Sunday, August 28, 2005

Good News, Bad News: Your Loan's Approved


ADAM GARDNER wasn't going to let limited resources stop him from buying a house. A 28-year-old appraiser's apprentice from Reno, Nev., he extended his search all the way to a new development 20 miles north of downtown. When he finally found a place - a two-bedroom, three-bath house - he took out two loans to finance 90 percent of the $253,850 price tag. And to keep his monthly payments within budget, he obtained what's known as an interest-only adjustable-rate mortgage.

"I moved out of Reno to find something I could afford. Even then I needed an interest-only adjustable mortgage," said Mr. Gardner, who closed on his new home in April. "First-time home buyers are being pushed out of the market entirely."

Actually, many first-time home buyers are being pushed into the embrace of creative financing. As the housing boom lifts the median home price way beyond the budget of huge numbers of Americans, middle-income home buyers like Mr. Gardner are increasingly turning to such mortgages - a decision that could well come back to haunt both them and the banks behind the loans later on.

The newfangled mortgages have been heralded in the industry as useful tools for buyers who would otherwise be shut out of the surging real estate market. That's because they reduce borrowers' monthly payments by allowing them to pay only interest initially while charging a lower interest rate that remains fixed for a few years before starting to adjust annually for the rest of the term, typically 30 years.

But critics say they are riskier than standard mortgages, as they are prone to two payment spikes - one when the interest-only period expires and another when the fixed-rate period ends and the borrower faces potentially much higher interest rates.

Critics also worry that offering extra-risky financial products that permit financially vulnerable buyers to get ever bigger mortgages is particularly perilous now, when many experts say the housing bubble may be near a breaking point.

"We are in uncharted territory," said Susan M. Wachter, professor of real estate at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. "On the one hand, it is the case that these mortgages enable purchases of homes by higher-risk, poor-credit households who otherwise wouldn't be able to own a home. But on the other hand, they are riskier products, and we don't have historical data to know how risky they are."

Mr. Gardner, for one, is not especially worried. He said homes like his had already appreciated substantially, in his case making him a paper gain of tens of thousands of dollars. By the time the interest rate on this 30-year mortgage starts adjusting and his mortgage starts amortizing - in five years - he expects to have either sold or refinanced the home.

If he cannot, however, he may have to dish out a lot more money to pay his mortgage. How much more? If interest rates on his mortgage rose by a mere, say, two percentage points, to 7.25 percent from 5.25 percent, his mortgage payments in five years would increase by about $500 a month - to some $1,560 from about $1,060, according to estimates by Cathie Jackson, who owns Mortgage Options, the broker who arranged Mr. Gardner's loan. But if rates spiked to 10.25 percent, as they did in the late 1980's, he could end up paying almost $1,000 more a month.

UNTIL recently, interest-only mortgages were the preserve of more affluent borrowers, people with solid or "prime" credit histories and substantial resources, including high incomes relative to the size of their total debt payments. They mostly used I.O. mortgages, as they are called, to refinance and extract cash from their homes.

But as home prices have continued to soar, lenders have aggressively pushed interest-only mortgages down-market. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, typical home buyers using interest-only adjustable-rate mortgages could afford to borrow some $50,000 more than they could with standard 30-year fixed loans - and still make the same initial monthly payments. So banks are offering the new products as an instrument of choice for potential buyers who could not otherwise afford a home.

In the subprime market - where borrowers have low credit scores, higher debt-to-income ratios and, often, little cash to make a down payment - interest-only loans soared from virtually nothing two years ago to about a quarter of all new mortgages in the first half of this year.

"The most direct contributor to this is housing prices," said David Liu, a mortgage strategist at UBS, the investment bank. "Average income definitely did not keep pace with home-price appreciation. The only way for buyers to afford a house is to get a bigger loan."

One of the first banks to take the I.O. mortgages down-market was First Franklin, a unit of the National City Corporation in Cleveland. Its specialty is what it calls the nonprime market, essentially home buyers with better credit ratings than typical subprime borrowers but who cannot afford a down payment.

First Franklin has had success selling interest-only mortgages that it promotes as a way to "reduce monthly payments, reduce debt-to-income ratios and boost loan amounts." Today, such loans are more than half of its new mortgages, up from 27 percent two years ago.

First Franklin offers 100 percent financing that its Web site suggests is "ideal for first-time and low-cash buyers," and even 103 percent financing for buyers "to shrink their out-of-pocket expenses or to maximize purchase power."

John Gellhausen, vice president for consumer finance at National City, who is in charge of the First Franklin unit, said customers using interest-only loans were not necessarily financially troubled. They just have better things to do with their money, he said, than make a down payment on a home or pay the principal on the mortgage.

Maybe so. But many First Franklin customers also use interest-only mortgages to push their borrowing and buying power as far as it will go. On average, they borrow 94 percent of the value of their homes, mostly through a second fixed-rate loan for the down payment. Even though they are paying only interest, they devote a whopping 45 percent, on average, of their income to debt service.

By comparison, according to a UBS analysis, subprime borrowers using 30-year fixed-rate mortgages borrow, on average, slightly more than 75 percent of the value of their home and devote a more manageable 38.8 percent of their income to debt payments.

As these new products proliferate at the bottom end of the housing market, the risk is that borrowers will extend themselves, chasing houses higher and higher up the price scale. That would be somewhat akin to a low-income dishwasher buying stocks on margin at the height of the dot-com bubble.

Buyers using interest-only subprime loans have decidedly riskier profiles. They typically borrow a bigger percentage of the value of their homes, and earmark a larger slice of income to pay their debts. Most of these mortgages keep the interest rate fixed and allow interest-only payments for just two or three years, according to UBS.

That could soon expose borrowers to higher mortgage payments. In fact, interest rates - especially the short-term rates that determine the rate on adjustable-rate mortgages - are already rising sharply. If house prices take a nose dive, these buyers may find themselves squeezed between growing debt payments and a devalued asset.

"They are selling it to you because it is a stretch for you to make the payment on a traditional mortgage," said Kathleen Keest, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham, N.C. "That means that you are looking at more home than you can afford. When, five years down the road, the loans switch to amortizing, which is likely to be at the same time that interest rates are rising, you are going to be hit by a payment shock."

Nonetheless, both buyers and their financiers seem sanguine about the risk. Most buyers trust that they will have sold or refinanced their home before the payment shock kicks in, taking advantage of appreciation to build equity and to land a new mortgage on better terms. "Very few people will still have these mortgages by the time the adjustment occurs," said Ms. Jackson, who is also president of the Nevada Association of Mortgage Professionals.

