Disclaimer: Answers to various legal questions are for educational purposes and may not be relied upon as legal advice. Never confuse the results of a Google search with a law degree and legal experience. If you have important legal concerns, seek the advice and counsel of a qualified attorney who specialize in the area of your concern. Your legal issue has unique sets of facts and circumstances. Remember, only licensed attorneys can provide legal advice, not real estate sales agents, title agents, appraisers, your well meaning friends, family, or your nosy neighbor.
  • I want the judge in my case to hear of all the things I endured because of a relative's greed that almost cost me my business and my building. My attorney says that the only time the judge will learn of all the facts surrounding the case, will be at trial, but has encouraged me to try to resolve the matter before a trial, because she says, there is no guarantee I will actually win even if in principle, I am right. What is your opinion?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    In a lawsuit, clients will either have the law on their side, the facts on their side, or both. In most cases, the judge is the trier of facts and dispenses the law as they interpret it. If a judge does not agree with the stated facts or the appropriate law, then their ruling may be unfavorable to the client. Any time a client goes to court, there is a 50% chance of winning or losing; clients are always advised in writing that by law, attorneys cannot guarantee the outcome of a case. Finally, the beautiful thing about our legal system, over all other legal systems, is that parties have the opportunity to appeal a judge's decision when they disagree with a judge's ruling.

  • When a property is in foreclosure, does a tenant have to pay rent? If so, to who?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Until the interest of homeowner (LL) is completely extinguished, the lease obligation remains. But practically speaking, when tenants find out that their landlord is in foreclosure..they don't pay.

  • My fiance and I collaborated on purchase of a home. He is on the mortgage and we are both are on the deed. He did a quit claim after the closing, but still at the title office. A new deed was transferred to both our names at that time.We received a notice from the county that his quit claim on the deed had been transferred and recorded to reflect both of our names. Recently, we have found through searching the mortgage database that nowhere is it recorded in the mortgage company records, that my name is on the deed. How might this have happened?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Based on the limited facts as presented, it sounds as if sometime in the closing of the mortgage, there may have been another deed drafted replacing what you had initially intended.

  • My apartment complex removed everyone's balconies mid-lease. They claim that the city made them do it. What can we do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    While it sounds as if the complex was removing the balconies in compliance with the city's building enforcement, there is no harm in requesting a reduction in rent because the balcony was part of the space initially leased. You may have the ability to exit the lease without penalty, however, the lease provisions should be reviewed by an attorney before moving forward. A way to calculate the rent reduction is based upon the square footage of the balcony.

  • Can a purchaser legally sell or rent a house on land contract if there is a mortgage?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Once a purchaser comes into legal title to a property, they can sell a property on land contract. They will need to have a real estate attorney review the underlying mortgage to see if the 'due on sale" provision of the mortgage will pose a problem or not.

  • Can an associate broker operate a property management business aside from the company he is licensed with?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    In Michigan, the state requires that a property management company be owned and operated by at least one person who is licensed as a real estate broker. To the extent that you can operate such a company and also be licensed with your current broker is a determination that can be made between the two parties.

  • I received a phone call from a tenant stating that a leak in a bedroom had started the night before as a result a part of the ceiling fell down due to the excessive raining damaging some of the tenants property. Am I responsible for any property that was damaged of the tenant?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The landlord - tenant relationship has several implied warranties that the state law recognizes. The warranty of habitability requires landlords to keep their property habitable regardless if their are provisions in the lease that require a tenant to make minor repairs. Large repair items such as this are going to be the landlord's responsibility unless clearly spelled out otherwise in the lease.

  • Is there a penalty under law for failure to tender the deed on a land contract purchase (contract fulfilled by buyer in full)? Does such a statute exist?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The closest thing to a statute dealing with failure to provide a deed upon a land contract payoff is a Michigan statute as it relates to providing discharges after 60 days. However, the land contract provisions control and so if the deed is not provided and the buyer performed as required, then the buyer can maintain an action for breach of contract claim.

  • My father is buying a home on land contract. He has not yet paid it off and now he wants to quitclaim the deed on the property to me so that I can get a mortgage and pay off the land contract seller. What kind of deed should he give me? Is this legal?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    First, your father should give you an assignment of the land contract provided that the land contract terms allow for an assignment. Second, a deed is worthless as your father does not have title in his name. It is still with the seller. A deed (quitclaim preferably) would do very little at this time. Finally, a lender will most likely require that you should be on title for at least 12 months before you could finance the property in your name. Get the seller to approve the assignment of the land contract in your name as buyer, and make verifiable payments under the land contract for 12 months, then you can get a valid deed upon the payoff.

  • I am about to file for divorce. I own the home in my own name. I want to put it in my son's name before I file my action. My son is 14. Can I transfer the property into his name?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    A transfer of an asset in anticipation of litigation can be undone. A divorce is a legal action. Transferring property to anyone during this time can be challenged. Moreover, transferring the home to your son, who is underage, will not be effective either. You would need to put the property in a trust on his behalf. But not until after the litigation has been completed.

  • My father has dementia and I co-own a property in Florida with him. He and I are listed on the title and he has a will that states upon his death the said property will go to me (I have other siblings). Because my sister has Power of Attorney for my father, is there any way she can prevent this from happening?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Unless you are speaking of having title by and through a Ladybird deed, then you own a portion of this property. As for the
    provisions of the will, they would apply after death - someone with a POA cannot change the terms of a will. In most cases a POA cannot remove your name from title either. You should consult with a real estate attorney to have them review the documents that you speak of.

  • On a LTO after term and it comes time to purchase the house do I need to come up with 20% down payment. I will be putting $60,000 down on a $280,000 house with a LTO. Payment will be $1700.00 a month

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Since I do not have a copy of the provisions of your lease, I cannot comment on what amount you would owe at the "time of purchase." However, be very careful with lease to own contracts. They have many pitfalls and are subject to even more legal scrutiny when it comes to residential lease transactions.

  • Ad for property said 426x215, but would be redrawn to 500x250. After PA, lines are surveyed at 395x220. What now?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    So the legal description / lot size was misrepresented in the home listing. Unless you made the listing document itself as part of the purchase agreement, it cannot be relied upon and the seller is not liable to you for the stated lot size. You did your due diligence by having the property surveyed. There should be a contingency period in which you can either move forward or cancel the transaction. You should also have your earnest money returned or if you determine if the price is appropriate for the lot size, you have the option to move forward.

  • For almost 10 years we been paying taxes on additional 3 acres because the land survey done by seller to divide original acreage was not prepared correctly. Several documents are in conflict with others. Talked to my lender and they want another appraisal that could affect mortgage rates, home value, cost in additional money, and the waste of my time to this process that is no fault of my own. What are my rights as the home owner for the last 9 years? What are my obligations? What are my options?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    It is not that easy to unwind if you have a mortgage securing the additional acres. However, it can be done if the additional acreage did not add any significant value to the home. (Usually a home is appraised on the first 5 acres.) You should definitely have a competent real estate attorney (not a criminal attorney or a personal injury attorney - a real estate attorney) review the papers before you do or concede anything to any "claimants."

  • I'm interested in obtaining a property, however, it's held in a trust. What are the pros and cons of purchasing this? Do I have the right ,as a rental property owner, to fix-up, repair, my rental property(ties) if I know how to do the work? my mother, father and I are on a quit claim deed with survivorship. my mom passed, my 87 year old dad remarried. do i still have the rights to the deed?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On September 24
    Good question. A properly created Trust is a legal entity unto itself. Depending on the Trust provisions, it may be able to convey property interests. How it is conveyed or granted to the grantee (this would be you) is dependent upon title issues and what you are trying to accomplish. Therefore, you question requires further inquiry. See www.provenresource.com site or http://bit.ly/prtattoo (Why QC Deeds are like bad tattoos) for more discussion on deed interests.

  • My Father left my stepmother a life estate. She passed away & I am named in his will along with my siblings & her children were not included. Do they have any legal rights to anything from the life estate?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On September 22
    Based upon your brief narrative, the life estate is extinguished upon the death of mother. If her children are not included in the will and they are still living in the home, then without a written lease they can be evicted. Their property rights if any, flowed from their mother. Any documents that you have need to be reviewed by a real estate or estate planning attorney.

  • The city wants my old barn demolished or fixed up? What are my rights and can it be stopped?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On June 5
    Generally, municipalities have the right to enforce building and zoning ordinances that do not comply with safety, fire or blight codes. While the property may not be open to the public, there are a host of other reasons the government can issue a citation. A real estate attorney would need to review your cities zoning code.

  • Can we sue the appraisal company for preparing a bad appraisal that cost us $10k on the sale of our home. Our home was under contract for $200K, but the appraisal came in at $178K. We challenged the results and the bank increased the value by $5K, still leaving us $17K under sale price. The home next door sold 4 days later with the same square less upgrades appraisal came in at $195k for sale price of $205K. Do we have legal recourse against either the realtor or appraiser for the loss?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On May 28
    Save your money on lawyer fees. It's highly unlikely that you'd prevail at court by suing a licensed professional appraiser for their opinion of value despite the fact that it negatively impacted your sales price. The duty of the appraiser is not to you, but to the buyer and to the lender. Banks make their decisions to lend based upon these opinions. Instead, the provisions of your purchase agreement should have given you, as the seller, the discretion to proceed with the sale or not.Another option would have been to require the buyer to come up with the difference between the appraised value and the agreed upon purchase price. Finally, you could have disputed the appraisal by having another appraisal. However, in that instance the decision to proceed is up to the buyer since they are the one obtaining the mortgage.

  • My Mom passed away & both my brother and I are on the deed. I want to sell, but he doesn't. It is highly contentious. What are my rights?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On April 10
    Generally, in Michigan when one party wishes to remain an owner of a property but a joint owner wants to sell the property, an action of partition is advisable. This is when both parties cannot work the matter out between themselves. The court orders the sale of the property and the net proceeds from the sale are divided in accordance with the court orders. In this case, 50/50.

  • What happens to the Mortgage on a Home when there are two 100% Owners as the Deed states and the 1 owner that has the Mtg passes?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 9
    The lender cannot simply foreclose on a property where there is a death of a co-owner of a mortgaged property, or where a transfer occurs after the death from the decedent to a spouse or to their children. However, if one does not continue to pay on the mortgage, the lender can foreclose.

  • I want to know if I can recover anything that I got rip off by a realtor?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 2
    In the end, you control your own deal. If you did not want to sign the agreement, you did not have to sign the contract. You could file a complaint with LARA - State of MI, but being from out state now, it will only serve as a complaint. Suing the realtor is an option if you had better evidence of malfeasance. However, it seems from the facts that you present, that you only took an offer that you are now later regretting.

  • Which is best way to have, a quit deed or warranty deed?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 24
    It depends on what type of warranties and assurances you wish to receive from seller and what representations you wish to make to the buyer / child. You should have a title search reviewed by an attorney as this definitely help in your decision. Here is a recent article on Quit Claim deeds that I just published. Perhaps this will help. Why Quit Claims Are Like Bad Tattoos https://www.provenresource.com/quitclaimgonebad

  • Can I have recourse against the prior owner of my home for a maintenance issue?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 24
    Under the Michigan Seller Disclosure Act, it is very unlikely that this is a defect that should have been disclosed. Definitely sounds unusual, but unless the Seller knew that this was an issue that affected the structural or mechanical condition of the property, I'd say your money is better spent on the new paint than hiring an attorney.

