October 21, 2019

Got Mold? (A Guest Post by Elizabeth Cote from Schaefer Inspection)

Perhaps mold is a concern because you are purchasing a home and your inspection is soon, or maybe you suspect the presence of mold in your current home. Mold spores are present everywhere we live and breathe.  Mold spores enter our homes through open windows, our shoes from outside, or items we bring inside. It is likely that most homes will test positive for mold spores in the air. The real concern should be mold that is growing in homes due to moisture that is not well-controlled. Should you test for mold? Consider your reason to test. Are there health, allergy, or respiratory issues that are creating concern? Some people will react to mold in their environment and others will not. The Connecticut Department of Public Health does not strongly recommend testing the air or contaminated surfaces to find out how much or what kind of mold is present. All reliable sources recommend cleaning and removal, after stemming the source of moisture. There are inconclusive findings from air testing in most home and work place environments:

  • Mold is everywhere– if you test the air, you will find some mold.
  • There are no standards for “acceptable levels” of mold in indoor environments, because different types of mold vary in ability to produce allergy or illness, and, people vary in individual susceptibility/resistance.
  • There is poor correlation between airborne concentrations of mold and health outcomes.
  • Knowing air test results will not change the abatement outcome – controlling moisture and removal of the moldy source is still the recommended course of action.

The most important tests are the eyeball and nose tests – can you see or smell mold or mildew, and/or, do you see evidence of water damage? If you can see or smell fungal growth, the next step is to identify the source and then remove it, using appropriate methods. If you smell a musty odor but cannot see visible growth, mold may be hidden behind wallpaper, paint, inside of wall cavities, etc. If necessary contact a local professional to discuss and price abatement. It is always important to get several opinions and prices. Schaefer Inspection Service has a list of mold abatement contacts and we can help connect you with a specialist.

The good news is you can take some simple and easy steps to prevent mold in your home. These include:

  • When water leaks occur, act quickly!
  • Remove wet carpet or furniture that cannot be dried within 24 – 48 hours.
  • Do not install carpet in areas of water usage such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, act fast to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture or water source.
  • Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to keep humidity low.
  • Use a bathroom exhaust fan or open a window when showering.
  • Dry shower walls after use.
  • When cooking or using the dishwasher, use an exhaust fan or open the window.
  • Keep furniture and rugs from blocking air returns and vents.
  • Clean and repair gutters regularly to ensure good drainage.
  • Keep the crawlspace and basement well ventilated.
  • Ensure that your attic is properly ventilated and insulated.

Below you will find links to the Connecticut Department of Public Health website for more information about mold, mold assessment, and abatement. Schaefer Inspection Service can connect you with a mold abatement specialist in Connecticut. Call our office for more information: 800-345-2776.

https://portal.ct.gov/search-results/?q=mold#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=mold&gsc.page=1

https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/dph/environmental_health/eoha/pdf/MoldGuidanceInsurancepdf.pdf?la=en

This guest post is brought to you by Elizabeth Cote from Schaefer Inspection Service, Inc.  Contact Ms. Cote directly by email at ecote@schaeferinspectionct.com or by phone at 203-387-2131 for all your inspection needs!

800-345-2776

Equifax Data Breach: What to do if your credit has been compromised

by Seena Gressin

Re-posted from the Federal Trade Commission Website

If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.

Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too.
There are steps to take to help protect your information from being misused. Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. (This link takes you away from our site. Equifaxsecurity2017.com is not controlled by the FTC.)
    • Find out if your information was exposed. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
  • Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Write down the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
Here are some other steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach:
    • Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
    • Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
  • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
  • If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
  • File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do

 

Video Blog: What is a Return Date?

Hello, and welcome to my new video blog series.

My name is Theresa DeGray and I am an attorney in Connecticut.

I practice in the areas of Bankruptcy, Foreclosure and Civil Litigation Defense.

Please click below to watch my first vlog in which I answer the most frequently asked question: “What is a Return Date?”

In all civil cases, at least 6 days before the Return Date the Plaintiff (or the person suing you), has to file the compliant with the Clerk at the Court after you have been served.

You, the person being sued, do not have to show up in court on the return date.

The return date is also the date that starts the litigation process and sets certain deadlines for other filings.

In a family case, the return date does all of  those things I mentioned before plus it begins what is called, “the cooling off period” which runs for 90 days.  You cannot get divorced until the 91st day or after.

There are a few more things that the return date is used for but those are the most important points you need to know at the beginning of a lawsuit when you first get served.

For more information, or if you get sued and need representation, please call me 203-713-8877 or email me at TRD@ConsumerLegalServicesLLC.com.

Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more volgs coming soon!

Credit Counseling Information

Consumers

  1. Counseling Requirements
  2. Finding a Counseling Agency
  3. Taking the Counseling
  4. Paying for Counseling
  5. Certificates
  1. New Final Rule (codified at 28 C.F.R. §§ 58.12 – 58.24)
  2. Application Process
  3. Amendments to the Application
  4. Counseling Process
  5. Client Payment Issues
  6. Debt Repayment Plans (DRPs) (also known as debt management plans, or DMPs)
  7. Certificates
  8. Certificate Generation System (“CGS”) – Printing Issues
  9. CGS – Password IssuesM
  10. Activity Report Issues

SOURCE: http://www.justice.gov/ust/frequently-asked-questions-faqs-credit-counseling

This firm is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief amongst other things, under the Bankruptcy Code.