Besides, for many middle-income buyers, the choice is often between an interest-only adjustable-rate mortgage and not getting the home. In California, for example, one needs to earn $125,870 a year to qualify for a standard mortgage to buy a median-priced home, which currently costs $542,720. Only 16 percent of Californians make that kind of money.

Kristi Borean, who owns Highland Financial, a mortgage broker in Murphy, Calif., noted that the price of an entry-level home in her area was rising above $300,000, up from a $90,000-to-$120,000 range 10 years ago. Not surprisingly, she said, the profile of the first-time home buyer has radically changed. To qualify for a standard loan for an entry-level house, Ms. Borean said, a household must have no other debt and needs at least "two decent jobs - say a teacher and a policeman."

"Ten years ago, entry-level buyers were waitresses and gas station attendants," she added. "Today they are out of the picture. They will rent until their parents die and leave them their house."

First-time home buyers are stretching the most. Nationwide, the typical first-time buyer earns only about 70 percent of the income needed to qualify for a standard mortgage to buy a typical entry-level home with 10 percent down, according to the National Association of Realtors.

For Mr. Gardner in Reno, the interest-only mortgage was essential. The total monthly payment of $1,300, including taxes and homeowners' fees, was about a third of his and his wife's monthly income. Had he sought a standard, fixed-rate mortgage, he estimates, it would have been about $300 higher, and he might not have qualified for the loan.

NEARBY, in Carson City, Erica Hall splits her time between full-time study at the local community college and a $1,300-a-month job in the reservations department at Harrah's Casino Hotel. She recently closed on a $135,500 condo but she said she could not have afforded it with a standard mortgage. Ms. Hall, who is 20, managed to close the deal with a 30-year mortgage that is interest-only for 10 years. That pulled down the monthly mortgage payment to just over $600. And while she said she expects to be able to refinance before her rate starts fluctuating and her amortization payments kick in, she acknowledged that her finances were already "a teeny bit stretched."

Many home buyers may be overconfident in their ability to refinance their way out of a future mortgage squeeze. Their assumption is a rosy one - that home prices will continue on their upward path, or at least not decline, and that interest rates will not rise too far.

But if the housing market tanks, as a growing number of skeptics expects, refinancing or selling into a falling market with higher interest rates won't be easy. As Bette Dobkin, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker in Arcata, Calif., noted: "Everyone's fear is what happens when rates go up and people are stuck."

So is the market poised for a wave of home repossessions? For the moment, interest-only mortgages are performing splendidly, even among subprime borrowers, showing lower delinquency rates than those of standard fixed-rate loans. But few of these interest-only loans have hit the payment shocks of amortization or higher interest rates.

While there is no exact parallel for the current explosion of creative mortgages in the subprime market, there are precedents that might give bankers some pause. "We have had high default outcomes associated with instruments that were heavily used by low-income people," said Ms. Wachter of Wharton.

She recalled two programs started by Congress in 1968 to stimulate low-income homeownership through mortgages that required only symbolic down payments and had very low, subsidized interest rates. Of nearly one million mortgages issued through the two programs, nearly 18 percent defaulted.

But if the latest doomsday forecasts are right - and house prices dive while interest rates soar- there may be a silver lining of sorts for homeowners with interest-only adjustable-rate mortgages.

Bob Tremble, who owns Fairview Mortgage, a small mortgage broker in the upscale gated community of Coto de Caza, near Mission Viejo in Orange County, California, observes that buyers who finance 100 percent of their homes with interest-only mortgages are likely to have no financial stake in the homes. If rates rise and the homes are repossessed, they will lose nothing.

"The really big risk is on the part of the lender," Mr. Tremble said. "Lenders have more to lose than borrowers."

22 Comments:

At 3:39 PM, Blogger http://www.debt-consolidation.com said...

Debt Management, Consolidation Loans & Elimination Programs

It's time to do something about your debt. Millions of Americans have a wallet full of credit cards--plus expensive personal loans, auto loans, second mortgages and more. you're tired of paying 10%, 15%, 19% and more on your credit cards, auto loans, personal loans and other types of credit, today is the day to wipe the slate clean and start over. A debt consolidation loan can lower your interest rate, combine all your accounts into just one convenient monthly payment and give you some extra breathing room in your budget. You'll save money now - and at tax time too (be sure to consult your tax advisor for details.)

With mortgage interest rates the lowest they've been in decades, now is the perfect time to refinance your home and pay off all those nagging bills. You can count on America's Lending Partners FREE service to help you lower your interest rate, pay off those nagging bills and cut your monthly payments by as much as $300, $450, even $500 or more.

Start your request at left. Then, we'll match your profile with our nationwide network of lenders. You'll get up to 4 great offers from some of the most prominent and respected refinance debt consolidation lenders in America...each presenting their absolute best loan offer to win your business

Do not wait any longer; now is the time to take charge of your debt situation. Feel free to brows our site for more information, or for a free, no obligation debt quote, fill out a quick response form on your left, or click here for a free debt quote.




If your in debt... you're not alone. Today, millions of Americans are having difficulty paying their debts. Most of those in financial distress are middle income families with jobs who want to pay off what they owe.

Now is the time to act! Doing nothing can lead to much larger problems.

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE DEBT QUOTE. ONE OF PARTNERS WILL CONTACT YOU TO DISCUSS A PERSONAL DEBT SOLUTION THAT WILL FIT YOUR NEEDS.

Free Loan Request - Get Up To 4 Loan Offers!

**** You must own a home to qualify for this service. ****

 
At 12:22 AM, Blogger alberthaanstra said...

Hi Blogger! Ik ben op zoek naar een geldlening Zou Afab echt zo goed zijn als iedereen beweert? Of kan ik beter zoiets als Geldshop proberen?

Groetjes Albert

 
At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debt Settlement
Debt Relief can help you reduce your interest burden by charging an interest rate lower than the rate on your existing loans. Debt consolidation loan can also allow you to make small monthly payments by extending the loan period
http://www.debt1consolidation.com

 
At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Making money opportunity, Some popular casino games online you can find at web casino but the most gambling
casino games is fun to play, the news promoting how to play poker and another online casino games
so the world's population choosing play and search for gambling news in www.borderlinecasino.com casino fun online games!! www.great-casino.org most popular casino sites!!!

 
At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debt Consolidation
Debt Help can help you reduce your interest burden by charging an interest rate lower than the rate on your existing loans. Debt consolidation loan can also allow you to make small monthly payments by extending the loan period
http://www.debt1consolidation.com
Debt Consolidation
Debt Help can help you reduce your interest burden by charging an interest rate lower than the rate on your existing loans. Debt consolidation loan can also allow you to make small monthly payments by extending the loan period
http://www.debt-consolidation.com

 
At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bill consolidation loan help! consolidation loans and credit card bills. debt consolidation vs bankruptcy

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Information, advice and debt help. consolidate bills, loans and credit card debt. debt info available.