  • Looking to build on a lot that has contiguous property water and sewer lines running through it, no easements.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 19
    The utilities for sewer and water lines most likely have an easement. Make sure you conduct a title search and it should appear on title. Contact the municipality where the property is located because you will need to coordinate with these officials when you replace or run new sewer and water lines. Your facts require more information as to how the other lot is situated but I am not clear how your neighbor would be responsible for paying for the removal of the old lines absent specific provisions found int the approval for the previous split.

  • Do I have to give my tenant the full 30 days to move out even if they are behind on rent?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 19
    Because they are behind on rent, you can give them a 7 day notice to quit for the back rent. You will still have to go to court if they do not pay or they do not leave. If you were terminating their tenancy because you are saying that the lease term has expired, (Month to Month ) then you will have to give them 30 days to vacate.

  • I was sued by a collection agency for a bank account that was overdrawn. I was never served about this. Is there anything I can do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 13
    Based upon the facts that you have presented it seems that you will have to motion the court for Relief from Judgment. You will have to show the court 'good cause' and that you had a 'meritorious' defense. Basically, you would have to show the judge reasons why the plaintiff case would not have won. However before you do that you have to show the court 'good cause" - a reasonable excuse as to why you did not respond to the summons or that there was a substantial defect in the process itself. This is where you start. If you can meet these requirements, then you may have an opportunity to set aside the judgement.

  • What are our legal rights when our sister refuses to buy out on a house we as siblings all own?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 10
    This is a frequent problem, where one owner contributes to the maintenance and upkeep of a property and another co owner does not. It would be stand to reason that whatever "contribution" that was made is reimbursed at the time of sale of a property. However, lack of written provisions to the contrary, you may be stuck with the expenses, especially if you want your sister off the deed. You may have to go to court for something called a partition action, which can be brought to divide the property into individual shares among the owners, allowing you to move forward with your share independently. It is an action in equity and if your sister continues to be obstructive, it may be your only recourse.

  • Can we ask the seller of our new house, as of 2 weeks, to pay for repair of a flooded back yard?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jan 18
    Definitely problematic. Disclosure issues are one of the top reasons for disputes after a real estate closing. If you have seller endorsed disclosure documents stating that there were no known problems with basement / water, then you may a case against your seller for damages. Also, there are issues of fraud and concealment that may allow for even more damages.

  • What can I do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 21, 2016
    Unless stated otherwise, the provisions of your written contract prevail. While you may not have seriously considered the completion time or other important items at the time you endorsed the agreement, now is the time to take the contract to an attorney so that they can put the contractor on notice of your legal rights and set expectations.

  • I'm being taken to court because of nonpayment of rent but I haven't paid rent because I don't believe he owns this property, is it legal for me to do this?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 21, 2016
    While you may suspect being scamming in a con known as "lease scraping" (Scam artist represent that they are the property owner collecting rent and disappearing once the true home owner returns or the lender repossesses a home) you should verify title using professionals. If you can't afford a lawyer, at the very least, he county register of deeds to confirm ownership. Until then, you risk being evicted for non payment of rent. Otherwise contact an attorney.

  • Sister trustee, me 50 o/o of the will, sister won't talk, says it is none of my business, My mom died on Sept. 5, 2016

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 14, 2016
    Unfortunately you will most likely have to have a court intervene. Consult with a probate attorney as soon as you can.

  • I sold a house on a land contract deal with 50% down for 29k. The buyer had a 775 credit score I think of sell the other 1/2 of the land contract agreem

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 12, 2016
    Seller financing using land contracts is now regulated by federal law - Dodd -Frank. So your question- "What could go wrong" when using a land contract, is a pretty broad question. Generally, if you are out of state, or if you have never created a land contract using professional legal services, this is a good time to consult with a Michigan real estate attorney. What would be "fair" is based upon what two parties agree to, provided that the provisions of the land contract are enforceable. There is a reason for the old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

  • My mother passed away with no will. My sister and I are not looking to go through probate, because the house is worth 66K and my mom owed 58K, however we would like to get her belongings removed from the house. I would like 3 months to remove them. When do I have to notify the mortgage company of my Mom's passing if I am not looking to keep the house?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 7, 2016
    If you do nothing, the home will go to foreclosure. It will take a lot longer than the 3 months that you anticipate you will need to move out items. 3 months for pre foreclosure process and then another 6 months for the redemption after sheriff sale. An easier way to accomplish your goal is to have a personal representative of an estate, (not much money) to contact lender and make arrangements.

  • My lease was up two years ago, and I have been paying month-to-month with no written contract, can I be sued for nonpayment?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 2, 2016
    When your lease expired and you remained, your term went month-to-month. You are obligated to make the same monthly payment. As for being compelled to sign a new lease, you don't have to do so, but then because you are on a month-to-month lease, your term expires every 30 days. The landlord can then evict you for possession and back rent.

  • Can a repo man discuss my information with neighbors and landlord?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 28, 2016
    But for asking your general whereabouts or confirming an address the answer is 'no."

  • Can the landlord bring charges on me if I took an air conditioning unit out of a house were I rent a room?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 26, 2016
    If the AC belonged to the landlord, absent any permission, you have disposed of their property. If you have a written lease, there may be provisions that allow you to remove AC --temporarily.

  • What can I do if I got served saying that I'm being sued because I withdrew my application to buy a house?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 19, 2016
    The provisions of your purchase agreement prevail and without knowing more about your specific purchase agreement, generally, you can withdraw your offer if the home does not pass inspection, you do not secure financing for a mortgage or any other contingency. However, you have to notify the seller usually in writing that you will not be moving forward with your purchase. Seller still has to mitigate (reduce) their damages, and they have to put the home back on the market. Consult with a real estate attorney to review your purchase agreement.

  • Is it effective to email a breach in contract letter to a car dealership?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 13, 2016
    Certified mail or certificate of mailing is the best way to prove that you noticed another party. More importantly, what is required by the provisions of the contract. Even if you could prove that your email was sent and received, if the contract required you to provide notice through another method, it will be unlikely that you can prevail on the notice issue.

  • Can I sign a lease for someone else because their credit did not go through even though this person will be paying the rent?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 7, 2016
    Signing a lease on behalf of someone else makes you a co-signer, obligating you on the rent in the event that the tenant fails to make the payment. You are obligated on all the provisions of the lease, not just the payment provisions. Consider what this will do to your own credit and how your personal financial situation will be affected now and in the future.

  • What can my landlord do to me if I break my lease and move out 7 months early, in Michigan?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 7, 2016
    First, you the provisions of the lease control the relationship and an attorney would need to see the provisions of your lease. Generally, breaking the lease early will obligate the tenant on their rent. However, land lord has obligation to mitigate their damages by making property available for lease.

  • Can I fight a lien? Does me writing "paid in full" protect me? What about not getting any notice that a lien is being put on property before it actually happens?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 30, 2016
    One would have to see any documentation related to this matter. But there are laws that regulate when liens for work performed can be placed upon your property. Additionally, this matter from your fact pattern seems that it can be negotiated. Definitely provide documents.

  • My landlord hasn't fixed the building's heat in years. What can I do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 28, 2016
    The landlord is to provide you with a 'habitable' place to live. It is implied warranty in your agreement / lease called the "warranty of habitability." If he is not providing proper heat, you and your neighbors should seek assistance of an attorney, especially since this is an on going problem. There are several things that you can do to impress upon LL that you must have heat.

  • How do you write an Arbitration Clause rejection letter? And what do they mean by DESCRIBE THE CONTRACT?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 23, 2016
    State in a letter that you "reject the arbitration clause" and reference the contract name, date and the names of the parties. You can also send copy of contract along with the letter. Keep a copy for your records.

  • My wife & I paid cash for our home and are both listed on the deed, can I be taken off at any time without my knowledge?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 23, 2016
    In Michigan, a person cannot 'disenfranchise" their spouse by selling a primary residence without the spouse's approval, which comes in the form of that spouse's signature on a deed to a third party purchaser.

  • Question about property forfeiture. My Landlord lost the home I rent from her to foreclosure. Do I have to still pay the landlord?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 19, 2016
    From your fact pattern, it sounds like you are saying she lost the property to 'tax foreclosure." If this is the case, she no longer has an interest in the property and can't evict. However, if the landlord still has her interest in the property (she may have been given the right to still redeem the property tax delinquency in Wayne County) then this will not negate your obligation to the Landlord under the lease.

  • Will I be held responsible for a foreclosure property that was purchased before I got married? I am on the deed, not on the mortgage.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 19, 2016
    No. If you did not sign on the promissory note you are not obligated to the bank.

  • Is a Co-signer still responsible when you renew the lease (Apartment) without them?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 18, 2016
    Good question. The lease terms was for 12 months. The co-signor's obligation was for that particular lease. To avoid any issues at a later date, DO NOT extend the lease. Have a NEW lease issued for the newest term. See this article which addresses some of your concerns. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11337434.htm

  • What do I do when I have a garnishment?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 9, 2016
    Depending on the amount of the balance owed, it is very possible to negotiate a settlement even though you have a judgment against you. Seek professional assistance to do it the proper way. You may be able to get the interest waived or reduced. Www.Debtloanlaw.com

  • My roommate, who is also my friend, lost his job & is no longer able to pay his half of the rent. What do i do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 1, 2016
    You sound like a good person, but your friend's problem is not your landlord's problem. If rent is due and you do not have the monies, work out a payment plan with your Landlord. Otherwise, you will be evicted pursuant to the terms of the lease.

  • How do I file a illegal eviction case against my landlord?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 29, 2016
    Is there a lease? Self Help actions by landlords have financial consequences and so does DIY on pursuing such a matter. Consult with a competent Landlord Tenant attorney before you take any steps to file.

  • What is the definition of Dedicated Private Road?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 28, 2016
    This could be a "private road agreement" between you and another party, or it could mean that the County has designated this road as being a road that they recognize exists, but is not being serviced by the municipalities - that the homeowner or surrounding homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of the road. You need to have a real estate attorney review these documents for a better determination of what you have there.

  • Can you collect rent on a foreclosed home?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 11, 2016
    Common problem. Once tenants learn that their rental property is in foreclosure, they will stop paying. However, their interest is subject to a lease and the lease is still valid until the redemption period expires. The LL can still evict the tenants. You would need to provide more information concerning file to an experienced real estate attorney.

  • Whose liability is it after I purchased a house approximately three weeks ago & now I find a problem in the basement with leaking rod holes?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 6, 2016
    You can go after the seller if he failed to disclose known water leaks in the basement. Especially if seller covered up the leaks. It would be fraud. Would need to see the purchase documents that you signed.

  • What is the length of time in Michigan to establish adverse possession and once its established does it carry through to new owners ?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 2, 2016
    Adverse possession time frame in Michigan is 15 years. Before the 15 years elapses, the quickest and easiest way to defeat an adverse possession claim is to provide written notice to the other party that they either do or do not have permission to use the property at issue. Your "permission" is key. Make sure you send notice certified.

  • Can the homeowner of the house that I live in, change the locks without notifying me?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 31, 2016
    If the landlord's intent is to put you out of the home, then It is illegal for a landlord to change the locks. They may be subject to penalties by the court. An illegal lock-out does not have to just be by changing the locks, it can also occur when the landlord shuts off utilities. Contact an attorney.

