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New Withdrawal Options Available on Retirement Accounts Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

After a massive bipartisan effort, congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Among other things, the historic stimulus package waives the early withdrawal penalty on retirement account distributions for taxpayers facing virus-related challenges. The CARES Act allows eligible participants to request penalty-free distributions of up to $100,000 for qualifying coronavirus-related reasons. These include adverse financial consequences due to being quarantined, furloughed, laid off or having…

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Governor Hogan announces Maryland emergency economic relief programs for businesses affected by COVID-19

On Monday, Governor Hogan ordered all non-essential Maryland businesses, organizations, establishments, and corporations to close.  This new order is aimed to increase the state’s social distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  Governor Hogan reasoned that while these closures are “incredible difficult financially,” they will “save the lives of thousands of your fellow Marylanders.”  Maryland is following federal guidelines to determine which businesses qualify as essential. In an…

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Congress Finalizes Coronavirus Economic Relief Package.  Here’s What You Need to Know about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

There’s growing consensus that Americans need to stay home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  The health of the nation comes first, experts say, but will workers still get paid? On Wednesday, congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”), a sweeping legislation designed to assist a large segment of the nation’s workforce whose ability to work is or may become impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. …

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A Message to our Clients regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

We understand the growing concern associated with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), not only world-wide, but locally in our community.  Be assured that Azrael Franz remains open and focused on our clients. We are working to ensure the continued health and safety of all our clients and staff, which includes following the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and acting in accordance with the best practices. During this time,…

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Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation Warns of New Scam

Last month, we warned about the practice of deceptive practice concerning recorded deed notices, wherein companies send an official-looking letter to new Maryland homeowners requesting $95 in exchange for a copy of the homeowner’s deed.  We advised that a copy of your deed is available online for free and that your county land records will make a copy of the deed for  a few dollars. Azrael Franz Partner Paul Schwab…

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Driver Involved In Pursuit Charged In Fatal Crash

31-year-old Salah Mamache, of Baltimore, was charged in a fatal crash in Anne Arundel County Tuesday, March 3rd.  The victim was Mark A. Wieland, 43, of Severn. Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney says evidence shows Mamache was driving recklessly during a high speed chase through Glen Burnie and Severn Tuesday afternoon.  The pursuit allegedly began when the victim struck Mamache’s car and then refused to stop.  According to police, multiple…

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Teen Who Suffered Broken Neck in Amtrak Derailment Files Lawsuit

A Washington state teen who survived a 2017 Amtrak train derailment is suing Amtrak, Sound Transit, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).  Timmy Brodigan, who is now wheelchair-bound, is working every day to regain movement.  Brodigan’s complaint maintains that Amtrak, Sound Transit, and WSDOT need to be held accountable. The derailment happened near DuPont, Washington on Dec. 18, 2017.  The Amtrak train was on its first trip on…

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Kobe Bryant’s Widow Files a Wrongful Death Suit against Helicopter Company over Deadly Crash

The widow of Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant, is suing Island Express Helicopters for the January 26 crash that killed the NBA legend and their daughter, alleging in part that the pilot failed to safely operate the aircraft. Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, February 24, the same day a memorial celebration for Kobe and Gianna Bryant was getting underway at the Staples Center in…

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A Focus on Victims’ Rights: Lawmakers aim to ban waiver forms signed by sexual assault survivors after being prompted by police

Hundreds of Maryland sexual assault survivors signed waivers from police. Now lawmakers want to ban the forms.   It was long a common practice among some Baltimore-area police departments: Offer sexual assault victims a waiver form to document that they didn’t want to go forward with their case. Now some Maryland lawmakers want to ban police from using such waivers in sexual assault cases so that so victims aren’t discouraged…

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Former Baltimore County Hospital Employee Faces Several Sex Offense Charges

Baltimore County Police said a former MedStar Franklin Square hospital employee has been charged with a number of sex offenses, after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Baltimore County Police arrested Donald Joseph Benson Jr. (pictured), 40, of Nottingham, on Thursday, February 6, and charged him with a number of sex offenses, including the sexual abuse of a minor.  Benson became the subject of an…

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