MAGELLAN LAW PROTECTOR
HOME TITLE LOCK
I ’m dedicating this cover article to whether Home Title Lock is all it’s cracked up to be. Home Title Lock has been advertising on satellite radio and cable television for some time. Here’s the scoop. Title fraud is when someone steals the title to your home for financial gain. Thieves simply change ownership of your home from you to them. Then they take out loans on your home and just disappear — leaving you with the payments and a mountain of legal bills. More than 9,600 victims lost over $56 million in 2017 due to mortgage fraud, according to the FBI. Running the math on this, there are 126 million homeowners in the U.S., which means you have a 0.0076% chance of being a victim of this type of fraud. That doesn’t seem very high. The real risk is to older people with a lot of equity in their homes. The cost to you, if it happens, would probably be $50,000 in legal fees. In comparison, the cost of Home Title Lock is $149/year. Before paying for this service, consider that you are much more likely to be the victim of some other form of identity theft. According to the FBI, there were 301,580 wire fraud complaints in 2017 with losses of $1.4 billion. Thus, you have a 0.9% chance of this happening to you. You can buy identity theft protection through LifeLock with $1 million of coverage for $420/year. exposing scams and things that simply don’t work. Recently, I looked into
Alternatively, here are some FREE things you can do to mitigate your risk of identity theft (including title fraud). • Monitor your current accounts daily or weekly. Use an account-aggregation app like Mint or login to your various accounts to make sure all charges were made by you. If you see something suspicious, contact your bank immediately. • File your taxes early. There could be an uptick in tax fraud after the Equifax breach of 2017. • Use secure passwords and two-step verification. Because most identity theft occurs with existing accounts, one of the best things you can do is safeguard your data online, especially for accounts that contain identifying information and credit-card or other financial data. • Set up alerts for new credit activity. Save yourself money and use a free credit- monitoring service like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. I also suggest setting fraud alerts and credit freezes with the three credit bureaus. • Check your credit reports regularly. You can access one free copy of your credit report from each of the three bureaus once a year through the government- sponsored AnnualCreditReport.com. While you’re at it, there may be things you can do to improve your credit score and fix any errors.
• Choose identity-verification questions and answers carefully. Additional identity- verification questions can help keep accounts secure, but not if you choose questions like “Where were you born?” that could easily be answered with access to your social media account or other personal information. In conclusion , I’d say Home Title Lock is best suited for an older person whose primary asset is the equity in their home. They are the primary targets of title fraud, so the $149/year cost makes sense to protect their primary asset. The information in this article is not intended to be legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
–Paul Deloughery, Esq.
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HOWTO KEEP YOUR FAMILY CLOSE IN A BUSYWORLD
If you feel like you’ve hardly seen your kids since the school year started, you’re not alone. Americans are way too busy — from childhood onward, we’re always running hither and thither, packing in as many after-school activities, work-related meetings, and social engagements as possible. It’s a problem so pervasive that it has a name: time scarcity.
a movie together every Thursday night, or going on a monthly getaway, make sure these traditions aren’t canceled. If your family doesn’t have many rituals, a great way to connect is to start some. MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT As cliche as it sounds, when you don’t have much time together, it’s crucial to be present for every minute of it. If you have a rare half hour at home with one of your kids, make a point to spend it in the same room and try to start a conversation. If you squeeze in a romantic dinner
Families feel time scarcity keenly after school starts in September, when children’s schedules explode with engagements. But all
hope for close ties isn’t lost; there are ways to stay connected with your spouse and kids, even in an increasingly busy world. Here are some ideas from counselors, teachers, and psychologists who claim to have mastered the art. REMEMBER YOUR RITUALS Rituals make up the backbone of individual families and society at large. Most people wouldn’t dream of abandoning their holiday traditions, so why forgo the smaller rituals that bring families together? Whether it’s eating dinner at the same table each evening, watching
with your spouse, turn off your phones before the food comes. Listening to each other without distractions will strengthen your relationship. HUG IT OUT Physical contact is vital for closeness. When you get the chance, hug your kids, hold hands with your spouse, and do physical activities as a family, like hiking, biking, or even playing group sports. It’s been scientifically proven that physical closeness leads to emotional closeness, so if you’re low on time, take advantage of that shortcut!
MY WEEKEND IN AN OUTDOOR MECCA WHAT’S YOUR PLAN FOR NATIONAL SELF-IMPROVEMENT MONTH?
For some unidentifiable reason, autumn seems like the best time for self-reflection. Perhaps the desire for personal examination stems from the transition from the (hopefully) more relaxed summer months to the busier and more focused fall. But, regardless of where the urge comes from, it’s widespread. In fact, the month of September was recently dubbed National Self-Improvement Month to help Americans set aside time to be intentional about their approaches to achieving their own goals.
A goal I’m consistently working toward is being better about unplugging — be it from my work computer, my cell phone, or just from the rushed, competitive nature of the American work schedule. Just as there are times to wholly dedicate to working, there are times that should be saved for unplugging. For this reason, my wife and I decided to venture to Bear Valley, California, last month to spend a weekend with Outbound Collective for what can only be referred to as an adult summer camp. We packed our tent, sleeping bags, outdoor gear, and most importantly, our sense of adventure and headed to Bear Valley, a
multi-sport mecca located in the beautiful Central Sierra Mountains.
mesmerizing starry sky experience that you can only witness at 6,600 feet.