  • What do you do when you're getting sued for credit card debt? Whats the next step to take?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 29, 2016
    In general, if you feel you don't owe the amount, then you will need to have an attorney. If you do owe the amount, but can't pay the balance, perhaps you can save the money on an attorney, and negotiate a new balance and payment on that balance with the creditor.

  • How can my landlord evict me if my apartment isn't certified?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 20, 2016
    By certified, I take it you mean that the home does not have a certificate of occupancy. That will between the municipality and the LL. Until then, you have an obligation under the lease to make your payments.

  • Can I still object a debt amount?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 11, 2016
    Generally, verbal agreements are not worth the paper they're written on. The value of having an attorney in legal disputes has become underappreciated with the advent of online legal forums and DIY legal form mills. Go get your own attorney to properly negotiate a resolution.

  • Can I have my mother sign a quick claim deed for a house that is owned by both my parents over to me? My dad has dementia and mom has power of attorney over him.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 26, 2016
    Generally, the power of attorney must address the right to deed that specific property. In Michigan, the power of attorney must be filed with the County in which the property sits. Hope this helps with your "Q U I T C L A I M."

  • In an After Foreclosure Redemption, do you have to pay the Mortgage company anything or just buy the property back.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 21, 2016
    After the redemption period expires, if you wish to purchase the property back, you need to approach the foreclosing lender or the investor who purchased the sheriff's deed at the sale. It is not automatic. Your rights have been extinguished. If the investor wants to sell the home back you, you will need to negotiate price and terms. Otherwise, prepare for an eviction.

  • What can I do to ensure overpayment on garnishment is returned?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 19, 2016
    Your creditor / garnishor can only collect what is due an owing to them. You can provide them with your ledger of what has been paid to date under then garnishment. If you have overpaid and they refuse to return the monies, contact their attorney first. If their attorney does not respond, then you should contact your own attorney.

  • How do we do a quit claim ?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Apr 3, 2016
    A quit claim deed is but one type of deed that one can use to transfer real estate. It is a very easy form to complete. However, while the form may be straight-forward, the circumstances surrounding the transaction need to be examined. The grantor of a quit claim makes no representations as to the marketability of the title. They are giving whatever interest they have in the property ---which could be nothing, or it could be loaded with liens and other title problems. Accepting a quit claim for a property means that the grantee agrees to take the property with all the title deficiencies with it. It's best to have a real estate attorney review the title and understand what you are trying to accomplish by using a QCD. There may be better transfer documents that warrant the quality of title.

  • How do you know if a loan is secure or unsecure ?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 13, 2015
    In general, when your lender has a lien on the car title, they are named as "lien holder" or "secured party" on the title. If you have the original document of title in hand, you will see this plainly on the title. Some lenders will actually hold the original title and you retain a copy. They will issue you a clear original title when they receive their loan proceeds paid in full. (A credit check is insufficient to determine lien positions.)

  • Title company called and said they only charged a 5% realtor fee and it should of been 6% so we owe another 1%? Signed 21 days ago.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 11, 2015
    How unusual. Title companies usually just place the fees as reviewed and approved by all parties to the transaction which would include agents of the mortgage companies, realty companies, and the buyer and seller themselves. But in the end, the listing agreement is a contract and unless it states otherwise, fees due under the contract would be due regardless of the time and date collected. You should still be able to negotiate a lesser fee out of inconvenience since the equity in the home would have easily satisfied your obligation.

  • Real estate attorney

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jun 8, 2015
    Before you start your eviction, you should record your quit claim deed. If you don't, a valid defense to the eviction could be that you are not the property owner of record. As grantee of the property you should either have a copy of a lease from the former owner, or the tenant is a month to month tenant. Declare your default and follow the eviction process as answered herein by fellow attorney.

  • Ex husband forged my signature on the bank paper work to reduce the interest rate on the mortgage .

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Sounds more like a statement to me. But I am confused. It sounds more like you are alleging that your ex committed fraud, well, federal bank fraud to be more specific. If he is paying your mortgage as part of your alimony, your allegations would cause him a lot of legal problems. Instead, if you are seeking monies equivalent to the difference between the two mortgage payments consult with a divorce attorney to help you with a post judgment modification on alimony. Your ex wouldn't do you much good sitting in jail.

  • My father is buying a home on land contract. He has not yet paid it off and now he wants to quitclaim the deed on the property to me so that I can get a mortgage and pay off the land contract seller. What kind of deed should he give me? Is this legal?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    First, your father should give you an assignment of the land contract provided that the land contract terms allow for an assignment. Second, a deed is worthless as your father does not have title in his name. It is still with the seller. A deed (quitclaim preferably) would do very little at this time. Finally, a lender will most likely require that you should be on title for at least 12 months before you could finance the property in your name. Get the seller to approve the assignment of the land contract in your name as buyer, and make verifiable payments under the land contract for 12 months, then you can get a valid deed upon the payoff.

  • I am about to file for divorce. I own the home in my own name. I want to put it in my son's name before I file my action. My son is 14. Can I transfer the property into his name?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    A transfer of an asset in anticipation of litigation can be undone. A divorce is a legal action. Transferring property to anyone during this time can be challenged. Moreover, transferring the home to your son, who is underage, will not be effective either. You would need to put the property in a trust on his behalf. But not until after the litigation has been completed.

  • I’m assuming the mortgage and buying out my partner due to a breakup. Will I have to pay a state/county tax in Michigan?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    By paying "state or county tax" I am going to assume that you mean 'transfer" tax. Assumption of a mortgage should not be a taxable event since you state that you are already a partner / member of organization. You also can check with your CPA since he will know your tax status best.

  • We have a survey dispute with the neighbors. They are now selling the house, should we contact their realtor?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    No. You could be seen as interfering with a third party's transaction. The Michigan Seller Disclosure Act requires your neighbor to disclose to potential buyer if there is a boundary issue. Additionally, until a court order clarifies the boundary, it is nothing more than a dispute with no basis and with no legal determination.

  • I bought property using cash as the owner wanted cash. We transferred deed, now he is trying to say I did not pay him.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    If you have a signed properly created deed and there are no other written contract provisions that stipulate any other contingencies for that conveyance ---then based on your short narrative, it appears that you would own this property.

  • Can a person on SSI disability own property, when SSI limits the amount of cash that they can have ($2,000.00) in the bank?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Generally speaking a person who collects disability can own real estate. If you are speaking in terms of financing a property with a mortgage, then your disability income should be included in the income calculations, provided the disability is not temporary. So for financing purposes, disability income may not help you qualify to refinance or purchase a home.

  • Can a management company change the amount due on your rental by raising the pet fee mid lease?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    I agree that changing rules regarding pets are not the same as changing fees. This opinion however is limited in scope as a competent real estate attorney would need to see a copy of a lease.

  • Can I purchase the redemption rights for $1000 from the owner on the property if the sheriff's sale happen last week?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Yes. The homeowner can alienate or sell their redemption rights. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals recently held in a case held that the mortgagor may, after the original mortgage transaction, sell or convey his or her equity of redemption to the mortgagee by a separate and distinct contract entered into for good faith and for valid consideration, but “the exchange must be fair, frank, honest, and without fraud, misconduct, undue influence, oppression or unconscionable advantage of the poverty, distress or fears of the mortgagor.” This means that you must have the proper conveyance and releases. Otherwise, you open yourself up to a lawsuit. Contact a competent real estate attorney. www.provenresource.com

  • What is the best way to break a lease due to continuous noise (freight train blares whistle repeatedly, nightly)?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    It could be argued that since knew of the train tracks before moving in you should have verified the train schedule with the Amtrak, etc. The Landlord should not be the source of the train schedule. That said, you could argue that the property is not habitable because of the train schedule. Tough argument to make. I think the best thing to do is to get a release from the LL for a negotiated sum or fee. Hope this helps.

  • Redemption period ended 7/9, we are still in the house until the 16th. Can lender put us back on title so we can refinance? We were approved for refinance and ready to sign until title search done.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    It is highly unlikely that the lender will work with you as a 'refinance,' however, if you show that you have been approved for a mortgage WITHOUT CONDITIONS, and there is no third party bidder, you could take a stab at it with the lender REO department. If this is a government backed mortgage (FHA or FNMA) then the odds are not good.

  • What's the quickest way for me to stop collections calls from happening? I'm sick of the harassment!

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Well, the quickest way to stop harassment from collection agents is to cite the FDCPA {"Fair Debt Collection Practices Act") by saying, "pursuant to the FDCPA - stop calling my home, office etc." Continued violation of the Act subjects the collector to a law suits, damages, fines and attorney fees. A more extreme measure would be to file bankruptcy. However, most debts can be negotiated with the help of a competent debt resolution attorney. Proceed with caution if you are considering a debt settlement company, which is far different from having a licensed experienced attorney negotiate and settle your issue once and for all.

  • We closed on our new house and the sellers gave us 30 days to vacate. Can we go on the property and put in a fence before 30 days?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    You should be able to. It really depends on what you placed in the PA provisions. However, as the new owners of the home you have the ability to make improvements to the property, provided however, that you do not interfere with their occupancy. You may even want to reach out to the former seller and let them know that your fencing contractors are coming.

  • Our house is for sale and we have it listed with an agent. When our agent was out of town a friend recommended our home to someone who decided to buy it. Are we obligated to pay the commission to the realtor?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    If you have a listing agreement with your real estate agent, they are entitled to a commission as most listing agreements commonly protect the agent and their commission for events such as these. You should also be aware that there is usually a 180 day protection period even after the listing expires. This means that within 180 days after the listing expires, should a buyer who had previously seen the property during their listing, and later purchases the home, the agent is still entitled to their commission. This is because they are considered the 'procuring cause" of the sale.

  • The sellers of our home replaced the septic and damaged the sprinklers (without disclosing that). Do we have recourse?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The Seller's Disclosure requires that "known" defects with the condition of the home are disclosed by Seller. So (playing devil's advocate) this matter could have been unbeknownst to them as well. I suggest small claims court after a call to Seller to resolve.

  • My mom is elderly and wants my name on her deed to her house that is paid for. Do we need to hire a lawyer for this?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    What kind of deed? A quit claim deed? A Warranty Deed? A Covenant Deed? A Ladybird Deed? Does she want you to hold it Jointly with Rights of Full Survivorship or as tenants in common? If you don't draft deeds on a regular basis, it is probably best to use a real estate attorney to properly convey title to a property. That way you know it is done right and there are no far reaching legal or tax consequences.

  • I need to know what to do if my property has been foreclosed on. Can I save my property before it goes to auction?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    You can either contact your lender, use an attorney to work out a forbearance agreement, or you can file bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure sale. See my book - Getting Out Of Foreclosure: The No Nonsense Guide To Saving Your Home (Pibley Press, 2003) at www.provenresource.com

  • House deed is in my husbands name (we have been married for 33 years). If he died would the house go to the wife without a will in MI?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    You will need to be on the deed. Otherwise, you would have to probate the matter. So find or have a real estate attorney prepare a deed.

  • Three years ago my 94 year old mother changed ownership of her house to me and my two sisters. I have lived there for the past five years caring for her. She passed away on 6/19 and my sister will not stop coming over here anytime she wants and also said I have to pay her rent. Do I have ANY rights to keep her away until we sell the house?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Absent any provisions to the contrary, it seems that if you are the only occupant, then you have rights to live in the property without interference, and perhaps, without paying rent. However, your sisters who are co-owners, do have a right to compel a sale. This is called a "partition' of property. This is the legal separation of joint ownership of property.

