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How the New FICO® Score 10 Suite Will Affect Your Score



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The Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO®) recently announced that they will release the new FICO® Score 10 Suite in summer 2020. This scoring model update will include FICO® Score 10 and FICO® Score 10 T.

FICO® says the new suite will have stronger predictive power and use more comprehensive data than previous scoring models. This helps lenders make more precise lending decisions.

For example, FICO® says that lenders can reduce the defaults in their portfolio by 10 percent among newly originated bank cards and 9 percent among newly originated auto loans, compared to using FICO® Score 9.

For consumers, the new scoring model could impact scores and future credit and loan applications depending on both their current scores and credit history. Read through our guide below to learn about the changes with FICO® Score 10 and how they could potentially affect you.

Table of Contents

What are the New FICO® Scores?

FICO® Score 10 and FICO® Score 10 T are two scores included in the new score suite. We’ll briefly explain the differences between both before diving into the major changes the new suite brings.

FICO® Score 10

Specifically, for FICO® Score 10, many things have stayed similar to make it easy for lenders to transition from old models. This means the scoring model uses the same reason codes and consistent scoring ranges from previous models.

FICO® Score 10 does not use trended data like past models to give lenders the flexibility of using the model they prefer to use. 

FICO® Score 10 T

FICO® Score 10 T, on the other hand, uses trended data (also known as time-series data). Trended data will give lenders a historical view of a person’s credit history from the previous 24 months.

This is the first time FICO® will use trended data in their scoring model. Previous models only gave lenders a small window into a person’s credit history, but trended data allows lenders to see behaviors and patterns based on a longer snapshot of a user’s credit history. For example, lenders can see if you tend to run up high balances on your credit card during the month, even if you’re never late on payments.

fico score 10 and fico score 10 T

What Are the Main Changes?

The main changes with the FICO® Score 10 Suite are that FICO® Score 10 T uses trended data, personal loans are treated differently than before, and high balances, revolving debt and late payments are more heavily scrutinized.

Additionally, data for the entire suite is more comprehensive than before and algorithms have been updated to better predict risk for today’s consumer.

Trended Data

The use of trended data is the main source of the other major changes. Since lenders can take a historical look into a borrower’s behavior, they can make more informed decisions.

Personal Loans

Using personal loans can drop your score if FICO® determines you’re irresponsibly using it.

Vice President of Scores and Analytics at FICO®, Joanne Gaskin, said in an NPR interview that personal loans are now broken out into their own category to evaluate whether or not they are properly used.

In the old model, your score may have gone up if you paid off a large sum of debt with a personal loan. The new model will look at your behavior over a longer period of time to see if you continued to keep your balances low or if you increase your revolving debt after paying off the loan. For borrowers who do the latter, they can see a potential drop in their credit score.

fico will scrutinize a person' credit more heavily after they use a personal loan

High Balances, Revolving Debt and Late Payments

A high balance and revolving debt will more severely impact credit scores with this model compared to previous ones since FICO® Score 10 T can track your debt over time. Both high balances and revolving debt impact your credit utilization.

Late payments, also referred to as delinquency, will also more severely impact a person’s credit score. Payment history is the factor that most highly impacts your credit scores.

“Those consumers with recent delinquency or high utilization are likely going to see a downward shift, and depending on the severity and recency of the delinquency it could be significant,” FICO® Vice President of Product Management, Dave Shellenberger, said in a statement.

Why Does FICO® Update Their Scoring Model?

FICO® updates their scoring model to reflect consumer trends and lender needs. They update their scoring model about every four to five years, but this fluctuates depending on need and the types of changes needed.

These updates help lenders make more accurate decisions when evaluating credit applications. Changes can sometimes work in favor for consumers if they are more accurately scored as a result.

updated scoring models accurately reflect consumer trends and lender needs when evaluating credit applications

For example, FICO® predicts that the new FICO® Score 10 T will allow credit card lenders to approve up to 6 percent more applicants while keeping default rates steady, compared to FICO® Score 8.

