Latest & Greatest – Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications and Home Foreclosures

By John Rao, et al.  Published by National Consumer Law Center  KF 697 .R3 M63 2019

By John Rao, et al.

Published by National Consumer Law Center

KF 697 .R3 M63 2019

National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) publishes a series of legal treatises designed to address and explain consumer law issues. Their target audience are those who have limited income and limited access to justice. The treatises cover areas of consumer concerns, such as debtor rights, mortgages and foreclosures, credit and banking, deception and warranties, and consumer litigation.  As part of its consumer credit and sales legal practice series, NCLC has published Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications. Originally part of NCLC’s Foreclosures and Mortgage Servicing*, this book has expanded coverage of the business of mortgage servicing as well as mortgage loss mitigation alternatives for borrowers who are having difficulty making their payments. The treatise begins with an introduction to the mortgage market and the entities involved in the mortgage process, including mortgage servicers, before moving on to a discussion of common mortgage servicing problems and servicing requirements and claims under federal and state law. The next section of the treatise focuses upon loss mitigation and loan modifications. In this section, the reader will find a discussion of loss mitigation options for various types of loans and the result of failing to handle such loss mitigation properly. Lastly, the authors address considerations attendant to litigating mortgage servicing claims. 

By Geoff Walsh et al.  Published by National Consumer Law Center  KF 697 .R3 F6 2019

By Geoff Walsh et al.

Published by National Consumer Law Center

KF 697 .R3 F6 2019

Another new treatise from NCLC is Home Foreclosures, and it features a lot of the same material originally found in Foreclosures and Mortgage Servicing but with more in-depth discussion. From analyzing and defending a foreclosure case to handling issues arising from a foreclosure sale, the authors provide readers with practical information regarding this challenging and stressful process. The authors address the foreclosure of traditional homes as well as manufactured homes and condominiums as well as foreclosures involving Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, government-insured loans and mortgages, and reverse mortgages. Foreclosures comprise an area that is a target for deceptive practices, and in this regard, the authors include an explanation of foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams, steps to fight these scams, and legal theories that can be used to attack such scams. In the appendices, you can find pertinent state and federal statutes.

Visit the Law Library to have a look at these and other volumes in our NCLC collection. These resources can also be accessed via the NCLC databases available on our Law Library research computers.

*Note that Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications and Home Foreclosures supersede and replace the prior Foreclosures and Mortgage Servicing.

Expanding a Special Collection - The Law of Coahuila and Texas

We were pleased to welcome Dr. Jesús F. de la Teja, author, professor, and CEO of the Texas State Historical Association, and David A. Furlow, Executive Editor of the Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, at the Harris County Law Library on Friday to mark the donation of two new volumes to the law library’s special collection - The Law of Coahuila and Texas, or La Ley de Coahuila y Texas.

Photo from left: Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Dr. Magdalena de la Teja, Dr. Jesús F. de la Teja, David A. Furlow, Law Library Director Mariann Sears, Law Library Deputy Director Joseph D. Lawson


Actas del Congreso Constituyente de Coahuila y Texas de 1824 a 1827

Dr. de la Teja signed the donated two-volume work entitled Actas del Congreso Constituyente de Coahuila y Texas de 1824 a 1827: Primera Constitución bilingüe, or Acts of the Constituent Congress of Coahuila and Texas, 1824–1827 : Mexico’s Only Bilingual Constitution, which he coauthored with Judge Manuel González Oropeza, former magistrate for the Federal Electoral Commission of Mexico. The work provides the text of the document and analysis of the pivotal role it played in the transition of Coahuila and Texas from joined states of Mexico to states separated by an international border. Given the content of the work, Dr. de la Teja’s inscription is apt:

For the Harris County Law Library,

With great appreciation for your efforts to preserve and promote ties with our sister republic,

/s/Jesús F. de la Teja

4/5/2019


The Law of Coahuila and Texas, an historical resource collection

La Ley de Coahuila y Texas, una colección de recursos históricos

 The two-volume set is now a part of the Law Library’s collection of materials focused on the legal history of Southeast Texas and Northeast Mexico from Spanish colonization to statehood. It includes historical volumes of texts containing some of the region’s earliest laws to modern analysis that provide context and finding aids for modern researchers. Marking the end of the collection’s chronological scope is a reproduction of Captain William Emory’s survey of the U.S.-Mexico border issued in 1859. The three-volume set contains firsthand accounts of surveyors and illustrations of the region’s topography, flora, and fauna.