Outbound Collective started their Pursuit series to offer adults new outdoor skills and knowledge and to foster inclusion within the outdoor community through classes taught by various experts. Participants have several classes they can take throughout the day. Kayaking, outdoor rock climbing, trail running, paddleboarding, backpacking, yoga, and fly fishing are all offered and taught by outdoor enthusiasts and professional athletes. At night, you can kick back around the fire and enjoy wine and whiskey tasting events, live music, and a
I think when most people start brainstorming methods for their own self-improvement, they picture stuffy classrooms and giant textbooks. But it’s perfectly acceptable to seek an experience that can be mentally stimulating AND fun. In my opinion, there’s no better place to start than up in the mountains, completely unplugged. What’s your plan for National Self- Improvement Month? If you need help coming up with ideas, let me know!
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LEARNING ABOUT ASTRONOMY AND SASQUATCH
If you got the chance to read through last month’s newsletter, then you know that I was recently able to watch a presentation by Keith Cunningham, the original “rich dad” from the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book series. During the presentation, Cunningham spent some time exploring the importance of reading. In fact, he claimed that he reads at least two books a week! I’ve always wanted to be a much more habitual reader, but, by the time I get home from work, I’d rather immerse myself in a mindless Netflix series than start turning pages. But Cunningham got me thinking about my own approach to reading, and, while it may not align with the more traditional process, I think it’s equally as educational. When I was in grade school, there was a program at the public library that offered prizes to kids who read a certain number of books in order to encourage them to read more often. I remember checking out as many books as I could find on two distinct subjects: astronomy and Sasquatch, the only two subjects I was apparently interested in at the time. I remember skimming the pages, reading several chapters that seemed especially exciting, turning back to the beginning, and eventually reaching the final pages in no particular order. By the time the due date for the reading program came around, my mom was ready to take the book to the library so I could claim my prize. I remember telling her, “I can’t say I read these books because I didn’t read every word.” She responded, “People read in different ways. You don’t have to read every word in order to have finished a book.”
When it comes to pleasure reading, I still take that same approach today. I find that if I don’t, I end up with five or six books stacked on my nightstand, all only partially read. Following the same process that I did as a child, looking at chapter titles and working my way through the ones that seemed pertinent to me, helps me remember the material and maintains my interest for much longer. For that reason, I think we should all be a little
easier on ourselves when it comes to reading. You don’t have to read all 587,287 words in “War and Peace” to have finished it. You don’t even need to start with the first word! Find what works for you, and go from there.
PALEO BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup onion, diced • 1 red pepper, diced • 2 strips bacon, cut into squares • 1 large sweet potato, spiralized or grated • 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 cups spinach • 1/2 cup chicken or
vegetable broth (optional: substitute with water)
• 1 tsp paprika • 6 eggs • Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté onion, peppers, bacon, and sweet potatoes until bacon is completely rendered and onions are translucent. Then, add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Finally, add spinach and continue cooking for another 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer to a greased casserole dish. 4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and pour them over casserole. 5. Bake for 20–30 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes, and serve.
Football Quarterback Touchdown Homecoming
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Home Title Lock Worth It? page 1
How to Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World My Weekend in an Outdoor Mecca page 2
Learning About Astronomy and Sasquatch
Paleo Breakfast Casserole page 3 Types of Intellectual Property page 4
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND YOUR BUSINESS
etc. Think of the distinctive Nike “Swoosh” and the familiar ending sound of Dell’s commercials. To properly protect your trademark, file a trademark application to have it registered. COPYRIGHTS Most people seek protection under copyright law for a variety of things related to their product or business, like images, specific words on packaging, labeling, the actual product, and the business webpage. The best thing about copyright registration is that it’s inexpensive. Plus, the law allows you to demand attorney fees from those who infringe on your copyright. PATENTS Patents are a fantastic way to protect your designs, and companies have utilized patents to maintain their competitive advantage. A great example of this strategy is when Sony Pictures patented their animation style for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse” which grossed over $375,502,565. There are two types of patents: one for utility (function) and one for design (aesthetic). To apply for a patent, register with the United States Patent Office. Regardless of the type of intellectual property you have, it’s important you identify what type it is and which type of protection is most appropriate. Even a small amount of intellectual property is worth protecting, so start the process now to safeguard it.
Intellectual property is defined by Merriam-Webster as “property (such as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect.” As you can no doubt glean from this definition, intellectual property can be a lot of things, so it’s important to identify and protect you and your business’ intellectual property. Here are the main categories and protections for your company’s creations. TRADE SECRETS A trade secret is any useful piece of information that the public doesn’t know about and the owner has taken steps to protect. If you have taken the steps necessary to protect your own trade practices, you may have a case if you ever discover your trade secret has been leaked. Having your employees sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) is a great way to initially establish your unique business practices as trade secrets. TRADEMARKS The name of your business, product, or service — anything a customer uses to identify a product — generally requires a trademark. This may include your company’s name, product name,
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