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Elder Law & Advocacy to Participate in NBC 7 Responds Event on Renters’ Rights

Join us on Wednesday, May 23, 2017, from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM

This event will be hosted via Facebook. You can access the event at NBC 7 Responds Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SDConsumerConnection/

Scam Alert

WARNING-SOLAR ENERGY INSTALLATIONS CAN ‘BURN’ YOU!

 

THE PROBLEM:

You “went solar” or got a new water heater or put in artificial turf or installed new energy efficient windows but now you have a much bigger property tax bill.

HERE’S WHAT CAN HAPPEN:

You receive a visit from someone who offers to help you lower your energy or water bills.  You may be told it will also help the environment.  You are told that it is a “government–sponsored program”.  That person implies it is free, especially for seniors.

You had that energy upgrade installed but the product was substandard, the installation was sloppy, they damaged your property during the installation.

You get behind on your property bill and may be at risk of foreclosure!

WHAT TO DO:  Take your time before you sign!

MAKE SURE YOU ASK FOR A PRINTED COPY OF ALL DOCUMENTS TO READ BEFORE YOU ALLOW ANYONE TO WORK ON YOUR HOME.

Elder Law & Advocacy will review any documents with you for free, before you sign up or after you have had an installation completed.

Scam Alert

Alertas De Estafa/Fraude Para Adultos

¡Cuidado- Instalaciones De Energía Solar Pueden Ponerlo En Riesgo!

El Problema:

Usted decidió instalar tecnología de energía solar o obtuvo un nuevo calentador de agua o instalo pasto sintético o ventanas de energía eficiente pero ahora tiene una cuenta de impuestos propietarios.

Esto Es Lo Que Puede Pasar:

Usted recibe una visita de alguien que le ofrece ayuda para reducir sus cuentas de energía o agua. Le pueden decir que ayudaría al medio ambiente. Le dicen que es un “programa patrocinado por el gobierno”. El individuo ofreciéndole estos servicios insiste en que es totalmente gratis, especialmente para adultos mayores.

Usted obtuvo la mejora energética pero el producto fue deficiente, la instalación fue mala, y le dañaron su propiedad durante la instalación.

¡Usted se atrasa en sus cuentas propietarias y está en riesgo de juicio hipotecario!

Que Hacer: ¡Tome su tiempo antes de firmar!

ASEGURESE DE PEDIR UNA COPIA POR ESCRITO DE TODOS LOS DOCUMENTOS PARA LEERLOS ANTES DE AUTORIZAR CUALQUIER TRABAJO  EN SU PROPIEDAD.

Elder Law & Advocacy revisara sus documentos con usted sin ningún costo alguno, antes de que firme o después de que le hayan hecho cualquier instalación.

¿No está seguro/a si es una estafa o fraude?  ¡Primero Llámenos!

Llame al 858-565-1392 (Condado de San Diego) o 760-353-0223 (Condado del Valle Imperial)

Para asesoría gratuita.

Alertad De Estafa/Fraude Para Adultos

Tarjetas De Crédito Para Usos Médicos- Utilícelas Con Cuidado

Ayuda! Mi dentista dice que necesito trabajo dental valorado en miles de dólares y el trabajo no es cubierto por mi aseguranza!

Cuando gastos inesperados ocurren y el/la paciente simplemente no tiene el dinero suficiente para pagar por ellos, un proveedor de cuidado de salud le pudiera sugerir una tarjeta de crédito especial para ese tipo de gastos. Un consumidor angustiado pudiera considerar este tipo de opción a crédito, cual es ofrecida a los pacientes en la oficina del proveedor. Estas tarjetas de crédito médicas cubrirán parte del gasto, pero no vienen sin ningún riesgo.

