Articles Posted in 2008
As most of us know, Nolo.com is the best Website for consumer and small business USA legal information. Nolo’s lawyers-writers-editors are the best. Nolo.com covers everything from starting a business, employment, real estate, intellectual property, immigration, family law, tax, estate planning, bankruptcy, credit law and foreclosures.
Well… as our country
slowly quickly moves into economic tough times, I thought I would blog on a new book, The Foreclosure Survival Guide written by my friend Steve Elias.
Steve Elias has been writing about legal and consumer financial issues for Nolo.com for nearly thirty years. He has been covering the recent legal and ecomomic changes that folks face, including credit, bankruptcy and foreclosure issues. Steve is currently blogging (with Albin Renauer – Go Blue!) on Nolo’s Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Blog, covering the latest issues, as well as legislation on bankruptcy and foreclosure. He also blogs on The Law Reform Soapbox.
Nolo.com also has put together the Property & Money Resource Center with loads of legal and consumer content from Steve and the other Nolo editors. This resource center includes specific sections with articles & FAQs on Foreclosure, Credit Repair & Debt, Bankruptcy and Social Security & Retirement. The Property & Money Resource Center is constantly being updated with the latest information.
Steve has written a new book on foreclosures, appropriately called the The Foreclosure Survival Guide (on Nolo.com the book costs $14.99, and the immediately downloadable ebook pdf costs $12.99, you can also get the book on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com). The Foreclosure Survival Guide has information on mortgages, including adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), short sales, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, judicial and non-judicial foreclosure, credit counseling, liens, and using bankruptcy to deal with foreclosure.
Steve goes into much more detail in his book, but here is some information from his book about nonprofit counselors that may be able to help:
Nonprofit Housing Counselors (from Chapter 10 – Resources Beyond the Book)
I strongly suggest that you find a nonprofit housing counseling agency. The counselors there can help you assess your mortgage situation and, if possible, negotiate a solution with your lender that will keep you in your house. Lenders–which suffer economically from foreclosures and benefit if something can be worked out–are the main source of funds for these agencies. (see Ch. 4 [of The Foreclosure Survival Guide] for an in-depth discussion of finding and working with a nonprofit housing counselor.)
- The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a list of approved counselors. You can find a hud-approved agency at www.hud.gov/foreclosure/index.cfm or by calling 800-569-4287.
- The Homeownership Preservation Foundation website, www.995hope.org, offers free online counseling, among other things. or you can call 888-995-HOPE and talk with someone.
- The Homeownership Crisis Resource Center, www.housinghelpnow.org, will link you up with a local nonprofit foreclosure prevention specialist who may or may not be hud approved.
- The National Foundation for Credit Counseling will get you to a nonprofit counselor (typically HUD approved) through its toll-free hotline, 866-557-2227.
The foreclosure problems have been going on for a while and could get much worse if something is not done by the lenders and government (who will soon own large stakes in the lenders). As it is in the best interest of the lenders and the neighborhoods to try to keep people in their homes to reduce the number of foreclosures and vacant units, there needs to be something done to revalue some of these loans. We will see what Congress, President Bush and then President ??? do. And then there is the US and world economy as a whole… we will see.
For those facing credit issues, foreclosure or possible bankruptcy, check out Nolo’s Property & Money Resource Center for very helpful consumer information. For those facing foreclosure, falling behind on their payments, or just need help with paying their mortgages, check out The Foreclosure Survival Guide. The table of contents of The Foreclosure Survival Guide is in the extended entry of this post.
As many of you know (at least those in the Open Government & Law Groups), Free Public Information Hero Carl Malamud and Public.Resource.org have been working to get state codes, building codes, electrical codes and other state and city codes online for free… sort of a virtual city of free codes.
You can, right now, download these codes here on Public.Resource.org or through the Internet Archive. As a California bonus, you can also download the California Code of Regulations.
Oregon’s Legislative Counsel Committee had a meeting this morning to discuss the copyright claim on the Oregon Revised Statutes. After taking legal counsel from Dexter Johnson, talking with Karl Olson, Carl Malamud, three Oregon citizens and myself, they unanimously voted to not to enforce any copyright claims on the Oregon Revised Statutes. This is great!!!
Carl Malamud presents Oregon Senate President Courtney the “Seal of Approval”
Last November, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) served a national security letter (NSL) on the Internet Archive, seeking records pertaining to a patron of the Internet Archive. Specifically, the FBI requested that person’s name, address, length of service, and electronic communication transactional records from the Internet Archive. This National Security Letter (NSL) certified that the information sought was relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities and advised that the Internet Archive was prohibited from disclosing the letter, “other than to those … whom disclosure is necessary to comply with the letter or to an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to this letter.”
The Internet Archive, American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and Electronic Frontier Foundation then filed a complaint under seal which challenged the constitutionality of the NSL and the NSL statute.
Last week, Judge Claudia Wilken granted a motion to unseal the case. The docket sheet, pleadings, proceedings and orders in Internet Archive v. Mukasey are now publicly accessible from Justia.
Dan, Cicely and I flew over Oregon and headed up to LexBlog Country in the great Northwest. We were there to do some interviewing of computer folks… but we also had some fun (Seattle/As game, Vancouver and more :).
Dan and Cicely ran the booth at Western Washington University. We met a lot of great people.
Last week, the State of Oregon Legislative Counsel Committee sent Justia a notice of copyright infringement and demand to cease and desist. In its letter, Dexter Johnson, the Legislative Counsel, asked us to remove a copy of the Oregon Revised Statutes stored on our servers (or pay a licensing fee) by April 30, 2008. The letter claimed copyright on many parts of the Oregon Revised Statutes:
[T]he Committee … claim[s] a copyright in the arrangement and subject-matter compilation of Oregon statutory law, the prefatory and explanatory notes, the leadlines and numbering for each statutory section, the tables the index and annotations and such other incidents as are work product of the Committee in the compilation and publication of Oregon law.
As public domain information hero Carl Malamud is working on getting case law online and into the public domain (we have helped a bit :). Carl, donors, and the Public.Resource.org team have done a lot and… more to come…
But in addition to case law, Carl has also been working to get other public legal documents online and into the public domain. These documents include the legislative histories of the laws. So this was interesting… it looks like Thomson-West has signed an exclusive agreement with the GAO to have these legislative histories on WestLaw.
JDSupra has officially launched and opened its site to the public today. The JDSupra site allows legal professionals to upload legal documents, memos, forms, filings and briefs and share them with the legal community. On the marketing front, lawyers and law firms can have their own detailed profile page that promotes their practice.
Many great organizations and firms have already started contributing documents, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Morrison & Foerster (my former lawyers at my previous company 🙂 and many many others.
The team at FastCase has announced the largest free online US case law database at The Public Library of Law at plol.org. The site is GREAT! The database of cases includes all of the Supreme Court cases and US Court of Appeals cases since 1950 (the same data FastCase recently presented to the Legal Commons project) AND US state case law since 1997 for all 50 states in nice standardized searchable, and usable html format for all states (not the random state by state format many other sites have collected the data in).