A Look At The Levin Firms Past Personal Injury Cases
At The Levin Firm, we maintain a peerless commitment to our clients. We want to obtain results as quickly as possible to help our clients move forward with their lives despite the severe injuries they suffered.
Our clients note that our attorneys focus particularly on communication, including a high degree of responsiveness that helps them feel confident in leaving their claims in our hands.
I cannot thank The Levin Firm enough for their help with my accident case. They helped me every step of the way and got me a great settlement. I would highly recommend them to anyone. John S.I was injured in a car accident and needed help. Gabriel Levin handled my case from beginning to end and got me recovery quickly. He was always available to talk on the phone and returned all the messages I left for him. Susan A.
These testimonials offer only a snapshot of our past results and our commitment to serving as advocates for our neighbors throughout the Fort Lauderdale community. Contact us today to learn more.
Should I Refinance My Mortgage Instead Of Renegotiating It
You may wonder if refinancing your mortgage is a better option than renegotiating it, and it may be. Heres a quick look at the pros and cons:
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.
- Take advantage of rates and terms that save you money if you qualify.
- A cash-out refinance can let you liquidate home equity.
- Refinancing fees apply which can be thousands of dollars.
- Qualifying can be difficult .
- Your existing loan may have a prepayment penalty.
- Lengthy application and approval process.
If you qualify for an offer that helps you to save money overall and/or monthly, refinancing is worth considering.
How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Claim After A Fort Lauderdale Accident
You will need to file your personal injury claim before the statute of limitations runs out. For some victims, that may pose a challenge, especially if you have let a great deal of time pass since your accident. If you believe time might be running out, however, contact an attorney before you give up. Many exceptions exist to the statute of limitations that may allow you to file your claim even if significant time has passed since the accident.
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Ways To Negotiate A Better Mortgage Rate
When youre buying a home or refinancing your current mortgage, your interest rate is one of the most important factors to pay attention to. And if you negotiate a lower interest rate, you can save thousands of dollars over the course of your loan.
If youve shopped for loans before, you might have the mindset that you must accept the rate the bank offers you. But the good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve that rate. In this article, we share five of the best ways to negotiate for a lower mortgage rate.
Keep Track Of All Medical Bills Related To Your Accident In A Separate File Include Information From Your Medical Records If Relevant
After your accident, you may have a lot of paperwork coming your way. You may have scans and X-rays from the emergency room, treatment recommendations from your doctor, and paperwork explaining your injuries and the exercises you need to perform to aid in the healing process.
Then the medical bills start arriving.
Many people do not expect the sheer number of medical bills that arrive after a serious accident. Often, you will receive separate medical bills for each visit with a care provider. You may even receive multiple medical bills for a single procedure, especially if you need surgical treatment for your injuries.
Keep track of all of those medical bills in one location. Note if and when you pay those bills or make payments toward those bills. Not only can this prove vital in establishing the basis for your personal injury claim, since you will need to include your medical expenses in the claim, but it can also help you establish exactly when you paid those bills if a discrepancy shows up in your medical records later.
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Why You Have To Shop To Negotiate Rates
Mortgages are a lot more regulated than they used to be. As a result, individual loan officers have less flexibility to change rates from customer to customer.
Thats why we talk about tactics like comparing loan estimates and purchasing discount points to lower your rate rather than trying to bargain with your loan officer.
In todays market, some lenders are more efficient than others. They lower operating costs by using online applications and digital processing. And those overhead savings often get passed on to customers.
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Other lenders do such high volume that they can afford to charge lower rates and fees, and still turn a profit.
And most every lender has some sort of niche. Some mortgage companies are friendlier toward low-income or low-credit borrowers, some are better for self-employed people, some have jumbo loans for multi-million dollar homes, and so on.
So, shopping around doesnt just give you ammo for negotiating a lower mortgage rate.
It also helps you pinpoint mortgage lenders that specialize in the type of loan you need. And that lender will be more likely to give you a competitive rate, regardless.
How Can I Negotiate My Mortgage Interest Rates With My Lender
Mortgage loans are not a one-size-fits-all product, which means lenders can sometimes offer deals that are better than the headline rates. The size of the loan, your loan-to-value and credit worthiness will all play a part in your ability to negotiate a reduction when shopping around for mortgages. When you already have a mortgage, your lender may be willing to reduce your rate to keep you current on the loan. Otherwise, you could slip into delinquency or refinance with a different lender.