 
At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your credit card uses different rates for purchases, transfers, and cash advances, realize that the card issuer may pay the lower interest rate balance first. Consequently, if you carry a balance, your high-rate cash advance may not be "paid" until all lower-rate balances are paid in full.
Fixed-Rate credit cards are not fixed forever. Rates can be changed at any time, as long as the card issuer provides 15 days advance notice of the change in terms. Fees may also increase. These "Change in Terms" notices are usually included with your monthly statement.
Your interest rate may dramatically increase if you make late payments. For example, some issuers will raise your interest rate to the maximum after one or two late payments. Consequently, your 12% credit card could quickly turn into a 25% credit card.
Your credit card issuer may also raise your interest rate after conducting a routine credit report review. If your overall credit history has deteriorated, the issuer may raise your interest rate, even though you've never made a late payment on the card in question.
The 25 day grace period only applies when you pay-off your entire balance due each month. If you only pay the minimum payment, interest is immediately accrued from the moment you charge something to your credit card. Some companies are also shortening the grace period to 20 days, and some cards have no grace periods.
Ignore offers to reduce or skip payments. These options are frequently offered over the holidays. When you skip a payment, the loan continues to accrue interest; therefore, these offers simply increase the overall interest and finance charges that the creditor collects. On a similar note, beware of offers of no payment/no interest for a period of time. Furniture stores, jewelry stores, and electronics stores frequently offer these programs. For example, no payment/no interest for 12 months!! This can be a good offer, but once again, read the fine print. Make sure you know the details of the program. Generally, you need to pay off the entire balance before the end of the "free" period to receive the benefit. Otherwise, you will probably have to pay interest on the entire balance from the date of your purchase

 
At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it has become very easy to borrow loans these days. Advancements in technology particularly with the Internet have made it convenient for loan seekers to track the loan of their choice. With just a few clicks on a lender's website you can access the desired loan online. The ease with which loans are available online nowadays is the main reason behind the growing number of debt-related problems.

The vast number of loans taken on different occasions may have benefited you many times and may have even been a lifesaver in an urgent situation. However, you may not have known that these loans can pose a threat to you. Now you have to remember which lender to pay, how much and when. Failing to pay any of the installments on the loan may affect your credit score adversely. In such circumstances, debts become a burden. You may get into a life-long debt trap if you don't know how to handle these debts. A debt management program in such conditions can work as an effective debt management tool helping you in reducing the debt burden.

Here are a few debt management tips that can help you in managing your debts and getting your life back on the right track:

Create A Budget
An organized and well-planned budget can help you in keeping control over your monthly expenses. Write down each and every financial transaction you do each month; this will help you stay on track. It will give you a real idea of your finances and thus you can make the decision accordingly. A budget will give you an overview about how many funds you do have and how you are going to disburse the expenses with the available money. Setting up the budget is not enough: what is important is to stick to it.

Consolidate High Interest Loans
Consolidate your debts that carry a high rate of interest with a debt consolidation loan. A debt consolidation loan can work as an effective debt management tool. It will help you in getting rid of the debt burden by reducing the monthly outgoings. With a debt consolidation loan, you will get freedom from all the hassles involved in dealing with several creditors, you will be accountable to only one loan, one lender and one lower monthly installment.

Avoid taking on new credit
If you are already in a debt trap, avoid taking up a new loan. Borrowing a new loan may be of great help to you, but it will be in the short term. It may increase the debt burden and will add to your troubles rather then solving them.

Debt Management Counseling
You can also seek for advice from debt management counselors. The majority of the lenders in the US engage debt management counselors who have years of experience and can provide you with an easy road map to get rid of the debt trap by paying off the existing debts.

Learn To Save
A need for a loan arises when you do not have sufficient funds in your saving account to meet your personal desires. Make saving a habit, try not to overspend on unnecessary things. No, don't become a miser but use the funds carefully, a little sum of money saved today will be highly beneficial for you in the future and will make it easy for you to deal emergency cash need with the available funds on the right time and in the right manner.

Debt management is a time-consuming process. You can save your time and hard-earned money by employing a debt management company who will take care of your debt and can offer effective solutions to all your debt-related problems.

Tips for managing debts employed in the right manner can curb the menace created by debts, helping you get out of debt in an easier way. Paying off the existing debts will help you in securing a smoother and easier life for the future

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous new house said...

companies marketing mineral makeups and also get the best bargains in mineral makeup you can imagine,
find aout how to consolidate your students loans or just how to lower your actual rates.,
looking for breast enlargements? in Rochester,
homeopathy for eczema learn about it.,
Allergies, information about lipitor,
save big with great bargains in mineral makeup,

change edition interviewing motivational people preparing second
,

interviewing motivational people preparing second time
,

interviewing people motivational preparing for a second time
,

black mold exposure
,

black mold exposure symptoms
,

black mold symptoms of exposure
,

free job interview questions
,

free job interview answers
,

interview answers to get a job
,

lookfor hair styles for fine thin hair
,

search hair styles for fine thin hair
,

hair styles for fine thin hair
,

beach resort in the philippines
,

great beach resort in the philippines
,

luxury beach resort in the philippines
,
iron garden gates, here,
iron garden gates,
wrought iron garden gates
, here
,
wrought iron garden gates
,
You: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger
,
eat eating mindless more than think we we why
,


texturizer,
texturizers here,
black hair texturizer,
find aout how care curly hair,
find about how to care curly hair,
care curly hair,
lipitor rash,
lipitor reactions,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
new house washington dc,
new house pa philadelphia,
san antonio tx house new,
house new pa philadelphia,
new house washington dc,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
house new san antonio tx,
the house new houston tx, that you are looking for,
new house ventura california, you need to buy,
new house washington dc,
house new pa philadelphia,
new house san antonio tx,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
,

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
be informed,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
,
sew skirts, 16simple styles you can make!,
sew what skirts 16 simple styles you,
rebates and discounts on sunsetter awnings,
sunsetter awnings discounts and rebates,
discount on sunsetter awnings


truck and bus tires 12r 22.5, get the best price,
tires truck and bus 12r 22.5 best price,
tires truck bus tires12r 22.5 best price,
plush car seat strap covers,
car seat strap covers,plush,
car seat strap, plush covers,
oscoda voip phone systems, the best!,
oscoda voip the phone system,
oscoda voip phone systems,
exterior iron gates,
oriental wrought iron gates,
powder coated iron garden fencing,

 
At 2:40 PM, Anonymous consolidate debt said...

free debt
consolidation
or free bill consolidation, the choice is yours.

 
At 7:46 AM, Anonymous debt consolidation said...