When Will Lenders Adopt the FICO® Score 10 Suite?

FICO® will release the FICO® Score 10 Suite this summer, but it may take some time before lenders adopt the new model. FICO® says most lenders still use FICO® Score 8, which was introduced in 2009.

Although FICO® is used by most lenders, some use other scoring models like VantageScore. This is a newer scoring model created by the big three credit bureaus: Experian®, TransUnion® and Equifax®. Despite this, lenders may be tempted to use the newest FICO® score because of its stronger predictive model.

“When we release a stronger more predictive model we see that lenders will migrate to the stronger model because it allows them to make more loans to more consumers without taking more default risk,” Shellenberger said to MarketWatch.

How Could the Changes Affect Me?

Borrowers will see their credit score improve if they currently have a good credit score, but will see a decline if they’re in a lower FICO® score range, about 580 and below, Gaskin said in that same NPR interview.

borrowers with a current fico score at or below 580 could see a decline with the fico score 10 scoring model

About 110 million consumers will see a change of less than 20 points to their score under the new credit score model and roughly 80 million consumers will see a change in score of 20 or more points in either direction, upward or downward, FICO® said as reported by CNBC.

What Should I Do if I Think My Score Will Be Negatively Affected?

You can pay down and keep balances low, start an emergency fund, and avoid accumulating debt after using a personal loan if you think the new scoring model is going to hit your score. Take a look at below at how you can do these things to prepare.

  • Pay down any high balances: Chip away at high balances since it has a more pronounced impact with the new scoring model.
  • Pay balances more frequently to keep them low: Trended data can work against you if your balance is consistently high throughout the month. You can make smaller payments more frequently and decrease your spending to keep utilization low.
  • Start and maintain an emergency fund: Instead of turning to credit cards or loans to cover an unexpected expense, an emergency fund is a great resource in a pinch that won’t impact your credit score. Start by putting aside what you can afford each month.
  • Avoid building high balances after paying off debt with a personal loan: Since personal loans are given extra attention with this new model, be careful not to generate more debt after paying it off with a loan. Explore other options before taking out a personal loan and create a budget you can stick to in order to avoid taking on more debt.
how to protect score drops from the fico score 10

How Can I Maintain a Good Credit Score During Scoring Model Changes?

Although it’s great to stay on top of scoring model changes, it’s best to continue engaging in good credit habits to maintain a good score. Keeping your balances down and paying bills on time are things you should always do since the factors that affect your credit score likely won’t change.

You can look into options like secured credit cards and credit builder loans if you have bad or nonexistent credit. These are options you can use to build or rebuild your credit if you have difficulty applying for unsecured credit cards or other types of loans.

Take a look at our tips for building credit if you want to take a deeper dive into improving your credit score and establishing good habits to keep your credit and finances in good shape.

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Credit Cards

How to Increase Your Credit Score with a Secured Credit Card



Building Credit with Secured Credit CardA good credit history means good rates on loans and other credit facilities. Once damaged though, rebuilding your credit can be difficult. However, you can get started by using a secured credit card that is easier to acquire than most other lines of credit. In this post, we shall look at how to increase your credit score with a secured credit card.

Difference between a Secured and Unsecured Credit Card

Unsecured credit cards are the common type and only require a look at your credit history for approval. When your credit history is not favorable, your lender may issue you with a secured credit card.

Unlike the former, instead of referring to your financial history, secured credit cards require you to deposit collateral. The amount of your security deposit determines what your credit limit will be. And in case you default on your payments, the issuer uses your deposit to recoup their money.

How to Increase Your Score Using a Secured Credit Card

Building your credit score is all about using your available credit smartly. Here is how:

1)   Only use what you can settle monthly

A secured credit card allows you to show lenders that you can be financially responsible. The easiest way of doing this is by making small purchases and settling your bills in full by the end of every month. In doing so, your payment history, which accounts for 35% of your FICO Score, improves.

Additionally, whenever possible, pay more than the required minimum to ensure that your balance remains low. The reason being, beyond showing that you can handle your finances properly, your credit utilization ratio (CUR) will reduce.

