Gunning Daily News

Word of the Day

July 12, 2013 6:52 am

PITI.  Acronym for “principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.”  Frequently used to describe a loan payment that combines all four items.


Q: What types of foreclosures are there?

July 12, 2013 6:52 am

A: There are two types – judicial and non-judicial. A foreclosure that results from a court action is a judicial foreclosure.  The mortgage deed or trust does not have a power of sale clause, therefore the lender, trustee or another lienholder must take the borrower to court to recover the unpaid balance of a delinquent debt.  By contrast, a non-judicial foreclosure is one in which a foreclosure can be completed outside the court system.  Real property can be sold under a power of sale in a mortgage deed or trust that is in default, but the lender is unable to obtain a deficiency judgment.  


Q: How can I protect my home from creditors?

July 12, 2013 6:52 am

A: Check with your state. It may provide special protection through the filing of a homestead exemption, which exempts some or all of the value of your equity in the homestead – the home that you live in and the land on which it sits – from claims of unsecured creditors. Whether to file a homestead exemption will depend on your situation. Contact your county recorder's office for details.  


Illegal Downloads: What Are the Penalties?

July 12, 2013 6:52 am

Are there penalties for illegal downloads? Chances are, you or someone you know downloads music or movies online. But just because "everybody does it" doesn't mean that it's legal.

Sometimes, of course, artists or promotional sites will offer free downloads. And if you purchase a song or movie before downloading it, then there's generally no problem.

Still, the Internet is running rampant with users who illegally download -- commonly via peer-to-peer networks like Limewire or BitTorrent, and also from friends who will pass on the goods. So how illegal is this, and what are the potential penalties?

Copyright Infringement

The act of illegally downloading something falls under the Copyright Act of 1976, a federal statute that governs copyright law in the United States.

Types of works protected by copyrights include "works of authorship" such as literary works, musical works, and motion pictures, among others. Songs and movies, therefore, definitely fall within the category of works protected by copyright.

Copyright infringement occurs when the works are reproduced, republished, or used without permission from the copyright holder. This is where illegal downloading kicks in. The violation is typically enforced as a civil matter, although specific penalties vary by jurisdictions and some may apply criminal punishments.

Generally speaking, however, the most likely penalty is going to be a monetary fine for copyright infringement -- if you're caught downloading illegally, that is.

Penalties Can Add Up

Don't let out a sigh of relief just yet, though. Just because time in the slammer can usually be avoided for illegally downloading doesn't mean that you won't be paying a pretty penny for your illegal acts.

Under federal copyright law, the damages that you may owe can range from $750 to $30,000 ... per work. So if you illegally download, say, 10 songs -- doesn't seem that offensive, right? Think again, because the penalty for that can be as much as $300,000.

Furthermore, this is only according to statute. Courts may find that, depending on the specific facts of your case, you should be penalized even more harshly and be fined more. For example, a 32-year-old woman from Minnesota was found guilty of downloading 24 songs and fined $80,000 per song, for a total of $1.9 million, according to CNN.

Doesn't seem so worth it anymore, does it?

Source: www.findlaw.com

 


Easier Mortgage Processes, Positive Attitudes Inspire Renters to Buy

July 12, 2013 6:52 am

(BPT) - Owning a home has been an integral element of the American Dream for generations. But is ownership right for you? And if it is, how do you know if it's the right time in your life to purchase a home?

Thirty-two percent of American households are renters, according to the National Multi Housing Council. Generally, more people younger than 30 occupy rentals, while the percentage of people who own their home increases with age, NMHC statistics indicate. People decide to buy a home for many reasons, but the recent real estate market downturn caused many Americans to rethink their assumptions about renting and owning.

Even with many real estate experts predicting the market will continue to improve, it pays to carefully evaluate how homeownership does - or doesn't - figure into your long-term financial goals. If you've been renting and wondering if it's time to apply for a mortgage and buy your own home, consider these points:

1. Renting isn't always the cheaper option, and comparing your monthly rent payment directly to a mortgage payment won't give you a clear picture of the financial impact of either option. Online calculators, like Guaranteed Rate's rent vs. buy online calculator, can give you a better understanding of the comparison. With mortgage rates consistently low and rental markets competitive across the country, real estate experts agree that in most major metropolitan areas it will still be cheaper in the long run to buy than continue to rent.

2. While the days of zero-money-down mortgages are essentially over, it's a misconception that you need a huge amount of money to buy a house. Yes, you'll almost certainly need a down payment, but different lenders will require different percentages. Research your mortgage options before you begin house hunting so you'll know how much you'll need to save in order to secure a mortgage - and the home of your dreams.

3. Although the mortgage application process is detailed, it doesn't have to be drawn out and tedious. Many lenders now allow you to initiate the process online, and Guaranteed Rate has recently overhauled its website to allow borrowers to apply for a loan, track the approval process and receive their home loans all online. The eighth-largest retail mortgage company in the U.S. allows customers to choose and customize their loans, submit an application and receive an official approval letter all at www.guaranteedrate.com. Automating the application process compresses the traditional time frame from days - sometimes, even weeks - into minutes. As part of the process, applicants also receive the credit reports from all three major credit bureaus.

