Pigeon Racing in Spring Hill

Like our last entry, this one highlights one of the more unique sporting events in Florida. Homing pigeon racing is a popular attraction in the state of Florida. This video takes a look at the stable of racing and other breeds of pigeons from one of the top racers right here in Spring Hill. The practice is controversial, it raises ethical concerns, and we do not endorse the practice. However, the popularity of the sport is undeniable. While we do not endorse the sport, we do our best to highlight any attractions to the area to anyone considering coming to the region. Hence, we feature this video to show a glimpse into an aspect of the local culture that may appeal to some.

Run the Savage Race

If you are looking for some way to have some unconventional fun, here is something to check out. This video highlights the annual Savage Race in Pasco County, Florida. If you are inclined towards sports of the unconventional or extreme variety, this may just be the event for you. It is a race across an obstacle course unlike any other. For more information, check out: http://www.savagerace.com/

Having a Drink at the Beach

VisitStPeteClearwater.com put together this video, highlighting the best beach bars in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Florida. If you want to enjoy the beaches in the true Florida style, check out these beach bars. Even in the December chill, the beach is still the place to be in the Tampa Bay Area.

Tampa’s Underrated Cuisine

cuban food photo

Yahoo Food has an article up ranking forty of the best cities in the U.S. for food lovers. You can find that article here. The article lists the cities for their culinary contributions and the unique experiences their most popular restaurants provide. The one thing that seemed off about the article is that while Florida does get some representation, the entire Tampa Bay area is absent from the list. Oddly, Jacksonville makes the top forty, but not Tampa? We smell something fishy, and it is not a seafood restaurant.

Tampa has a rich culinary tradition. For starters, being on the Gulf Coast, we have access to some of the freshest seafood possible. There are few places in the U.S. where one can find a better selection of seafood. It is not just expensive, pretentious dishes we are talking about either. There are sports bars in Tampa with seafood dishes that outshine most of what is on offer across the country.

What about Cuban sandwiches? We have got the closest thing to actually travelling to Cuba for one, despite what the pretenders in Miami tell you. In fact, Tampa is basically the nation’s epicenter for Cuban cuisine. No one does it better. They put Miami on the list for their Cuban cuisine when Tampa has done it better from the beginning. They even admit that Tampa originated some of the cuisine they credit Miami for. Do you still wonder why Tampa should feel slighted by this list?

Some of the cities listed in their article do not even boast any real famous restaurants. They show up on the list only for signature cuisine. We covered that part. As for well-known, nationally recognized establishments, we have plenty. The Tampa Bay Times put together this list a couple years ago, and the list still holds up today. You want to eat where the “cool” people eat? We have you covered there.

We are not saying we should top the list. It is tough to argue our place above cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. Certainly, however, we should have at least beaten out Jacksonville. Seriously, Jacksonville?

Photo by jeffreyw

Another for the Gearheads

This video highlights a rat bike named “DeathTrap” from a Spring Hill Drifters car show here in Spring Hill, Florida. This thing is pretty cool. There is a long history of car clubs and shows in the area that any level of car or motorcycle enthusiast can enjoy. Just check local event calendars to find out when these events take place.

Protecting Your Rights: Florida Fair Lending Act Part 6

This is the final part of our multi-part series on protecting your rights through the Florida Fair Lending Act. We hope you have found this information useful. To check out the previous installments, check out the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth parts at their respective links here.

(13) LATE PAYMENT FEES.—A lender may not charge a late payment fee for a high-cost home loan except as provided in this subsection:

(a) A late payment fee may not be in excess of 5 percent of the amount of the payment past due.

(b) A late payment fee may only be assessed for a payment past due for 15 days or more.

(c) A late payment fee may not be charged more than once with respect to a single late payment. If a late payment fee is deducted from a payment made on the loan and such deduction causes a subsequent default on a subsequent payment, no late payment fee may be imposed for such default. If a late payment fee has been imposed once with respect to a particular late payment, no such fee shall be imposed with respect to any future payment which would have been timely and sufficient, but for the previous default.

This one is pretty clear. It limits late fees to five percent of the past-due payment. It forces lenders to wait until a payment is 15 days late before they can charge late fees. Also, it prevents them from “double-dipping” and charging you twice for the same missed payment.

(14) MODIFICATION OR DEFERRAL FEES.—A lender may not charge a borrower any fees or other charges to modify, renew, extend, or amend a high-cost home loan or to defer any payment due under the terms of a high-cost home loan on a minimum of one modification, renewal, extension, or deferral per each 12 months of the length of the loan.

Lenders cannot charge fees to modify a loan or to defer payments.

If your mortgage contains any of these dirty little tricks, contact a lawyer. You can gain substantial benefit from seeing the banks punished for breaking the law. The penalty for violating this law is the lender gives up the rights to any interest on the loan, meaning you only have to pay the original principal, as outlined below:

(1) Any person or the agent, officer, or other representative of any person committing a material violation of the provisions of this act shall forfeit the entire interest charged in the high-cost home loan or contracted to be charged or received, and only the principal sum of such high-cost home loan can be enforced in any court in this state, either at law or in equity.

Check your mortgage terms to ensure that your loan is on the up and up. If it is not, if your loan forces you into any of the aforementioned traps, know your rights and defend them.

Protecting Your Rights: Florida Fair Lending Act Part 5

This is part five of our multi-part series on protecting your rights during the mortgage process. The Florida Fair Lending Act, detailed in this series, is there to protect you from unscrupulous lenders. If you suspect your rights are being violated, call a lawyer for a consultation. You can check out the previous installments here, here, here and here.

(10) OPEN-ENDED LOANS.—A lender shall not make any loan as an open-ended loan in order to evade the provisions of this act unless such open-ended loans meet the definition in 12 C.F.R. s. 226.2(a)(20).

Essentially, what this means is a lender cannot define the end date of a loan as “when we feel like it.”

(11) RECOMMENDATION OF DEFAULT.—A lender shall not recommend or encourage default on an existing loan or other debt prior to and in connection with the closing or planned closing of a high-cost home loan that refinances all or any portion of such existing loan or debt.

This one speaks for itself. A lender cannot suggest you stop paying on your loan.

(12) PROHIBITED DOOR-TO-DOOR LOANS.—A high-cost home loan may not be made as a direct result of a potential or future lender or its representative offering or selling a high-cost home loan at the residence of a potential borrower without a prearranged appointment with the potential borrower or the expressed invitation of the potential borrower. This subsection does not apply to mail solicitations that may be received by the potential borrower.

A lender cannot “sell” mortgages door to door as one would encyclopedias, knives, or vacuum cleaners. Either you have to go to them, or you must make an appointment for them to come to you. If they just show up at your front door trying to sell you a mortgage, call the police.