pay him a certain percentage if you win the case.

This is usually common where the lawyer views a high chance of winning. Whatever the agreed upon payment plan, you’re bound to find the services invaluable.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Conflict of Interest

In the practice of law, a conflict of interest occurs in the event that a lawyer is at a risk of not acting in the best interest of his or her client due to personal issues or because their loyalties lie elsewhere.

Classic conflicts of interests include when a lawyer is hired by a client who is a major competitor to a client who already has the lawyer on retainer or when a lawyer is hired to sue the company where his wife works.

The examples are endless but the concept is the same. Loyalty is key. Every lawyer will at one point or another encounter conflicts of interest and must learn how to keep these conflicts from interfering with the successful running of the law firm.

How to avoid conflicts of interest
There are several ways to avoid landing in this situation. As a lawyer, you should always conduct extensive research on any potential client that approaches your firm. You should conduct a thorough background check to uncover any hidden links to present clients. You will need a reliable electronic database to do this.

It would also do you well to separate your professional and personal life. It is highly unadvisable to date anyone even remotely linked to your client or the case. Even just the appearance of a relationship is reasonable cause.

Clear and open dialogue is also a key way of finding out early and avoiding any future conflicts of interests. A law firm should also be clear on what type of clients they want so that they can stay clear on any clients that may be competition to their desired clientele.

Dealing with conflicts of interest
In some cases, a lawyer can still represent a client despite there being a conflict of interest. Most conflicts can be waived, but that will need the lawyer to acquire consent form the clients. It is, however, important to note that just because a conflict can be waived doesn’t make it a good idea to do so.

Getting consent from clients will require the lawyer to give the clients sufficient information without breaking anyone’s trust. This consent has to be in writing. However, a lawyer cannot represent two clients on opposing sides of the same case or a related one.
Eventually, it is up to the lawyer in question to decide when it is appropriate to remove themselves from the case and when it is appropriate to carry on.

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Friday, December 29, 2017

The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

It’s a very brief sentence but it is some of the hardest and most obscure words to interpret in the English language. This amendment which guarantees that an American has a right to bear arms (weapons) can spark vigorous, and intense debates on both sides of the coin. To bear an arm implies that a person physically carries or houses a weapon.

The Supreme Court has faced the issue of deciding which types of guns are allowed. The Justices declared that the Second Amendment protects weapons which are “in common use” but not those that were deemed “dangerous and unusual.” This vague language continued to spark debates as people demanded clarification.

As time progressed the Supreme Court’s interpretation has changed. Prior to the 2008 Supreme Court’s District of Columbia v. Heller decision, their ruling was that the Second Amendment did not guarantee the right to bear arms. But with their 2008 ruling, the Court implicitly stated that it is a right for an individual to have a firearm and it doesn’t need to be associated with a military service.

Eventually, the Court issued an explanation saying, that to totally ban firearms from U.S. citizens was nothing short of a prohibition on all guns that individuals owned for the purpose of self-defense. Also on the docket was the language that stated that in order for a person to lawfully own a gun, it must be disassembled or secured by a trigger lock. Again the Court ruled that this was a violation of Second Amendment rights; what purpose was owning a firearm if it was rendered useless for self-defense. The Court added that since ancient times, legal systems across the globe have given citizens the right to defend themselves.

Banned Weapons and Locations

A Federal law prohibits weapons on government property. For example, someone taking a gun into a Post Office will be subject to arrest. Weapons are also not permitted in federal buildings, federal prisons federal courts, aircrafts, ranger stations and national cemeteries. According to TSA, if travelers want to take a gun on an aircraft, it must be checked as baggage and be safely locked in hard-sided container.

Again, this is a very brief account of the 2nd amendment and what it entails. We could go into a debate on this topic that would last for an eternity. This post is meant to provide some general, background info. What are your thoughts?

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Three Branches of U.S. Government

When the founding fathers began to write documents that would structure our new democracy, they wanted to ensure that no one person had too much authority. So they designed the language to create separation powers. The three branches are, Legislative, Judicial and Executive.

The Legislative branch makes the laws, and is comprised of both houses of Congress: Senate and House of Representatives. Each state can elect two senators. However, states are allotted a number that’s representative of their total population. Senators can serve a six-year term but representatives must be re-elected every two years.

