Monday, February 4, 2008

Protecting My Rights

I don't understand why people I speak with about a legal plan do not see the use or benefit. I've been told that I don't need those services. I can't believe everyone lives a charmed life or would rather pay for the hassle as it comes. It's not just about the trouble we cause, but what others do to us. We don't get comprehensive car insurance because we are reckless drivers. Many wealthy people have attorneys on retainer not because of the trouble they may get into, but because they want the ability to effectively react to situations and capitalize on opportunities. That is probably how they became wealthy. I can't afford an attorney on retainer, but I have a law firm I can call upon. Here is how I have benefited from my legal plan.

I consulted my providing law firm concerning the decision to create a LLC or corporation for my business. Based on the advice, I formed a LLC because I can easily transition to a corporation if needed. I eliminated the analysis paralysis that stifles success and made something happen.

I consulted my providing law firm concerning my mortgage after I received a letter from my mortgage company concerning their move to foreclose. The attorney advised be to see if the mortgage company would consider a "short sale" or "deed in lieu of foreclosure." After I brought up the conversation with my attorney, the mortgage company disclosed that I could apply for a "short sale." This information was never conveyed by the mortgage company before I brought it or the attorney up.

I consulted my providing law firm concerning 3 fees charged by my bank for 3 simultaneous scheduled transactions that overdrafted my account, but I had funds in my overdraft protection account to cover one of the transactions. The customer service representative at bank basically gave me no explanation except for that is the way their banking system works. The providing law firm sent a letter and the bank refunded the fee.

I consulted my providing law firm concerning bad treatment I received from a collection agent at my auto loan provider to see if the agent violated any law. The firm conducted research and determined that no violation had occurred, but he would have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if he represented a third party collection agency. I used this information to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The company apologetically responded and deferred payments for two months.

I consulted my providing law firm concerning an idea to raffle my house, an idea I got from family and the web. I learned that I cannot do this in North Carolina. This saved me time spent pondering the idea and possibly getting in trouble.

I consulted my providing law firm concerning bad information I received from my bank that caused me to miss a credit card payment. I reported an erroneous charge, possibly fraudulent, to my account and was told that I had to submit a form to receive credit back to my account because the charge was made by ACH instead of debit. I was told the form would be mailed to me, should receive it in 7 to 10 days, and return the signed form for credit back. I called the bank after 10 days and told them I hadn't received the form. I learned that I could have downloaded the form online or gone into a branch. During this time, I missed a credit card payment which resulted in fees. The bank would not help me with the fees despite their bad guidance. The law firm sent a letter. I then received a phone call from an executive assistant of the bank's president. He contacted the credit card company, explained the bank's error, and got my account credited for the fees.

I should add the confidence a legal membership adds. It adds incentive to protect my rights. Based on my previous experience using the Better Business Bureau, I filed a complaint against a credit card company because they would not work with me personally on reducing the balance on my closed account that has a high balance and interest rate. Instead, they kept referring me to a nonprofit organization. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and later received a call from the company about a program I qualify for that will eliminate interest for 60 months and reduce my monthly payment to a constant payment about $45 less than I normally pay.

With my legal plan membership, I've saved my home and about $1400 this past year. I don't consider myself a high roller or risk taker, but I still have rights to protect.

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