"Heldharmless"

Discussion of a variety of scams, including dating service scams, cyber-currencies, and other frauds and scams.
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby fortinbras » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:02 pm

The first link (to ... index) didn't work. This is HH homepage:
http://www.heldharmless.com/

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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby fortinbras » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:17 pm

This looks too much like the Puget Sound Agricultural Society auto insurance scam.

"Held Harmless" incidentally is a bit of legal jargon that should sound a klaxon. It is a contract term by which one party insists that it will be immune to any lawsuit for screwing up.

Apparently -- it's a bit hard to be sure from the vagueries of the website -- HH is pretty much the same as "going bareback", i.e. without insurance -- a ploy that some doctors have deliberately and seriously resorted to as a means of discouraging malpractice lawsuits because it means that the pot of gold at the end of the litigation will only be the doctor's own empty pockets. Following the HH website, you are paying for them to openly proclaim you to be a deadbeat and not worth suing. Perhaps this is not the reputation you are hoping for. In any case, it will not insulate you from bad things; it might even make them worse. HH even tells you that if you already have insurance, don't bother filing claims; the HH method will not save you, and then your real insurance company will refuse to cover you because you did not notify them of a pending claim until it was completely undefendable.

The "address" is a rather notorious mail drop service, and the Better Business Bureau emblem turns out to be a link to nowhere. I do not believe that HH has a real legal team, a real Errors & Omissions insurance policy of its own, nor any intention (or ability) on making good on its promises.

Since HH openly (in fine print) claims that it's not insurance, if you were in some enterprise that legally required insurance (such as trucking), your dealing with HH would not be satisfaction of your legal responsibilities, would be regarded as intentional chicanery and dereliction, and would only make things much worse for you.

My advice is stay far away from it.

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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby Gregg » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:09 pm

I am sitting here just amazed. I have this funny idea that though a series of unlikely events (they have paying customers to do it being one) a few of their customers all at once arrive at the bad part of trusting them, all at once and though totally unrelated, file suits against them in a dozen states all at the same time. The irony of someone who is interested enough in their services to do a google search and finding them defendants all over the country just kills me. :lol:
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby JakeMoore » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:03 pm

Hello,

I am investigating http://heldharmless.com/ regarding a mortgage product they have. I did not get the email mentioned in here and I'm not interested in the liability protection they offer, but I came across this site in my investigation. I have no opinion one way or the other at this point and am just trying to get some answers so I can make an educated decision. Since I am brand new I hope my questions don't sound too naive. Am I thinking about this right?

1. Is there a verifiable link between heldharmless and the 419s that anyone has found? I could see known scammers using the services of a legit company without the company's knowledge of it.

2. Where was the disclaimer? I think it's been edited to delete the language you object to.

3. I don't necessarily find a mail drop objectionable or the use of suite. In my experience that is a common practice.

4. Disclaimers of liability per se are not a scam and their validity is obviously jurisdictional and topical. But they do limit lawsuits being filed. It no longer is an issue of whether there was notice, but the validity of the notice. I can't find the link to their national registry so I can't even evaluate that part.

5. What ever became of Ken Thompson? Did he ever send the more detailed explanation to anyone?

6. Asset holding trusts are common business tools and are not publicly registered...at least they are not required to be in many jurisdictions...can't speak for all jurisdictions.

7. The UK address doesn't really make sense to me. Maybe things have changed but back in my asset protection days the UK was not a go to asset protection jurisdiction.

8. That part of their team was an owner in a reinsurance firm makes sense as to how their mortgage products work.

9. I didn't review the cases presented, but I don't think its objectionable if the cases don't mention them. Insurance discussions are not a part of the case publicly. So the question becomes has their notice provision ever even been litigated. I assume them not being in Westlaw means they have at a minimum not been sued or had any attorney general action filed against them...not even any BBB warnings I presume.