  • My father has dementia and I co-own a property in Florida with him. He and I are listed on the title and he has a will that states upon his death the said property will go to me (I have other siblings). Because my sister has Power of Attorney for my father, is there any way she can prevent this from happening?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Unless you are speaking of having title by and through a Ladybird deed, then you own a portion of this property. As for the
    provisions of the will, they would apply after death - someone with a POA cannot change the terms of a will. In most cases a POA cannot remove your name from title either. You should consult with a real estate attorney to have them review the documents that you speak of.

  • We had an offer put on our house. I felt pressured to accept the offer but my wife did not sign it. Both of us are on the deed. Are we still bound to sell the house even though she did not sign?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Contractually no. However, if throughout the purchase transaction, your wife performed or acted in a manner that leads one to believe that she assented to the agreement, then the purchaser may have an equitable claim against you, nonetheless. For example, your wife sends an email to the real estate agent giving permission or makes a statements to agent that "now she wants to look into a new house," Other examples could be that she scheduled a time to let the purchaser's home inspector in, or calls a moving company to come quote your move. These are but examples.

  • On a LTO after term and it comes time to purchase the house do I need to come up with 20% down payment. I will be putting $60,000 down on a $280,000 house with a LTO. Payment will be $1700.00 a month

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Since I do not have a copy of the provisions of your lease, I cannot comment on what amount you would owe at the "time of purchase." However, be very careful with lease to own contracts. They have many pitfalls and are subject to even more legal scrutiny when it comes to residential lease transactions.

  • I created a Lady Bird deed on my condo naming both of my children. I recorded the deed. Now my son wants my daughter to be the sole beneficiary. How do I correct this?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The power of a properly drafted lady bird deed is that you maintain 100% control over the property until the time of your death. To cancel your initial intentions, you could either revoke the earlier deed, or have your son quit claim his interest off the current deed to your daughter. Conveying property interests or preparing estate planning tools without the assistance of a qualified attorney has consequences.

  • We received an acceptance on an offer to a house that still has well and septic. On the acceptance page the seller writes that they are not responsible for any deferred water assessment and that the buyer is. What does that mean?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    That means the seller is transferring the risk that if there are any assessments for water prior to your closing on the sale, that you will bear the costs of said assessments. It doesn't seem appropriate to have a water bill when you have a well and septic system and so check with your municipality on any pending assessments.

  • Can you add an addendum to a quick claim deed? Can you have a quick claim deed written and notarized but not file it but also have an addendum attached that states no other deeds my be filed without me signing off?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The reason you record your interest in a property when you are named in a deed (quitclaim or otherwise) is to put the "world on notice" of your interest in the subject property. There is no need to have any further 'addendum" when the instrument is recorded. Deeds that are recorded take priority over all other unrecorded deeds.

  • How do we get our money back from a contractor that breached our contract? Contract was signed for completion by January 1st house torn up he never came back and just kept giving us excuses we have paid 2/3 of the total.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    If you have a contract then you would have to put contractor on notice with a demand letter that you intend to sue them for breach of contract. Consult with a real estate or contract attorney.

  • Who is responsible for repairing a boundary line retaining wall? My neighbor is claiming that the roots from a tree on my property have caused a retaining wall between our properties to fail. Whose responsibility is the repair?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    I'd have to ask if the retaining wall was installed properly in the first place, and if so, then the likelihood is that you will be responsible, but not until you determine other possible reasons for why the retaining wall 'failed."

  • Ad for property said 426x215 but would be redrawn to 500x250. After PA, lines are surveyed at 395x220. What now?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    So the legal description / lot size was misrepresented in the home listing. Unless you made the listing document itself as part of the purchase agreement, it cannot be relied upon and the seller is not liable to you for the stated lot size. You did your due diligence by having the property surveyed. There should be a contingency period in which you can either move forward or cancel the transaction. You should also have your earnest money returned or if you determine if the price is appropriate for the lot size, you have the option to move forward.

  • Can I define a rental properties' boundary with fence posts, if we want the yard smaller than actual whole property?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Sounds as if you should have defined the useable outside living space in the lease. Generally speaking, when you leased the address it is assumed that the entire address and corresponding legal description is part of the leasehold. A real estate attorney would need to review your lease to be more specific.

  • What type of deed must I file when I sell my selling interest of a land contract?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    There are several types of deeds that you could provide. This is based upon your contract provisions, and there is no required deed type per se. A quit claim deed is most preferred from a seller's perspective, however, your buyer will most likely want a warranty deed.

  • Can the State of Michigan file a claim on deceased persons home that was in a nursing home getting help from them?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Generally, yes the state can file a lien on a resident's home where it has a valid claim. You would need to provide further details to address your particular matter.

  • For almost 10 years we been paying taxes on additional 3 acres because the land survey done by seller to divide original acreage was not prepared correctly. Several documents are in conflict with others. Talked to my lender and they want another appraisal that could affect mortgage rates, home value, cost in additional money, and the waste of my time to this process that is no fault of my own. What are my rights as the home owner for the last 9 years? What are my obligations? What are my options?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    It is not that easy to unwind if you have a mortgage securing the additional acres. However, it can be done if the additional acreage did not add any significant value to the home. (Usually a home is appraised on the first 5 acres.) You should definitely have a competent real estate attorney (not a criminal attorney or a personal injury attorney - a real estate attorney) review the papers before you do or concede anything to any "claimants."

  • Who is responsible for paying for mortgage when the owner dies? My mother passed and she still owes money to the bank. We want to keep the house in the family. She filed bankruptcy and this loan is protected under it. We have been making the payments and have not contacted the lender yet for fear they will foreclose on the house.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The estate can continue to pay on the mortgage. Federal law allows children and spouses to continue to pay under the mortgage after the mortgagor dies. You must remain current with the mortgage however. If you are not current then the lender can take steps to protect its interest and then foreclose. So remain current with payment, insurance and property taxes. You may also want to contact your mother's bankruptcy attorney if her payments were being made through the bankruptcy trustee.

  • I have an offer on my house that is less than asking price. However, they also want me to pay seller concessions. Is it normal to ask the seller to pay the buyer's closing cost in addition to paying their own closing costs?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Yes, this is common in a less than "robust" seller's market. These days, seller concessions are not as common because the real estate market is very good. However, often the real estate agent will increase the asking price to accommodate for "seller concessions" which usually are no more than 3 percent of the purchase price.

  • I have been married for 10 years and own a house with my husband. We are now getting divorced. I do not want the house and he wants to refinance on his own and assume the mortgage. Will I get anything from the refinance?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    If there is a divorce decree, then the provisions of the divorce decree control how the proceeds of a refinance are issued. If the judgment has not yet been issued, then you will need to work out the amount of proceeds you are expecting from the refinance with your spouse, or it will most likely be negotiated between the attorneys.

  • I bought a new construction home last December. I've had nothing but problems. Is there a lemon law for homes?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    There is contract law and building codes that pertain to new home construction. Hopefully your home was built by a licensed Michigan builder. That is where you need to start. Then have a real estate attorney review the provisions of your builder's agreement. You will need to support your allegations with evidence of poor workmanship: third party estimates, photos etc.

  • I signed a land contract with a company. Two years later the company owner/manager directed me to make payments to his personal account and texted me his personal account number. I have made two payments to his account. Is this even legal? Am I doing something that can be a problem later?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    If the agreement is with the company, and payment specifies payment to the company, then the payment shouldn't go elsewhere. If the LLC is a single member LLC, there may be an argument for the payment to go to their personal account and in this case, it is not fraud. Keep track of your payments - you should have an attorney review the land contract document.

  • In a house closing are all credits and debits to buyer and seller required to be written in closing paperwork? The loan officer emailed my wife saying that he is waiving the tax service fee. I called the loan officer and asked him to put it in a formal document and sign it. He refused saying the email was good enough.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    First, a tax service is usually charged by the loan servicing company which is often a third party fee. It does need to be disclosed on the Good Faith Estimate. If this fee changes, the Good Faith Estimate must be re-disclosed. Based upon your narrative, the email is evidence in writing that he is 'waiving' the fee. However, he may not have the authority to approve said 'waiver." Contact his manager and if it escalates, contact the state - Loan officers and mortgage companies are regulated by state and federal laws.

  • I purchased a house in Michigan and sold it to a couple on lease to own. They have now paid off the loan. How do I transfer the deed to them?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    You would convey your property interest by a deed. What type of deed will depend on the agreement that the two parties made. Did you agree to transfer with a quit claim deed, a covenant deed or a warranty deed? Which one you select affects your legal rights.

  • My deed was drawn up by a real estate broker who carried a license that was on probation for mishandling of funds. Also the notary that notarized my documents had a license that was expired since 2013. (All verified through Michigan licensing department). Does this affect the validity of any of my paperwork or my deed? Can I file a formal complaint?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Real estate sales people should not be drafting conveyance instruments - deeds. You should have your documents reviewed by a real estate attorney. As for the 'professional standing" and licensing, it may not affect the validity of your transaction - meaning the transaction can be voided. Get to a real estate attorney to review your paperwork.

  • I purchased a house a little over year ago and it was disclosed that the basement had flooded. The problem was then solved but I had to replace the main sewer line from the house to the city and and have paid plumbers for back ups 8 times in 15 months. They also sold me this house as 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths but the basement bathroom was not permitted when I went to the city because of the sewage back ups. Can I go back on the seller?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The Michigan Seller's Disclosure Act requires the Seller of a residential property to provide the buyer with written disclosure of the condition and information concerning the property, known by the seller. Unless otherwise advised, the seller does not possess any expertise in construction. Once disclosed, the Buyer is responsible to further investigate into the property's past repairs, improvements, or issues of concern. It is highly unlikely that the Seller will be held accountable.

  • My father died leaving his house to his three children in the will. One of my siblings has passed on. Do we need permission from the beneficiaries of the deceased to sell the house?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    There should be a personal representative for your father's estate. Based upon the very brief narrative you provided, it is likely that you can sell the property despite the death of your one sibling. However, proceeds from the sale may have to be distributed equally and this will depend upon the will provisions. You should contact a real estate or probate attorney to review the will.

  • Is a handwritten purchase agreement, signed and dated by both parties, enforceable in Michigan? I have a lease with an Option to Purchase. However, the seller got a better offer and is now treating it as a lease, using every available means to make it simple and cheap for herself by having me evicted.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    A Contract must have an Offer, an Acceptance, Consideration, Mutuality of Obligation, Competency and Capacity. An Option to Purchase is a contract unto itself provided the above "elements of a contract" have been met. But Options do expire. The Seller may be able to sell the property to someone else if the Option is no longer valid. You should allow an attorney to review the Option to determine it's validity.

  • My mom and brother bought condo together in April 2017. My Brother passed early June before the deed was received. Is the deed now void because it was not delivered before death? Can it be legally amended?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    For a deed to be valid, it has to be accepted or delivered. Your brother and mother received title as tenants in common in April 2017 when they purchased the condo.

