Letter to the editor for March 1, 2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dear Editor,

Good faith estimate needs re-examining

Dear editor,

One of the first steps to building or buying a house is deciding what you can afford.

Imagine going to the bank or mortgage company discussing a budget, building or buying a house, and finding out at the final closing that your &8220;good faith&8221; estimate has increased $200, $500 or even $1000 per month.

You enter panic mode first trying to figure how to make ends meet each month, and second trying to figure out how a bank can provide false estimated payments.

You begin asking questions only to find out, it is legal.

The only law about a Good Faith Estimate is that one has to be provided within three days of a loan application.

This scenario happened to my family which has started a personal crusade to keep this from happening to anyone else.

We are asking you to write a letter requesting the laws for Good Faith Estimates be changed so they protect the consumer.

As an addition to the Good Faith Estimate laws being changed, we also feel banks should have a scoring system posted for customers to see.

Banks are allowed to make customers pay additional fees or even refuse to serve customers based on credit scores.

We feel customers should have the benefit of choosing a bank based on performance.

(We would have never chosen this particular bank if we had known they are dishonest. We have since found out they have done this to numerous people.)

We feel this system would place a higher level of accountability and standards that would help protect the customers.

We appreciate your time in helping us out

Bridgette Taylor

Billingsley, Ala.

Movie portrays good treatment of animals

Dear Editor,

The number one movie at the box office last weekend was Eight Below, a film about a group of dogs abandoned on chains to starve or freeze to death, whichever comes first.

Unfortunately, you don&8217;t have to go to the cineplex to see this; dogs are abandoned on chains all the time, and many have already died this winter.

More than a dozen &8220;outside dogs&8221; around the country died of hypothermia and/or neglect during the first two weeks of December alone.

Paul Walker&8217;s character in the movie moved heaven and Earth to get back to save his dogs, but many people simply move away and leave them, as was the case with two dogs in Ohio who were saved in the nick of time last week when concerned neighbors intervened.

Other people just stick dogs out in the backyard and forget about them.

It&8217;s easy to forget that a dog needs shelter, food, water, exercise and veterinary care when he&8217;s out of sight, his desperate barks for help muffled by storm windows and a blazing furnace.

Instead of spending two hours in a movie theater this weekend, why not spend some quality time with a forgotten dog?

Use the money you save on movie tickets to buy a neglected dog a chew toy and some treats. Take your own or a neighbor&8217;s dog for a walk-it will be the bright spot of her day.

If you ever see a dog going without basic necessities like food, water, shelter, or veterinary care, call authorities right away. Your call could save a life.

For more information about helping neglected dogs, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.

Alisa Mullins