Mobile Banking - Are You At Risk?
7 Tips To Enhance Your Mobile Banking Security
By: Charles C. Ashdown, Esq.
More than 45 million people will use mobile banking apps by 2014 and nearly 1 billion consumers already use some form of remote banking, according to industry studies. Mobile banking transactions are fast and offer an easier way to pay bills, deposit checks or monitor your accounts.
While convenient, mobile banking poses risks to your financial security and identity. Security attacks on smartphones have climbed to an all-time high. In the last 12 months, for example, attacks on Google's Android smartphones have quadrupled, and smartphones running Java-based applications jumped 45 percent.
As mobile banking services continue to expand exponentially, statutes, regulations and governing case law is struggling to keep up. You can expect the financial services industry and regulators to continue to develop new guidance and policies that protect both consumers and financial institutions. It is important to stay on top of these changes so that you understand the risks and your rights.
Currently, there are federal and state laws and regulations to help protect consumers.
Consumer Mobile Security Breach:
- The good news for consumers is that, under "Regulation E" of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), consumers are protected from financial losses due to fraud, so long as they promptly report the unauthorized activity. If you believe that there has been a breach of your mobile security, or your account has been hacked, immediately notify your financial institution by telephone and by email.
- If you notify the institution of an unauthorized withdrawal within two business days, your loss is limited to a maximum of $50. If the institution is notified between 3 and 59 days, your loss could be up to $500. And if the loss is not reported within 60 days, then you risk unlimited loss on any transfers made after the 60 day period -- including any over draft fees.
Business Account Hack Help:
- According to the FBI, tens of millions of dollars have been stolen from small to mid-sized businesses, nonprofits, and towns and municipalities. These account holders are not protected by Regulation E of the EFTA.
- If you are considering computer access, or mobile device access, you need to be even more vigilant.
Strauss Troy Attorney Charles Ashdown
Strauss Troy Attorney Charles Ashdown's practice covers all aspects of general business and litigation. He has extensive experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims and works closely with privately held corporations and other family businesses. If you have questions on error resolution, fraud, privacy, data security or the responsibilities of banks and mobile service providers:
Contact Charles at 513.621.2120 or
By: William O. Williamson, Esq.
Acquiring an existing business is one of the
best ways to start, or expand, your operation.
You've decided it strategically makes sense and have a target in mind. At a high-level, everything looks good. The next step is to sit down and pour through the financials for the deal. As you begin your due diligence, one of two scenarios will play out.
- The target is well established and has had sound professional advice in the past. This makes establishing a 'fair' purchase price and structure fairly simple
- The target's financial statements aren't as thorough, or the seller has a less established track record for the business
As the buyer, strongly consider negotiating an earnout provision into the letter of intent and/or the asset purchase agreement. This is particularly important in the second scenario. Typically, an earnout provision allows the purchase price to be adjusted post-closing based on achievement of set revenue goals or other milestones. It also builds in a certain amount of protection against fraud for the buyer against the seller.
Earnouts can benefit sellers as well. Sellers can use an earnout provision to maximize the purchase price, particularly when the business being offered would benefit from increased marketability and confidence that an earnout provision can provide.
Strauss Troy Attorney Bill Williamson
Bill Williamson counsels businesses in a full range of matters, including entity selection and formation, finance, capital structure and general contractual matters. If you are considering starting a business, or expanding your existing business through acquisition, and want help with your due diligence, structuring or closing your transactions:
Contact Bill at 513.621.2120 or
Holiday Visits Present Special Challenges For Single Parents
A holiday so full of joy and hope can also be a stressful season for parents and families that have experienced divorce. Here are some common problems and tips to help solve them this year:
Many families travel during the holiday season. If one parent objects to travel arrangements, whether because of scheduling, the mode of travel, the destination or some other reason, negotiating approval can take time. You can prevent a headache later on if you discuss possible conflicts before finalizing any travel plans. Communication can reduce the impact that uncertainty has on families - especially children.
