Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. Washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can also put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking, but smoking greatly increases risk of other asbestos-induced cancer. Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in mesothelioma (see asbestos and the law).
The symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, and is confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to take biopsies. It allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (called pleurodesis), which prevents more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing. So be ware of asbestos.
Thursday, 4 June 2009
home equity loan (sometimes abbreviated HEL) is a type of loan in which the borrower uses the equity in their home as collateral. These loans are sometimes useful to help finance major home repairs, medical bills or college education. A home equity loan creates a lien against the borrower's house, and reduces actual home equity.
Home equity loans are most commonly second position liens (second trust deed), although they can be held in first or, less commonly, third position. Most home equity loans require good to excellent credit history, and reasonable loan-to-value and combined loan-to-value ratios. Home equity loans come in two types, closed end and open end.
Both are usually referred to as second mortgages, because they are secured against the value of the property, just like a traditional mortgage. Home equity loans and lines of credit are usually, but not always, for a shorter term than first mortgages. In the United States, it is sometimes possible to deduct home equity loan interest on one's personal income taxes.
There is a specific difference between a home equity loan and a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a line of revolving credit with an adjustable interest rate whereas a home equity loan is a one time lump-sum loan, often with a fixed interest rate.
When considering a loan, the borrower should be familiar with the terms recourse and nonrecourse loan, secured and unsecured debt, and dischargeable and non-dischargeable debt.
US traditional mortgages are usually non recourse loans. "Nonrecourse debt or a nonrecourse loan is a secured loan (debt) that is secured by a pledge of collateral, typically real property, but for which the borrower is not personally liable." A US home equity loan may be a recourse loan for which the borrower is personally liable. This distinction becomes important in foreclosure since the borrower may remain personally liable for a recourse debt on a foreclosed property.
Home equity loans are secured loans. "The debt is thus secured against the collateral — in the event that the borrower defaults, the creditor takes possession of the asset used as collateral and may sell it to satisfy the debt by regaining the amount originally lent to the borrower." Credit card debt is an unsecured debt such that no asset has been pledged as collateral for the loan. Using a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt essentially converts an unsecured debt to a secured debt.When deciding upon a type of loan, the borrower should also consider if the debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy. For instance, US student loans are "practically non-dischargeable in bankruptcy".
Closed end home equity loan
The borrower receives a lump sum at the time of the closing and cannot borrow further. The maximum amount of money that can be borrowed is determined by variables including credit history, income, and the appraised value of the collateral, among others. It is common to be able to borrow up to 100% of the appraised value of the home, less any liens, although there are lenders that will go above 100% when doing over-equity loans. However, state law governs in this area; for example, Texas (which was, for many years, the only state to not allow home equity loans) only allows borrowing up to 80% of equity.
Closed-end home equity loans generally have fixed rates and can be amortized for periods usually up to 15 years. Some home equity loans offer reduced amortization whereby at the end of the term, a balloon payment is due. These larger lump-sum payments can be avoided by paying above the minimum payment or refinancing the loan.
In other words , Closed end means there will be an end date for the loan. No future draws under that loan will occur.
Open end home equity loan
This is a revolving credit loan, also referred to as a home equity line of credit, where the borrower can choose when and how often to borrow against the equity in the property, with the lender setting an initial limit to the credit line based on criteria similar to those used for closed-end loans. Like the closed-end loan, it may be possible to borrow up to 100% of the value of a home, less any liens. These lines of credit are available up to 30 years, usually at a variable interest rate. The minimum monthly payment can be as low as only the interest that is due.
Home equity loan fees
Here is a brief list of possible fees that may apply to your home equity loan: Appraisal fees, originator fees, title fees, stamp duties, arrangement fees, closing fees, early pay-off and other costs are often included in loans. Surveyor and conveyor or valuation fees may also apply to loans, some may be waived. The survey or conveyor and valuation costs can often be reduced, provided you find your own licensed surveyor to inspect the property considered for purchase. The title charges in secondary mortgages or equity loans are often fees for renewing the title information. Most loans will have fees of some sort, so make sure you read and ask several questions about the fees that are charged.
TransUnion was created in 1968 by Union Tank Car Company as their holding company. Its credit business began with the purchase of Credit Bureau of Cook County (CBCC) in 1969. Trans Union was built from acquisitions of major city credit bureaus, with service agreements with local owners of bureaus which were not for sale. Today it operates 250 offices in the U.S. and in 24 other countries. It is based in Chicago, Illinois.
TransUnion was a subsidiary of The Marmon Group until January 2005 and is now an independent, privately held company.
In 2003, Judy Thomas of Klamath Falls, Oregon, was awarded $5.3 million in a dispute with TransUnion. The award was later reduced to $1 million. Thomas claimed it took her six years to get TransUnion to remove erroneous information from her credit report.
In 2006, after spending two years trying to correct erroneous credit information due to identity theft, a fraud victim named Sloan filed suit against all three of the largest credit agencies. TransUnion and Experian settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. In Sloan v. Equifax, a jury awarded Sloan $351,000. "She wrote letters. She called them. They saw the problem. They just didn't fix it," said attorney A. Hugo Blankingship III of Blankingship & Associates in Alexandria, Virginia.