  • My mother, father and I are on a quit claim deed with survivorship. my mom passed, my 87 year old dad remarried. do i still have the rights to the deed?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On October 1
    Generally, a recorded quitclaim deed will prevail provided that the grantor language (right of survivorship) is expressed properly. Additionally you say that there is a "last will." What relevance this actually has to the deed is uncertain in light of a properly drafted and recorded deed, It is important enough to seek the assistance of a real estate attorney to review the deed.

  • If I can't get a hold of my landlord because they disconnected their phone, should I withhold rent for my last month?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The lease provisions control. So follow the 'notice' requirements of your lease. Holding back rent because the telephone number is inactive is not a good idea. Sending out notice with a tracking tool (overnite) or certified mail is a good step to take.

  • Do I have the right ,as a rental property owner, to fix-up, repair, my rental property(ties) if I know how to do the work?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    City only has to ensure that your rental property is up to code. If you are doing work that requires a permit, the permit can be pulled in your name or your licensed contractor's name. Whoever pulls the permit is responsible for the quality of work. If it passes code, then there should be no further questions. Good luck!

  • I have been fixing and renting houses for over 15 years. I am being told by the city building department that I have to hire licensed contractors to do work on my rental(s) because I am not licensed. Why should I have to pay an electrician when I am capable of doing the work myself. I pay the City an inspection fee anyways. Is their statement true?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    The city has to ensure that your rental property is up to building code and it is common for investors to pay an annual fee for a rental inspection. If you are doing work that requires a permit, the permit can be pulled in your name or in your licensed contractor's name. Whoever pulls the permit is responsible for the quality of work. If it passes code, then there should be no further questions.

  • I'm interested in obtaining a property, however, it's held in a trust. What are the pros and cons of purchasing this? Do I have the right ,as a rental property owner, to fix-up, repair, my rental property(ties) if I know how to do the work? my mother, father and I are on a quit claim deed with survivorship. my mom passed, my 87 year old dad remarried. do i still have the rights to the deed?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On September 24
    Good question. A properly created Trust is a legal entity unto itself. Depending on the Trust provisions, it may be able to convey property interests. How it is conveyed or granted to the grantee (this would be you) is dependent upon title issues and what you are trying to accomplish. Therefore, you question requires further inquiry. See www.provenresource.com site or http://bit.ly/prtattoo (Why QC Deeds are like bad tattoos) for more discussion on deed interests.

  • Father left stepmother a life estate she past away I am named in his will along with my siblings her children were not included?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On September 22
    Based upon your brief narrative, the life estate is extinguished upon the death of mother. If her children are not included in the will and they are still living in the home, then without a written lease they can be evicted. Their property rights if any, flowed from their mother. Any documents that you have need to be reviewed by a real estate or estate planning attorney.

  • I bought a house December 2012 and Lamont title company was my escrow agent. They issued me Title Insurance, but they issued me Quit claim deed instead of a Warranty Deed. They had to do a Quite title which the seller paid for. Do I need to go to another Title Co. to have them do another Title search and issue me a Warranty Deed. It appears Lamont went out of bushiness. Will this be a problem when I go to sell the house?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On September 15
    Depending on your paperwork and your policy as issued at the time of sale, you should be able to go right to the title underwriter for your deed, that is if the quiet title action was completed and you prevailed. Here is a link regarding deeds for your review: http://bit.ly/prtattoo Hope this helps.

  • What do I need to prove damage was caused by subtenants, not us?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On July 16
    Generally, when you sub lease to a sub-tenant or sublessee, you are still responsible to the landlord for abiding by all of the provisions to the lease. Unless in writing, you and your landlord agreed otherwise, I believe you will be held accountable for the the sublessee's damages. However, the LL must still provide a list of damages to you and the amount of the anticipated repairs. If the amount does not exceed the $1500, you should have monies returned to you.

  • Can my landlord make me pay legal fees even if in writing but I never went to court?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On July 6
    If you resolved your matter outside of court, I am going to assume that you had a written agreement. What does this settlement agreement state? Did you offer a consent judgment? Does it say you will pay court filing fees? Are these attorney fees or court filing fees? The answer will depend on what your paperworks says.

  • How do I get a judgment put on someone credit report?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On July 6
    I agree with my colleagues that you have to be a subscriber to the credit bureaus to report judgments and collection matters, it should be noted that certain credit agencies do send 'researchers" to the courts to pull this information. It is up to the agencies to then decide if they will place on reports. I am aware of one bureau that will no longer report judgements however. Your efforts are better served by continuing with the garnishments.

  • If a bank releases their titles and liens prematurely, does a loan convert from secured to a signature loan?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On July 6
    Generally, a lien that is released would imply that the loan was paid in full. You state that this is not the case. It seems that there may have been some administrative error. At some point, the lender can refile their lien if it was in error. At this point however, you would still owe on an outstanding loan that is technically "unsecured."

  • How do I acquire property where the owner is unknown and it has been vacant for at least 10 years or more?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On June 28
    Please know that in Michigan an action for adverse possession requires 15 years. To prevail there must be actual, visible, open, notorious, exclusive, hostile, continuous, and uninterrupted use of the property by the person filing for the right to possess the property. Just because the property is "abandoned," someone must be paying property taxes to keep it from tax foreclosure. My suggestion is that you go to the property tax department and see whose name is on the tax bill, then write to them that you have an interest in their property. Remember, only licensed attorneys can dispense legal advice. Court clerks, real estate agents, accountants, etc must be a licensed lawyer to provide legal advice.

  • My landlord doesn't have a certificate of occupancy and he is not having any of the maintenance done to the house. What can I do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On June 5
    Most municipalities require that landlords register their rental properties with the city building department. Homes for rent must have occupancy permits. Check with your city's building department. Understand that if the home does not meet code you may be required to move as well. As for the LL not making repairs to the property, your lease provisions control. However, if the property is not 'habitable" you can notify your LL that you are depositing rent into an bank escrow account for LL's benefit and monies will be released upon repair. Document your communication with LL in writing.

  • City wants old barn demolished or fixed up? What are my rights and can it be stopped?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On June 5
    Generally, municipalities have the right to enforce building and zoning ordinances that do not comply with safety, fire or blight codes. While the property may not be open to the public, there are a host of other reasons the government can issue a citation. A real estate attorney would need to review your cities zoning code.

  • Can we sue the appraisal company for preparing a bad appraisal that cost us $10k on the sale of our home. Our home was under contract for $200K, but the appraisal came in at $178K. We challenged. result and the bank increased the value by $5K still leaving us $17K under sale price. The home next store sold 4 days later with the same square less upgrades appraisal came in at $195k for sale price of $205K. Can we go back on either realtor or appraiser for the loss?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On May 28
    Save your money on lawyer fees. It's highly unlikely that you'd prevail at court by suing a licensed professional appraiser for their opinion of value despite the fact that it negatively impacted your sales price. The duty of the appraiser is not to you, but to the buyer and to the lender. Banks make their decisions to lend based upon these opinions. Instead, the provisions of your purchase agreement should have given you, as the seller, the discretion to proceed with the sale or not.Another option would have been to require the buyer to come up with the difference between the appraised value and the agreed upon purchase price. Finally, you could have disputed the appraisal by having another appraisal. However, in that instance the decision to proceed is up to the buyer since they are the one obtaining the mortgage.

  • Can a commercial lease state that the landlord may commingle my security deposit with his own monies?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On May 11
    Michigan's Landlord Tenant Relationship Act regulates conduct between landlords and tenants for residential housing. Commercial or business leases are not regulated by this act. This is why business / retail / office leases do not contain uniform provisions. It is very important to have an experienced real estate attorney review or draft your lease.

  • Mom passed away. Both my brother and I are on the deed. I want to sell, but he doesn't. It is highly contentious. What are my rights?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On April 10
    Generally, in Michigan when one party wishes to remain an owner of a property but a joint owner wants to sell the property, an action of partition is advisable. This is when both parties cannot work the matter out between themselves. The court orders the sale of the property and the net proceeds from the sale are divided in accordance with the court orders. In this case, 50/50.

  • We were told by our real estate broker that we should accept a quit claim deed to the property we are buying. We are concerned because we have been told that we cannot get title insurance if we accept this deed. Our agent says that we can get the deed converted over to a warranty deed later. Is this correct?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    On April 4
    First, a quit claim deed conveys whatever rights a seller has to a property. The seller's title can be impaired by liens, mortgages or judgments and may not be 'marketable." The Seller does not warrant his / her claims to the property to the grantee (buyer) of the deed and therefore, title companies are very reluctant to insure transactions using quit claim deeds.A warranty deed is one that should convey marketable and insurable title. Here, the seller "warrants" to the buyer that they have clear title to the property and essentially will defend any claims against his title now transferred to the buyer. Title companies will insure these type of deeds.
    Finally, quit claim deeds do not "magically" convert into warranty deeds at a later date without the original grantor replacing their earlier quit claim deed with a warranty deed --and this is highly unlikely.

  • I own a small 18 unit apartment complex. The leases say that the contract binds my ‘successors and assigns.” Does this mean that if I have a trust, my trust is bound?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    I have not read your estate planning papers but generally, if a property is going to go into a trust upon death, the property must already have been titled in the Trust's name. The provisions of the LC are binding on heirs and successors to whoever endorses this LC. If the Trust is not named then this is part of your estate and whoever you have as a beneficiary to your will. If you need help with this further let me know.

  • What do I need to do to gain access to a private road?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 26
    You may have to pursue a court action to obtain an easement by necessity. Courts may grant this type of easement if the access is absolutely necessary to reach the landlocked parcel and there has been some original intent to provide the lot with access. The current access you have may be too burdensome, however, if this access is recorded or meant to be the access point, you may have difficulty proving an easement by necessity. Like so many legal issues, further investigation into case law by a real estate attorney seems to be more than appropriate here - gleaning internet information is no substitute for competent legal skill, experience and knowledge.

  • How do I get my contractor to finish the work after closing on the house?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 26
    Time to get a new contractor.. It seems this is less a legal matter than it is a lesson on how "not to do business." You need to find another contractor. If he has taken money from you and has not done the work, then perhaps your option would be to take him to small claims court. Otherwise, save your sanity and find someone else. Good luck.

  • Two people on the deed can i get a collateral without the consent of the other people

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 20
    Your documents should be reviewed by a real estate attorney to confirm is your mother had signed off on the mortgage. If you are both on the deed, and you have defaulted, then the lender has the ability to foreclose on the property.

  • Can I use a private road that runs through a neighbor's property to access my property without permission?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 15
    You could use it but you would be considered a trespasser. You may be able to obtain the right to use the "road" through easement by prescription Similar to adverse possession, you must use the portion of a parcel of land in a manner that is open and obvious to the land owner and it must be consistent use for a certain number of years. You would need to file and action only after you had a real estate attorney review and opine on all of your documents.

  • What is legal definition of 'market rent'?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 9
    "Market rent" is an issue of fact that is defined by the comparative market analysis for rents in your area for your particular style and size of property. If you chose to fight your LL on this poorly defined provision, then consider the difference between what you believe current market rental rate is in your community and what the LL is charging. If the difference is greater than the costs of an attorney to dispute this lease provision, then it may be worth pursuing.

  • What happens to the Mortgage on a Home when there are 2- 100% Owners as the Deed states and the 1 owner that has the Mtg passes

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 9
    The lender cannot simply foreclose on a property where there is a death of a co-owner of a mortgaged property, or where a transfer occurs after the death from the decedent to a spouse or to their children. However, if one does not continue to pay on the mortgage, the lender can foreclose.

