As we have mentioned before, we are delighted to share articles that may be of interest to our clients. This article, by our friend Steven Farbman, caught our attention and we felt it was worthy of your review.

Distracted Driver Awareness Month
by Steven Farbman, Esq.

For more than 30 years, The Law Offices of Steven S. Farbman, P.A. has been helping people who have been seriously injured due to the careless driving of others. Due, to the advent of the cell phone (texting) and display screens added to cars (GPS, radio, and even internet!) we have seen even more people of our community injured as a result of car crashes with distracted drivers. According to one recent survey distracted driving crashes in Florida increased 25 percent since 2012. Not surprisingly, April has become known as Distracted Driver Awareness Month.

While teens represent only 5 percent of licensed drivers, they were responsible for 12 percent of distracted-driving crashes. Drivers aged 20 to 29 were responsible for 31 percent of crashes.

There are three main categories of distraction: visual, taking your eyes off the road; manual, taking your hands off the steering wheel; and cognitive, thinking about anything other than driving.

Some of the most common types of distractions include:

*An object, person, or event outside the vehicle that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road
*Texting (put the phone away!!!)
*Reaching for a device, such as a GPS
*Interacting with passengers
*Eating or drinking (and never have alcohol in the car!!!)
*Unsecured pets
*Grooming (stop putting on your make up, shaving and brushing your hair while driving!!!)
*Adjusting stereo or climate controls
*Lighting a cigarette

Therefore, if you believe you may be guilty of some of the above distractions, make a concerted effort not to do them. Never take your eyes off the road! If you have young drivers in your family, go over the list and have them put the cell phone away until they reach their destination. Besides protecting others on the roadway, you just may be saving your loved one’s life and even your own.

The Law Offices of Steven S. Farbman are always interested in the safety and well-being for the people of our community. As always please feel free to contact my office with any legal questions you may have. For more than 30 years, Steven S. Farbman has been helping members of this community who have been seriously injured due to the carelessness and negligence of others.

CFPB releases ‘Know Before You Owe’ Shopping Tool Kit

real estate, real estate closings, real estate transactionsThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureaus a/k/a the “CFPB” intends to roll out new guidelines and requirements for consumer home loans that will be in effect beginning August 1st of this year. They have kicked off their “Know Before You Owe” campaign by releasing a new toolkit to guide consumers through the process of shopping for a mortgage and buying a home.

“The new mortgage disclosure forms coming in August will help consumers comparison shop for mortgages and avoid surprises at the closing table. We are releasing this toolkit well in advance of the effective date to help the mortgage industry come into compliance with the new rules,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The toolkit, which can be found here, provides a step-by-step guide to help consumers understand the nature and costs of real estate settlement services, define what “affordable” really means and search for their best mortgage.

The Shopping Tool Kit also features interactive worksheets and checklists, conversation starters for discussions between consumers and lenders, and research tips to help consumers seek out and find important information.

Before the CFPB rule, the law required lenders to deliver two different disclosures to borrowers within three business days of receiving their applications. However, new guidance from the CFPB will now severely restrict how much a final mortgage deal can vary from from the original loan estimate.

In an effort to ensure compliance, the ‘Know Before You Owe’ loan documentation will consist of two new forms: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure to ensure compliance.

“Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions a consumer will ever make. Our new ‘Know Before You Owe’ mortgage forms improve consumer understanding, aid comparison shopping, and help prevent closing table surprises for consumers,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. The CFPB states further that the new documentation is intended to help improve consumer understanding, compare loan offers and avoid closing costs at the table.

At Khani & Auerbach, we are doing our very best to remain at the forefront of these changes.  We will continue to educate ourselves, our clients and real estate professionals that we work with in an effort to make these transitions as seamless as possible.   Click here for the downloadable .pdf file.