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Common Glitches When Buying A Home

Buying a home is one of the most exciting and stressful events in a new homeowner’s life.  The prospect of becoming the official owner of the house that you have chosen is highly anticipated, but one major oversight can turn a homeowner’s dream into a nightmare. Closing is usually the buyer’s final opportunity to request changes and verify that previously-agreed-upon conditions are met.  While most closings are concluded with limited trouble, there are a few property closing mistakes that can turn homeownership into a misfortune.  Zwick Law’s Real Estate Settlement Division ensures that our clients experience a stress-free closing process, while we guide them along the way, avoiding these common mistakes.

The Existence of “Hidden Liens”

The past owners of the property you are buying may have left you with multiple problems, if they did not pay their bills in a timely manner. In some instances, a homeowner who failed to pay their association dues, utility bills, or bills for other services, could find themselves on the receiving end of a lien. This property lien requires that the lien-creditor receives the money they are owed from the proceeds of the home sale. While liens typically show up prior to closing, some people have purchased a home; lived in the property for years; and only discovered the existence of a hidden lien when they later attempted to resell the property.

Skipping the Final Walkthrough

After visiting the property you plan to purchase multiple times throughout the last month, going to the house one last time before closing may seem unnecessary or inconvenient.  While completing a final walkthrough is not required, not checking your property one last time could cause trouble. No matter how comfortable you are with the seller, and how nice the home had appeared during your past inspections, major problems such as new property damage or missing appliances are sometimes discovered during the final walkthrough.  A final walkthrough should always be completed.

No Homeowner’s Insurance

Purchasing homeowner’s insurance for a property, in many instances, is taken for granted, since it is usually considered to be one of the easiest parts of the home buying process. It is true that most homeowners have no problem finding a company to insure their new property; however, occasionally a prospective home buyer finds himself in position where no one wants to insure the home. If the seller files a large claim immediately before you close on the home, another insurance company may refuse to cover the property. A person who is buying a property with cash may be able to complete the transaction, but owning a home with no insurance is a huge financial risk.

Get Advice – Contact Zwick Law’s Real Estate Settlement Division When Buying A Home

The process of buying a home is not something that you should go through alone. The help of a qualified real estate attorney can simplify the transaction and increase your chances of having a problem-free experience. The team at Zwick Law’s Real Estate Settlement Division understands how important homeownership is, and we take pride in providing our clients with the legal advice they need to make educated decisions. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in DuBois or Brookville, so that we can begin giving you the representation you deserve.

Zwick Law’s Real Estate Settlement Division is directed by Carl A. Lias, a Pennsylvania Licensed Title Insurance Agent since 1999, who has over 19 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate transactions, including refinance transactions, as well as extensive knowledge of conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and PHFA mortgage loan products.  Zwick Law’s Real Estate Settlement Division is uniquely positioned – as a dedicated settlement service provider situated within the four corners of a law firm – to ensure our clients enjoy the security, professionalism and friendliness that they expect and deserve, all while paying less than they otherwise would at other regional firms and title companies.

HOW TO PROPERLY HANDLE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM

The period immediately following an accident resulting in an injury is very stressful and often times overwhelming.  Lost wages, mounting medical debt, and the pain of an injury often combine, leaving a person desperate to find a resolution to an unfortunate situation.  While quickly settling an injury claim may seem like the easiest way to resolve problems caused by an accident, being overly eager to reach a quick settlement can leave an accident victim in an even worse predicament and with additional problems.  Being aware of the steps to properly and effectively handle an injury claim can increase your chances of avoiding crucial mistakes, while helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Should you automatically comply with all of the insurance claims adjuster’s requests?

The adjuster handling your claim usually presents himself as a friend or ally who is looking out for you and your best interests.  During the initial investigation of your claim, the claims adjuster will make various requests, such as asking you to sign authorizations for the release of confidential medical and employment information; asking you to provide recorded statements; and asking for other documentation related to your accident and injuries (e.g., videos, pictures, witness information, etc.).  Although adjusters will advise you that the requested information is always required to assess and/or to settle your claims, often times that is not completely true.