New borrowers can lower the interest rate by purchasing discount points. If you’re wanting to refinance, the more equity you have in the home, the better the rate you’ll qualify for.
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When Should I Get In Touch With A Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney After An Accident
Ideally, you should contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible. While your attorney may advise waiting before you file your personal injury claim, you can still benefit from working with an attorney immediately after the accident.
Evidence can prove more difficult to collect as you allow more time to pass after your accident. Witness statements can grow increasingly murky as memory fades and changes. Video footage can get erased. Evidence may vanish from the scene of the accident, not due to deliberate malice, but simply due to the natural progression of time.
Working with an attorney soon after the accident can increase the odds that you will have that evidence in hand if you need it to plead your case or take your claim to court.
An attorney can also provide valuable assistance immediately after your accident. Pain pills and brain injuries can both create confusion and make it difficult for you to make logical, reasoned decisions about the steps you need to take next. You may struggle to deal with the legal challenges in front of you or to answer the necessary questions. An attorney can help answer those questions for you and make it easier for you to make decisions after your accident.
Sticking With Your Current Lender
The easiest thing to do is to just call your lender and ask for a better rate. Itâs cheaper to keep you as a customer than find a new one. Youâll have a stronger hand to play if you have a history of paying on time and a strong credit rating.
When you call your lender, ask about special promos theyâre currently offering. Look at competitorâs websites. If you have time, take your renewal letter to a few banks for a quote.
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Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit rating is directly tied to the interest rate you will receive on a loan. Even just a half a percent difference in the mortgage rate can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
Pay off Your Credit Cards
The quickest way to increase your credit score quickly is to pay down the balances on your credit cards. Your is the amount of available credit you are using. The lower your card balances, the higher your credit score will be.
Try to pay your balances to less than 20% of your cards credit limits. Once you do this they should report the updated balances to the credit bureaus within 30 days. At which time the lender can pull your credit score again and get the updated scores. If you are in a hurry ask your lender about doing a rapid rescore to get your updated credit scores more quickly.
Dont Miss any Payments
Sounds simple but forgetting to make payments is the number one reason people miss payments. However, you need to remind yourself, dont miss any payments before making a purchase like buying a house. Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, a single late payment can cause your credit score to drop by as much as 50 points.
If you have a tendency to forget to make payments on time you need to sign up for automatic payments. Most creditors offer autopay for free, sign onto your online account and see what options they have for autopay.
Pay Attention To The Details
Dont just look at the mortgage rate your agent is offering. Look beyond the actual number and ask about the product terms and conditions. What prepayment options are available? Is the mortgage portable? What happens if you need to move or break the mortgage contract what are the penalties? Are there any transfer fees?
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What Is A Mortgage Recast
A mortgage recast is an option available on some types of mortgages. Its a process where you pay a lump sum to reduce your principal amount and recalculate your remaining payments based on a new amortization schedule.
The result is a lower monthly payment and reduced overall interest costs. This can be more beneficial then a refinance because you avoid the fees and credit check, and continue with your original mortgage. However, you do need to have money to invest in the principal.
Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company Or Companies
What insurance will you use to help cover the cost of injuries related to your accident? If you use PIP insurance or file a car accident claim, you may need to talk to your car insurance company.
Regardless of how your injuries occurred, you may need to talk to your medical insurance provider. Ask any questions you have related to your coverage, including how your accident will impact your medical coverage. What do your deductibles and copays look like? What is your out-of-pocket maximum for the calendar year? Does your insurance company cover durable medical equipment?
You may also want to ask questions about in-network providers. Contacting your insurance company will give you a better idea of the expenses you can expect as you handle your medical bills.
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Consider A Shorter Loan Term
When you take out a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage instead of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate will normally be lower. In mid-September 2020, for example, the 30-year rate was 2.87%, and the 15-year rate was 2.35%.
You also could consider an adjustable-rate mortgage. Its introductory rate may be lower than what you could get on a fixed-rate mortgage. It depends on the market, though: In mid-September, a 5/1 ARM had an interest rate of 2.96%.
Even if you can get a lower rate on an ARM, youre taking a risk. It might be cheaper in the short term, but it could be more expensive in the long term. Why?