When someone is dealing with money troubles it is easy to lose control and end up creating more debt while trying to pay off existing debt! If someone finds themselves in a situation where they are living outside their means they should get some advice from professionals who can help them with their problems and assist in implementing a debt consolidation programme.

 
At 4:33 AM, Blogger Angela said...

I also would apply for interest-only mortgage. As the name suggests, with an Interest-only mortgage, the monthly payment includes only this element of the debt. The upside of this is that the monthly cost is considerably lower than for a comparable repayment mortgage. The downside is that at the end of the mortgage term, it will be even worse if you have bad credit mortgage, you still owe the original amount you borrowed. And if you can't repay it, your mortgage lender is perfectly entitled to repossess your home. That's why, if you go for this option, you need to organize a way to repay the capital debt. Unless you can be certain of a sizable inheritance or other windfall, this means saving as you go along.

 
At 2:13 PM, Anonymous migraine treatments said...

black mold exposureblack mold symptoms of exposurewrought iron garden gatesiron garden gates find them herefine thin hair hairstylessearch hair styles for fine thin hairnight vision binocularsbuy night vision binocularslipitor reactionslipitor allergic reactionsluxury beach resort in the philippines

afordable beach resorts in the philippineshomeopathy for eczema.baby eczema.save big with great mineral makeup bargainsmineral makeup wholesalersprodam iphone Apple prodam iphone prahacect iphone manualmanual for P 168 iphonefero 52 binocularsnight vision Fero 52 binocularsThe best night vision binoculars here

night vision binoculars bargainsfree photo albums computer programsfree software to make photo albumsfree tax formsprintable tax forms for free craftmatic air bedcraftmatic air bed adjustable info hereboyd air bedboyd night air bed lowest pricefind air beds in wisconsinbest air beds in wisconsincloud air beds

best cloud inflatable air bedssealy air beds portableportables air bedsrv luggage racksaluminum made rv luggage racksair bed raisedbest form raised air bedsaircraft support equipmentsbest support equipments for aircraftsbed air informercialsbest informercials bed airmattress sized air beds

bestair bed mattress antique doorknobsantique doorknob identification tipsdvd player troubleshootingtroubleshooting with the dvd playerflat panel television lcd vs plasmaflat panel lcd television versus plasma pic the bestThe causes of economic recessionwhat are the causes of economic recessionadjustable bed air foam The best bed air foam

hoof prints antique equestrian printsantique hoof prints equestrian printsBuy air bedadjustablebuy the best adjustable air bedsair beds canadian storesCanadian stores for air beds

migraine causemigraine treatments floridaflorida headache clinicdrying dessicantair drying dessicantdessicant air dryerpediatric asthmaasthma specialistasthma children specialistcarpet cleaning dallas txcarpet cleaners dallascarpet cleaning dallas

 
At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

consolidate bills through bill
consolidation loans
or just bill consolidation

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress to enact "uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies ." Under this grant of authority, Congress enacted the Bankruptcy Code" in 1978. The Bankruptcy Code, which is codified as title 11 of the United States Code, has been amended several times since its enactment. It is the uniform federal law that governs all bankruptcy cases.The procedural aspects of the bankruptcy process are governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (often called the Bankruptcy Rules") and local rules of each bankruptcy court. The Bankruptcy Rules contain a set of official forms for use in bankruptcy cases. The Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rules (and local rules) set forth the formal legal procedures for dealing with the debt problems of individuals and businesses. There is a bankruptcy court for each judicial district in the country. Each state has one or more districts. There are 90 bankruptcy districts across the country. The bankruptcy courts generally have their own clerk's offices.The court official with decision-making power over federal bankruptcy cases is the United States bankruptcy judge, a judicial officer of the United States district court. The bankruptcy judge may decide any matter connected with a bankruptcy case, such as eligibility to file or whether a debtor should receive a discharge of debts. Much of the bankruptcy process is administrative, however, and is conducted away from the courthouse. In cases under chapters 7, 12, or 13, and sometimes in chapter 11 cases, this administrative process is carried out by a trustee who is appointed to oversee the case. A debtor's involvement with the bankruptcy judge is usually very limited. A typical chapter 7 debtor will not appear in court and will not see the bankruptcy judge unless an objection is raised in the case. A chapter 13 debtor may only have to appear before the bankruptcy judge at a plan confirmation hearing. Usually, the only formal proceeding at which a debtor must appear is the meeting of creditors, which is usually held at the offices of the U.S. trustee. This meeting is informally called a "341 meeting" because section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires that the debtor attend this meeting so that creditors can question the debtor about debts and property.A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial "fresh start" from burdensome debts. The Supreme Court made this point about the purpose of the bankruptcy law in a 1934 decision:

 
At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mesothelioma
Mesothelioma
is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to Asbestos In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart or tunica vaginalis.
Most people who develop
mesothelioma
have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos
dust and fiber in other ways. Washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos
can also put a person at risk for developing Mesothelioma
Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking but smoking greatly increases risk of other asbestos induced cancer.Compensation via
Asbestos
funds or lawsuits is an important issue in
mesothelioma
The symptoms of
mesothelioma
include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan and is confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to take biopsies. It allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (called pleurodesis, which prevents more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often symptoms of pleural
mesothelioma
Symptoms of peritoneal
mesothelioma
include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal
mesothelioma
may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
These symptoms may be caused by
mesothelioma
or by other, less serious conditions.
Mesothelioma
that affects the pleura can cause these signs and symptoms:
chest wall pain
pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung
shortness of breath
fatigue or anemia
wheezing, hoarseness, or cough
blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up hemoptysis
In severe cases, the person may have many tumor masses. The individual may develop a pneumothorax, or collapse of the lung The disease may metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body.
Tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:
abdominal pain
ascites, or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen
a mass in the abdomen
problems with bowel function
weight loss
In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:
blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis
disseminated intravascular coagulation a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs
jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin
low blood sugar level
pleural effusion
pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
severe ascites
A
mesothelioma
does not usually spread to the bone, brain, or adrenal glands. Pleural tumors are usually found only on one side of the lungs
Diagnosing
mesothelioma
is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history. A history of exposure to asbestos may increase clinical suspicion for
mesothelioma
A physical examination is performed, followed by chest X-ray and often lung function tests. The X-ray may reveal pleural thickening commonly seen after asbestos exposure and increases suspicion of
mesothelioma
A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI is usually performed. If a large amount of fluid is present, abnormal cells may be detected by cytology if this fluid is aspirated with a syringe. For pleural fluid this is done by a pleural tap or chest drain, in ascites with an paracentesis or ascitic drain and in a pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis. While absence of malignant cells on cytology does not completely exclude
mesothelioma
it makes it much more unlikely, especially if an alternative diagnosis can be made (e.g. tuberculosis, heart failure
If cytology is positive or a plaque is regarded as suspicious, a biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of
mesothelioma
A doctor removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples.
If the cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a laparoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small incision in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, more extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.
There is no universally agreed protocol for screening people who have been exposed to
asbestos
Screening tests might diagnose mesothelioma earlier than conventional methods thus improving the survival prospects for patients. The serum osteopontin level might be useful in screening asbestos-exposed people for
mesothelioma
The level of soluble mesothelin-related protein is elevated in the serum of about 75% of patients at diagnosis and it has been suggested that it may be useful for screening. Doctors have begun testing the Mesomark assay which measures levels of soluble mesothelin-related proteins (SMRPs) released by diseased mesothelioma cells
Incidence
Although reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years, mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer. The incidence rate is approximately one per 1,000,000. The highest incidence is found in Britain, Australia and Belgium: 30 per 1,000,000 per year. For comparison, populations with high levels of smoking can have a lung cancer incidence of over 1,000 per 1,000,000. Incidence of malignant mesothelioma currently ranges from about 7 to 40 per 1,000,000 in industrialized Western nations, depending on the amount of asbestos exposure of the populations during the past several decades. It has been estimated that incidence may have peaked at 15 per 1,000,000 in the United States in 2004. Incidence is expected to continue increasing in other parts of the world. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear in either men or women at any age. Approximately one fifth to one third of all mesotheliomas are peritoneal.
Between 1940 and 1979, approximately 27.5 million people were occupationally exposed to asbestos in the United States.[ Between 1973 and 1984, there has been a threefold increase in the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma in Caucasian males. From 1980 to the late 1990s, the death rate from mesothelioma in the USA increased from 2,000 per year to 3,000, with men four times more likely to acquire it than women. These rates may not be accurate, since it is possible that many cases of mesothelioma are misdiagnosed as adenocarcinoma of the lung, which is difficult to differentiate from mesothelioma.
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure exists in almost all cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. In rare cases, mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite.
asbestos
is the name of a group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven.
asbestos
has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. If tiny asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, they may be inhaled or swallowed, and can cause serious health problems. In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis (a noncancerous, chronic lung ailment), and other cancers, such as those of the larynx and kidney.
The combination of smoking and
asbestos
exposure significantly increases a person's risk of developing cancer of the airways (lung cancer bronchial carcinoma). The Kent brand of cigarettes used
mesothelioma
in its filters for the first few years of production in the 1950s and some cases of
mesothelioma
have resulted. Smoking modern cigarettes does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma.
Some studies suggest that simian virus 40 may act as a cofactor in the development of mesothelioma.
Asbestos was known in antiquity, but it wasn't mined and widely used commercially until the late 1800s. Its use greatly increased during World War II Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with
asbestos
exposure were not publicly known. However, an increased risk of developing mesothelioma was later found among shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople. Today, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for acceptable levels of
asbestos
exposure in the workplace, and created guidelines for engineering controls and respirators, protective clothing, exposure monitoring, hygiene facilities and practices, warning signs, labeling, recordkeeping, and medical exams. By contrast, the British Government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states formally that any threshold for
mesothelioma
must be at a very low level and it is widely agreed that if any such threshold does exist at all, then it cannot currently be quantified. For practical purposes, therefore, HSE does not assume that any such threshold exists. People who work with
asbestos
wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure. Recent findings have shown that a mineral called erionite has been known to cause genetically pre-dispositioned individuals to have malignant mesothelioma rates much higher than those not pre-dispositioned genetically. A study in Cappadocia, Turkey has shown that 3 villiages in Turkey have death rates of 51% attributed to erionite related
mesothelioma
Exposure to
asbestos
fibres has been recognised as an occupational health hazard since the early 1900s. Several epidemiological studies have associated exposure to asbestos with the development of lesions such as asbestos bodies in the sputum, pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, asbestosis, carcinoma of the lung and larynx, gastrointestinal tumours, and diffuse mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum.
The documented presence of
asbestos
fibres in water supplies and food products has fostered concerns about the possible impact of long-term and, as yet, unknown exposure of the general population to these fibres. Although many authorities consider brief or transient exposure to
asbestos
fibres as inconsequential and an unlikely risk factor, some epidemiologists claim that there is no risk threshold. Cases of mesothelioma have been found in people whose only exposure was breathing the air through ventilation systems. Other cases had very minimal (3 months or less) direct exposure.
Commercial
asbestos
mining at Wittenoom, Western Australia, occurred between 1945 and 1966. A cohort study of miners employed at the mine reported that while no deaths occurred within the first 10 years after crocidolite exposure, 85 deaths attributable to mesothelioma had occurred by 1985. By 1994, 539 reported deaths due to mesothelioma had been reported in Western Australia.
Family members and others living with
asbestos
workers have an increased risk of developing
mesothelioma
and possibly other asbestos related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to
asbestos
dust brought home on the clothing and hair of
asbestos
workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibres, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
Many building materials used in both public and domestic premises prior to the banning of
asbestos
may contain
asbestos
Those performing renovation works or activities may expose themselves to asbestos dust. In the UK use of Chrysotile asbestos was banned at the end of 1999. Brown and blue
asbestos
was banned in the UK around 1985. Buildings built or renovated prior to these dates may contain asbestos materials.
For patients with localized disease, and who can tolerate a radical surgery, radiation is often given post-operatively as a consolidative treatment. The entire hemi-thorax is treated with radiation therapy, often given simultaneously with chemotherapy. Delivering radiation and chemotherapy after a radical surgery has led to extended life expectancy in selected patient populations with some patients surviving more than 5 years. As part of a curative approach to
mesothelioma
radiotherapy is also commonly applied to the sites of chest drain insertion, in order to prevent growth of the tumor along the track in the chest wall.
Although
mesothelioma
is generally resistant to curative treatment with radiotherapy alone, palliative treatment regimens are sometimes used to relieve symptoms arising from tumor growth, such as obstruction of a major blood vessel.
Radiation Therapy
when given alone with curative intent has never been shown to improve survival from
mesothelioma
The necessary radiation dose to treat mesothelioma that has not been surgically removed would be very toxic.
Chemotherapy is the only treatment for
mesothelioma
that has been proven to improve survival in randomised and controlled trials. The landmark study published in 2003 by Vogelzang and colleagues compared cisplatin chemotherapy alone with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (brand name Alimta) chemotherapy) in patients who had not received chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma previously and were not candidates for more aggressive "curative" surgery. This trial was the first to report a survival advantage from chemotherapy in malignant pleural
mesothelioma
showing a statistically significant improvement in median survival from 10 months in the patients treated with cisplatin alone to 13.3 months in the combination pemetrexed group in patients who received supplementation with folate and vitamin B12. Vitamin supplementation was given to most patients in the trial and pemetrexed related side effects were significantly less in patients receiving pemetrexed when they also received daily oral folate 500mcg and intramuscular vitamin B12 1000mcg every 9 weeks compared with patients receiving pemetrexed without vitamin supplementation. The objective response rate increased from 20% in the cisplatin group to 46% in the combination pemetrexed group. Some side effects such as nausea and vomiting, stomatitis, and diarrhoea were more common in the combination pemetrexed group but only affected a minority of patients and overall the combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin was well tolerated when patients received vitamin supplementation; both quality of life and lung function tests improved in the combination pemetrexed group. In February 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved pemetrexed for treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, there are still unanswered questions about the optimal use of chemotherapy, including when to start treatment, and the optimal number of cycles to give.
Cisplatin in combination with raltitrexed has shown an improvement in survival similar to that reported for pemetrexed in combination with cisplatin, but raltitrexed is no longer commercially available for this indication. For patients unable to tolerate pemetrexed, cisplatin in combination with gemcitabine or vinorelbine is an alternative, although a survival benefit has not been shown for these drugs. For patients in whom cisplatin cannot be used, carboplatin can be substituted but non-randomised data have shown lower response rates and high rates of haematological toxicity for carboplatin-based combinations, albeit with similar survival figures to patients receiving cisplatin.
In January 2009, the United States FDA approved using conventional therapies such as surgery in combination with radiation and or chemotherapy on stage I or II Mesothelioma after research conducted by a nationwide study by Duke University concluded an almost 50 point increase in remission rates.
Treatment regimens involving immunotherapy have yielded variable results. For example, intrapleural inoculation of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in an attempt to boost the immune response, was found to be of no benefit to the patient (while it may benefit patients with bladder cancer.
mesothelioma
cells proved susceptible to in vitro lysis by LAK cells following activation by interleukin-2 (IL-2), but patients undergoing this particular therapy experienced major side effects. Indeed, this trial was suspended in view of the unacceptably high levels of IL-2 toxicity and the severity of side effects such as fever and cachexia. Nonetheless, other trials involving interferon alpha have proved more encouraging with 20% of patients experiencing a greater than 50% reduction in tumor mass combined with minimal side effects.
A procedure known as heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy was developed by Paul Sugarbaker at the Washington Cancer Institute. The surgeon removes as much of the tumor as possible followed by the direct administration of a chemotherapy agent, heated to between 40 and 48°C, in the abdomen. The fluid is perfused for 60 to 120 minutes and then drained.
This technique permits the administration of high concentrations of selected drugs into the abdominal and pelvic surfaces. Heating the chemotherapy treatment increases the penetration of the drugs into tissues. Also, heating itself damages the malignant cells more than the normal cells.