The claims adjuster will attempt to use the information that you provide to find ways to minimize or dismiss your claim.  In certain situations, you may need to provide some information and cooperate with the insurer’s investigation; however, this is not always required – selectively and strategically providing information does not mean that you will lose your claim.  Instead, taking a strategic and methodical approach usually increases your chances of walking away with all the compensation you deserve.

What happens if you miss medical appointments?

A person with no medical insurance or limited sick time from work may decide to stop going to follow-up doctor appointments before he is fully recovered and/or the treating physicians have officially released him from treatment.  Fear of lost wages and large medical bills can lead to a premature return to work, which can seriously impact your claim.  The medical appointments that you attend will further illustrate the extent of your injuries, and will establish a medical treatment pattern that shows the potential need for long-term care.  Missing scheduled and necessary medical appointments will likely lead to your claims adjuster dismissing or diminishing the severity of your injuries, which will significantly reduce the value and settlement of your case.

Should you question or challenge an adjuster’s valuation of your claim?

Claims adjusters working directly with an injured party may arbitrarily deny a claim without reviewing or receiving relevant claim-related documentation.  If, and when, this happens, too many people simply give up on the claim and do not pursue the compensation they deserve.  A person with little or no experience handling a personal injury, workers’ compensation, or medical malpractice claim will not know what steps to take to challenge or appeal the decision.  Insurance companies are experienced and manipulative, and they expect that accident victims will walk away from valid (and valuable) claims—saving the insurance company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Do not stand alone – Zwick Law is here for you.

Even the most straightforward injury claim can quickly devolve into a nightmare, if not properly handled from the very early stages.  Remember, claims adjusters have years of experience negotiating claims, while the average person only deals with one or two injury claims in a lifetime.  The experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Zwick Law understand how vital quality representation is to your claim.  We are prepared to review your situation and take over the time-consuming and stressful task of negotiating with the insurance company.

For questions relating to an injury claim, contact Matthew R Zwick, partner of Zwick Law, at (814) 371-6400 or mrz@zwick-law.com, to schedule a legal consultation and free case analysis.  At Zwick Law, we’re always here for you.[1]

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[1] Disclaimer: The use of the Internet, Facebook and/or any other form of social media communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  Time-sensitive information should be directed immediately to the office of Zwick Law at (814) 371-6400.

 

ACT 170 OF 2016: MODERNIZING PENNSYLVANIA’S BUSINESS ENTITY LAWS

PA Business Laws

Act 170 of 2016 (“Act” or “Act 170”), which became effective on February 21, 2017, brought sweeping changes to the treatment of certain Pennsylvania business entities, including limited liability companies; limited partnerships; limited liability partnerships; limited liability limited partnerships; and general partnerships.  The Act also modifies portions of the law relating to nonprofit organizations.

Act 170 becomes effective in two phases: first, for business entities formed before February 21, 2017, the law becomes effective on April 1, 2017, unless the existing entity elects to be governed by the Act before April 1; and, second, for those entities formed on or after February 21, 2017, the law is effective upon formation.

The statutory changes encompassed in Act 170 are long overdue.  These changes not only will provide business entities with more flexibility in structuring and reorganizing their companies, but also will lower costs related to such transaction while promoting business growth in Pennsylvania.

Some important changes imposed by Act 170 include:

  • allowing a business entity’s governing document to vary the duties of the entity’s managers, members and partners;
  • clarifying the status of transferees of members or partners and limiting the remedies of creditors against limited partners and members;
  • clarifying the rights of members to company information;
  • providing for the implementation of “tests” to measure the legality of interim and liquidating distributions;
  • defining “governance interests” and “transferable interests”, and setting forth the manners in which such interests can be transferred to third parties who are not members or partners of the entity;
  • permitting business entities to engage in fundamental transactions (i.e., mergers, conversions, interest exchanges, divisions, domestications, etc.) in a uniform structure with any other type of business entity; and
  • providing for the formation of nonprofit limited liability companies and partnerships.

For questions relating to Act 170, and to discuss how the Act affects your business, contact C.J. Zwick, partner of Zwick Law, at (814) 371-6400 or cjz@zwick-law.com, to schedule a legal consultation.  At Zwick Law, we’re always here for you!