  • I want To know if can recover any thing I got rip off by a realitor

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 2
    In the end, you control your own deal. If you did not want to sign the agreement, you did not have to sign the contract. You could file a complaint with LARA - State of MI, but being from out state now, it will only serve as a complaint. Suing the realtor is an option if you had better evidence of malfeasance. However, it seems from the facts that you present, that you only took an offer that you are now later regretting.

  • How long do I have to wait before I can sell a property (get clear title) after a Land Contract Forfeiture?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 2
    You have to wait until the 90 day redemption period is over. You could have the court declare the property abandoned, however, depending how far along you are in the redemption period, it may not be cost effective. A court hearing might be scheduled soon before the redemption would have expired anyways. You do have the right to inspect and protect your property during the redemption. As for selling the property, there isn't a title company that I am aware of that will insure over title when property still in redemption. A way to close it would be to have the LC buyer provide you with a QC deed - canceling any further property interest.

  • Can a prospective landlord ask to "inspect" my current residence before renting to me in Michigan?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 25
    I an aware if landlords that drive by a tenant's current home to inspect the upkeep when making a decision to lease. You do not have to comply with this request, but then there is nothing illegal about the landlord refusing to rent to you provided that it is not based on any protected class under federal law and fair housing laws. (Race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, or marital status.)

  • Which is best to have a quit deed or warranty deed

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 24
    It depends on what type of warranties and assurances you wish to receive from seller and what representations you wish to make to the buyer / child. You should have a title search reviewed by an attorney as this definitely help in your decision. Here is a recent article on Quit Claim deeds that I just published. Perhaps this will help. Why Quit Claims Are Like Bad Tattoos https://www.provenresource.com/quitclaimgonebad

  • Can I have recourse against the prior owner of my home for a maintenance issue?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 24
    Under the Michigan Seller Disclosure Act, it is very unlikely that this is a defect that should have been disclosed. Definitely sounds unusual, but unless the Seller knew that this was an issue that affected the structural or mechanical condition of the property, I'd say your moneyis better spent on the new paint than hiring an attorney.

  • Looking to build on lot that has contiguous property water and sewer lines running through it, no easements.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 19
    The utilities for sewer and water lines most likely have an easement. Make sure you conduct a title search and it should appear on title. Contact the municipality where the property is located because you will need to coordinate with these officials when you replace or run new sewer and water lines. Your facts require more information as to how the other lot is situated but I am not clear how your neighbor would be responsible for paying for the removal of the old lines absent specific provisions found int the approval for the previous split.

  • Do I have to give my tenant the full 30 days to move out?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 19
    Because they are behind on rent, you can give them a 7 day notice to quit for the back rent. You will still have to go to court if they do not pay or they do not leave. If you were terminating their tenancy because you are saying that the lease term has expired, (Month to Month ) then you will have to give them 30 days to vacate.

  • I was sued by a collection agency for a bank account that was overdrawn. I was never served about this. Is there anything I can do

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 13
    Based upon the facts that you have presented it seems that you will have to motion the court for Relief from Judgment. You will have to show the court 'good cause' and that you had a 'meritorious' defense. Basically, you would have to show the judge reasons why the plaintiff case would not have won. However before you do that you have to show the court 'good cause" - a reasonable excuse as to why you did not respond to the summons or that there was a substantial defect in the process itself. This is where you start. If you can meet these requirements, then you may have an opportunity to set aside the judgement.

  • Is it legal for a realtor in Michigan to give his entire commission to his buyer at closing?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 12
    Yes. It is legal. Realtors can credit or reduce their commission to the buyer or even seller in a closing to cover closing costs. This should not be confused with a real estate agent sharing their commission with a unlicensed person, which is illegal. Also "kick backs" are a violation under federal law / RESPA. For instance, a title company cannot pay the realtor a fee for referring a seller or buyer. Still this would be different than a title company reducing or waiving their closing fee for a buyer or seller.

  • What are our legal rights when sister refuses buy out on our house

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 10
    This is a frequent problem, where one owner contributes to the maintenance and upkeep of a property and another co owner does not. It would be stand to reason that whatever "contribution" that was made is reimbursed at the time of sale of a property. However, lack of written provisions to the contrary, you may be stuck with the expenses, especially if you want your sister off the deed. You may have to go to court for something called a partition action, which can be brought to divide the property into individual shares among the owners, allowing you to move forward with your share independently. It is an action in equity and if your sister continues to be obstructive, it may be your only recourse.

  • How can I avoid paying penalty for a government land program because my neighbor wants to run utilities down an easement?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 4
    First, I am surprised that you were not aware of the responsibilities /accountability of easement owner when you took title to the property late last year. Easements are regulated by agreements that should be filed with the county in which the property sits. Second, there are laws that prevent an easement from being over burdened or misused and contrary to the easement terms, and after the easement is issued. A real estate attorney would need to see ALL of the relevant documents pertaining to your situation before they could guide you.

  • What are the laws in Michigan concerning prorating the rent? Can I be charged for a whole month if I only lived here 2 weeks?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 4
    Leases are written contracts that have provisions that regulate the parties relationship between them. If there is a provision concerning proration of rent, then it should be there. Otherwise,it would seem that your monthly rent covers the entire month regardless if you decide to move in middle of a month.

  • Can we ask the seller of our new house, as of 2 weeks, to pay for repair of a flooded back yard?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jan 18
    Definitely problematic. Disclosure issues are one of the top reasons for disputes after a real estate closing. If you have seller endorsed disclosure documents stating that there were no known problems with basement / water, then you may a case against your seller for damages. Also, there are issues of fraud and concealment that may allow for even more damages.

  • Can a landlord collect rent if the certificate of occupancy is expired?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jan 2
    If your municipality requires a certificate of occupancy and the land lord does not obtain one, then the violation is a matter between the authorities and the landlord. That you have been living there for such a significant period of time without the city/township tagging the property demonstrates how serious the authorities are in enforcing their code. As for damages, it is very unlikely that you will prevail as you still derived a benefit from living there. One could argue (devils advocate) that you too violated the ordinance as you should not be living there without the C of O.

  • If your landlord lets someone store items in your business location, is that a breach of your lease?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 30, 2016
    Lease provisions prevail and if there are no terms that allow for such action, it may be a breach. The question is how have you been damaged. If you have evidence of higher heating bill and can provide evidence that the items were stored in your leased space, then you may have a a basis for an action. Contact an attorney to review the lease.

  • What can I do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 21, 2016
    Unless stated otherwise, the provisions of your written contract prevail. While you may not have seriously considered the completion time or other important items at the time you endorsed the agreement, now is the time to take the contract to an attorney so that they can put the contractor on notice of your legal rights and set expectations.

  • Hi I'm being taken to court because of nonpayment of rent but I haven't paid rent because I don't believe he owns this property

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 21, 2016
    While you may suspect being scamming in a con known as "lease scraping" (Scam artist represent that they are the property owner collecting rent and disappearing once the true home owner returns or the lender repossesses a home) you should verify title using professionals. If you can't afford a lawyer, at the very least, he county register of deeds to confirm ownership. Until then, you risk being evicted for non payment of rent. Otherwise contact an attorney.

  • What can I do if I have a default judgment?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 15, 2016
    You have a default judgment that needs to be set aside. You have to file your motion to set this aside within a very short time frame. Seems like you may have had a valid defense. By filing the motion to set aside the default, you may be able to get this resolved in your favor.

  • Sister trustee, me 50 o/o of the will, sister won't talk, says it is none of my business, My mom died on Sept. 5, 2016

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 14, 2016
    Unfortunately you will most likely have to have a court intervene. Consult with a probate attorney as soon as you can.

  • What should I do about this?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 14, 2016
    If he is the manager and not the owner, contact the owner. As for his text, I believe you would want to take that to the authorities.

  • I sold a house land contract 50% down for 29k The buyer had 775 credit I think of sell the other 1/2 of the land contract agreem

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 12, 2016
    Seller financing using land contracts is now regulated by federal law - Dodd -Frank. So your question- "What could go wrong" when using a land contract, is a pretty broad question. Generally, if you are out of state, or if you have never created a land contract using professional legal services, this is a good time to consult with a Michigan real estate attorney. What would be "fair" is based upon what two parties agree to, provided that the provisions of the land contract are enforceable. There is a reason for the old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

  • Can I change the locks on my apartment in Michigan after I have given someone an order to evict within 7 days, or do I have to

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 11, 2016
    Nope you cannot lock him out. There are legal penalties for 'lock out' without first going through the eviction process. Continue with the 7 day notice and pursue in court, even if you think he abandoned his belongings.

  • Squatters or Renters?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 11, 2016
    Unfortunately, they are now renters. They have to be sued for possession. Send out a 7 day notice. Since you are 'strapped for cash" it is a procedure that you can do yourself. If you are out of state however, you will need to retain a representative / attorney. Good luck.
    When do I have to notify the mortgage company of my Mom's passing if I am not looking to keep the house?

  • My mother passed away with no will. My sister and I are not looking to go through probate, because the house is worth 66K and my mom owed 58K, however we would like to get her belongings removed from the house. I would like 3 months to remove he...

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 7, 2016
    If you do nothing, the home will go to foreclosure. It will take a lot longer than the 3 months that you anticipate you will need to move out items. 3 months for pre foreclosure process and then another 6 months for the redemption after sheriff sale. An easier way to accomplish your goal is to have a personal representative of an estate, (not much money) to contact lender and make arrangements.

  • Can I be sued for not putting up cabinets in a rental home when there was no legal obligation to do so?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 3, 2016
    Your lease agreement will have provisions that control your relationship and your legal obligations. Have your lease reviewed by a real estate attorney.

  • I'm the owner of | Polgar Tree Service & Removal LLC | a home owner signed and agreed to remove a tree for $3000.00 dollars.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 3, 2016
    You will need to elaborate on how you solicit / contract with these homeowners. If you have a copy of your estimate/ agreement, feel free to submit. You should have an attorney review these documents. Also, it wouldn't hurt to get a deposit from your prospective clients.

  • How can I report real estate fraud?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 2, 2016
    Your real estate agent is supposed to represent your best interests. You should contact their broker if you are having concerns about their service. If you are not satisfied thereafter, then you should escalate the matter to a real estate attorney. You can also contact the state licensing authorities and file a complaint.

  • My lease was up two years ago, I have been paying month to month with no written contract can I be sued for nonpayment?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Dec 2, 2016
    When you lease expired and you remained, your term went month to month. You are obligated to make the same monthly payment. As for being compelled to sign a new lease, you don't have to do so, but then because you are on a month to month lease, your term expires every 30 days. The LL can then evict you for possession and back rent.

  • Can you sue someone who used you for money?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 28, 2016
    If you had verbal agreement about lending money, you can try to sue. It will be your word against his. A signed written agreement is encouraged.

  • Can repo man discuss your information with neighbors and landlord?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 28, 2016
    But for asking your general whereabouts or confirming an address the answer is 'no."

  • Can the landlord bring charges on me if I took a Ac out of a house were I rent a room

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 26, 2016
    If the AC belonged to the LL, absent any permission, you have disposed of their property. If you have a written lease, there may be provisions that allow you to remove AC --temporarily.

  • Can he take our truck?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 26, 2016
    If you have your new agreement in writing, you should be fine if you met the provisions of your written agreement. If you have a verbal agreement, then it is your word against his. You should seek services of an attorney.