Digesto Constitucional Mexicano: Historia Constitucional de la Nacion - De Aguascalientes a Zacatecas: 1824-2017

On behalf of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, Mr. Furlow also donated the scholarly treatise entitled Digesto Constitucional Mexicano: Historia Constitucional de la Nacion - De Aguascalientes a Zacatecas: 1824-2017. This work, written by Judge Manuel González Oropeza, provides extensive insight into the historical evolution of constitutional law in an area of Mexico not previously covered by the Law Library’s collection. We appreciate the donation and are thrilled to make these resources available to all at the Harris County Law Library.

Latest & Greatest – Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Gig Workers of All Types

By Stephen Fishman  Published by Nolo  KF 390 .I54 F57 2018

By Stephen Fishman

Published by Nolo

KF 390 .I54 F57 2018

Are you looking for a career change? Perhaps, you are interested in lending your expertise to a company by working as an independent contractor or consultant. You wouldn’t be alone. A good percentage of the U.S. population is self-employed, meaning that they are working as independent contractors, consultants, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. The question then becomes: where do you begin? A good starting place is Nolo’s Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Gig Workers of All Types, the newest book to join the Law Library’s Self-Help Collection.

Working for Yourself includes necessary current legal and tax basics to assist you on your road to becoming your own boss. Topics include:

  • choosing the type of business entity;

  • obtaining business licenses, employer identification numbers, and sales tax permits;

  • insuring your business;

  • pricing services and getting paid;

  • paying taxes and keeping track of expenses; and

  • preparing written client agreements.

You can also find updates and changes made to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that are beneficial to those who are self-employed. In other words, Working for Yourself has the pertinent information you need to get yourself started on the road to self-employment.

Other books by Nolo in the Law Library’s collection that you might find to be of interest include: Legal Forms for Starting and Running a Small Business and the Small Business Start-Up Kit.

Latest & Greatest – Technology Tips for Seniors

Technology is ubiquitous, pervading every aspect of our lives. From computers to smartphones to activity trackers, technology is an integral and vital part of how we live, work, and play. This technological explosion can leave some members of our communities befuddled, anxious, and even slightly technophobic. To help out in this regard, attorneys Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene have authored Technology Tips for Seniors, a book offering tips and suggestions for adapting to the changes that technology brings to their professional and personal lives and recommendations for embracing, rather than fearing, those changes. Written in simple terms without the use of technical jargon and in an easier-to-read large print, the authors set out providing tips for:

Technology Tips for Seniors  By Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene  Published by American Bar Association. Senior Lawyers Division  QA 76.9 .O43 A45 2016    Technology Tips for Seniors: Volume 2.0  By Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene  Published by American Bar Association. Senior Lawyers Division  QA 76.9 .O43 A45 2018

Technology Tips for Seniors

By Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene

Published by American Bar Association. Senior Lawyers Division

QA 76.9 .O43 A45 2016

Technology Tips for Seniors: Volume 2.0

By Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene

Published by American Bar Association. Senior Lawyers Division

QA 76.9 .O43 A45 2018

  • using mobile devices, including phones and tablets;

  • using PCs and management tools;

  • using the Internet as a means of communication;

  • sharing media, such as photos, videos, and files;

  • using technology for travel;

  • protecting your privacy and identity; and

  • monitoring health.

The second volume, Technology Tips for Seniors: Volume 2.0, offers some more advanced tips, helping seniors navigate the use of technology in certain settings, such as the office, the home, and on the road. Seniors can learn how to set up a Wi-Fi network in their office and/or office, use Smart Home Technology, use the Internet to become more digitally connected, and support their hobbies using technology. As an added bonus, the authors reveal some of their favorite apps. 

You don’t have to be a senior or a person of a “certain age” to benefit from the tips provided in these books. Remember: it’s never too late (or early) to learn something new.

