Where does all the money go?

I know people say this all the time, but I’m pretty desperate for money. No strike that, I’m really desperate. And I say “I’m” and not “we” for a reason.

I say “I’m” because I’m married to a lovely man who just doesn’t have a head for money. Ben’s wonderful, just a big, cute sweetheart who’s so gentle and sweet and kindhearted, I just love him to death. But Ben just can’t keep track of money.

That was sort of charming when we were first dating, but it’s become a major problem in our relationship since we got married, in fact, I’d say it’s THE major problem.

It’s THE problem because Ben suggested, very sweetly, that now we were married, we should have a house to settle in, where the kids could eventually grow up. He wanted the tire swing in the back and the jungle gym and all that. We had a great apartment, which I still miss, but he thought he had enough saved and enough coming in through his job (he’s a trucker, which means he’s gone a lot, which sucks, but we make it work) to pay for something nice.
Well, we got a house, but we didn’t get nice. Instead, we’ve got a place that’s falling apart all around us, and the money isn’t stretching to the end of the month. We’ve only been living here a year, and we’re already a month behind on the mortgage. I got my first letter about it in the mail because Ben took off last, and I told him about it. He shook his head like he was concerned, and he said he’d deal with it, but that’s the last I heard.

Now, I’m worried. I don’t know how long they’ll give us to make a payment, and I’m doubly worried if we fall behind now, we’ll never catch up.

At this point, I’m desperate enough to start looking for extreme options. I heard from a friend (whose husband is also a trucker) about factoring, which means you can get money early for deliveries you’ve made but haven’t been paid for. That’s exactly what we need, but Ben wasn’t interested.

What I’m looking at now is whether I can sign everything myself and get the money anyway. As I said, Ben doesn’t get money. I bet he’ll come home from this big trip with half the money already spent on some gift because he feels bad that I’m stressed. It’s sweet, I know, but we can’t afford that.

Hopefully, I can get everything signed myself. I’ll figure out how to tell Ben later.

Honestly, though, I wish we’d never moved here. I miss that apartment of ours so much. How much time should you give a big decision before deciding it was wrong? If I could sell the house for what we paid (I doubt it), I’d move back in a second.

But first things first, I’ve got to pay the bills now.

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What is a Ponzi Scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is a kind of investment fraud wherein a company pays returns to its investors using the capital of new investors, instead of using real profit. How the money goes around is inherently flawed, because the company will need a constant flow of new investors to keep the investment alive.

The company is aware of this, making a Ponzi scheme one of the most fraudulent investment scams today. Companies deliberately attract new investors by promising them high returns with very little risks. Once the investment collapses, only the company and maybe even a few of its first investors are the ones who will get the returns, while everybody is left behind.

Before you know it, the money you worked hard for is gone.

Because of the deliberately fraudulent nature of the investment, it may be hard to spot. The company will surely make ways to make the investment appear legitimate. It is a good thing that the website of Erez Law has enumerated some of the signs that an investment is a Ponzi scheme:

  • High returns with no risks – Real investments with high returns are usually risky, so if a company has promised that their investments have high returns without the risks, be wary.
  • Unusual consistency in returns – Real investments have fluctuating values.
  • No registration and license – Real investments require registrations and real companies require licenses.
  • Secrets and unnecessary complexity – Real companies will make sure that you understand what you are getting into, so if a company seems to be bombarding you with technical words and hard to understand documents, be wary.
  • Paperwork problems – Real companies will provide clear, consistent, and error-free paperwork regarding your investments, so be cautious of a company that is reluctant when it comes to paperwork transparency.
  • Trouble with payments – Fraudulent companies will encourage you to reinvest money into the scheme, but the real purpose here is to keep the investment from crashing because of the lack of new investors.

To protect your hard-earned cash, it is best to avoid Ponzi schemes, or any fraudulent investment operations, by making sure that the company and investment are legitimated by proper documents and registrations. It is also important to fully understand the investment, because knowing your stuff is the best defense against fraud.

