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US Passports and Holiday Travel: Time to Renew?

As we gear up for the holiday season, some of you may be making plans for international travel (perhaps someplace warm?).  Because of administrative backlog around the holidays, it’s a good time to think about taking action regarding your passports.  The most important questions to ask yourself are: do you need to obtain a new US passport, or does your old passport need to be renewed?

The routine processing time for a passport is 4-5 weeks, while the expedited processing can take 2-3 weeks and cost an additional $60.  If you are really in a rush, the best option is to get it expedited at an agency where it can still take up to 5 days.  According to the US State Department, you should renew your passport approximately nine months before it expires if possible. Whatever your situation is, it’s important to remember that this is not something you should leave till the last minute!

In addition to being required for international travel, a passport can serve as a primary identification card in lieu of a driver’s license, and can also be used to apply for other types of vital documents.  Since 2007, the US has been issuing e-passports, which have a small integrated circuit or “chip” embedded in the back cover along with additional anti-fraud and security features.  According to the US Department of State, the uniquely-numbered chip has a biometric identifier that facilitates the use of facial recognition technology, and a digital signature to protect the stored information from alteration.

While this kind of electronic passport is said to be engineered to prevent ‘skimming’ or ‘eavesdropping’ of personal information, if it’s lost or stolen it should still be reported immediately by filling out a Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport Form DS-64.  Also, according to the U.S. passport office, electronic passports cannot be amended. That means that you’ll need to get a new passport if you change your name, need to extend a limited passport, or need a correction in the descriptive information.

If you do need a new passport, you can fill out an application for a New US Passport Application Form DS-11 online.  For more tips on filling out the form, check out the video below.  Otherwise to renew a passport before its expiration date, you’ll need to fill out Passport Renewal Form DS-82.  More details regarding passports, travel visas, and travel restrictions can be found at travel.state.gov.  Get started filling out your forms with PDFfiller today.  We wish you happy holidays and and bon voyage!

 

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Sign and Request Signatures for your PDFs — PDFfiller Newsletter 3

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Hi there,Have you noticed something new at
PDFfiller? In this newsletter we’ll introduce you to our Google Chrome Extension, our new functions SendToSign & Share, and the new Signature Manager & Address Book.
Top people
Shopper Approved Rating We have reached a milestone of over 2500+ five-star ratings. A huge “Thank you” to all our customers that have taken the time to give their feedback. Check out what others are saying about PDffiller here.

We Have Some Exciting Additions

Google Chrome Extension

Chrome ExtentionWith this new trick you will no longer have to download attachments, save and search for files, or upload documents to your account. Simply add the PDFfiller extention to your Chrome Browser and:

Chrome Extention Option 1Chrome Extention Option 2

The document will instantly open in the PDFfiller editor ready for
you to add text, highlight, sign, and more!

Get You Chrome Extension

New signature manager

Rachel C Rachel C had never liked the way eSignatures looked when they were typed – and as an administrator telecommuting from her home in Annapolis, MD, boy did she have some signing to do!“ – With PDFfiller, I used the new Signature Manager to create a signature by drawing straight on my tablet – I did it from home and was signing documents from my kitchen! I love being able to get my work done from anywhere!”

Share and SendToSign are Ready for You to Try

Big Scheme Share Documents

Collaborate in editing the same document with up to 10 colleagues. Everyone you invite will get an invitation and instructions on how to access the collaborative workspace from anywhere.

No need to pre-register or sign up. Use all the power of PDFfiller’s editing and signature tools to get the job done quickly. See the history of all the changes. Once done, print, fax or download the finished document.

Send Documents to be Signed

Scheme 1

SendToSign

Send a unique copy of
a document to be signed.

Scheme 2

Send to Each

Send a document to be
signed in a specific order.

Scheme 3

Send to Many

Send a document to
be signed in any order.

NOTE: You can send to up to 20 recipients. You will receive a confirmation email as each document is signed.

Eddie Realtor Eddie R used PDFfiller to close the deal on a house sale in Erie, PA using PDFfiller’s SendtoEach function.“ – It was great – all I had to do was indicate in PDFfiller’s interface that the Offer to Purchase and Contract should be signed by the seller, then the buyer, and then sent back to my office. If you have a signature process which requires multiple steps, I highly recommend it”
Mary Mary Q just saved herself a lot of time and trouble by using PDFfiller’s SendtoMany function to get non-disclosure agreements signed by all the employees in her small tech start-up. Mary says:“ – I wish I had started using PDFfiller ages ago! It has made such a difference in the turn-around time for getting our documents signed. Plus, it has been a huge step in terms of developing a paperless workflow for our office”

New Address Book Look

Address Book Last but not least, Use PDFfiller’s Address Book to automatically add email addresses from your Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or Outlook account. You can access these contacts when you send documents for signing or sharing with your colleagues.
Check out the Address Book here.

Get ready to edit and share documents in a whole new way.

Get started with our new features today!

Sincerely,
PDFfiller Team

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PDFfiller and Data Security: Protecting Your Online Privacy

You know how important digital security is for you and your data. This year no sector of the economy has been left untouched by data hacks, which have affected organizations ranging from Dairy Queen, to Kickstarter, to Apple. In 2014 alone, a total of 930,526,448 records were breached according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Here at PDFfiller, we take the security of your data seriously and have developed measures to give you data protection on a par with online financial institutions like banks. To start with, we focus on the physical security of your data.  PDFfiller data are stored in Amazon S3 data centers which have multiple backup locations, instant and uninterrupted data access, and military-level physical security.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been assessed and approved by independent auditors as a cloud service provider for security impact levels 1-5 of the Department of Defense’s Cloud Security Model. For more on Amazon’s Web Services and how they work to protect your data, take a look here at the AWS White Paper on Security.  Secondly, we ensure the chain of custody for all data stored on our servers, in transit, and routed through third party service providers. This means that your data is accounted for at all times.

