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Consumer Law

Friday, June 15, 2018

Medical Debt? Learn How We Can Help!


It is—perhaps—the worst kept secret in the U.S. today that we are, as a people, in financial distress. The idea of living paycheck to paycheck is very familiar to many of us. Often, it is difficult to manage unexpected bills that accompany an automobile injury.
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What is Mediation and Is It Right for You?


Too often, I meet people who are all in on getting their case before a jury, without considering other alternative dispute resolution tools. Often times, alternative dispute resolution can result in achieving a resolution that you can live with, while avoiding the costly attorney fees that can accrue by taking a case all the way to a jury trial. One of those tools is mediation.

Mediation is a process in which a neutral person (the “mediator”) attempts to assist the parties in reaching a compromise on the issues. The mediator cannot render a decision in your case.
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Should I Appeal my Ad Valorem Tax Bill to the County Board of Equalization or to a Hearing Officer?


 

One of the most important decisions you will make during the ad valorem tax appeal process is whether to appeal to the county board of equalization or to a hearing officer. In this article, I will explain the differences between these two forums, and the advantages of appealing your case to each.

            You may elect to file an appeal to a hearing officer, but only as to matters of value and uniformity of assessment for a parcel of non-homestead real property. Also, the fair market value of your property, as reflected on your annual notice of current assessment must be $750,000.00 or greater.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Moving Out and Moving On


In Georgia, pursuant to O.C.G.A. TITLE 44-7-30, et seq.


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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Robocalls


You may have caught WSB-TV Channel 2’s recent story, Atlanta is the most robocalled city in the U.S., study says.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to Repair your Credit Report after Identity Theft, Credit Card Fraud, or Improper Reporting

You have a 1 in 3 chance of becoming a victim of identity theft after your personal information has been swiped, according to a recent study published by Javelin Strategy & Research.  This is a sharp increase from just a few years ago – in 2010, the chance was still a startling 1 in 9.

While experts predict the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft and credit card fraud continues to increase, there are proactive steps you can take to protect yourself and your credit.  Here is a step-by-step guide for Georgia residents on how to identify and dispute credit fraud:


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Renting and found Mold in your Residence?


If you have found mold and believe it is causing health issues for those living in the house, condo or apartment you’re renting and inhabiting, there are steps that can be taken to protect yourself and your loved ones.

First, you can examine your lease to determine what it specifies about maintenance and notify the landlord or management immediately, in writing, about your concerns.  If the mold is due to faulty construction, or due to negligence on behalf of the landlord, you will need to seek a remedy from the landlord. While Georgia doesn’t have a specific law that addresses a landlord’s duties or liability specific to mold, landlords are bound by a statutory duty to maintain and repair the premises as well as the ‘implied warranty of habitability,” meaning that they must provide tenants with a habitable residence.

The ideal situation is one in which landlord and tenant communicate and resolve the issue.


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Friday, October 14, 2016

Henry County attorneys, judges named to State Bar of Georgia committees


Congrats to three SWWW attorneys for being appointed to serve on special or program committees for the State Bar of Georgia. From the court system to the classrom, we know you will work hard to make a positive impact. 

Janet C. Scott of Smith Welch Webb & White LLC in McDonough will serve on the iCivics Committee, which works toward implementing a comprehensive, standards-aligned online civics curriculum into Georgia’s 8th grade classrooms.

John P.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Risk of Foreclosure and Dual Tracking Mortgage Fraud


Not only is Georgia’s foreclosure rate higher than the national average, but Henry County is among the top five counties in Georgia for foreclosure rates according to Realtytrac.com.   Becoming a victim of the illegal practice dubbed “dual tracking” is an added stress for homeowners who are struggling to find an alternative to foreclosure.

 

What is “Dual Tracking”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Mortgage Settlement protect homeowners from getting into the foreclosure track while trying to work on an application for loan modification.  Known as “dual tracking,” mortgage servicers cannot legally start foreclosure proceedings while borrowers are actively working on a loan modification or actively seeking an alternative to foreclosure.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Firm Violating Fair Debt Collection Practices Paying $3.1 Million Penalty


A consent order recently filed in federal court ended a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suit filed against the Cobb County-based law firm Frederick J. Hanna & Associates regarding its illegal debt collection practices. The firm agreed to pay the $3.1 million penalty without admitting or denying the wrongful conduct.

 

The Hannah law firm specializes in the area of debt collection litigation, performing debt collection on behalf of its clients including banks, credit card issuers and companies that purchase and sell consumer debt.
Read more . . .


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Smith Welch Webb & White serve clients throughout the south metro Atlanta area including but not limited to McDonough, Stockbridge, DeKalb County, Clayton County, Henry County, Peach County, Jonesboro, Spalding County, Butts County, and Lamar County.



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