10. I assume the law firms did not comment on whether these guys were their clients or not.

11. It seems logical to me that their product could meet state liability coverage requirements since most states have some kind of a self-insurance provision which permits a bond. Not saying they do meet the requirements since that would likely be state to state, just saying it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

12. The lawsuits against Baratta in this thread are about Patrick Baratta, not Anthony. Perhaps they are the same person and I missed that. And it seems like a typical real estate developer dispute. It doesn't remotely surprise me that a FL real estate development went into bankruptcy in 2008.

13. Doesn't seem like the FTC took any action on the poster that reported them 18 months ago. Is that common or does that mean they looked into it and found nothing?

Am I thinking about this right? Your input is appreciated.

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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby Arthur Rubin » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:26 am

JakeMoore wrote:9. I didn't review the cases presented, but I don't think its objectionable if the cases don't mention them. Insurance discussions are not a part of the case publicly. So the question becomes has their notice provision ever even been litigated. I assume them not being in Westlaw means they have at a minimum not been sued or had any attorney general action filed against them...not even any BBB warnings I presume.
Nope. Heldharmless.com is probably not their legal name, and you'd need to find that before you can say that Westlaw doesn't have them.
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby wserra » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:15 am

JakeMoore wrote:Am I thinking about this right?


I'll get to your specific questions. In terms of the general approach, however, consider that the folks with whom you're contemplating doing business promise something which is impossible to deliver. There is no such thing as a product which shields you from lawsuits. Can't be done. The closest you can come is insuring yourself against certain kinds of risks - but, as they admit, what they offer isn't insurance. Since they claim they can do the impossible, what does that make them?

1. Is there a verifiable link between heldharmless and the 419s that anyone has found? I could see known scammers using the services of a legit company without the company's knowledge of it.


No one here ever claimed there was. "Ken Thompson" claimed that if you got a solicitation from a Nigerian-type advance fee scammer, you should contact them to protect yourself. Since all you need to do to protect yourself is throw it in the garbage, there is no reason to contact them - unless it's to subject yourself to a sales pitch.

2. Where was the disclaimer? I think it's been edited to delete the language you object to.


Last line on this page.

3. I don't necessarily find a mail drop objectionable or the use of suite. In my experience that is a common practice.


Then you associate with a lot of scammers. The only reason I can think of to call a mailbox a "suite" is deception.

4. Disclaimers of liability per se are not a scam and their validity is obviously jurisdictional and topical. But they do limit lawsuits being filed.


You don't understand what a waiver of liability is.

If you hire a company to take you hang gliding, they will quite likely ask you to sign a waiver agreeing not to sue them. Such a thing is common, and (to a greater or lesser degree, depending on jurisdiction) enforceable. But these guys are a third party. They claim that they can somehow shield you from liability based on a transaction in which they play no part. It can't be done, and they can cite no case where they have been able to do so. It's like them proclaiming that JakeMoore owes wserra a million dollars. They have no power to do that either.

It no longer is an issue of whether there was notice, but the validity of the notice. I can't find the link to their national registry so I can't even evaluate that part.


There is no such thing as a "national registry" in which you can list yourself as bulletproof. That's gibberish.

I'm not going point-by-point through the rest of your questions. Most refute themselves. For example, you point out that most states allow posting a bond instead of buying certain types of insurance. Perfectly true. However, these guys don't post a bond, something which is obvious from their own description. They claim to make you immune. There is no such thing. More discussion is trying to hone a fine point on a crayon. It's bullshit. You don't believe it, give them your money and find out.
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby JakeMoore » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:45 pm

Arthur Rubin wrote:
JakeMoore wrote:9. I didn't review the cases presented, but I don't think its objectionable if the cases don't mention them. Insurance discussions are not a part of the case publicly. So the question becomes has their notice provision ever even been litigated. I assume them not being in Westlaw means they have at a minimum not been sued or had any attorney general action filed against them...not even any BBB warnings I presume.
Nope. Heldharmless.com is probably not their legal name, and you'd need to find that before you can say that Westlaw doesn't have them.


