5 reasons to love having a LegalShield Membership


I am a member of LegalShield and I love having the peace of mind it gives me.  Here are 5 Excellent reasons to love having a membership!

1.  Most people would never call an attorney over a $20 dispute, the attorney fees would cost way more than $20!  But with my membership I can call no matter what the amount.  All those little disputes that you simple write off add up.  $10 here, $20 there; before you know it you have written off hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

2. When you speak to the Provider Law firm there is no need to worry about fees in most cases.   Except for issues that fall under the 25% member discount, the attorney fees are already covered under your membership.

3. The provider law firms takes as much time as is needed to help you with your problem.  They are not trying to rush you along to meet with the next client and you don’t have to worry about ‘billable hours’ adding up.

4. The provider law firm focuses on the facts of your case and will give you advice that is personal for you and pertains to your case.

5. You can always call your provider law firm back to ask additional questions after you have spoken to an attorney.

Equality comes in many varieties


Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr King dedicated his life to equality.  We often forget that equality comes in different varieties.  There is equality in employment, housing education etc.  There is also equality under the law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Displayed on the Supreme Court Building is the phrase “Equal Justice Under Law”  But is justice really equal?

If you have a lot of money I suppose you think that it is, but the sad truth is that justice is equal to what you can afford.   The person that can afford to pay an attorney for guidance will be treated fairly.  Their rights will be protected.  The person who cannot afford to pay an attorney often ends up holding the short end of the stick.

And even among those who can afford to pay an attorney, they also end up waiving their rights because they cannot afford to pay an attorney for every single legal issue that they face.  LegalShield is a way for everyone to level the playing field.

Imagine being able to have an attorney review every contract before you sign it.  Imagine being able to pick up the phone and just ask an attorney when you have a legal question.  Imagine being able to get advice on legal issues before they grow out of control.  That is the power of LegalShield.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Taxman Cometh


2011 is quickly drawing to a close, bringing a new year.  It’s a time of transition, out with the old and in with the new.  And starting on Monday January 1st businesses will begin working on those w-2’s, and we will be into a new tax season.

Everyone who files taxes is subject to being audited.  Will you be one of the unlucky ones picked to be audited in 2012?  Tax audits can be a nightmare and many people find themselves panicking when it happens.   Tax law is very complicated, we don’t call the IRS “Individuals Representing Satan” for nothing you know.  A tax attorney is vital when meeting with an IRS Auditor.

As a member of LegalShield, I don’t have to worry about it.  I have access to a tax attorney if I am ever audited as a standard part of my membership.  How about you?  You can have this peace of mind also.  Signing up for a membership now will not only cover your upcoming 2012 return but also the return you filed for 2011, but you must secure your membership now.   Tax coverage begins with the return filed in the year you get your membership.  Enroll now to cover your 2011 tax return.  January 1st 2012 means you missed the boat!

 

I’m sorry ma’am, I can’t help you. It’s policy


Odds are you’ve heard these words before.  They seem to go hand in hand with merchant disputes.  You feel as if you’ve been wronged and the merchant is not holding up his end of the deal in some way.  What follows is a round of hoop jumping worthy of a Ringling Brothers Circus performance.

You will get tons of commiseration but no actual results.  Even worse is when they start doing the “department shuffle” on you.  You know what the department shuffle is.  That’s when no matter who you call they tell you your problem is handled by a different department.  Now you’ve moved up from hoop jumping to tennis ball being lobbed back and forth through every department and supervisor they can find to pawn you off on.

Sooner or later you just get worn out and write the whole thing off as a loss.  Admit it, somewhere along the line this has happened to you.  It’s happened to me too in the past.  The dispute is just not worth the hassle.  You could call a lawyer, but unless it is a huge amount of money it’s not worth paying the attorney’s fee.   Consumer complaints tend to be small amounts.


Well that scenario does not have to be in your future anymore.   Think about how much money you’ve written off in the past.  Maybe not a lot taken individually but collectively is another matter.  If you could add up every loss you have written off over the years, you would be shocked.  It probably adds up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars you have lost because 5 dollars here or 10 dollars there just was not worth the aggravation at the time.

When you write your complaint letters or make phone calls to a business you get directed to “Customer Service”.  If an attorney writes a letter or makes a phone call he gets directed to the Legal Department.  Big difference isn’t it.  Instead of customer service reps telling him about policy, he get lawyers looking at liability.  That’s why having a lawyer handle a dispute gets different results from you trying to do it yourself.  Often he gets positive results.

Imagine having a lawyer write a letter on your behalf the next time you have a dispute with a merchant.  It doesn’t matter what the value of that product is.  $30 blouse falling apart at the seams after wearing it once?  Call your attorney and let him handle it.  Don’t have an attorney?  Then take a look at LegalShield and get your own provider law firm on your side today!

Would you believe?