Estas tarjetas ofrecen no tener intereses por el término inicial. Al finalizar el término inicial, el usuario de la tarjeta debió de haber pagado el balance en completo. Si el prestatario no ha pagado el balance completo al acabarse el termino inicial, todo el interés junto con la deuda restante se convierten a deuda y estas tarjetas especiales incluyen un interés muy alto de alrededor de 26.99% reportado por el Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

En Diciembre 2013, el Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordeno a GE Capital Retail Bank y sus subsidiario, CareCredit, a reembolsarle millones a consumidores quienes fueron víctimas de tácticas engañosas debido a inscripciones a tarjetas de crédito. En las oficinas de doctores y dentistas de todo el país, pacientes fueron inscritos para obtener tarjetas de CareCredit al pensar que eran ofertas sin interés, pero en realidad fueron acumulando interés cual “iniciara” si el balance restante no fuese pagado al final del periodo promocional. El interés  se calcula desde la fecha que el prestatario se inscribió para obtener crédito.

¿Que debe de hacer un consumidor quien enfrenta este tipo de gasto?

  • Si su proveedor medico sugiere que use una tarjeta de crédito médica como una opción de pago, no confíe en su explicación de los términos de crédito.
  • Pida una copia en escrito de la aplicación y léala cuidadosamente.
  • Este seguro/a de entender los términos y los cargos de interés después del término promocional.
  • Si usted decide en aplicar, asegúrese de dividir y hacer sus pagos adecuadamente para asegurar que no quede balance restando al final del término inicial.
  • Considere si tiene otra opción disponible como una cuenta de crédito existente con un cargo de interés menor.

Si tiene preguntas sobre este o algún otro asunto legal, llame a ELDER LAW & ADVOCACY al (858) 565-1392.  La mayor cantidad de adultos mayores y cuidadores/ayudantes califican para asesoría legal gratuita.

Scam Alert

HEALTH-CARE CREDIT CARDS-USE WITH CAUTION

Help!  My dentist says I need thousands of dollars’ worth of dental work and it’s not covered by my insurance!

When unexpected expenses come up and a patient just doesn’t have the money to pay for it, a healthcare provider may suggest a special credit card for these expenses.  A distressed consumer may turn to this type of credit option, which is offered to a patient at the provider’s office.  These health-care credit cards will cover part or all of the expense, but they are not without risk.

These cards can offer “no interest” for the initial term.  At the end of the initial term, the card user must have paid the balance off in full.  If the borrower has not paid the entire balance off in full by the end of that initial term, all of the interest along with the unpaid balance becomes due and these special cards can have a very high interest rate-a rate of 26.99% has been reported by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In December 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered GE Capital Retail Bank and its subsidiary, CareCredit, to refund millions to consumers who were victims of deceptive credit card enrollment tactics.  At doctor’s and dentist’s offices around the country, patients were signed up for CareCredit cards they thought were interest free , but were actually accruing interest that “kicked in” if the balance was not paid at the end of the promotional period. The interest is calculated all the way back to the date the borrower signed up for the credit. 

So what is a consumer who is facing this type of expense to do?

  • If your medical provider suggests using a special health-care credit card as an option for payment, don’t rely on their explanation of the terms of the credit.
  • Ask for a printed copy of the application and read it carefully.
  • Be sure you understand the terms and the interest rate after the promotional period.
  • If you decide to apply, make sure to divide up and make your payments evenly to ensure that you have no balance by the end of the initial term.
  • Consider whether you have other options such as an existing credit account with a lower interest rate.

If you have questions about this or other legal matters, call ELDER LAW & ADVOCACY at (858) 565-1392.  Most seniors and their caregivers are eligible for free legal advice.

Don’t Become A Victim of A Solar Panel Installation Scam

So How Did You End Up With a Huge Property Tax Bill After You “Went Solar”?

The Problem:  You are surprised with an incredibly high property tax bill which will continue for the next 20 years.

How did it happen? You decided to save on your electric bill and help the environment at the same time.  You received a visit from someone who offered to help you lower your electric bill through a free government sponsored program, the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program.  Or you were told the project would cost you some up-front costs, but you would actually make so much electricity, you could sell it back to the utility-you would make money!

Who would turn down such a great offer?  Not many folks would.  But here’s the catch-the program may have some government aspects, but it isn’t free.