30% of your credit score is derived from this ratio, which is calculated as your debt divided by your credit limit.

Also, by being timely with your payments and paying over the minimum, you keep off from paying hefty interests on your credit purchases.

2)   Make several payments per month

Your lenders continually send your financial reports periodically to the three credit bureaus; TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

However, financial institutions and lenders are not obligated to inform you when they send your report. So, you could be making payments at the end of the month while they submit reports mid-month. As such, your credit repayment record may be affected negatively.

Keep this effect at a minimum by making multiple payments in the course of the month. This will ensure that your balance is strategically low. For the same reason, after large purchases, ensure that you send money to your credit account.

3)   Go for a low interest Secured credit card

Building credit starts with striving to repay what you owe. This can be hampered by getting a card with high-interest rates. Make meeting your card obligations easy by shopping for a card with low interest.

Typically, credit unions offer better deals on cards than banks. Also, go for cards with something extra to offer. Apart from the basic features, apply for cards with standout features like cashback rewards and larger limits than your security deposit.

4)   Choose the right card

None of the above will work if your card issuer does not report card activities to the credit bureaus. What you need to understand is that unlike other savings accounts or debit accounts, not all secured credit card issuers submit reports. So, before you apply for a card, ensure that your account usage will be reported.

The Bottomline

Secured credit cards can present you with a new chance to grow your credit. But just like other cards, they are prone to misuse. The trick is in shopping for the best deals and using the card diligently: Do not max out the card, carry a balance, or get more cards than you can manage.

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How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?



The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Law’s editorial disclosure for more information.

Have you gotten yourself into a bad financial situation and started wondering how long you have before a creditor can garnish your wages? The answer can be a bit complicated, but in most cases, you don’t need to worry about wage garnishment until your debt has been delinquent for several months.

If you’re in this situation, then you should also know that the wage garnishment process itself can also take multiple weeks, depending on specific circumstances. Keep reading to find out more about wage garnishment.

Understanding Wage Garnishment

Wage garnishment is a legal procedure during which an individual’s earnings are required, by court order, to be withheld by the employer for the purpose of debt repayment.

There are two types of garnishment: wage and nonwage.

  • Wage garnishment means that your employer is legally required to withhold a specific amount of earnings as a result of the court order which is often called a “Notice of Garnishment.”
  • Nonwage garnishment (also known as a bank levy) is when a creditor contacts your bank and accesses funds directly from your bank account.

Typically, wage garnishment happens in one of two ways:

  1. A creditor sues you for nonpayment and wins via judgment.
  2. A state or federal agency initiates a garnishment in cases like  child support, back taxes and federal student loans.

Wage garnishment will continue until the debt is paid off or otherwise resolved. Some states have time limitations for how many years a creditor may garnish wages. Additionally, wage garnishment will be halted if you lose employment.

The total amount subject to garnishment can often include court fees and any interest accrued.

The court will notify you of the impending wage garnishment. Additionally, the court will send a notice either to your bank or your employer. Wage garnishment typically starts within five to 30 days after approval. The exact time will vary depending on the creditor and the state.

How Much of Your Paycheck Can Be Garnished?

There are federal limitations on how much of your paycheck can be garnished, depending on your income level and the type of debt that is owed.

There are also individual state laws about wage garnishment that vary. State laws may often have additional protections, including factors like being the head of a household with dependent children.


If you lose a lawsuit and a judgment is entered against you, the creditor or person who won the suit can garnish your wages up to whichever is the lower of these two amounts:

  • 25 percent of your disposable earnings
  •  Any amount greater than 30 times the federal minimum wage (which is currently $7.25)

Note that your employer must notify you about a wage garnishment before it begins, and your employer has to provide you with information on how you can request a hearing about the wage garnishment.

Child Support and Alimony

Child support and alimony are the two types of debt with the most considerable potential for wage garnishment. According to federal law, you can have up to 60 percent of your income garnished. If you’re supporting another child or spouse, the maximum is lowered to 50 percent. Additionally, if you’re more than 12 weeks late on payments, an additional five percent can be taken.