4. Buying a home affords you the opportunity to really grow your roots, but the flipside is that in order to get the most out of your investment, you need to stay put for a while. If you anticipate being in your current job and living in your current town for at least five years, the long-term investment of buying a house will make more sense for you. If you anticipate a job change or a move within a few years, you may want to hold off on buying a house. The good news is, doing so gives you more time to save toward a down payment so you'll look even more appealing to lenders when you are ready to buy.


Yard Safety 101: The Mower

July 12, 2013 6:52 am

Even the most careful of parents may not realize that there is danger lurking inside of the garage. Surprisingly, the lawn mower is one of the most dangerous household tools. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, each year 68,000 people are treated in the emergency department for lawn mower related injuries, and 9,400 of them are children under the age of 18. Most childhood injuries due to lawn mowers are related to riding mowers, and most are injured in their own yard.

Most common injuries associated with mowers can include lacerations, amputations, fractures, infections and skin defects.

Read on for tips on staying safe around lawn mowers.

Safety

  • Children younger than 15 should not be in the yard when someone else is mowing
  • Children younger than 12 should not use walk-behind mowers
  • Children younger than 16 should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers
  • Children or adults should never be allowed as passengers on ride-on mowers

The Safe Lawn Mower

  • Allows automatic blade disengagement when the mower is placed in reverse
  • Has a control that stops the mower from moving forward if the handle is released
  • Has a blade safety device for ride-on mowers that disconnects the blade from the power source when the operator leaves the operating position
  • Operating the Mower
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.

Protecting Yourself and Others

  • Wear hard-soled, sturdy shoes around mowers (no sandals or sneakers)
  • Wear hearing and eye protection when operating a mower
  • Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins.

Source:  www.cincinnatichildrens.org.

 


Word of the Day

July 12, 2013 6:52 am

Survey.  An exact measurement of the size and boundaries of a piece of land by civil engineers or surveyors.


Tips to Simplify Traveling With Baby On Board

July 10, 2013 8:40 pm

Summer is the season for travel, and for new mothers, it may be the first time ever heading out for a long trip with baby on board.

"No new parent wants to leave the side of their little ones, but travelling with an infant brings on a whole new set of challenges and requirements," says Amanda Spakowski, birth doula and founder of The Nesting Place. "Babies may be small, but they can be high maintenance, so planning ahead and creating a checklist of must-have items can help lighten the load and allow for a stress-free trip."

When Flying

  •         Plan feeding time during take-off and landing, which will help ease ear pain.

When Driving

  •         Add removable window shades for your car windows to protect your baby from the sun.
  •         Make sure to use a rear-facing car seat for safety.

When at the hotel

  •         Pack diaper rash cream, bags for dirty diapers, enough diapers for the trip and infant acetaminophen for relieving pain and fever - if your baby is teething, consider bringing teething gel.
  •         Book a crib when making your room reservation - or remember to bring your own travel Pack 'n Play.

When out and about

  •         Bring hats and SPF 30 sunscreen or higher - if your baby is under six months remember to keep them entirely out of the sun and refrain from using sunscreen.
  •         If you aren't breastfeeding, bring formula and add cooled boiled water as needed.
  •         Bring a plastic bib for your baby - it'll save you a change of clothes in case of spills.

General Tips

  •         Bring a bag containing a few of your baby's favorite toys to keep them happy and distracted, as well as a blanket for park visits.
  •         It's important to keep your baby on the same sleep schedule, so when on the go consider using white noise to help them ease into a deeper sleep. A sound machine is a great tool to pack!

Source: The Nesting Place, Hotels.com

 


Your Guide to Coping on a Long Haul Flight

July 10, 2013 8:40 pm

With cheaper and more regular flights around, an increasing amount of people are jet setting to the other side of the world. However, for people who are not used to flying or flying long haul, it can be quite daunting as well as tiresome. Below is a guide on how to cope with going long distance.

Firstly, if you're flying to somewhere like Sydney or Beijing, rather than opting for a straight flight thinking that you will get there quicker, it may be an idea to search for flights with transfers or stop overs so that you can get off the plane, stand up, have a walk around to get some fresh air.

Keep yourself entertained. Most airlines that operate long distance flights do have in-flight entertainment such as a TV at the back of the seat behind you. However, if you are on a 7 - 14-hour flight then you may want something more than a film to prevent you from getting bored. Most people pack away their holiday books or magazines in their suitcase; make sure that you pack these in your hand luggage instead - you never know when you might fancy a read!

Throughout the flight, you should drink plenty of water. The temptation during long haul flights, when drinks are free, is to opt for hot, fizzy or alcoholic beverages but you need to make sure that you keep hydrated, as dehydration is one of the worst aspects of flying.

Although most major airlines do offer a blanket or an eye mask, always be prepared. If you find it difficult to sleep on planes, then ear plugs and eye masks may be something you want to pack in your hand luggage. It is also a good idea to ensure that you are wearing layers so you can adjust accordingly to the air condition and have a comfortable flight.

Finally, if you can, try and find a flight that sets off at night, that way you may find that for half of the journey you are sleeping and by the time you wake up you will nearly have reached your destination.

Source: SportsDirect.com


Word of the Day

July 10, 2013 8:40 pm

Right of first refusal.  A person’s right to have the first opportunity to either lease or purchase real property.