We’re a state of swimmers: splashing in our oceans, lakes, and pools is a cherished Florida pastime. Our state values swimming education, encouraging children to learn water survival skills at a young age through programs like YMCA’s Safe Start. And yet despite these precautions, annually in Florida “enough children to fill three or four preschool classrooms drown and do not live to see their fifth birthday.” Here in Florida we have the highest drowning death rate in the nation for children under 5. Over 60% of those drownings occur in residential swimming pools. And we have more than 1 million residential pools in our state.
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In Central Florida, pools outnumber alligators. When I fly back home to Orlando after a trip out of town, I’m struck by the number of pools dotting the landscape below as the plane descends over the city. So many pools, so many safety hazards.
One of the biggest challenges consumers face today is mounting debt. From credit cards to student loans to underwater mortgages, debts can stack up to the point where they become overwhelming. Some of these debts can be managed; we can learn to curb our spending via credit cards for example or refinance a mortgage under the HARP program. There are certain debts however that we can have little control over and those include medical debt. After all, few would argue that nothing is more important that our health, or the health of our loved ones.
Paying taxes on debts that are forgiven or cancelled is a concern on the minds of many people who come to my office for advice. They are worried about having to pay additional taxes as a result of resolving issues with their creditors. These tax questions can surface in short sales, debt consolidation arrangements, mortgage modifications, bankruptcy, or any transaction where the bank or creditor receives less than the amount originally owed.
An experienced foreclosure attorney knows that Orlando homeowners in foreclosure face a deficiency judgment that can plague their finances for up to twenty years. Many homeowners who face foreclosure don’t yet feel ready to consult with a foreclosure lawyer. These homeowners may suffer unnecessarily from the “underwater home” crisis that is a plague to the Orlando community.