Student Loans

The US Department of Education or any agency collecting on its behalf can garnish up to 15 percent of your pay. This can only occur if you’re in default on your student loan. Student loans are different as they don’t require a lawsuit to proceed with wage garnishment. As soon as your student loans are in default, there’s potential for garnishment.

However, you need to be notified in writing at least 30 days before the wage garnishment is set to begin. The notice needs to include several important details, such as:

  • The total amount you owe;
  • How to get a copy of records related to your loan;
  • How to enter into a voluntary repayment schedule; and
  • How to request a hearing on the proposed wage garnishment.


Back taxes is another situation where a court order isn’t necessary. If you owe back taxes to the IRS, they can usually take up to 15 percent. In reality, they will take into consideration several factors before deciding on how much to garnish. The IRS will look at how many dependents you have and your standard deduction amount.

The IRS will notify your employer with a wage levy notice. Your employer will then give you a copy. This notice includes an exemption claim form, which you may want to complete.

State and local tax agencies also have the right to take some of your wages. However, there will be limitations in place on how much they can take, depending on the state.

Exempt Income

Every state has certain types of income that are protected from wage garnishment. Depending on your situation and your income stream, you may be able to protect some or all of your wages.

Generally speaking, the types of exempt income are:

  • Social Security;
  • Disability;
  • Veterans’ benefits;
  • Pension and retirement benefits;
  • Child support; and
  • Alimony.

Additionally, low-income earners who have little or no disposable income may be allowed to keep their wages.

Can You Be Fired for Having Your Wages Garnished?

You cannot be fired or retaliated against in any way by an employer because your wages have been garnished. However, this protection is removed if you have more than one wage garnishment in place. Under federal law, you’re only protected when one creditor is garnishing your wages.

Some states offer more protection, but it’s essential to determine what the protection is in your state. If you have more than one wage garnishment against you, it’s important to talk to your employer and explain your plan of action to rectify the situation.

Can You Protest a Wage Garnishment?

There are several ways to seek relief from a garnishment; however, the best way would be to address the situation prior to a creditor obtaining a judgment against you, either by hiring legal counsel or representing yourself.

Additionally, note that when you receive a notice of garnishment, you may still be ableto work out a deal with your creditors. For example, your federal student loan creditor may offer you the opportunity to opt into a voluntary repayment plan rather than proceed with wage garnishment.

Claim of Exemption

If your income is coming from a source categorized as exempt, you may need to act quickly. Monthly income or savings collected from an exempt income source cannot be garnished. However, you will need to submit a claim of exemption to stop the wage garnishment.

Before your paycheck is garnished for the first time, your employer will give you a notice. The notice includes instructions for filing a claim of exemption. The notice will have an address with the appropriate clerk’s office where you will need to file the claim.

The cost of filing a claim of exemption is minimal but may be extremely beneficial. If approved, it can substantially reduce the amount of your garnishment. You’ll have a hearing in which you can list your living expenses and show any attempts you’ve made to handle the debt without garnishment.

Note that it can take one to two months to schedule a hearing, so you’ll want to file the claim as soon as you receive the wage garnishment notice.

Does Wage Garnishment Affect Your Credit?

The wage garnishment won’t appear as a negative item on your credit reports, but it could be notated on the account in question. While the garnishment itself won’t hurt your score, being late on payments will.

Luckily, you can still take action to improve your credit during and after a wage garnishment. Start by working with a credit repair service, like Lexington Law, to get a good understanding of what condition your credit is in and if anything can be done to help it today.

Reviewed by Kenton Arbon, an Associate Attorney at Lexington Law Firm. Written by Lexington Law.

Kenton Arbon is an Associate Attorney in the Arizona office. Mr. Arbon was born in Bakersfield, California, and grew up in the Northwest. He earned his B.A. in Business Administration, Human Resources Management, while working as an Oregon State Trooper. His interest in the law lead him to relocate to Arizona, attend law school, and graduate from Arizona State College of Law in 2017. Since graduating from law school, Mr. Arbon has worked in multiple compliance domains including anti-money laundering, Medicare Part D, contracts, and debt negotiation. Mr. Arbon is licensed to practice law in Arizona. He is located in the Phoenix office.

Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.

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Credit Cards

Black Friday Spending: 25 Key Trends



The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Law’s editorial disclosure for more information.

For many, Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping season. A day known for its significant deals and discounts in retail stores and beyond, it falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving and stirs quite the frenzy among holiday shoppers.

Being the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, the undeniable high volume of Black Friday spending has made it one of the more profitable retail days of the year. Countless stores reserve this day for their largest sales of the year, most notably on electronics, jewelry and toys.

Falling closely after Black Friday is Cyber Monday, which takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. While both are known for their fantastic deals, the main difference between the two is that Cyber Monday is strictly dedicated to online shopping and bargains found online. Black Friday deals are both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

Although there are deals to be had on these days, it’s important to remember that needless purchases can be a significant driver of credit card debt. Huge sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday can easily tempt you into spending money you don’t have.

Given that 57 percent of 2019 Black Friday spending was done using credit, make sure whatever you purchase this year is something you actually need (and not just an impulse buy driven by perceived savings).

Black Friday Spending Statistics

With many stores opening as early as midnight the day after Thanksgiving, shoppers wait all year in anticipation of Black Friday. Consumers are willing to camp out in front of their favorite stores in order to be first in line for doorbuster deals, or travel out of town just to snag a coveted sale.

  1. 174 million Americans shopped between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2017, which beat the National Retail Federation’s pre-holiday prediction that 164 million shoppers would participate. [Source: National Retail Federation]
  2. Those 174 million Americans spent an average of $335.47 per person.  [Source: National Retail Federation]
  3. Black Friday digital revenue grew by 14 percent in 2019 over the previous year. [Source: Salesforce]
  4. Around 63 percent of growth in the holiday retail market is due to Ecommerce growth. [Source: Adobe]
  5. Digital revenue for Black Friday 2019 amounted to $7.2 billion. [Source: Salesforce]
Black Friday digital revenue grew by 14% in 2019.

Demographic Trends

The earlier years of Black Friday typically drew in droves of parents buying gifts for their families and children. These days, more Millennials and Gen Z shoppers have taken to participating in Black Friday. Location-wise, the top spending states in 2019—North Dakota, Texas and Wyoming—are typically those with a lower-than-average cost of living.

  1. Millennials were the biggest spenders on Black Friday in 2019. [Source: PYMNTS]
  2. Millennials spent an average of $509.50 on Black Friday in 2019. [Source: PYMNTS]
  3. While Millennials took the lead for highest spend, Black Friday spending increased by 34.1 percent for consumers of all ages and incomes between 2018 and 2019. [Source: PYMNTS]
  4. Bridge Millennials—those who bridge the age gap between Generation X and Millennials—spent an average of $479.40 on Black Friday in 2019, the second-highest average spent of any age group. [Source: PYMNTS]
  5. Almost 60 percent of shoppers 73 and older said they would not shop on Thanksgiving Day in 2019. [Source: PWC]
Millennials were the biggest Black Friday shoppers in 2019, spending an average of $509.50.

How Are People Shopping on Black Friday?

In years past, Black Friday was famous for drawing enormous crowds into physical retail stores, malls and big-box stores like Best Buy, Walmart and Target. Mile-long lines of tents camped outside the evening of Thanksgiving was typical, and setting out to shop at midnight was a normal occurrence.

In recent years, however, the shopping frenzy has transformed into an online affair, with more consumers choosing to snag their deals from the comfort of their own homes with digital purchases.

On top of this new trend, the current pandemic has shifted the way consumers shop in 2020. Because of this, Lexington Law polled 2,000 Americans to see if they would be staying home this Black Friday. An astonishing 79 percent of respondents said they plan to stay home.

