Happy New Year –2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon
TRUST CERTIFICATIONS – WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY ARE THEY NEEDED? When a third party, acting in good faith and for valuable consideration, has no actual knowledge of whether the Trustee of a Trust has the proper powers to act, a Trust Certification given to this third party will fully protected them in their dealings with this Trustee(s) even if no copy of the Trust is provided. (California’s Probate Code, Section 18100.5)
The Trust Certification gives the generalities of the Trust and is completed and signed by all acting Trustees in the presence of a Notary Public, under penalty of perjury.
Click here to go to the full article on our website: http://www.vivaescrow.com/for-your-convenience/faq/what-is-a-trust-cert.
Reminder to all – A Trust Agreement and its Amendments are important documents! Keep them in a safe place and, more importantly, alert your family as to its location.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION– Last year “People Power” was very effectively exercised in various situations – Netflix changes, Bank of America debit fees, and Verizon’s $2 “convenience charge” come to mind. This year, it’s time “We The People” remember these examples and remember that our voice counts! Make it a resolution this year to (1) read all the fine print before you sign up for something, this includes credit cards, cable service and especially mortgage documents. (2) question the fees; and (3) don’t pay stupid fees. What are some of the most outrageous fees that corporate companies impose on unsuspecting victims? Per Liz Weston of MSN Money and her article, they are:
• Debit card fees – People Power exercised and financial institutions backed down
• Boarding pass fees – extra charge for printing a boarding pass at the airline counter.
• Baggage fees – charge for baggage, particularly the first suitcase and the carryon!
• Early termination fees for cable service and phone service – do the homework and read the fine print before you sign up!
• Fees charged to deposit cash in bank – how ridiculous is that! Isn’t that what banks are for? Exercise People Power and transfer your accounts!
• Bank charges to use cards issued to pay unemployment – This is a case of adding insult to injury. You are already on unemployment and now the financial institution is charging you when you access your unemployment funds through the prepaid card issued by the government.
Do you have any fees you encountered that are outrageous? Let us know. Don’t take any of this meekly. Let your voice and actions be heard! There is a reason why Time Magazine’s 2011 Person of the Year is – The Protestor.
ON THE OTHER HAND, ASK AND YOU COULD RECEIVE: It’s a scary concept and most people are hesitant to follow this but don’t be afraid to ask. When it comes to issues involving your credit cards (and who doesn’t have those issues!) you have nothing to lose (except maybe a little time and effort) and the results might be quite beneficial. Look at this as a game and the name of this game is to get your credit card company to work for you – lower your rate, get late fees eliminated, reduce an annual fee, increase your credit limit. Negotiation, a little bit of acting, and a whole lot of confidence is all that is required to deal with them. Take charge and good luck!
PASADENA’S STRICT SMOKING REGULATIONS – Effective January 1, 2012 Pasadena’s no smoking ordinance disclosure will come into effect. That means that the property owners and managers of multi family buildings must post signs about it being unlawful to smoke in the common area, patio, balcony, or even inside the unit. Also, anytime a lease or rental agreement is put forward, as well as purchase agreements, disclosures have to be made as to the prohibition and a copy of the ordinance given to the prospective renter/lessee/purchaser. The actual ban and its enforcement will not take effect until January 1, 2013, however, and it will be the responsibility of the City’s Dept of Health to enforce. (Ordinance PMC 8.78.072)
Disclosure form: http://www.pfar.org/pdf/Nonsmoking_DisclosureForm.pdf.
Link to Code: http://www.cityofpasadena.net/CityClerk/MunicipalCode/ – PMC 8.78.072
TRADITIONAL BULBS ON ITS WAY OUT: Is it all about saving energy? Is the government messing too much with out private lives? Or is there some evil intent of consideration for extra profits involved? In case you did not know, those traditional incandescent light bulbs are on their way out, with the federal government banning them starting this year. Yes, we are talking those 100 watt light bulbs that we use in all our furniture lamps. So, if you really like them and prefer them over the energy efficient squiggly bulbs, you are out of luck. Better start getting used to reading and putting on makeup under the new bulbs. It will give you a new view!
TOP 1%? TOP 10%? TOP 30%? WHERE AM I? SHALL I OCCUPY WALL STREET? I know I am in the bottom 99%, but with all the hullabaloo from the Occupy-ers and the Republicans’ refusal to tax the wealthy, does it make you wonder what is your ranking and are you paying a disproportionate amount to the government? Kiplinger has a thought provoking article which gives general breakdown of what percent of the population make how much percent of income to pay how much percent of the taxes, based on 2009 figures. Here’s the breakdown in simple terms:
To be in the 1% you need to make adjusted gross income of $343,927 a year
There are 1.4 million of Americans in that 1%
This 1% reported 17% of all taxable income
This 1% paid 37% of all taxes to the IRS
The rest of us could be in the next 49% or the bottom 50%. There is a calculator in the article that we can use to figure out where we are and what we should be rooting for. More taxes? Less taxes? How about more INCOME and less TAXES. That should work!
SAMOANS CAN LOSE ONE DAY. WHY CAN’T I? Did you know that Samoa skipped Friday December 30th and went straight into Saturday December 31st? Here’s the article explaining why. I wish we could do the same every last Friday of the month.
DRAGON YEAR! For those of you who wonder what are the characteristics of a person born under the sign of a Dragon, Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. They prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They are driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. Everything they do is on a grand and flamboyant scale. They have colorful personalities and although they frequently help others, their pride rarely allows them to ask for help. They can be self assured but conceited, tactless and quick tempered.
Dragons are compatible with the Monkey or the Rat. They are incompatible with the Ox or the Goat.
You are a Dragon if you were born:
Feb. 16, 1904 – Feb. 3, 1905
Feb. 3, 1916 – Jan. 22, 1917
Jan 23, 1928 – Feb. 9, 1929
Feb. 8, 1940 – Jan. 26, 1941
Jan 27, 1952 – Feb. 13, 1953
Feb. 13, 1964 – Feb. 1, 1965
Jan. 31, 1976 – Feb. 17, 1977
Feb. 17, 1988 – Feb. 5, 1989
Feb. 5, 2000 – Jan. 23, 2001
Jan 23, 2012 – Feb. 9, 2013
The Dragon is the most preferred sign for the Chinese, and there is always a surge of pregnancies for dragon babies. Well, think about it, wouldn’t you rather be known as a “Dragon” instead of a “Rat” or a “Dog”? Just imagine, I have to say, “I am a SNAKE”, when asked, and that is so not complimentary to myself….
If your “will” power doesn’t work, try your “won’t” power
~ Author Unknown ~
Happy New Year and Happy Chinese New Year (January 23, 2012).