Their legal name seems to be HELD HARMLESS Holdings Trust as listed previously on this site and as listed in their press releases http://newsblaze.com/story/200811131420 ... story.html. I have been unable to find any negative reports on them under that name or under their domain name except for this site with people who presumably have not done business with them. Has anyone else? Since they have been around for 3 years now that carries some weight in my book.

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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:01 pm

It looks like PayPal has cut them off.

Held Harmless International Holdings Trust
Return to Held Harmless International Holdings Trust
Error Message

This recipient is currently unable to receive money.
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:12 pm

Forgot to add this from their fine print:

Held Harmless is not a law firm, nor an insurance company or insurance product and does not apply to negligence or gross negligence.
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby JakeMoore » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:58 pm

wserra wrote:In terms of the general approach, however, consider that the folks with whom you're contemplating doing business promise something which is impossible to deliver. There is no such thing as a product which shields you from lawsuits. Can't be done. The closest you can come is insuring yourself against certain kinds of risks - but, as they admit, what they offer isn't insurance. Since they claim they can do the impossible, what does that make them?


I agree and disagree. I agree that it's impossible to shield yourself against lawsuits because anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason or no reason. But I don't agree that insurance is the closest you can come. In fact, insurance encourages lawsuits. At it's best, if your insurance is high enough to cover your loss, insurance provides coverage after your deductible. There are plenty of asset protection vehicles and strategies that can shield you.

wserra wrote:
1. Is there a verifiable link between heldharmless and the 419s that anyone has found? I could see known scammers using the services of a legit company without the company's knowledge of it.


No one here ever claimed there was. "Ken Thompson" claimed that if you got a solicitation from a Nigerian-type advance fee scammer, you should contact them to protect yourself. Since all you need to do to protect yourself is throw it in the garbage, there is no reason to contact them - unless it's to subject yourself to a sales pitch.


Actually that was stopthemadness who made the claim...someone who could have easily been a misguided affiliate for heldharmless.com and didn't speak for them.

wserra wrote:
3. I don't necessarily find a mail drop objectionable or the use of suite. In my experience that is a common practice.


Then you associate with a lot of scammers. The only reason I can think of to call a mailbox a "suite" is deception.


Or customary practice. Fact is 1000s of businesses do it every day.

wserra wrote:
4. Disclaimers of liability per se are not a scam and their validity is obviously jurisdictional and topical. But they do limit lawsuits being filed.


You don't understand what a waiver of liability is.

If you hire a company to take you hang gliding, they will quite likely ask you to sign a waiver agreeing not to sue them. Such a thing is common, and (to a greater or lesser degree, depending on jurisdiction) enforceable. But these guys are a third party. They claim that they can somehow shield you from liability based on a transaction in which they play no part. It can't be done, and they can cite no case where they have been able to do so. It's like them proclaiming that JakeMoore owes wserra a million dollars. They have no power to do that either.


I actually do understand waiver of liability. But this concept is not what I'm personally interested in. Nonetheless their point is that there are statutes in place that waive liability through public notice. This is in fact true. For instance publication of notice to creditors is valid in probate and corporate dissolutions. I don't know what specific statutes they are referring to and have not looked into it because it's not something that interests me. However, I am aware of a common asset protection strategy advised by plenty of lawyers that adding a notice such as they suggest could only bolster the validity of, not harm.

wserra wrote:
It no longer is an issue of whether there was notice, but the validity of the notice. I can't find the link to their national registry so I can't even evaluate that part.


There is no such thing as a "national registry" in which you can list yourself as bulletproof. That's gibberish.


Technically correct, but as I stated above there are commonly used strategies which could be benefited by a public record of those strategies.

wserra wrote:I'm not going point-by-point through the rest of your questions. Most refute themselves. For example, you point out that most states allow posting a bond instead of buying certain types of insurance. Perfectly true. However, these guys don't post a bond, something which is obvious from their own description. They claim to make you immune. There is no such thing. More discussion is trying to hone a fine point on a crayon. It's bullshit. You don't believe it, give them your money and find out.