There was a time when our airwaves were not clogged with attorneys trolling for clients for class action lawsuits?  Today you cannot turn on the television without seeing a commercial for a class action lawsuit for this drug or that drug.  Class action suits mean big paydays for the attorneys who handle them.  What I rarely see is the attorney who advertises for clients with the intent to help clients prevent major problems.

Attorneys  can help you prevent a molehill turning into a mountain, but that means addressing legal issues before they snowball out of control.   Let me give you an example.  You want to do some work on your home, maybe add on an addition.

You call in a contractor to do the work.  Soon you have a nice new room but the first time it rains the roof leaks.  The contractor comes back out, goes up on the roof and stays there for about an hour comes back down and tells you it is fixed.  A few months later and it is leaking again.  How long will you go through this cycle?  When will you get fed up and call in someone different to fix what should have been done right in the beginning?

Having an attorney involved on your behalf could mean the difference in the contractor fixing the problem so that your roof does not leak again or the contractor coming out and doing a patch job that eventually fails.  This is one of the many benefits of a LegalShield membership.  You have attorneys to help you now instead of waiting until the problem becomes a major one.

You’d better shop around


Identity theft is a major problem and it’s not limited to the United States, it is a global phenomenon. The biggest contributor to identity theft is the accessibility of information. Information is at our fingertips, anyone can access your information in just a few moments. Freedom of Information acts means that others can legally access official information about you through public records. Anyone includes identity thieves.

We know identity theft cannot be stopped or prevented because our personal information is no longer private. Everywhere you go, everything you do, someone is collecting information on you. School records, background checks even that little customer loyalty card you’ve got from a store you shop at to get discounts is another method of collecting information about you. Even though you are doing everything recommended to prevent identity theft, these agencies and companies can expose or lose your information at any time placing you at risk. The only thing you can do is be prepared and be proactive.

Which brings up the issue of identity theft protection. All identity theft protection plans are not created equal and you need to know what to look for in a plan and why. Here are a few things that a good identity theft protection plan should provide.

Credit Monitoring

Early detection is the key to limiting your loss. Credit monitoring is very important. Experts recommend checking your credit report often, I recommend continuous monitoring. Many of the legal protections you have against identity theft and fraudulent charges are time sensitive. Continuous credit monitoring with immediate notification means you will discover this activity quickly allowing you to take full advantage of these protections.

Identity Restoration
A good plan should provide restoration services. Think of it this way. If the wiring in your house developed a short, are you going to try to fix it yourself or call an electrician? You call the electrician to fix it because you know it needs to be done right to prevent future troubles. You also know that the electrician knows how to safely deal with the power source, you don’t want to risk an electrical fire by making things worse so you let the expert do his job. The expert also knows how to check the wiring to locate all of the wiring problems in your home. That’s the job of the identity restoration investigator, to not only restore your identity but to track down trouble in other areas. What good is it to fix your credit because of those hot checks but not find the warrants that were created because of the hot checks? This brings us to the last area of coverage and perhaps the most important….

Address the Need for Legal Counsel

Your credit issues in the long run are minor. The Federal Government provides you with legal recourse for most credit issues resulting from identity theft provided you take advantage of them in the allotted time frame. Your legal issues will be the major part of your problem and an attorney could be critical. If there are warrants in your name due to identity theft you may find yourself arrested and thrown in jail, this happens on a regular basis. Criminal Identity Theft is second only to Financial Identity theft which accounts for 30% of the total reported cases. You will need a lawyer not only to help at the time of your arrest but most likely to represent you in a court of law. This is in addition to other legal issues you may be facing.

Also when looking at identity theft restoration plans, understand what they are actually offering, many plans are offering services you can do yourself for free or services that are not really protecting you such as a credit freeze. A credit freeze is great if you know you are risk to prevent NEW ACCOUNTS from being opening in your name but those existing accounts are not covered. Always read the disclaimers and make sure you understand them. If the “guarantee” is not providing you with reimbursement on your losses what good is it?

Let’s Haggle!


If you have followed this blog, you know that I am a die-hard believer in the power of having a good attorney on your side.  Not just for emergencies, but for everyday issues-like haggling.  Haggling is simply a form of negotiation or bargaining.   Haggling can save you a lot of money especially on big ticket items.

Let’s say that you are looking at purchasing a car.  You go into the dealership and pick out a car, it may be new or used but either way once you pick out that car you have a few decisions to make like how much you want to spend, the payments you are prepared to make and the options and upgrades that you would like.  This is also the point where many people jump into the age old custom of haggling.

Lets say it is a used car.  There’s a catch phrase going around right now “Show me the Carfax.”  Carfax provides a report on the history of the car in question.  Has it been in an accident, maintenance history, mileage and the like.  A Carfax report can reveal bargaining points to a potential buyer or warn a buyer not to purchase the car at all.  The Carfax gives you the information you need to make an informed decision.