On top of these baseline measures, we’ve developed a few additional features to make sure your data is safe.  Some of you may have noticed that the My Forms page now features an Encrypted Folder. This is a folder secured with a unique password required to access its contents. To activate the Encrypted Folder, select it in My Forms, enter your mobile phone number, and enter the code you receive via text message. You’ll then be asked to create a unique password for the folder, which automatically closes after ten minutes of inactivity.  For more on how the Encrypted Folder operates, check out the video below.

Other important security features include a legally binding verification stamp for your eSignatures (for more on the legality of eSignatures, see our Ultimate Guide to Legal Electronic Signatures), and an Audit Trail feature that lets you keep track of all activity on your PDFfiller account, including document changes, exports and imports. Similarly, Audit Trail gives you an accounting of everyone who logs into your account and which documents they looked at – a privacy feature unique to PDFfiller.  Finally, for those of you in the medical field, PDFfiller also meets HIPAA standards for the security of electronic protected health information.

While we do our utmost to keep you covered, it’s always a good idea to develop security-conscious habits, including remaining vigilant of your various accounts, frequently changing passwords, using password managers that help you remember more complicated and varied passwords, updating your software, and using a two-step verification systems, such as our Encrypted Folder, for added security.  Try out PDFfiller today, and along with more efficient document management, get some peace of mind regarding the safety of your personal data.

 

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Massachusetts Financial Statement: Knowledge is Power

While it’s always a good idea to know your financial status, for court-related business it’s sometimes required. One example is when you are involved in a divorce case in which money or support is an issue, such as alimony, child support, attorney’s fees, or division of property. If you are a resident of Massachusetts involved in a case like this, you’re going to need to fill out Form CJ.D 301 or the Massachusetts Financial Statement. The specific version of the form you’ll fill out depends on your annual income – if it is less than $75,000.00 you’ll fill out the Massachusetts short form CJ.D 301S, while if it’s over that amount you’ll fill out the long form CJ.D 301L.


Each of these statement forms is designed to provide a general picture of your financial status. They take you through a step-by-step process in which the first step is to calculate your net weekly income based on weekly wages and benefits minus your itemized deductions. Using this net weekly income, you can calculate a gross yearly income from which you subtract your expenses, including attorney and legal fees, to end up with a net yearly income. In addition to calculating income, you are required to list your total assets including including real estate, motor vehicles and retirement plans, life insurance, checking or saving accounts, etc.. Finally you should note any liabilities, including the nature of the debt and to whom it is owed. Listing all of these things helps to give the court an idea of what your financial needs and capabilities are vis a vis those of a partner or a child.


There is lots of assistance available to you should you need to fill out either financial form. The Massachusetts court has a self-help tab, and you can check out the video below for instructions on filling out the short form. Using PDFfiller to fill out the form can also save you time and trouble – the filled in document is automatically saved in the cloud and can easily be sent for signature to your attorney without ever leaving PDFfiller’s platform. Get started filling out the Massachusetts Financial Statement short form CJ.D 301S today and remember the old adage, “Knowledge is Power!” 

  

CA Summons Unlawful Detainer

Summons Unlawful Detainer: The Best Defense

Being a good landlord requires knowing what to do with bad tenants.  Before you start managing any kind of rental space, you should make yourself familiar with the state landlord tenant law.  If you are a landlord in California, one form you will want to be aware of is the SUM.130, or the California Summons Unlawful Detainer Form.

‘Retaliation’ describes a situation in which a landlord creates conditions that are uncomfortable for tenants in order to cause them to willingly abandon their rental contracts. That, generally speaking, is a big no-no.  In most states a landlord can’t evict a tenant, raise the rent or change the terms of tenancy simply because a tenant has complained about conditions.   In California it is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant who has exercised a legal right to complain about unsafe living conditions, joined or organized a tenant union, or withheld rent.

However, if you have a tenant who is behind on the rent, violating the terms of the lease, or becoming a public nuisance, you may start a legal process of eviction.  This process begins with serving the tenant with a written notice which will vary depending on the type of offense (for more on this see the California Courts self help guide for landlords).  Once that period of the notice is up (start counting the day after it is served), you may begin your unlawful detainer case.

To start the unlawful detainer case, fill out 3 forms including a Summons Unlawful Detainer Eviction (Form Sum-130), a Complaint Form UD-100, and a Civil Case Cover Sheet Form (CM-010).  Make 2 copies of the Summons and the Complaint, get them stamped at the Courthouse, and keep the extra copies – one for you and the other for your tenant. You must serve your tenant with the unlawful detainer papers in person and then file a Proof of Service Summons Form (POS-010).  Then you have to wait…

If the tenant does not respond, you may ask for a default judgement, in which case you can proceed with the eviction and potentially take back monies owed from a paycheck or bank account.  If the tenant does respond by filing an Answer for the Unlawful Detainer, you may then move on to a trial stage.  For more about that, again see the California Courts Self-Help page).

For more assistance with your CA summons form, you may want to talk to a lawyer to look over your forms.  This is particularly true in the case of foreclosed properties or if there are other occupants in the rental unit.  For now, click here to get started filling out your CA unlawful detainer form with PDFfiller.  And remember the old saying, “the best defense is a good offense!”