Resolve to Learn Legal Tech in 2019 with Free CLE from the Legal Tech Institute

2019 Resolve to Learn.jpg

Resolve to build your legal tech proficiency by watching free CLEs in 2019! The Harris County Law Library’s Legal Tech Institute provides access, via its web pages and the Law Library’s YouTube channel, to several on-demand learning opportunities. Watch videos from the comfort of your home or office and earn CLE credit, including ethics credit, as you learn.

Visit our Legal Tech Institute On-demand Learning page to view the following videos:

Additional videos, which no are no longer accredited by the State Bar of Texas but are still useful tools for learning about legal tech, are available at the same link.

Supplement your online learning with in-person, hands-on legal tech training every Thursday at 2:00 pm in the Law Library’s Legal Tech Lab. View our new 2019 Course Catalog to find the right class for you!

Explore the rest of the LTI page to register for our latest installment of the Legal Tech Institute Lecture Series, Blending Your Legal Research, which will be offered on January 17, 2019 at 12:00 pm at Congress Plaza.

Law Library Legal Tech Institute Publishes 2019 Course Catalog

The Harris County Law Library’s Legal Tech Institute today released the 2019 Course Catalog for its Hands-on Legal Tech Training Program. This year, law librarians will teach nine courses on rotation at the Law Library’s Legal Tech Lab. Each course will focus on tech skills needed for legal work in a digital environment. Training sessions are free and open to all, and most carry free continuing legal education credit for Texas attorneys courtesy of the CLE Committee for the Office of Vince Ryan, Harris County Attorney.

“Since the Law Library joined our Office, we have worked to make it a destination where all residents of Harris County can connect with their government and access legal information,” County Attorney Ryan said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free educational programs at the Law Library and to never hesitate to ask to use ‘our’ resources – they are your resources.”

Two instructors lead small classes of nine participants to ensure an interactive environment where students can ask questions and practice skills as they learn. Laptops funded by a 2017 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation are provided or participants can bring their own devices. Each class also touches on skills for all in attendance, from beginners to pros.

“Technology has clearly been a disruptive force in the legal community,” Legal Tech Institute Director Joe Lawson said. “While that presents competitive opportunities for some, it also creates barriers for others. For example, solo attorneys and self-represented litigants, who do not have in-house trainers and support staff like large law firms, may find it difficult to learn each new legal research platform or to use Microsoft Word in a way that complies with the new, tech-heavy procedural rules. As a public law library, our mission is to eliminate barriers to legal information. Offering these free, hands-on training opportunities to all is a big step in the right direction.”

Visit the Legal Tech Institute website at www.harriscountylawlibrary.org/tech to download a copy of the Course Catalog and to register for an upcoming training session. Anyone who is unable to register on the website can find assistance from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Law Library’s reference desk, located at 1019 Congress Street, 1st floor, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at (713)755-8153.

Latest & Greatest – Blockchain for Business Lawyers

Edited by James A. Cox and Mark W. Rasmussen  Published by American Bar Association. Section of Science & Technology Law  KF 1030 .E4 C69 2018

Edited by James A. Cox and Mark W. Rasmussen

Published by American Bar Association. Section of Science & Technology Law

KF 1030 .E4 C69 2018

You’ve probably heard the term “blockchain” before. You also probably know that it is one of the newer and constantly evolving technologies that can change the way business is conducted. But, do you really know what it is and what it can do for you and your law practice? Co-editors James A. Cox and Mark W. Rasmussen have teamed up with a host of experts to explain and (hopefully) demystify this innovative technology in their new book, Blockchain for Business Lawyers

To do this, the authors begin with an introduction to blockchain technology, discussing its origin, its implications, and its advantages and disadvantages for business. Succeeding chapters define cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, describe some other financial blockchain applications, and discuss smart contracts, their ramifications and their enforceability. From a legal perspective, the authors examine securities and commodities laws and regulations, antitrust regulation and key antitrust issues, federal and state regulation of money transmitters, state laws addressing blockchain technology, and the means of resolving disputes arising from use of blockchain. No discussion of technology would ever be complete without an explanation of data security and privacy. 

So, if you want to know what all the buzz is about blockchain, be sure to have a look at Blockchain for Business Lawyers. Find it in our Legal Tech Collection.