What is the mesothelium?
The mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. It is composed of two layers of cells: One layer immediately surrounds the organ; the other forms a sac around it. The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between these layers, allowing moving organs (such as the beating heart and the expanding and contracting lungs to glide easily against adjacent structures.
The mesothelium has different names, depending on its location in the body. The peritoneum is the mesothelial tissue that covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity. The pleura is the membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the wall of the chest cavity. The pericardium covers and protects the heart. The
mesothelioma
tissue surrounding the male internal reproductive organs is called the tunica vaginalis testis. The tunica serosa uteri covers the internal reproductive organs in women.
What is mesothelioma?
mesothelioma
(cancer of the mesothelium) is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order. They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs.
cancer
cells can also metastasize (spread) from their original site to other parts of the body. Most cases of mesothelioma begin in the pleura or peritoneum.
How common is mesothelioma?
Although reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years, mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer. About 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear in either men or women at any age.
What are the risk factors for mesothelioma?
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure at work is reported in about 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven. Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. If tiny asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, they may be inhaled or swallowed, and can cause serious health problems. In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis (a noncancerous, chronic lung ailment), and other cancers, such as those of the larynx and kidney.
Smoking does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma. However, the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure significantly increases a person's risk of developing cancer of the air passageways in the lung.
Who is at increased risk for developing mesothelioma?
Asbestos has been mined and used commercially since the late 1800s. Its use greatly increased during World War II. Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with asbestos exposure were not known. However, an increased risk of developing mesothelioma was later found among shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople. Today, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace. People who work with asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.
The risk of asbestos-related disease increases with heavier exposure to asbestos and longer exposure time. However, some individuals with only brief exposures have developed mesothelioma On the other hand, not all workers who are heavily exposed develop asbestos-related diseases.
There is some evidence that family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to
asbestos
dust brought home on the clothing and hair of
asbestos
workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to
asbestos
fibers, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to
asbestos
Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
These symptoms may be caused by
mesothelioma
or by other, less serious conditions. It is important to see a doctor about any of these symptoms. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis
How is
mesothelioma
diagnosed?
Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure. A complete physical examination may be performed, including x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI may also be useful. A CT scan is a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. In an MRI, a powerful magnet linked to a computer is used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures are viewed on a monitor and can also be printed.
A biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma. In a biopsy, a surgeon or a medical oncologist (a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer) removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the
cancer
is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples. If the
cancer
is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a peritoneoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small opening in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument called a peritoneoscope into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, more extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.
If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, the doctor will want to learn the stage (or extent) of the disease. Staging involves more tests in a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.
Mesothelioma
is described as localized if the cancer is found only on the membrane surface where it originated. It is classified as advanced if it has spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.
How is
mesothelioma
treated?
Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the location of the
cancer
the stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.
Surgery is a common treatment for
mesothelioma
The doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. For cancer of the pleura (pleural
mesothelioma
a lung may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed.
Stereo Tactic Radiation Therapy
also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy rays to kill
cancer
cells and shrink tumors Radiation therapy affects the
cancer
cells only in the treated area. The radiation may come from a machine (external radiation) or from putting materials that produce radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the
cancer
cells are found (internal radiation therapy).
Chemotherapy
is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Most drugs used to treat
mesothelioma
are given by injection into a vein (intravenous, or IV). Doctors are also studying the effectiveness of putting chemotherapy directly into the chest or abdomen (intracavitary chemotherapy).
To relieve symptoms and control pain, the doctor may use a needle or a thin tube to drain fluid that has built up in the chest or abdomen. The procedure for removing fluid from the chest is called thoracentesis. Removal of fluid from the abdomen is called paracentesis. Drugs may be given through a tube in the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating. Radiation Therapy
and surgery may also be helpful in relieving symptoms.