- No one knows what interest rates will look like when the ARMs introductory period ends.
- Theres no guarantee youll be able to refinance or sell when the ARMs introductory period ends.
Build Up Your Credit Card History And Score
Another thing you can do to ensure you secure the best interest rate is to work on your credit score before you apply for a loan. Truthfully, no matter what the current rate forecast looks like, the best interest rates are always given to the borrowers with the highest scores.
If you take the time to ensure your score is in good shape, youll have more options when it comes to selecting which loan type makes the most sense.
To that end, if your goal is to increase your credit score, there are a few things that you can do: First, make sure to always make your payment on time. Payment history accounts for 30% of your overall credit score.
Next, make sure to keep your credit utilization ratio, or the amount of credit you’re using versus your total available credit, as low as possible. That figure accounts for an additional 30% of your score.
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Collect Evidence If You Can
Do not move around the scene of the accident if you feel that it will worsen your injuries or place you in danger.
For example, you do not want to run around in the road following an auto accident just to get pictures of the accident. If you can safely navigate the scene of the accident, however, you may want to collect evidence related to how the accident occurred. If you slipped and fell because of a broken board on the stairs at your hotel, for example, you should take a picture of the broken board. Suffer injuries due to a spill? You may want to take photos of the spill and the area around it, displaying that no signs warned about the hazard.
In an auto accident, you may specifically want to collect pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident, including a close-up of the damage to the vehicles. You should also snap a picture of the other drivers insurance information and license.
Did anyone witness your accident? If so, you may want to collect contact information for those witnesses. They can help establish what led to your accident, including factors you may not have noticed at the time of the accident.
Canadians Want Rate Transparency
The overwhelming majority of Candians dont want hidden mortgage rates. Our survey asked whether Canadians feel that banks should make their lowest mortgage rates public a full 89.8% of Canadians said they should.
We also asked them if they felt that having to negotiate a mortgage is unfair 53.7% said yes.
This makes sense. Buying a home and securing a mortgage is already a stressful process. There are a lot of variables at play should you get a fixed or variable mortgage? Should you sacrifice a lower rate for a more flexible mortgage that offers prepayment options?
Amidst all of that and buying a home, you might not have your best foot forward to negotiate the best deal.
But negotiating is important not knowing how can really cost you. Here’s an example. On LowestRates.ca, the lowest advertised rate for a five-year fixed mortgage is currently 2.74%. If amortized at 25 years, the monthly payment comes out to $2,272.
Taking a look at the big banks, the best advertised rate for a five-year fixed mortgage is 3.29%. That adds up to a monthly payment of $2,412 or $140 more than the best rate on LowestRates.ca. Over a year, you’re paying $1680 more for that mortgage. And over a 25 year period, that adds up to $42,000.
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To Negotiate Mortgage Rates First You Have To Shop
Shopping around gives you the ammo you need to negotiate a lower mortgage rate.
Buyers save $1,500 by getting just one extra quote, and $3,000 for five quotes on average.
Surprisingly, though, many home buyers and refinancers skip the shopping part. About half go with the first lender they talk to.
As a consumer, you should exercise your power to get multiple rates and ask for the best deal.
Not negotiating mortgage rates means youre leaving money on the table.
Example Of An Interest Rate Differential Penalty
IRD is based on the difference between:
- The original posted rate from when you took your mortgage.
- The current mortgage rate offered
NOTE: Some lenders will choose to post a high interest rate, then offer discounts to be more competitive. The effect being higher penalties than youâd see with other lenders.
For example, consider the following variables:
- $300,000 mortgage
- 5% original posted mortgage rate
- 3.5% current mortgage rate
- 40-months remaining on your mortgage
Interest Rate Differential Calculation:
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Use Loan Estimates To Negotiate A Lower Rate
A loan officer has 3 days from the time you complete your loan application, and they pull credit to give you the loan estimate breaking down the loan fees. The interest rate, closing costs, and other lender fees will be listed on the loan estimate.
You can take the best loan estimate to each lender and have them try to beat the offer. They will most likely come back with a lower rate and closing costs to get the deal done.
If there is a loan officer you feel the most comfortable with being capable of getting your loan closed on time, then you can give them the best loan estimate you got and tell them to beat it to earn your business.