I disagree. It's true that they don't post a bond, but that's not what they claim to do. They claim to give you an asset which act as cash collateral which you may be able to post as a bond alternative to meet self-insurance requirements.

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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby notorial dissent » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:00 am

Held Harmless wrote:Held Harmless is not a law firm, nor an insurance company or insurance product and does not apply to negligence or gross negligence.

And should also include,", nor anything else.

JakeMoore wrote:There are plenty of asset protection vehicles and strategies that can shield you.
Oh, for instance??? Poverty?? No possessions?? Those are about the only ones I can think of right off the top of my head.

JakeMoore wrote:...but as I stated above there are commonly used strategies which could be benefited by a public record of those strategies.
And again, these would be??

JakeMoore wrote:They claim to give you an asset which act as cash collateral which you may be able to post as a bond alternative to meet self-insurance requirements.

And this would be what??? The ever popular "bonded promissory note"?? Again there ain't no such animal. This doesn't even qualify as smoke and mirrors, it is just plain old every day horse hockey.
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby AndyK » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:13 am

Hold Harmless has a very interesting claim procedure.

If you file a legitimate claim, you are required to give them a five-year promissory note in the amount of the claim before they pay you. If you retain tour membership for the five years, they allegedly forgive the note.

However, only ONE claim can be made against a membership account every five years.

If one wants to continue to use their services, one must open another membership account.

So, in the unlikely event that a member has medical expenses in five successive years, the member will have to have five acounts -- to the tune of $50 / month each or they will be liable to repay the note.

So, (just to cover medical expenses) someone could be facing a charge of $250 / month ($3,000 per year). If there were additional claims for automotive or any other coverage, each of them would add an additional $600 per year.

It is highly likely that traditional insurance will be significantly less expensive and much more reliable than the "HoldThis" program.
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby Lambkin » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:14 am

So are there cases in which a subscriber to this service was "held harmless" based on the methods discussed here? Which cases?

It sounds a bit like "amazing legal technology" sold on late-night TV.

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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby fortinbras » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:15 am

As far as I can figure, their amazing strategy is: You persuade the people who might sue you to sign a document that says that they hold you harmless -- i.e., they agree that they cannot sue you. You get to sign a document like that when you want to ride the mechanical bull at the cowboy bar. Now you have to persuade people whom you will or have hurt to sign that for you. And, while you're at it, get both Koch brothers to include you in their wills.

Although this outfit says that it also publishes a sort of announcement for you in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, that seems to impose a hold harmless situation for you even with people who haven't signed for you or even met you yet, I have my doubts that (1) the WSJ and USA Today, neither being a local newspaper, qualifies as a proper publication for such legal notices, and (2), more important, while some legal announcements (such as not being responsible for someone else's debts) might have legal weight, I do not believe an announcement that you consider yourself immune to any and all lawsuits carries any weight at all -- except maybe negative, in that it shows you intend to do stuff that will hurt other people and you're are trying to insulate yourself in advance.

Finally, if this stunt worked, at all, you'd already have hundreds of lawyers telling their clients to do it and all the newspapers would be thick with those notices.

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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby wserra » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:27 pm

JakeMoore wrote:There are plenty of asset protection vehicles and strategies that can shield you.


Yes, there are. Unfortunately, these guys don't offer them. What they do claim to provide, in their own words:
HeldUseless wrote:✓ Provide a safe-haven from lawsuits or frivolous claims against your home or business
✓ Shield you from having to hire a lawyer to defend a claim or lawsuit
✓ Shield your home or business from lawsuits or judgments
✓ Shield your home, business, service, product and assets from loss by a lawsuit

Those aren't "asset protection strategies". Those are nonsense.

wserra wrote:
JakeMoore wrote:1. Is there a verifiable link between heldharmless and the 419s that anyone has found? I could see known scammers using the services of a legit company without the company's knowledge of it.


No one here ever claimed there was. "Ken Thompson" claimed that if you got a solicitation from a Nigerian-type advance fee scammer, you should contact them to protect yourself. Since all you need to do to protect yourself is throw it in the garbage, there is no reason to contact them - unless it's to subject yourself to a sales pitch.