  • What are my Buyers rights?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 23, 2016
    If you mean that the seller arbitrarily moved the fence line contrary to location surveys and filed legal descriptions, then 'no' there is nothing the Seller can do to change that without municipal approval or court approval. Easement by prescription is a legal theory that allows for an easement over another's land but only after years of open and continuous use by the person claiming it. It also needs to be awarded through court action. If seller did not notify you of a pending 'easement by prescription" matter, then there are disclosure issues as well. You need to speak with an attorney for more details.

  • Is it possible to get approved for a reschedule court date on the morning of court?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 23, 2016
    It is up to the judge. You should have a VERY COMPELLING reason to miss a court date. You should contact the clerk of courts and let them know you will not be attending and give the reason. You will most likely have to request an 'adjournment' or if the case is dismissed, move to open re open case. "Compelling" is an understatement.

  • Month to Month Agreement in Michigan

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 19, 2016
    I agree with my colleague Mr. Powe. However, remember to provide written notice by registered or certified mail. You may need this for court.

  • What can I do I got served saying that I'm being sued cause I withdraws my application to buy a house

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 19, 2016
    The provisions of your purchase agreement prevail and without knowing more about your specific purchase agreement, generally, you can withdraw your offer if the home does not pass inspection, you do not secure financing for a mortgage or any other contingency. However, you have to notify the seller usually in writing that you will not be moving forward with your purchase. Seller still has to mitigate (reduce) their damages, and they have to put the home back on the market. Consult with a real estate attorney to review your purchase agreement.

  • When is it considered harassment from a bill collector?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 13, 2016
    First, you need to know if it is the creditor themselves that are calling you or a third party calling in. While it sounds as if your original creditor is calling you, a third party bill collector must comply with the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, which does limit when and how a debtor is to be called and treated. Too lengthy to go into particulars here, but in general, you can tell the creditor, that under the FDCPA, they must stop calling you. Write time and date of that statement to creditor. It is actionable after the 2nd time they call in after you tell them to cease their calls.

  • Is it effective to email a breach in contract letter to a car dealership.?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 13, 2016
    Certified mail or certificate of mailing is the best way to prove that you noticed another party. More importantly, what is required by the provisions of the contract. Even if you could prove that your email was sent and received, if the contract required you to provide notice through another method, it will be unlikely that you can prevail on the notice issue.

  • Can I sign a lease for someone because their credit did not go through this person pays their rent

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 7, 2016
    Signing a lease on behalf of someone else makes you a co-signer, obligating you on the rent in the event that the tenant fails to make the payment. You are obligated on all the provisions of the lease, not just the payment provisions. Consider what this will do to your own credit and how your personal financial situation will be affected now and in the future.

  • What can my landlord do to me if I break my lease and move out 7 months early, in Michigan.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 7, 2016
    First, you the provisions of the lease control the relationship and an attorney would need to see the provisions of your lease. Generally, breaking the lease early will obligate the tenant on their rent. However, land lord has obligation to mitigate their damages by making property available for lease.

  • Do I have the right to get my deposit back if I never sign a lease?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 2, 2016
    Highly unlikely. Without anything in writing, she could claim that you gave her a non'refundable fee to hold the unit. This is why people need to reduce their agreements to writing, especially in real estate. You could go to small claims court.

  • What are the next steps we should take, as landlords, now that our tenant hasn't moved out of our condo on her move out date?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 2, 2016
    I agree with my colleague, but would only add that you should photograph the tenant's personal items, set them in a safe place and send a notice to any forwarding address, in the event that she claims she was coming back to pick up items. You have the right to secure and repair any thing in the unit, but again photograph the 'before and after' repairs and deduct from security deposit.

  • Does a MI attorney need a real estate broker's license to be a property management company?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Nov 1, 2016
    I am both a real estate attorney and a licensed real estate broker. If your duties are primarily real estate management and sales, but not legally related, then you need to have a real estate broker's license. Generally speaking, having a law license does not exempt an attorney from being licensed in another profession if the primary activity is not the practice of law. This is true in real estate, as well as in lending, property management, insurance, etc.

  • Can i fight this lien? Does me writing the "paid in full" protect me? What about not getting Any notice?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 30, 2016
    One would have to see any documentation related to this matter. But there are laws that regulate when liens for work performed can be placed upon your property. Additionally, this matter from your fact pattern seems that it can be negotiated. Definitely provide documents.

  • How are they allowed to drag this out for this long? How is this even allowed to happen??

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 30, 2016
    While there is a real estate element in your narrative, this is not a real estate matter. Seek the advice of a criminal attorney right away. Good luck.

  • Landlord hasn't fixed building's heat in years. What can I do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 28, 2016
    The landlord is to provide you with a 'habitable' place to live. It is implied warranty in your agreement / lease called the "warranty of habitability." If he is not providing proper heat, you and your neighbors should seek assistance of an attorney, especially since this is an on going problem. There are several things that you can do to impress upon LL that you must have heat.

  • Can someone please help me? How to write a Arbitration Clause rejection letter? And what do they mean by DESCRIBE THE CONTRACT?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 23, 2016
    State in a letter that you "reject the arbitration clause" and reference the contract name, date and the names of the parties. You can also send copy of contract along with the letter. Keep a copy for your records.

  • House bought cash my wife and I both on the deed. Can I be taken off at any time without knowing?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 23, 2016
    In Michigan, a person cannot 'disenfranchise" their spouse by selling a primary residence without the spouse's approval, which comes in the form of that spouse's signature on a deed to a third party purchaser.

  • Can a creditor come after you, after they have sent you a cancellation of debt 1099-c form?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 21, 2016
    In short, no. "Cancellation" is the operative word. It sounds like the debt may have been sold to a third party note buyer, otherwise the lender that issued the 1099 C has erred. See www.debtloanlaw.com for more information and consult with an attorney to end this.

  • How do I get current tenants out of the house that I just purchased?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 21, 2016
    Based on your facts, as month to month tenants they need to be evicted. Since they say they will be out on 11 /13, it may be more cost effective to wait since completing a court action will take at least 30 days.

  • Question about property forfeiture. Landlord lost home to foreclosure. Do I have to still pay the landlord?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 19, 2016
    From your fact pattern, it sounds like you are saying she lost the property to 'tax foreclosure." If this is the case, she no longer has an interest in the property and can't evict. However, if the landlord still has her interest in the property (she may have been given the right to still redeem the property tax delinquency in Wayne County) then this will not negate your obligation to the Landlord under the lease.

  • Will i be responsible for foreclosure property was purchased before marriage, I'm on deed not mortgage

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 19, 2016
    No. If you did not sign on the promissory note you are not obligated to the bank.

  • Will I have to pay court fees since my landlord is trying to take us to court?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 19, 2016
    If you are on the lease, you will be named in any landlord suit, at least you should be. Also, if you lose your case, the court most likely will assess court costs. This happens in Landlord tenant matters. Sometimes, having an experience real estate attorney can cut through the problem without going to court. May be worth the investment

  • Questions about an agreement to sign with a realtor for the sale of my land

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 18, 2016
    Your purchase agreement will dictate what is included in the property sale. You do have a fact pattern that is less typical for the average real estate agent to address. To ensure that your intent for the carriage house wood is protected, consult with a real estate attorney. Real estate agents are NOT attorneys and cannot give you legal advice. See attached article: https://www.provenresource.com/5-myths-buyers-and-sellers-have-when-working-with-a-real-estate-agent Item 4.

  • Is a Cosigner still responsible when you renew the lease(Apartment) Without them?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 18, 2016
    Good question. The lease terms was for 12 months. The co-signor's obligation was for that particular lease. To avoid any issues at a later date, DO NOT extend the lease. Have a NEW lease issued for the newest term. See this article which addresses some of your concerns. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11337434.htm

  • Can i get current dead papers voided?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 16, 2016
    If you were 18 at the time your mother endorsed your name on the deed, you can challenge the validity of the transfer. You did not state if there was a trust so I am assuming there wasn't, because if one existed that could change the fact pattern. Definitely consult with a real estate attorney.

  • Am I legally responsible to pay rent for a joint lease that ends 11/1/16 if I give 30 days notice?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 16, 2016
    Generally, if the lease expires on 11/1/16, then there is no further obligation however, if the provisions of the lease require notice you are obligated to provide notice. I would have to see the terms of the lease, but I believe your landlord is correct in this instance. The divorce decree may also address who is responsible for rent as well during the contract period which ends shortly anyways.

  • What type of lawyer would I talk to about a summons and complaint from a debt collectors lawyer?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 14, 2016
    If you cannot afford a lawyer, then legal aid or a legal clinic at a university may help. Given your financial circumstances, if you are not collectible, it seems unproductive for the creditor attorney to pursue you. Reconsider speaking with a bankruptcy attorney since they file bankruptcy for people who are insolvent. Some bankruptcy attorneys charge nothing to get process started. In the end, don't sit on your rights, get a legal aid attorney.

  • Are verbal agreements binding in Michigan?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 14, 2016
    When it comes to any promises related to real estate, make sure you get it in writing. Called the Statute of Frauds, only written agreements in real estate are enforceable. Based your facts as presented it does not seem that you will prevail against your land lord. For more info see this article: http://bit.ly/2e2Tmbq

  • What do i do when I have a garnishment

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 9, 2016
    You stated that you "made a payment." Depending on the amount of the balance owed, it is very possible to negotiate a settlement even though you have a judgment against you. Seek professional assistance to do it the proper way. You may be able to get the interest waived or reduced. Www.Debtloanlaw.com

  • Tenant\landlord...

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 9, 2016
    Generally, based upon your brief description, you should take the notice to a real estate attorney to confirm the accounting. If you paid the balance in full, either the new notice crossed in the mail or there is an office /administrative accounting problem. An attorney's involvement can get to the bottom of it fast.

  • How to reply to a summons for a debt collection that passed statute of limitations

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 4, 2016
    I agree with my colleagues but caution you that if you did make any payments within the last four years, then the SOL is not a valid defense. There are other defenses that you may have when it comes to debt buyers. Contact an attorney who specializes in consumer debt law.

  • What to do about eviction?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 4, 2016
    If you can get on a payment plan, that would be your best bet. You already paid down 50% of your judgment. Your creditor should be able to work with you on the other $500. Borrow the money if you can.

  • How should I handle this situation legally, and what steps should I take

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 1, 2016
    If he doesn't own the property, he may not have the right to rent it out unless he is a designated agent of the landlord. He could represent a property management company. There are many leasing scams out there called 'lease skimming." Verify ownership or agency before you pay any additional rent.

  • What do i do?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 1, 2016
    You sound like a good person, but your friend's problem is not your landlord's problem. If rent is due and you do not have the monies, work out a payment plan with your Landlord. Otherwise, you will be evicted pursuant to the terms of the lease.

  • CAN I Break my lease

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 30, 2016
    Sounds like your landlord breached the warranty of habitability which is implied in every lease. However you should be able to document IN WRITING the problems and that you provided the landlord with appropriate notice as required by the lease before you leave. Consult with a real estate attorney.

  • How do i file a illegal eviction case in flint mich

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 29, 2016
    Is there a lease? Self Help actions by landlords have financial consequences and so does DIY on pursuing such a matter. Consult with a competent Landlord Tenant attorney before you take any steps to file.