There are other problems as well.  A senior may end up with poor workmanship on the installation or they may have been pressured into more costly upgrades: a new water heater or heating and air conditioning system, artificial turf, new windows or any number of other products.

The PACE program was created in 2008 through legislation to encourage energy efficient upgrades and permit financing for those upgrades by adding the costs to a homeowner’s property tax bill.

Elderly consumers have contacted us with reports of home improvement contractors using telemarketing and door-to-door sales to misleadingly negotiate the terms of PACE loans.  The contractors reportedly entered elderly consumers into PACE loans without the elderly consumers’ knowledge and without providing documentation, and also without advising the consumers that an increased tax assessment will be placed on their homes.

We have received complaints that elderly individuals with dementia, or who were on medication, were entered into electronic PACE loan contracts they never saw, on terms they did not understand.  Several have reported that “sales” were made on cell phones or tablets-they never saw or signed a document.

Some individuals were not provided any documentation until well after they were entered into a tax assessment agreement.  We are concerned that these same individuals will eventually be at risk of foreclosure, terrible at any age but especially egregious for an older individual with minimal resources.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:

Take your time before you sign.  Ask for and read any documentation relating to an energy upgrade.  Make sure you ask for a printed copy and don’t sign anything that seems too complex or confusing.  Elder Law & Advocacy will review documents with you at no charge.  We are a free legal services organization with a mission to help seniors who are age 60 and over.

Fellowship Application Announcement

ELDER LAW & ADVOCACY

SUMMER 2017 FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION ANNOUNCEMENT

AND APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Elder Law & Advocacy’s Summer 2017 Fellowship is a paid summer position, designed to assist low-income, monolingual or bilingual Spanish speaking clients in a court-based clinic setting located in El Centro, California.  The ideal candidate will be bilingual with a passion for using their legal skills and education to better the lives of others.

The selected Fellowship candidate will assist clinic participants with both landlord/tenant matters and elder abuse restraining orders under the direct supervision of the clinic’s lead attorney.  Applicants must be either an incoming 2L or 3L, or recent law school graduate.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Please submit the following documents electronically in a single PDF file in the order indicated below to creilly@seniorlaw-sd.org by the close of business on May 15, 2017.  Please title the email “(Your Name) –Fellowship Application”.

  1. Signed fellowship application
  2. Writing Sample
  3. Letters of recommendation (2 total) from a
  • Former employer;  and
  • Law school professor

For the application please follow the link below:

ELDER LAW summer fellow application 2017NEW

This fellowship is supported by the California Bar Foundation and San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund.

The Walk Volunteer Kickoff Party

The Alzheimer’s Association will be hosting two events encouraging the community to get involved.

They will be having an event in Escondido on 02/16/2017 and one in San Diego on 02/22/2017.

For more information click on the links below.

San Diego Volunteer Kickoff Party

Escondido Volunteer Kickoff Party

The Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP)

By Jenna MacRae

The US Census estimates that 6.4 million seniors live in poverty throughout the United States. It can be difficult to make ends meet. The Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) is a program of Elder Law & Advocacy that provides free, unbiased Medicare counseling to beneficiaries and their representatives. HICAP is increasing its efforts to assist low-income beneficiaries who struggle to afford their Medicare Part D costs and Medicare premiums.

Social Security’s Extra Help low-income subsidy (LIS) helps to reduce the Part D prescription drug plan costs by reducing the monthly premium, lowering co-payments and eliminating the “donut hole.” CMS estimates that 2 million people qualify for Social Security’s Extra Help Program and are not yet enrolled. Medicare Savings Programs help pay for the monthly Medicare Part A or Part B premiums and automatically qualify an individual for LIS.

Our goal is to inform Medicare beneficiaries of these programs and assist those who may qualify to apply.  HICAP is scheduling individual appointments for beneficiaries. To schedule an individual appointment, call 800-434-0222 or 858-565-8772 (San Diego County), or 760-353-0223 (Imperial County).