Parenting Time Schedules
Parents may need to arrange for additional childcare during the holiday weeks when children are off school. Such care can be costly, especially in December, so an early discussion is the best route to making suitable arrangements for both parents and children.
Even if childcare is not an issue, commonplace arrangements like exchanges at school may no longer be possible. High-conflict parents may need to find alternative places to drop off and pick up their children. Coming together to solve scheduling problems long before the holiday break can help reduce the impact that such changes may have on families.
Solving childcare and travel issues may be the least of parents' worries when it comes to the holiday season. Often, the most difficult discussion is determining where children will spend the actual holidays (Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Hanukah). On these important family days, arrangements that worked well in previous years may no longer satisfy one or both parents, the children, or the extended family.
Many parents going through a divorce or separation believe that they don't need to pay particular attention to the details of a holiday plan. They mistakenly think, "We'll be able to work it out when the time comes." However, the last thing parents or children need is a dispute on Christmas Eve because the plan did not specifically state when Christmas Eve ends and when Christmas Day starts. Then, you suddenly learn that your schedule is not agreeable to the other parent.
Strauss Troy Attorney Erinn McKee Hannigan
Strauss Troy Attorney Erinn McKee Hannigan is a Qualified Mediator with an emphasis on Family Law. She practices exclusively in the field of domestic relations, including collaborative law cases, complex divorce litigation, and custody and support matters (both pre and post decree).
How Tax Law Changes Can Impact Your Trust
By: Patrick J. Newton, Esq.
If you've established an estate plan in the last few years, with the goal of avoiding estate taxes, you've likely read reports or heard through the grapevine, that the estate tax exemption has risen from $3.5 million to $5 million, and due to statutory increases is currently $5,250,000 for estates of those who pass away in 2013.
What Does This Mean For My Estate Planning?
Many of our clients have asked: Is it time to unwind my A/B or credit shelter trusts? Should I consider doing away with my trusts altogether? It depends on your situation.
Benefits Of Maintaining Your Trust:
Funding trusts, and providing dispositive provisions through trusts, are helpful in avoiding lengthy probate proceedings, which are open to public inspection.
- An A/B trust can reduce taxes. It divides into two separate funds upon the death of the individual. Fund B is funded first and uses the entire estate tax exemption, but for tax purposes, limits the surviving spouse's control over those assets until the surviving spouse dies. Fund A is created with any amounts that exceed the tax exemption, and allow the surviving spouse to have more control over the Fund A assets. For estate tax purposes, Fund B property is not included in the second spouse's estate; therefore, reducing the taxable estate.
- An A/B trust also allows for a significant amount of flexibility for the surviving spouse and heirs. Making amendments to existing trust documents are relatively easy to execute.
- Maintaining the A/B trust documents is important in the event that tax laws change in the future. There is always the possibility that Congress will again lower the estate tax exemption - whether to raise revenue or to attempt to balance budgets. Existing A/B trust documents have the flexibility necessary to adjust for those situations.
- Existing A/B trust documents also give surviving spouses the best options to avoid having to do tax planning under duress.
For Help With Your Estate Planning Questions
Strauss Troy Attorney Patrick Newton focuses his practice on the areas of corporate tax planning and estate plan preparation. This ranges from family trusts, to comprehensive business succession planning for closely-held family-owned corporations, to trust and estate administration. Patrick also has experience in handling tax controversy matters and has been admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court.
Strauss Troy Attorney Patrick Newton
Contact Patrick at 513.621.2120 or
Attorneys On The Move
After qualifying third in stroke play with rounds of 72-67, and winning his first three matches handily, Bill defeated Matthew Schneider, 8 and 6, in the quarterfinals and Kenneth McCready, 2 and 1, in the semifinals. Bill's great run ended in the 36-hole final match against McCoy.