 
At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drunk driving
under the influence
intoxication
driving under the influence
dui



Drunk driving is the act of operating and/or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. It is illegal in all jurisdictions within the U.S. The specific criminal offense is usually called driving under the influence [of alcohol and/or other drugs] dui and in some states driving while intoxicated dwi operating while impaired owi or operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI). Such laws may also apply to boating or piloting aircraft.
In the United States the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 17,941 people died in 2006 in "alcohol-related" collisions, representing 40 percent of total traffic deaths in the US. Over 500,000 people were injured in alcohol-related accidents in the US in 2003. NHTSA defines fatal collisions as "alcohol-related" if they believe the driver, a passenger, or an occupant of the vehicle (such as a pedestrian or pedalcyclist) had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01 or greater. NHTSA defines nonfatal collisions as "alcohol-related" if the accident report indicates evidence of alcohol present. NHTSA specifically notes that "alcohol-related" does not necessarily mean a driver or nonoccupant was tested for alcohol and that the term does not indicate a collision or fatality was caused by the presence of alcohol. On average, about 60 percent of the BAC values are missing or unknown. To analyze what they believe is the complete data, statisticians simulate BAC information. Drivers with a BAC of 0.10 are 6 to 12 times more likely to get into a fatal crash or injury then drivers with no alcohol
All states in the U.S. designate a per se blood or breath alcohol level as the threshold point for an independent criminal offense. A second criminal offense of driving under the influence or "while impaired" is also usually charged in most states, with a permissive presumption of guilt where the person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or greater (units of milligrams per deciliter, representing 8 g of alcohol in 10 liters of blood). Some states (e.g., Colorado) include a lesser charge, sometimes referred to as driving while ability impaired (this may apply to individuals with a .05 percent or above, but less than the .08 per se limit for the more serious charge.
The amount of alcohol intake to reach 0.08 percent varies substantially with body composition and health state. Risk of traffic accidents are increased already by far less dosage.
Prior to increased emphasis on drinking and driving in the 1980s, standards of .10-.15 percent were in place. The legal limit for commercial drivers in the U.S. is set at 0.04 percent. All states also observe a much stricter standard for drivers under the age of 21, commonly of .01-.02; these are often referred to as "Zero Tolerance" laws.
Unlike
dui
dwi or OWUI cases that involve alcohol, there is generally no "per se" or legal limit that is employed for persons accused of driving under the influence of prescription medication or illicit drugs (although this is not the case in Ohio. Instead, the key inquiry focuses on whether the driver's faculties were impaired by the substance that was consumed. The detection and successful prosecution of drivers impaired by prescription medication or illegal drugs can therefore be difficult. Similarly, although urinalysis toxicology screens can detect the presence of such substances in the driver's bloodstream, these analyses are unable to demonstrate that the substance was actually causing impairment at the time of driving. In response to these problems, several jurisdictions[who?] are currently considering legislation that would establish "zero tolerance" laws for those drivers arrested for dui and found to have drugs or medication in their system. Additionally, breathalyzers have been developed for the purpose of administering roadside or laboratory tests that can detect the actual level of a controlled substance in an individual's body
Many jurisdictions require more serious penalties (such as jail time, larger fines, longer dui program, the installation of ignition interlock devices) in cases where the driver's BAC is over 0.20, or 0.15 in some places. These additional sanctions are an attempt to deter and punish the operation of a vehicle at extremely high BAC levels and the concomitant danger posed to the safety of persons and property by heavily impaired drivers. In many cases, the reason given for these additional sanctions is because an average person would have passed out from that much alcohol. To be able to drive at that level, a person has to have consumed alcohol regularly for months in order to increase his/her alcohol tolerance and therefore is likely to have driven drunk repeatedly However, since there is currently no standard test to measure alcohol tolerance, proponents of additional penalties for high-BAC offenders point to some[who?] studies that indicate that high-BAC offenders are more likely to be involved in a crash and more likely to recidivate.Critics of such laws point out that due to wide variations of alcohol tolerance, people with high tolerances will suffer the additional penalties, despite being less impaired than those with lower tolerances who drive with much lower BACs.
Some U.S. states also increase the penalties for drinking driving(even to the point of making it a felony) if certain other aggravating circumstances besides a high BAC are present, such as if the drunk driver caused an accident requiring the hospitalization of another person lasting greater than a specified period of time (often 72 hours in cases where an accident resulted in property damage exceeding a certain amount (often $500, or where the driver has prior (and relatively recent) convictions for drunk driving In addition, most states observe administrative laws that further penalize people convicted of dui typically enforced by the department that issues driver's licenses, usually titled Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or Department of Licensing Australia and the UK have higher alcohol consumption rates, lower ages for alcohol consumption, much lower sentencing regimes for dui Manslaughter, and much lower incidences of dui. The legal presumption of intoxication from blood alcohol concentration was reduced to 0.10; more recently, and with federal pressure, all states have further reduced the limit to 0.08%.
2. A second drunk driving offense was created and eventually adopted in all states: driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher; this was typically charged in addition to the traditional offense of driving under the influence Zero tolerance laws were enacted which criminalized driving a vehicle with 0.01 or 0.02 BAC for drivers under 21.
4. Automatic license suspension laws were universally adopted which provided for the immediate confiscation and administrative suspension of the driver's license if the BAC was 0.08% or if the driver refused testing.
Following are common procedures when a law enforcement officer has reason to suspect a driver is intoxicated.
There are several situations in which the officer will come into contact with a driver, some examples are:
The driver has been involved in an automobile accident; the officer has responded to the scene and is conducting an investigation.
The driver has been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint (also known as roadblocks).
The police have received a report, possibly from an anonymous citizen, that a described car has been driving erratically. The officer should verify the erratic driving before pulling the driver over. In some cases, the driver will no longer be in the vehicle.
The officer on patrol has observed erratic, suspicious driving, or a series of traffic infractions indicating the possibility that the driver may be impaired. This is by far the most common reason for stopping a suspect.
A police officer has stopped a vehicle for a lesser traffic offense, notices the signs of intoxication and begins the dui investigation.
Field sobriety tests
The officer will administer one or more field sobriety tests (FSTs). FSTs are "divided attention tests" that theoretically test the suspect's ability to perform the type of mental and physical multitasking that is required to operate an automobile. The most commonly administered FSTs include:
horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which involves following an object with the eyes (such as a pen) to determine characteristic eye movement reaction. A sober person should be able to smoothly track the object with their eyes. In an intoxicated individual the eyes will jerk as they follow the object.
walk-and-turn (heel-to-toe in a straight line).
one-leg-stand.
modified-position-of-attention (feet together, head back, eyes closed for thirty seconds; also known as the test).
finger-to-nose (tip head back, eyes closed, touch the tip of nose with tip of index finger).
recite all or part of the alphabet (a common myth is that the alphabet must be recited backwards, however, this is never done during an FST, as many sober people are unable to do this.).
touch each finger of hand to thumb counting with each touch (1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1).
count backwards from a number such as 30 or 100.
breathe into a "portable or preliminary breath tester" or PBT.
Although most law enforcement agencies continue to use a variety of these FSTs, increasingly a 3-test battery of standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) is being adopted. These tests are recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after studies indicated other FSTs were relatively unreliable. The NHTSA-approved battery of tests consists of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg-stand. In some states, such as Ohio, only the standardized tests will be admitted into evidence, provided they were administered and objectively scored "in substantial compliance" with NHTSA standards
FSTs are more effective at determining the level of impairment than they are at estimating the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, studies question whether the tests increase the officer's ability to judge either. In 1991, conducted a study on the accuracy of FSTs. His staff videotaped individuals performing six common field sobriety tests, then showed the tapes to 14 police officers and asked them to decide whether the suspects had "had too much to drink and drive". The blood-alcohol concentration of each of the 21 dui subjects was .00, unknown to the officers. The result: the officers gave their opinion that 46% of these innocent people were too drunk to be able drive. This study showed the possible inaccuracy of FSTs. , "Field Sobriety Tests: Are they Designed for Failure?", 79 Perceptual and Motor Skills Journal 99 (1994).
An increasingly used field sobriety test involves having the suspect breathe into a small, handheld breath testing device. Called variously a PAS ("preliminary alcohol screening") or PBT ("preliminary breath test"), the units are small, inexpensive versions of their larger, more sophisticated instruments at the police stations, the EBTs ("evidentiary breath test"). Whereas the EBTs usually employ infrared spectroscopy, the PAS units use a relatively simple electrochemical (fuel cell) technology. Their purpose, along with other FSTs, is to assist the officer in determining probable cause for arrest. Although because of their relative inaccuracy they were never intended to be used in court for proving actual blood-alcohol concentration, some courts have begun to admit them as evidence of BAC.
Probable cause to arrest
Probable cause
If the officer has sufficient probable cause that the suspect has been driving under the influence of alcohol, he will make the arrest, handcuff the suspect and transport him to the police station. En route, the officer may advise him of his Miranda rights and his legal implied consent obligation to submit to an evidentiary chemical test of blood, breath or possibly urine.
Laws relating to what exactly constitutes probable cause vary from state to state. In California it is a refutable presumption that a person with a BAC of .08 or higher isdriving under the influence. However, section 23610(a)(2) of the California Vehicle Code states that driving with a BAC between .05 and .08 "shall not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of an alcoholic beverageAt the police station, the arrestee will be offered a chemical test of breath, blood or, much less frequently, urine. Breath test results are usually available immediately; urine and blood samples are sent to a lab for later analysis to determine the BAC or possible presence of drugs.
While chemical tests are used to determine the driver's BAC, they do not determine the driver's level of impairment. However, state laws usually provide for a rebuttable legal presumption of intoxication at blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher (see blood alcohol test assumptions).
The accuracy of breath, blood and urine testing is a subject of some dispute, with various scientific studies indicating unreliable results (see breathalyzer In any case, breath and urine tests can only estimate the BAC at the time the test is taken, which can be different than when the vehicle was actually operated.

