Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Stupid Wells Fargo Story of the Day . . .

(or is it just the story of the hour?)
Represent a client who owns a 1/2 interest in some property - she got it by will from her father who got it by will from his wife who, with her ex husband, got the property by deed.  Sent them a copy of all documentation and title search so my client would be listed as a co-owner of the property.  Of course, wills operate to transfer an interest in property.
Today I get a letter from Wells saying client "as potential successor in interest who can receive limited account information . . "
and "We understand that [client] is 1/2 owner of this property.  In order for us to update the account with this information, please provide us a copy of the recorded deed".
My response: 

In your letter you ask for “a copy of the recorded deed”.  There is no ‘recorded deed’.  The documentation you have – which includes the Recorded Wills of the prior owners – is all that has ever been required under the statutory and common laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia since it was first colonized in 1607 to fully vest title in [client].
Reminds me of the fabled 'letter from a Louisiana Lawyer" . . .
A New Orleans lawyer sought a FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down.

After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply:
Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin.
Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:
Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the U.S. from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the then reigning monarch, Isabelle. The good queen, being a pious woman and careful about titles, almost as much as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to fund Columbus' expedition. Now the Pope, as I'm sure you know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that He also made that part of the world called Louisiana. He, therefore, would be the owner of origin. I hope to hell you find His original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?
They got it.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Raise Hell for our Veterans.

Incompetent delay by the Veterans Administration

As noted before, I have been appointed as guardian (in charge of the physical person) and conservator (in charge of their money) for a number of people.  I usually cringe when one of them receives Veterans Administration benefits because (a) in my opinion the VA is the most inefficient agency of the entire Federal Government (one helluva feat) and (b) – probably related to (a) – is that the VA bureaucracy is a pain in the ass to deal with on a good day because the proper form is more important than the proper care. (An exception is the field officers – those who actually visit and work with the Veterans – are dedicated professionals who actually care for their veterans and I have total respect for them)

However, over five years to handle a Veteran’s claim is grossly incompetent and shows a callous disregard for the needs of those who put their lives on the line for our freedoms.
I recently got appointed as guardian and conservator for a 92-year-old WW2 Combat Veteran. Going through his papers I found a recent Board of Veterans Appeals decision related to his service disability benefits that, simply, pissed me off.

The Veteran had a 30% PTSD related service disability rating.  He applied for an increase sometime prior to 2010, the regional office denied it October 2010 and an appeal was requested. In April 2012 the Veteran asked to be allowed to testify at the hearing. That hearing was held THREE YEARS LATER in March, 2015. The Veteran, at the young age of 92, wasn’t able to appear.

The good news is the Board of Veterans Appeals ruled in his favor (only 5 months later in August, 2015) and said he should have, at least, a 50% disability rating. They remanded it to the regional office to see if it should be greater; that remand is probably pending since the Veteran – with combination of PTSD, age, and dementia – apparently hasn’t responded to requests for more information.

This much time to process a claim is inexcusable. It harms our veterans.  The hell of it is, Congress is well aware of the issues and problems facing the VA and is too damn incompetent to do anything about it.

And this ‘hold your nose and vote’ election coming up? I haven’t heard anything from either candidate or those running for Congress about what they’d do to address the VA’s incompetence. And I seriously doubt they really care.

Raise Hell for our Veterans with all politicians you encounter and vote for those who get results.

Government Logic . . .

A heading like that is an oxymoron - contradictory terms within the phrase.  And in this instance, I don't mean it in any sort of flattering manner. (for classic oxymorons, look at these
As any regular reader knows, I'm court appointed guardian for a number of people, most of whom have dementia and no clue as to the current century, much less anything else around them. And just about all of them get "Medicaid" long term care benefits. Medicaid is notified that I'm the guardian and as such I am to get all notices that affect their benefits; there's an appropriate place in the Medicaid database for my contact information and, to my knowledge, I'm in there for all my wards.
Virginia has embarked on a test project for health care called Commonwealth Coordinated Care ("CCC").  The ins and outs of the program are beyond the scope of this blog entry, but frankly it sounds good IN CONCEPT.  The roll out rivals the ACA Website roll out in incompetency, in my opinion, and from what I've seen I have refused to allow my wards to join it. Again, that's not the point here.
Health care is a paramount concern for anyone, especially the vulnerable elderly Medicaid population. Virginia is spending great dollars mailing information to people about the 'benefits' of CCC.  So, logically, as guardian I should be getting a bunch of letters about CCC for my wards.
DMAS (the agency that runs Medicaid in Virginia) sends it to the individual in the nursing home.  The same individual a court has declared legally incompetent. The same individual who is reliving the 1950's in their mind. The same individual who is in diapers.  A year ago I complained about this to Virginia's Governor; Dr. William Hazel, Secretary of Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources, wrote back saying that the fault was a "limitation of our system and mailing processes . . . "
That's Bullshit. And by profession I'm a bullshitter so I know it when I, uh, smell it/hear it/see it..  Dr. Hazel was trying to bullshit a bullshitter.
The data is in the system.  People control what data is retrieved for which purpose. I see absolutely no reason the system data could not be used to send the legal representative - with sole authority to decide on care for an individual - the information about CCC or any other program.
I had to write the Governor, again, about DMAS' idiocy and asked that he tell them to show common sense and fix it so the right people get the notice. And I got another bureaucratic bullshit response.
Nah, I won't turn it loose - I'll continue to give them hell.