Once the bill becomes a law, the Executive branch has the responsibility of enacting it. Those in the Executive branch are the president, vice present and 26 cabinet members, who serve as the presidents expert advisers. The president nominates an individual to head various departments and agencies. This person must be confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. Besides being the head of the government, the president also serves as the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military.

Finally, the Judicial branch, the group that evaluates the validity of the law, is headed by the Supreme Court. Nine justices sit on the Court, are appointed by the president, and confirmed by the Senate to serve a life term if wish.

The intention of the founding fathers was that these three branches work in unison to promote law and order. This accomplished by a system of checks and balances.
Normally, when a president finishes his term, the cabinet members also leave, as the incoming president will make his or her own selections.

Order of Presidential Succession

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution ratified in 1967 provides an outline of the president’s succession plan upon his or her death. The next in line is the vice president, followed by the speaker of the house. Should the speaker be unable to fill his or her duties, the president pro tempore of the Senate and then the Secretary of State.

This just briefly touches on the structure of our government in the United States. We have a number of attorneys employed here who are well versed in our government and federal law. Do not hesitate to reach out for more information.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Estate Planning: Why You Need a Will

You need a basic estate plan if you own any property. In as much as no one wishes to think about his/her demise, planning your estate is one of the best decisions that you can ever make as far as your wealth is concerned. This is because it reduces the confusion that is typically associated with post-death wealth distribution. A will is basically the document that declares what needs to be done to the property of the deceased.

A will cannot be effected unless its author, also referred to as the testator, dies. In addition, the testator may choose to revoke the will prior to his/her death for various reasons. In case you die without ever having written a will, your property will be distributed among your heir according to the intestacy statutes of your state of residency.

Typically, intestacy statutes uphold a distribution system that resemble what the decease would have wanted. The laws provide how a deceased’s property is to be distributed among heirs. The laws do not stipulate who gets specific components of the property. This means it is up to the heirs to agree on these minor details.

Wills, the Probate Process, and Minors

Contrary to popular public opinion, a will doesn’t force heirs to undergo the probate process, which is usually long and expensive. In the event that you die without writing a will, the probate court has the mandate of overseeing the distribution of your wealth among your heirs. The absence of a will means that the estate administrator must post a surety bond to initiate the probate process.

In case your children are still underage at the time of your death, the probate court has the mandate of setting up a conservatorship whose role is to manage the minors’ share of the property. When they turn 18, each child will receive his/her share of your estate regardless of whether they have the ability to independently manage the it or not. This highlights the importance of indicating in your will the name of a guardian who will be entrusted with your underage kid’s share of the property.

Irrespective of the size of your estate, writing a will is advisable. What’s more, there are numerous books and software that can help you undertake this estate planning exercise. Consulting an estate planning attorney when writing a will is equally advisable.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Freedom of Speech

Does Freedom of Speech Give People the Right to Offend? A short post by Rick Zimmer.

I have thought about this for quite some time. I noticed that we are allowed to say whatever we want, as long as if it does not offend someone or hurt someone’s feelings. But is honesty the same as being offensive?

One thing that has bothered me, is when people get in trouble for saying their honest opinions about a particular issue or a political topic. I’ve noticed that a lot of people, celebrities especially, are essentially blackballed if they speak about a popular current event in an “offensive manner.” For example, if a black person in the public eye says something offensive against the black lives matter movement, they are treated as if they committed a crime. The same thing goes for white people who say thing against an issue that affects predominately white people. This applies to all races. Don’t get me wrong, if someone disagrees with what a feel, of course I feel some type of way about it. However, I get bothered by the fact that people seem to get into an uproar if someone describes something that he or she is passionate about in a negative manner. If someone says, “I hate the black lives matter movement,” what is so wrong with that? Just because it portrays something in a negative light, doesn’t mean that they should not be able to say it.

I guess this is bringing my article into a different light. I am tired of people getting upset about people being honest. I feel that freedom of speech is OK, and even offending people is OK if it is less intentional and more about expressing one’s beliefs and point of view. People are allowed to have opinions. Am I saying that we should go around calling people idiots and spreading hate, no. But I am also saying that if someone doesn’t agree with your lifestyle or says it in a manner that is slightly offensive to you, you shouldn’t get into an uproar. That goes for me as well.

My thoughts were kind of jumbled, but I hope I made sense in the end. What do you guys think about the things I discussed in this article. Leave a comment down below and share your thoughts please.

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