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Monday, January 30, 2012


Members of our armed forces, including Reserves and National Guardsmen, sacrifice in many ways, including financially, while on active duty. Congress has recognized these sacrifices, and enacted special protections against home foreclosures and high interest loans for those on active duty.

HOME FORECLOSURE PROTECTION: The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) prohibits the foreclosure of a servicemember’s property during the period of active duty, and for nine months thereafter, without a court order. This only applies, however, if the mortgage was taken out prior to the commencement of active duty. In states like Georgia, which normally allows quick foreclosure without any court action, this is significant protection.

INTEREST RATE PROTECTION: During the period of active duty, and for one year thereafter, lenders must lower the servicemember’s interest rate on any loan obtained before the active duty period began. The maximum rate, including late charges and other fees, is 6 percent per annum.

HOWEVER, the interest rate reduction must be requested in writing. The rate reduction applies to individual loans as well as joint loans. The rate reduction can be requested during the active service and for 180 days after the termination of the servicemember’s active duty orders. If interest over the allowed maximum was charged, the lender must retroactively credit the account.

With over 30 years experience in consumer law, Morgan & Morgan of Athens, Georgia is always ready to help servicemembers with debt problems or consumer claims. Call for a free consultation. 1-800-924-7438 or (706)548-7070.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Can I receive Workers Comp Benefits if I was injured before or after clocking out?

In many cases, the answer is yes. It has long been held in Georgia that an injury which occurs during ingress to, or egress from, an employee's immediate place of work is "in the course of employment" and is compensable. West Point Pepperell. Inc. v. McEntire. 150 Ga Appeals 728 (1979); Mobley v. Durham Iron Company, 83 Ga Appeals 690 (1951).

In Hill v. Omni Hotel at CNN Center. 268 Ga Appeals 144 (2004), the Court of Appeals stated that the general rule in Georgia is "accidents that occur while Employees are traveling to and from work do not arise out of and in the course of employment and thus are not compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act. But under the "ingress and egress" rule, where an Employee is injured while still on the Employer's premises in the act of going to or coming from his or her work place, the Act does apply."

For example, a recent client of Morgan & Morgan injured himself after clocking out at a local factory. He tripped on the stairs while leaving the building, causing a significant injury. When the employer refused to treat the injury as compensable, Morgan & Morgan filed for a hearing. The Judge ruled that the injury was compensable and ordered the employer to pay weekly benefits and medical expenses.

REMEMBER, it is extremely important to promptly report any work-related injury, no matter how slight, to your supervisor. Make sure a written report is made. Morgan & Morgan is here to help with advise and representation.