"Mike did what he had to do," said Bill. "He's such a good player, and I'm happy for him." He continued, "I didn't putt as well as I wanted. The greens were tough, and the pins were in tough spots. The ball just didn't go in." (Quote courtesy of ESPN.com)
In his prior appearances at the USGA Mid-Am tournament, Bill's best finish was qualifying to round 16, which he accomplished in 2006. He was competing in his 8th USGA championship, while McCoy was competing in his 38th USGA championship, including 14 Mid-Amateurs.
As a finalist, Bill receives a three-year exemption into the U.S. Mid-Amateur, an exemption into the 2014 U.S. Amateur and an exemption into U.S. Open Sectional qualifying in 2014. As the champion, McCoy receives, among other things, a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Mid-Amateur and a likely invitation into the 2014 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
While golf provides an enjoyable outlet for competition, Bill's primary focus is his law practice where he works in the areas of real estate law, corporate law and entity formation, estate planning, probate and general business law. He counsels businesses in a full-range of matters, including entity selection and formation, finance, capital structure and general contractual matters. Bill was named a 2012 Ohio Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine�.
Philomena Ashdown will serve as a panelist at the 2013 Bankruptcy Institute. Presented by the Cincinnati Bar Association (CBA) Bankruptcy Committee, the event will be held Thursday, December 19, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the downtown Cincinnati Westin Hotel, 21 E. 5th Street.
Ashdown's session, at 4:00 p.m., will provide an "Overview of HB 9: A Look at the Crossroads of Receiverships & Bankruptcy." She will present along with fellow panelist Paul E. Perry, Esq. from Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C., and moderator Susan M. Argo from Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP.
The Cincinnati Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee
promotes the CBA within the field of bankruptcy and commercial law. The section regularly schedules and conducts educational programs for the members of the section and all members of the Association, monitors legislative and judicial developments relevant to bankruptcy and commercial law, forms liaison relationships with the judicial benches and relays all relevant information to members of the section.
Strauss Troy is proud to be an associate member
of the Goering Center. If you own a family or private business, we encourage you to discover what it's all about. The Goering Center
can prepare you to handle key issues that affect organizations of all sizes. These matters may include:
- Succession Planning
- Communication Techniques
- Strategic Planning
- Governance Issues
- Leadership Development
- Compensation Issues
- Advisory Boards
- Conflict Resolutions
A Goering Center membership allows you to connect and network with other family and private business owners in the region, as well as learn from their experiences and from the educational programs offered by the center.
Business owners need, and deserve, creative solutions delivered in a prompt, proactive and efficient manner. This is Strauss Troy's hallmark. We have a strong track-record of providing innovative solutions to complex legal challenges for companies large and small.
Many of our attorneys have direct-experience working in, or owning, a variety of businesses, from small entrepreneurial ventures to large corporate entities. This gives us a better understanding of your business challenges.
Our lean model of direct attorney access eliminates layers and reduces cycle time. This improves efficiency, speeds results and gives you superior value.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary of serving the Greater Cincinnati | Northern Kentucky community, Strauss Troy has stood apart from the competition since 1953 by providing the highest-quality legal services in the most personalized, prompt and economical manner possible.
As a full-service law firm, Strauss Troy has diverse expertise and a history of proven success. No matter what issue you face, the firm has the right professionals, working together as a team, to get you the answers you need quickly and affordably.
Strauss Troy's Areas Of Practice
Strauss Troy is recognized as a leading law firm in the Greater Cincinnati | Northern Kentucky region and is a Martindale-Hubbell Top Ranked Law Firm™ in Fortune Magazine. The firm is recognized as a U.S. News & World Report "Best Law Firm," and many of its attorneys are honored as peer-rated Martindale-Hubbell AV� Preeminent™ Attorneys, Best Lawyers� in America, Super Lawyers� and Rising Stars. The firm is also listed as a top law firm by the Cincinnati Business Courier and LEAD Magazine.
150 E. Fourth Street
The Federal Reserve Building
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
50 E. RiverCenter Blvd.
Covington, Kentucky 41011