 

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Possible Consequences for Vandalism

It is a common misconception that vandalism is just about spray painting another property, as the term vandalism has a more general meaning. Vandalism occurs when a person intentionally damages or defaces a property of another, including public properties.

It may come in many forms, such as destroying a person’s car or house windows, slashing the tires of another person’s car, destroying street signs, and punching and kicking another person’s property. An important distinction in vandalism is that the vandal really has the intention of destroying, altering, or defacing a property that does not belong to him or her.

Penalties
Penalties for vandalism differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in terms of gravity, but the penalties themselves have mostly the same idea.

Fines: One of the most obvious consequences of any offense is the payment of fines, and vandalism is no exception to this. Fines can be several hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the jurisdiction. Also, it is important to note that this fine is paid to the jurisdiction, not to the owner of the damaged property.

Jail Time: A vandal may be required to serve time in jail, especially if the act of vandalism has resulted into significant damage to the victimized property. If the vandal has previous records of vandalism or any other kind of offense under his or her name, the jail time may be more severe.

Probation: If you commit an offense, the court might order that you should be under probation, or in other words, supervision with several conditions you need to follow. One of the most common conditions is community service, where you will need to work for a volunteer organization or any other recognized body for a given period.

Restitution: Just like fines, restitutions are financially damaging penalties. They are enforced to make up for the damages the property owner has sustained because of the vandalism. In other words, this is the fine you pay to the owner of the vandalized property. Typically, the amount you pay is large enough to cover the costs of repairs or replacements.

Defense
The laws are not very friendly towards vandals, as these people slowly become a bigger and bigger threat to the property of others. But according to the website of the Amerio Law Firm, vandalism charges can be defended. It just means that even though the law has its teeth on vandalism, proper enforcement of regulations and due process is still the top priority, to prevent injustice and unwarranted penalties.

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Post Employment Testing

Pre-employment testing is there to greatly filter the applicants, removing all those who are not physically able to do the job. But once an applicant is already offered a job contingent, he may be subject to a post offer or post employment testing.

Like pre-employment testing, post offer testing’s goal is determine whether the person is capable of doing the job in a way that will not cause harm to himself or the others around him. It is a good way to prevent injuries in the workplace and turnovers in the company, as those things can affect the company’s productivity and financial standing.

If pre-employment testing is mostly about the raw, physical aspects of a person, post offer testing is much more rigorous. It can involve medical elements such as medical history, and quantifiable physical attributes like body fat index, weight index, and limb strength.

The testing is conducted in a medical environment by healthcare professionals and representatives. It can be specifically designed to reveal impairments that pre-employment testings cannot reveal. And since the medical results are quantifiable, they can be considered to be well-documented. These documents are stored in a database or in a physical storage, and are brought out when necessary. The results can also be viable grounds to cancel the offer and not hire a person.

Post employment testing is definitely more expensive compared to pre employment testing, because it is performed by legitimate medical personnel. But it can be a better filter of applicants because of the objectivity and quantifiable nature of the test.

Employers can look at it as a necessary investment. If employers go for a post employment testing, they are minimizing the possibility of workplace accidents and workmans’ compensation cases, incidents that are known to take up a lot of money, time, and other resources in the part of the employer.

But potential employees also benefit from such tests. They become safer from job frustration and unnecessary injuries.

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Expunction Information: How to Get Criminal Charges Cleared in Texas

Everyone deserves a chance to start over. Unfortunately, after you’ve been charged of a crime, it can be hard to get a clean slate. Rehabilitating one’s reputation when you have a criminal charge on your record can be an uphill battle. It doesn’t matter that you’ve performed your legal obligations and was later acquitted of the charge. As the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter puts it, you can still expect to face extreme prejudice that will limit a host of different opportunities. Thankfully, Texas law provides options to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

Through expunction, you can have your criminal record cleared following certain conditions. As articulated in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, you may qualify for expunction if you were charged of a crime but later acquitted, or if the charge against you was subsequently dismissed. You may also qualify for expunction if you were wrongfully convicted or, in some cases, convicted but later pardoned. Expunction is also possible for class C misdemeanors that resulted in a deferred adjudication or a plea deal. However, in this situation, the law requires you to wait out a period of 180 days starting from the date of your arrest before you can file a petition.