If it is determined after arrest that the person's blood alcohol concentration is not at or above the legal limit of .08, they will probably be released without any charges. One may, however, still be charged with driving under the influenceof alcohol on the basis of driving symptoms, observed impairment, admissions and/or performance on the field sobriety tests. And if there is suspicion of drug usage, a blood or urine test is likely, or at least the testimony of a specially-trained officer called a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Assuming sufficient evidence of impaired driving from drugs, the arrestee may face charges of driving under the influence of drugs or the combined influence of alcohol and drugs.
Most of the time, the driver will either be kept in a holding cell (sometimes referred to as the "drunk tank") until he is deemed sober enough to be released on bail or on his "own recognizance" ("O.R."). A date to appear in court for an arraignmentwill be given to him. If he cannot make bail or is not granted O.R., he will be kept in jail to wait for the arraignment on remand.
Convinced that many dwi offenders are alcohol dependent persons and that incarceration is not an effective deterrent to such individuals, , head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), promotes dwi courts as an alternative.[
These innovative courts use substance abuse intervention with hard-core repeat offenders who plead guilty to driving while intoxicated. Those accepted into the diversionary program are required to abstain from alcohol. Some are required to wear a device that monitors and records any levels of alcohol detected in their bloodstreams.
An SR-22 is an administrative form that attests to an insurance company's coverage, or the posting of a personal public bond in the amount of the state's minimum liability coverage for the licensed driver/ or vehicle registration. SR-22s are typically filed with the respective State's DMV, and in some States must be carried by the licensed driver, or in the registered vehicle (particularly if the licensee has been cited for coverage lapses, dui or other administrative infractions). SR-22s may attest coverage for a vehicle regardless of operator (owner liability coverage), or cover a specific person regardless of the specific vehicle operated (operator liability coverage).
The form is required in 49 States and the US District of Columbia in order to register a vehicle for usage on public roads (with the notable exception being New Hampshire). It is also required to redeem a license which has been suspended due to coverage lapse in these required States. These States also, generally, require that the issuing insurance company provide the relevant State's DMV with timely updates as to the status of such coverage. (e.g. expiration/cancelations) If the officer observes enough to have a reasonable suspicion to legally justify a further detention and investigation, he will ask the driver to step out of the vehicle.
The officer will typically approach the driver's window and ask some preliminary questions. During this phase of the stop the officer will note if they detect any of the following indicators of intoxication
odor of an alcoholic beverage on the driver's breath or in the car generally
slurred speech in response to the questioning
watery, blood shot, and/or reddish eyes
flushed face
droopy eyelids
difficulty in understanding and responding intelligently to question
fumbling with his or her driver's license and registration
the plain-view presence of containers of alcoholic beverages in the vehicle.
admission of consumption of alcoholic beverage

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Frank Polenose said...

Well written piece - clearly popular with all the comments.
Frank @ Debt Help / Debt Advice / Debts

 
At 7:41 PM, Anonymous buy a gun safe said...

Fireproof Safe
gun safe
mesa safe
gun vault
buy a safe

 
At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to MassLawyers.com. We are your free directory of Massachusetts Lawyers & Attorneys who provide free or paid consultations to local residents in Massachusetts

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Hair said...

I am very happy to find your post, i enjoyed very much to read your article, thank you for sharing

Debt Relief

 

Post a Comment

<< Home