Actually that was stopthemadness who made the claim...someone who could have easily been a misguided affiliate for heldharmless.com and didn't speak for them.


Ya think? "stopthemadness" said "My name is Ken Thompson and I am one of the members of the legal counsel for HELD HARMLESS". Now, I have no idea what "one of the members of the legal counsel" means, but I'll readily accept the "misguided" part.

wserra wrote:
3. I don't necessarily find a mail drop objectionable or the use of suite. In my experience that is a common practice.


Then you associate with a lot of scammers. The only reason I can think of to call a mailbox a "suite" is deception.


Or customary practice. Fact is 1000s of businesses do it every day.


Please show me a reputable business that uses "suite" to mean "mailbox".

I actually do understand waiver of liability. But this concept is not what I'm personally interested in. Nonetheless their point is that there are statutes in place that waive liability through public notice.


Please cite the statute that permits HeldUseless to file waivers in some "national registry" they set up and thereby notify the universe. I went through this with the above "legal counsel". He cited New Hampshire probate regs, and a Montana statute that applies only to municipalities. I would place a large bet that you do no better.

wserra wrote:There is no such thing as a "national registry" in which you can list yourself as bulletproof. That's gibberish.


Technically correct, but as I stated above there are commonly used strategies which could be benefited by a public record of those strategies.


So please cite a reputable asset protection authority that uses its own "national registry" as one of its "strategies".

wserra wrote:I'm not going point-by-point through the rest of your questions. Most refute themselves. For example, you point out that most states allow posting a bond instead of buying certain types of insurance. Perfectly true. However, these guys don't post a bond, something which is obvious from their own description. They claim to make you immune. There is no such thing. More discussion is trying to hone a fine point on a crayon. It's bullshit. You don't believe it, give them your money and find out.


I disagree. It's true that they don't post a bond, but that's not what they claim to do. They claim to give you an asset which act as cash collateral which you may be able to post as a bond alternative to meet self-insurance requirements.


What "asset" might that be? Their listing in a "national registry"? Your misguided payment to them? Please provide proof that any state in the Union would accept anything HeldUseless provides as an acceptable insurance alternative.

Here, I'll provide you with an "asset" that you can use in place of insurance:
Image

Now pay me.
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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby JakeMoore » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:31 pm

notorial dissent wrote:There are plenty of asset protection vehicles and strategies that can shield you.
Oh, for instance??? Poverty?? No possessions?? Those are about the only ones I can think of right off the top of my head.

Ok. I was actually looking for answers, but I can see you have no interest in providing help. No those are not them. At all. Hire your own asset protection law firm and they will explain them to you.

notorial dissent wrote:
JakeMoore wrote:They claim to give you an asset which act as cash collateral which you may be able to post as a bond alternative to meet self-insurance requirements.

And this would be what??? The ever popular "bonded promissory note"?? Again there ain't no such animal. This doesn't even qualify as smoke and mirrors, it is just plain old every day horse hockey.


They don't mention anything about that and since that is not the product I'm interested in I haven't done any investigation on the method they use.

So just to clarify, you don't have any real objections except it doesn't seem right or make sense to you?

JakeMoore

Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby JakeMoore » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:37 pm

oldnikki wrote:So, (just to cover medical expenses) someone could be facing a charge of $250 / month ($3,000 per year). If there were additional claims for automotive or any other coverage, each of them would add an additional $600 per year.

It is highly likely that traditional insurance will be significantly less expensive and much more reliable than the "HoldThis" program.


Health insurance on my family is over $1000 a month because we are self-insured. I would welcome $250.

JakeMoore

Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby JakeMoore » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:15 pm

wserra wrote:
JakeMoore wrote:There are plenty of asset protection vehicles and strategies that can shield you.