Anyone who meets the conditions for expunction of their records may file a petition in a district court for the county where they had been arrested. To get started on the process, it’s best to consult with a qualified criminal law attorney to learn more about your options. The process of expunction can often be complicated, and results will depend on your specific circumstance. However, despite its complications, expunction is typically the best legal option for individuals that are interested in turning a new leaf without being burdened by the prejudice that could hurt your future.

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The Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947

Other than the private use of cars, studies show that more Americans are also driving for reasons that are related to work. Work-related driving includes making a delivery, picking up a package, driving a co-employee or employer to a job location, meeting with a client, and making an ocular visit to a job site – these are just some of the factors that make work no longer just confined inside the office.

It is, of course, important that people,whose work brings them out in the field a lot more often, understand their legal right, in case they get involved in an accident wherein they are at-fault or wherein they are the victims. This is because, outside of the office, workers or employees are more prone to serious injuries which can end up in them being disabled.

Now, workers who sustain job-related injuries, especially injuries that lead to temporary disability (these are injuries that may last for weeks or months, but less than a year) are entitled to receive financial benefits from the state-administered Workers’ Compensation insurance program. While heading to work and heading home from work are not considered part of the job, an employee who was required by his or her employer to run any errand before going to work or before heading home after work is (still performing his or her job). Thus, in the former situation, if the employee ends up in an accident along the way, he or she cannot be eligible to file for Workers’ Compensation benefits; in the latter situation, however, he or she is eligible. This eligibility is based on the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, which recognizes any act performed in behalf of the employer, even outside work hours, as still part of work and, therefore, requires payment.

According to the Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, law firm, the circumstances surrounding every transportation accident are unique. Depending upon the nature of an employee’s accident, vehicle, and job position, he or she may be eligible for compensation related to injuries, property damage, lost wages, and other considerations.

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What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims

In hindsight, a wrongful death lawsuit is a claim that alleges a person of being responsible for someone’s death. It is normally filed by the family or close relatives that were left in bereavement after the victim’s death. The personal injury lawyers at the Chris Mayo Law Firm said that while there is not enough replacement for the loss of a loved one, a sense of closure may be sought after through the filing of a lawsuit.

However, there are certain situations one should consider before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, according to All Law. Most definitely, the intentional killing of a person may be filed without meriting questions or doubts. Medical malpractice, or a medical professional’s failure to provide the required care, is also a qualified wrongful death case. Deaths from car accidents may also be filed as wrongful death, but only if the claimant believes that the other party has been negligent, which led to the accident.

In order to fully understand what a wrongful death lawsuit entails, the elements of it must be enumerated. First and foremost, there should be the death of the person, which leads to the question whether the death was a result of someone else’s negligence, according to Find Law. If it is, then the remaining family members or any assigned person, who are now suffering several damages after the victim’s death, may now bring up the civil lawsuit. Lastly, there should be a legal representative for the family.

After a lawsuit is brought to the court, the kind of damages is then determined – whether it is pecuniary/financial or punitive or both. Pecuniary damage refers to the medical and funeral expenses to cover the victim’s death and any loss that is monetarily quantified. Punitive damage, on the other hand, is focused on the punishment that should be given to the defendant.

Going through a wrongful death lawsuit might be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting.

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Listeria infection: What it is and how you can prevent it

Listeria is a type of bacterium that can cause listeriosis, a type of food-borne disease that is typically non-fatal for healthy individuals. However, for young children, older adults, or for those with weak immune system, a listeria infection can be serious, sometimes even deadly. Signs and symptoms of listeria infection may occur days after exposure, which may include diarrhea, muscle pain, fever, and nausea.

There are many different causes of listeriosis. According to the website of Williams Kherkher (view website), food products that have been manufactured and packaged in an unsanitary way are most prone to listeria contamination. Home-cooked meals stored and handled in an unsanitary are also at risk of contamination.