Are Americans Staying Home This Black Friday? 21%: No; 79%: Yes.
  1. Black Friday 2019 saw 142.2 million buyers shopping online. [Source: National Retail Federation]
  2. $2.9 billion in Black Friday sales were purchased on smartphones, making Black Friday 2019 the biggest shopping day for smartphone sales ever. [Source: Money]
  3. About 58 million people only shopped online, while 51 million people shopped exclusively in stores on Black Friday in 2017. [Source: National Retail Federation]
  4. About 40 percent of U.S. consumers didn’t make any purchases at all on Black Friday in 2019. [Source: PYMNTS]
  5. A quarter of 2019 Black Friday shoppers traveled more than 25 miles to visit a physical store. [Source: Fiserv]
  6. Black Friday 2017 consumers who shopped both online and in store spent $82 more than the online-only shopper, and $49 more than the in-store-only shopper. [Source: National Retail Federation]
  7. 73 percent of digital traffic on Black Friday 2019 came from a mobile device. [Source: Salesforce]
  8. Sales from Americans shopping on their smartphones were predicted to increase by $14 billion in 2019 compared to 2018. [Source: Adobe Analytics]
  9. 4.2 percent of all Black Friday 2019 mobile orders were sourced by a social media referral. [Source: Salesforce]
  10. Amazon accounted for 54.9 percent of all sales on Black Friday in 2017. [Source: TechCrunch]

What Are People Shopping for on Black Friday?

Compared to a typical Friday, certain categories’ sales skyrocket on Black Friday. Clothing, electronics, grocery items, books, music and sporting goods are common categories of spend year after year. Other items, such as home furnishings, tools and auto parts are less commonly shopped, but they still see an increase in spend during Black Friday.

  1. In 2019, electronic sales were five times higher on Black Friday as compared to an ordinary Friday; sporting goods were 4.5 times higher; and clothing was four times higher. [Source: Fiserv]
  2. Jewelry topped the “best deals” category for products bought on Amazon on Black Friday in 2019. [Source: Money]
  3. In 2019, clothes and accessories were the primary driver of Black Friday spending, both online and offline. 56 percent of shoppers purchased them online and 57.3 percent shopped in stores. [Source: PYMNTS]
  4. Shoppers now turn to their favorite brands’ social media feeds to find deals and products. In 2019, the brands with the most social callouts on Black Friday were PlayStation, Nintendo, Apple, Xbox and Google. The top five retailers were Amazon, Walmart, Target, GameStop and Best Buy. [Source: Salesforce]
  5. Of consumers who shopped for gifts during Black Friday 2019, 58 percent went for apparel; 33 percent went for toys; 31 percent went for electronics; 28 percent went for books, music, movies or video games; and 27 percent went for gift cards. [Source: National Retail Federation]
Top Black Friday Money Makers in 2019: Apparel, Toys, Electronics.

This Year, Shop Smart

Events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t inherently bad, but they can certainly push you to spend more than you can afford if you aren’t careful. If you plan on using your credit card for Black Friday shopping this year, make sure you establish how much you can afford to borrow at once. Once you determine that number, don’t deviate from it—no matter how sweet those sales might seem!

The amount of credit you borrow compared to your revolving credit limit is what determines your credit utilization ratio, which should be kept as low as possible. Generally, if that ratio exceeds 30 percent, you risk a drop in your credit score.

By establishing your personal credit limit up front (in other words, the amount of credit you can afford to pay back on time), you’ll save yourself financial stress down the line. Avoid that burden and allow yourself to enjoy the holidays by staying out of debt and shopping responsibly this season.

If you do find that your credit score isn’t where it should be, the consultants at Lexington Law Firm are always available to diagnose your credit and help you get back on track.

Reviewed by Cynthia Thaxton, Lexington Law Firm Attorney. Written by Lexington Law.

Cynthia Thaxton has been with Lexington Law Firm since 2014. She attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Arabic. Cynthia then attended law school at George Mason University School of Law, where she served as Senior Articles Editor of the George Mason Law Review and graduated cum laude. Cynthia is licensed to practice law in Utah and North Carolina.

Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.

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