Archives for August 2015
By: Lynn A. Toops, Attorney
It’s an unfortunate circumstance that we need to have a discussion about medical identity theft. Media reports about computer hackers and data breaches are on the rise and millions of unsuspecting consumers are finding themselves as victims of identity theft and dealing with the resulting hassle.
Consumer data breaches on the rise
Earlier this year, Forbes Magazine reported on 20 of the major consumer data breaches of 2014. Most of these breaches involved consumer credit and debit card information. Businesses including Neiman Marcus, Target Stores, Michael’s Craft Stores, and many others announced data breaches that exposed to cyber thieves sensitive customer information that often included names, payment card information, and in some cases, addresses and email addresses. Hackers sell this stolen information to others who use it to obtain fraudulent credit accounts.
By: Michael W. McBride, Attorney
The Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of residential housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. Although the non-discrimination concept embodied within the FHA is relatively straight forward, application of the law to real world situations is not always as clear cut. This article discusses the interplay between the FHA and service animals by examining a few of the more commonly raised questions when a potential tenant with a disability seeks housing along with his/her furry (or not so furry) companion.
What questions can be asked by a housing provider to a potential tenant with a service animal?
People can have disabilities that are not readily apparent to outside observers and different species and breeds of service animals often provide disability assistance that would not be readily understood or expected. Given these uncertainties, housing providers, especially those that do not regularly allow pets, can be hesitant to accept a potential tenant’s word that he/she needs the presence of a service animal in his/her rental unit without additional confirmation.