Unfortunately, listeriosis may take its greatest toll on vulnerable groups. Unborn babies whose mother was exposed to listeria, for instance, are at risk of premature birth, still birth, miscarriage, or life-threatening infection. For those with weak immune system, such as the elderly or those with chronic diseases, listeriosis may result in septicemia (blood infection), or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain).

The adverse effects associated with listeriosis can be fatal. As such, it is important to seek medical help for accurate diagnosis and prompt antibiotic treatment if you believe you have been exposed to listeria. You may also keep in mind these tips on how to ensure that your foods are safe from contamination:

  • Never drink unpasteurized milk or eat products with unpasteurized milk
  • When eating raw vegetables, wash them thoroughly with clean running water to make sure that no listeria-containing materials are left
  • When preparing and handling food, make sure to use only clean utensils
  • Utensils used for uncooked food should never be used for the cooked or ready-to-eat ones
  • If you are pregnant, are sick, or have weak immune system, take extra precautions in eating refrigerated seafood and deli meats
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Understanding Search and Seizure

The U.S. Constitution is there to protect the rights of its citizenry. One of these rights is that of privacy, and the provisions are found mainly in the Fourth Amendment, although some may also be found in other amendments. One of these provisions is the search-and-seizure in which the police have limited power to search an individual’s person, property, and effects and to seize any illegal goods such as weapons and drugs.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits all “unreasonable” searches and seizures by law enforcement. These are defined as searches and seizures where there is no probable cause and no warrant issued by a judge. In some instances, a warrant may not be necessary, such as when contraband is in plain view.

The Fourth Amendment is only applicable in a search-and-seizure if the defendant has a “legitimate expectation of privacy.” This usually refers to private property such as a home or personal effects such as a handbag, but it may also be applicable in public places such as a mall bathroom.

To determine if there has been a Fourth Amendment violation, the court establishes if the legitimate expectation of privacy applies in the absence of a valid search warrant. According to the website of criminal defense lawyers Kohler Hart Powell, SC, if this expectation exists, then any evidence collected in that particular search is excluded and may not be used against the defendant. This also includes any other evidence discovered or seized as the result of the earlier illegal search, the so-called “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

However, there are always exceptions to the rule. If the police officer has reason to suspect that an individual may be in possession of illegal goods, or if the illegal goods was in plain sight, then any evidence seized may be used as such in a court of law even in the absence of a search warrant.

If you have been charged with a crime as a result of an illegal search-and-seizure, you have a good chance of having your case dismissed. The help of a qualified lawyer can prove fundamental in this kind of cases.

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Personal Injury: In Dealing With Motor Vehicle Accidents

Nobody wants to have to deal with an accident – least of all the innocent victim who is at the tail end of this kind of situation. It is not even just the physical trauma suffered that can come as a result from an accident of this nature. It can be so much worse than just that and affect more than one person or party.

According to the website of Spiros Law, P.C., people who have been in accidents that have caused serious injury have experienced emotional strain as well as financial troubles due to the medical expenses, repair of damaged property, as well as all the other costs that come with it, not to mention the fact that the psychological scarring that an accident could do to a person is quite profound. A victim may develop post-traumatic stress disorder following a harsh accident, leading to a trauma of the situation that caused the accident or even depression or insomnia.

One of the most traumatic kinds of accidents that can cause those aforementioned psychological traumas is those of accidents caused by motor vehicles. By definition, a motor vehicle is a vehicle that one propels by oneself and it operates outside of any tracks or railways. Operating this kind of vehicle requires a license and a strict, mandatory testing in order to ensure that the people behind the wheel are capable individuals who are trusted on the road. This trust can often be misplaced as there are some people who are negligent of their own actions and cause vehicular accidents that can be devastating enough to be merited with personal injury lawsuits.

Car accident lawyers have gone on record to state that though the number of fatalities caused by vehicular accidents has gone down in more recent years, there are still over 30,000 Americans who perish due to these kinds of circumstances. Insurance companies cannot always be relied upon to give out the precise amount necessary in order to successfully cope and recuperate from the accident and that is why legal action, in order to claim justifiable compensation for the damages sustained, is advised for situations like this.

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