Yes, there are. Unfortunately, these guys don't offer them. What they do claim to provide, in their own words:
HeldUseless wrote:✓ Provide a safe-haven from lawsuits or frivolous claims against your home or business
✓ Shield you from having to hire a lawyer to defend a claim or lawsuit
✓ Shield your home or business from lawsuits or judgments
✓ Shield your home, business, service, product and assets from loss by a lawsuit

Those aren't "asset protection strategies". Those are nonsense.


Actually that just clarified it for me. There is a common strategy in protecting assets by placing a lien against them which would have to be repaid by anyone who would attempt to collect on them. Sometimes it fails when people try to do it themselves because they use insiders only. So I guess it depends on how they have it all wrapped up and what the language and terms are...if that is the strategy they are even using.

wserra wrote:Actually that was stopthemadness who made the claim...someone who could have easily been a misguided affiliate for heldharmless.com and didn't speak for them.


Ya think? "stopthemadness" said "My name is Ken Thompson and I am one of the members of the legal counsel for HELD HARMLESS". Now, I have no idea what "one of the members of the legal counsel" means, but I'll readily accept the "misguided" part.


My bad. I got lost in thread and lost track. Did he ever show back up anywhere to give more explanations?

wserra wrote:
3. I don't necessarily find a mail drop objectionable or the use of suite. In my experience that is a common practice.


Then you associate with a lot of scammers. The only reason I can think of to call a mailbox a "suite" is deception.


Or customary practice. Fact is 1000s of businesses do it every day.


Please show me a reputable business that uses "suite" to mean "mailbox".[/quote]

1000s of small businesses use them daily. Plenty of mid-sized businesses use them for prestige factor, especially in industries where prestige is important. If you find it objectionable that's your prerogative, but I work with legit companies all the time that due the same thing.

wserra wrote:
I actually do understand waiver of liability. But this concept is not what I'm personally interested in. Nonetheless their point is that there are statutes in place that waive liability through public notice.


Please cite the statute that permits HeldUseless to file waivers in some "national registry" they set up and thereby notify the universe. I went through this with the above "legal counsel". He cited New Hampshire probate regs, and a Montana statute that applies only to municipalities. I would place a large bet that you do no better.


Ok...I actually came here for help. I don't work for them, but you guys are the only place on the internet that has anything bad to say about them...at least that I could find. I didn't say there was a registry. In fact I said that to my knowledge publication is topical and jurisdictional but that I don't know everything. Just because I don't know it doesn't mean it doesn't exist though. I don't know about their registry. I don't care about their registry. I came to see if anyone had any specific information about or experience with their loan products. In by book, if they fund their loans I could really care less about some registry or about some insurance.

wserra wrote:I'm not going point-by-point through the rest of your questions. Most refute themselves. For example, you point out that most states allow posting a bond instead of buying certain types of insurance. Perfectly true. However, these guys don't post a bond, something which is obvious from their own description. They claim to make you immune. There is no such thing. More discussion is trying to hone a fine point on a crayon. It's bullshit. You don't believe it, give them your money and find out.


I disagree. It's true that they don't post a bond, but that's not what they claim to do. They claim to give you an asset which act as cash collateral which you may be able to post as a bond alternative to meet self-insurance requirements.


What "asset" might that be? Their listing in a "national registry"? Your misguided payment to them? Please provide proof that any state in the Union would accept anything HeldUseless provides as an acceptable insurance alternative.


Again, I don't know about it. It's not what I'm interested in them for...but THAT is not what they even claim to provide on their website.

JakeMoore

Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby JakeMoore » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:18 pm

I am actually looking for real help. Does anyone on this site have any knowledge of their mortgage products or any real world experience with them?

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Re: "Heldharmless"

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:43 pm

JakeMoore wrote:I am actually looking for real help. Does anyone on this site have any knowledge of their mortgage products or any real world experience with them?


What "mortgage" products?

In order to offer such things a company has to be licensed in the state in which they offer such services.

A quick check with your state's Secretary of State and/or the entity that regulates mortgages will tell you whether or not they can even offer things like that.
The Honorable Judge Roy Bean
The world is a car and you're a crash-test dummy.
The Devil Makes Three


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