Now suppose you have an attorney available to you to help you with the next step, the contract.   The attorney can do for that purchase contract what a Carfax does for the vehicle itself.  The attorney review can point out bargaining points for you in the contract.  Things like balloon payments and warranty issues.  Or maybe promises made by the salesperson verbally that are not covered.  For instance the salesperson offers you free oil changes for a year verbally but that verbal agreement is not included in your contract.

Having an attorney to review that contract can reveal things like this.  With LegalShield, document and contract review is included in your membership so when you do decide to purchase a new car, new home or other big ticket item; your attorney will review that document for you.  Your attorney will point out the hidden surprises and explain to you exactly what it is that you are about to sign.

Kids will be kids


Remember back in the day when you were a kid?  We all did silly things  on the playground and they were mostly harmless.  It seems that harmless kiddie antics now warrant the calling of police.

Yes a school in Florida called the police because a couple of 12 year olds snuck a kiss on the playground.  What the police?  Okay I guess I should say the school started out with the Department of Children and Families that for once actually displayed a bit of common sense.  By not responding to the report but then DCF passed the buck telling the school to call the police.

I think back to my days in Elementary school.   Boys and girls displayed their interest in all sorts of silly ways.  Yes there was kiss stealing, accusations of being infested with cooties, throwing balls at each other and even name calling.   But none of it was considered a basis for calling in the police.  I think most of my teachers and principals would have been embarrassed at the thought.  They were of the opinion that if you are going to work with kids you needed the skills to deal with them.  If you didn’t have those skills then you needed to find a different career.

The thing that gets me here is that this situation could have gone in a completely different direction with a different officer responding.  In this case the officer correctly saw it for what it was innocent childhood hijinks.

But schools seem to be calling police more and more often to handle what should be the job of school administrators and teachers.  Police respond and question children, arrest children and detain children on school property without the knowledge of parents.  It’s to the point that your child needs an attorney as much as if not more than the parents do.

LegalShield members don’t have to worry about this issue.  They know that their children have legal representation through that membership.  A LegalShield family membership covers not only the parents but the children  also, including 24 hour emergency access.

 

Did you pay too much?


Auto repairs are a part of vehicle ownership.  Parts wear out and they do need to be replaced, but are you paying too much for those repairs?  I came across a great blog post today on the Driverside website listing the top 5 most overcharged repair jobs.

Is this what you feel like you have paid for?

Most of the repairs listed are fairly simple and they tell you how to figure what your bill should be on these repairs.  A repair bill should consist of parts and labor and possibly a ‘disposal’ fee.  Did you look at your last vehicle maintenance or repair bill?  Did it seem high?  So what can you do if you think that you have been overcharged?

Well if you were a LegalShield member, you could call your attorney.  Many members use the membership when they have been treated unfairly by a merchant or service provider.  Members use the membership for everything from over charges to defective products to repairs that did not fix anything.  We all have the right to expect merchants to provide the services they promise at a fair cost.

As a Legalshield member you feel like you have paid for this instead

Being overcharged for a repair or paying for a defective product is a legal issue and an attorney can help.  When a LegalShield member says “You’ll hear from my attorney.”  They have the power through affordable access to actually mean it.

A True LegalShield Story


I wanted to share this little video with you.  It’s a nice LegalShield story but it is also a true story.  I know the gentleman it happened to.   And yes he did use his LegalShield Membership for a missing trash can.

Not exactly something you would look in the phonebook and hire a lawyer to handle for you.  It was only an $80 recycling bin.  Most people would simply pay the $80 and forget about it.  It would cost more to hire the attorney than the recycling bin is worth.

That right there is the beauty of a LegalShield membership.  The little issues that we simply accept, even when we know they are wrong, because paying an attorney to right the situation costs more than the situation itself.  LegalShield allows you to take advantage of the scales of justice by freeing you from the scales of ‘what’s in your wallet.’  Those little issues may not seem like much when you compare them to the attorney fees, but those little issues add up.  A $25 issue here, a $30 issue there, a $50 issue next month; eventually they can tally up to a $500 bundle of issues and for most of us the tally is way higher.

Think back to all the times you got stuck with a defective product and couldn’t get your money back.  How many times have you gotten charged for a repair that was not done correctly?  Has a dry cleaners ever ruined an item of clothing.  Your luggage ever been lost by the airlines?  These are all issues that cost you money and you let it slide because you know it would cost much more to get an attorney involved.  You allow yourself to be nickeled and dimed out of hard earned cash unfairly.

LegalShield gives you access to an attorney when things like this happen as a standard benefit of your membership.  By the way, just to let you know how ‘trivial’ an issue our LegalShield attorneys have handled, a good friend of mine has a laminated money order that is the record for the smallest amount his provider law firm has ever written for a member.   He was charged a small service ‘fee’ by a car wash when he had free car washes for a year that came along with his new car.  The attorneys wrote a letter for $3, the cost of the fee, my friend got his $3 back but it did not stop there.  The car wash stopped charging that fee to everyone!  So not only was my friend’s rights protected thanks to LegalShield, everyone who uses that car wash now enjoys no additional service fee!