  • Can I be evicted from my housing i share with my husband over antidepressants? And if so how long can I legally stay?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 29, 2016
    This requires further review of your lease documents. Seek an attorney's review before you proceed further.

  • What is the definition of Dedicated Private Road

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 28, 2016
    This could be a "private road agreement" between you and another party, or it could mean that the County has designated this road as being a road that they recognize exists, but is not being serviced by the municipalities - that the homeowner or surrounding homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of the road. You need to have a real estate attorney review these documents for a better determination of what you have there.

  • How long does a defaulted HELOC stay on your credit report? What can we do to get it removed?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 28, 2016
    A foreclosure will remain on your credit report usually for ( 7 ) SEVEN years. However, if you are trying to secure new financing for a home, it will affect your ability to get a new mortgage for about 3 years. That means most underwriters will look at the foreclosure and the circumstances surrounding same before considering to approve a loan. There must be something else that you are having issues with. Feel free to call a real estate and finance attorney before you pay anyone to do any credit repair or new mortgage applications.

  • Can I get out of a solar contract?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 27, 2016
    I am not so sure that this is a "tax issue" as it is a contracts issue. Generally speaking, you must have a 'meeting of the minds" to have a valid contract. If were given information that was knowingly false and you did not have an obligation to very the information, then you may be able to void the contract. You should contact a local contract / business attorney. The amount of your investment is indicative of the need for a good attorney.

  • Tenant problems

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 27, 2016
    Magic words, "month to month". Even if you have no written lease, you must follow the law and evict him accordingly. You cannot perform self help and lock him out. Give him appropriate notice (usually 30 days) to leave, or begin eviction. Consult with a real estate attorney.

  • In Michigan, can a Landlord require tenants to pay rent by automatic transfer?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 26, 2016
    Written lease provisions prevail. Have an attorney review the lease agreement. Make sure that you pay your rent by check or money order while you are 'disputing' their assertion. Good luck.

  • Can you collect rent on foreclosed house in mich

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 11, 2016
    Common problem. Once tenants learn that their rental property is in foreclosure, they will stop paying. However, their interest is subject to a lease and the lease is still valid until the redemption period expires. The LL can still evict the tenants. You would need to provide more information concerning file to an experienced real estate attorney.

  • I have had a large billboard sign on a corner advertising my business for over 50 years. Do I have a prescriptive easement?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 11, 2016
    One of the key elements to your fact pattern that suggest you do not have and easement by prescription is that you have been issued "sign permits by the state for over 30 years." If this was an individual, 'granting permission' defeats claims of adverse possession or claims of easements by prescription. Also, this being a government entity makes your assertions almost impossible. An experienced real estate attorney should review your documents / surveys / permits etc.

  • Can they send me to collections for a refund?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 6, 2016
    Wow. Provided that you are not currently using the logo the company designed for you, I am not aware how they would have a cause of action --however, the terms of your agreement would have to be reviewed first.
    Contract theories apply here so hire an attorney should they continue to pursue you.

  • aWho's l liability is after purchasing a house three weeks ago now I find a problem in the basement with leaking rod holes

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 6, 2016
    You can go after the seller if he failed to disclose known water leaks in the basement. Especially if seller covered up the leaks. It would be fraud. Would need to see the purchase documents that you signed.

  • RocketLawyer, do they have the document I need?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 2, 2016
    I love when people use on line forms from on line legal directory. For non-lawyers it's like practicing law in a vacuum. For me, online DIY legal form mills are "the gift that keeps on giving."

  • Michigan what is the length of time to establish adverse possession and once established does it carry through to new owners ?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 2, 2016
    Adverse possession time frame in Michigan is 15 years. Before the 15 years elapses, the quickest and easiest way to defeat an adverse possession claim is to provide written notice to the other party that they either do or do not have permission to use the property at issue. Your "permission" is key. Make sure you send notice certified.

  • Can a landlord charge a whole months rent when I moved in the middle of the month?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 1, 2016
    Without a lease, you are just a month to month tenant. What was your and your landlord's understanding? (Caution: Anything that was verbally stated concerning your tenancy is not very helpful.) You should have a written lease to memorialize both parties expectations. If you withhold rent, you could face eviction.

  • Can The home owner of the house that I live in change the locks without notifying me?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 31, 2016
    If the landlord's intent is to put you out of the home, then It is illegal for a landlord to change the locks. They may be subject to penalties by the court. An illegal lock-out does not have to just be by changing the locks, it can also occur when the landlord shuts off utilities. Contact an attorney.

  • Is the easement on my property legal.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 30, 2016
    If the easement was approved by the city before the foreclosure, then it remains a valid easement. However, your facts are inconsistent in that he did not transfer the parcel legally. More detailed information such as a location survey and title work would be very helpful.

  • What do you do when your getting sued for credit card debt? Whats the next step to take?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 29, 2016
    In general, if you feel you don't owe the amount, then you will need to have an attorney. If you do owe the amount, but can't pay the balance, perhaps you can save the money on an attorney, and negotiate a new balance and payment on that balance with the creditor.

  • Do I have to pay?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 23, 2016
    You need to notify the LL according to the lease terms. Make sure you deposit your rent in an escrow account designated for LL. Wounds as if LL breached agreement under warranty of habitability if mold is affecting health. Consult with a real estate attorney.

  • How do I know if I have squatters?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 23, 2016
    Squatters are enter properties uninvited and are trespassers. Seems like that at one time, your tenants had a verbal month to month lease and were invited. They are "hold over tenants" and you should proceed with an eviction.

  • Can I evict tenant before lease is up?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 22, 2016
    The provisions of the lease would need to be reviewed by qualified counsel to determine if you have a "sufficient" cause of action. Seek the assistance of a real estate attorney.

  • How can my landlord evict me if my apartment isnt certified?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 20, 2016
    By certified, I take it you mean that the home does not have a certificate of occupancy. That will between the municipality and the LL. Until then, you have an obligation under the lease to make your payments.

  • How can I stop a default judgement?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 19, 2016
    With qualified legal help you can always file a motion with the court to set aside the judgement. Among other things, the court will consider whether you had a valid legal defense, how your conduct created the default, and how the plaintiff in the case will be affected. You have a year to file the motion. Courts do not set aside judgments lightly so seriously consider hiring an attorney.

  • Can I void my rental lease with no recourse or fee if the lease is written wrong?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 19, 2016
    Generally, for a contract to be valid, there must be a meeting of the minds. When both parties to a contract (lease is a contract) make an agreement both make a mistake of an essential fact such as the subject property address, the lease can be voided. There are defenses to this theory such as whether you moved into the contemplated property, or turned on utilities to the same property. You should take the lease to a qualified real estate attorney for review.

  • What evidence do I need to successfully sue our home inspector for failing to disclose serious structural issues?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 15, 2016
    I agree with the other two attorneys and only add that if the condition of the floors was obvious to you at the time, you should have investigated further. Generally speaking a home inspectors liability is limited by contract, to the amount that you paid them. Take your contract to a real estate attorney for review to be certain.

  • I'm on the deed but not the mortgage can I be removed?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 15, 2016
    Based on your facts, he cannot remove you from the deed. If you are not on the mortgage, that indicates you waived your 'dower rights" and so if the mortgage goes unpaid, then you could risk losing title in the event of a foreclosure. Otherwise, barring a divorce decree to the contrary, you should be fine.

  • Sold home owned under LLC to son on land contract. Now want to gift remainder to him and get deed recorded in his name.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 12, 2016
    This is relatively straight forward. You and you son can mutually agree to cancel the land contract. There are exemptions to transfer tax that you can utilize for this anticipated transfer.

  • Can I still object a debt ammout?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Sep 11, 2016
    Generally, verbal agreements are not worth the paper they're written on. The value of having an attorney in legal disputes has become underappreciated with the advent of online legal forums and DIY legal form mills. Go get your own attorney to properly negotiate a resolution.

  • HOA debt settlement?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 28, 2016
    Generally, HOAs do not negotiate the outstanding balance of what is due to them as they have a lien on the property. However, they may work with you on accepting payments over time towards the outstanding balance. If you get a letter from the HOA, you should ask if they will work with you on a payment plan. If their attorney contact you, its best to have your OWN attorney speak with them and negotiate a payment plan.

  • Is an email a legal document for termination of a lease?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 28, 2016
    Sending ad email as a form of "notice to quit" l is not considered legal notice. The internet in this event, is insufficient. .

  • Can you sell a house to someone when the house has a life lease on it?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 28, 2016
    You will want a real estate attorney to review the deed. This is a complicated area concerning drafting and the intent of the grantor. There are countless legal cases concerning Life Estates and rules certain legal theories and rules against certain deed restrictions. Definitely contact an attorney.

  • What are the stages of a civil rights investigation (landlord/tenant)? What should I watch out for? Approx attorney fees?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 26, 2016
    You need to contact the US Department of Housing and Urban Development "HUD". You need to ensure that you have all of your facts listed with time and dates of alleged events. Under the Fair Housing Act you need to be a "protected class" ie. race, religion, ethnic background or national origin, sex, and disability. Sexual orientation is a protected class. This really should be filed with the local housing authority in your municipality and they can do an investigation. Additionally, this is more or less a Civil Rights question than a real estate question, although they do overlap. Good luck.

  • Can I have my mother sign a quick claims deed for the house to me my dad has dementia and mom has power of attorney over can she

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 26, 2016
    Generally, the power of attorney must address the right to deed that specific property. In Michigan, the power of attorney must be filed with the County in which the property sits. Hope this helps with your "Q U I T C L A I M."

  • Is it a requirement for a seller of a property to disclose that the home needs flood Insurance?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 21, 2016
    If you are in a flood zone, it should be disclosed. If you were selling a home, you would have to disclose this fact. You should do the same in a lease.

  • In an After Foreclosure Redemption, do you have to pay the Mortgage company anything or just buy the property back.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 21, 2016
    After the redemption period expires, if you wish to purchase the property back, you need to approach the foreclosing lender or the investor who purchased the sheriff's deed at the sale. It is not automatic. Your rights have been extinguished. If the investor wants to sell the home back you, you will need to negotiate price and terms. Otherwise, prepare for an eviction.

  • What can I do to ensure overpayment on garnishment is returned?on Aug 19, 2016 Your creditor / garnishor can only collect what is due an owing to them. You can provide them with your ledger of what has been paid to date under then garnishment. If you have overpaid and they refuse to return the monies, contact their attorney first. If their attorney does not respond, then you should contact your own attorney.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 19, 2016
    Your creditor / garnishor can only collect what is due an owing to them. You can provide them with your ledger of what has been paid to date under then garnishment. If you have overpaid and they refuse to return the monies, contact their attorney first. If their attorney does not respond, then you should contact your own attorney.

  • Do I stand a chance in small claims court

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 19, 2016
    The provisions of your contract will dictate. What were your obligations to provide notice of cancellation and what were their obligations to provide notification of your default. You should have an attorney review the contract further.

  • Being evicted wrongfully about a altercation that I nor my occupants on my lease were involved . Can that happen?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 19, 2016
    Based upon your facts as presented, I am bewildered as to how you would be evicted for something you were not involved with. You would need to elaborate further and provide a copy of the lease to an attorney.

  • My ex landlord asked for change in venue in a suit.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 18, 2016
    I am not sure how much your security deposit was or what was written in the lease with regards to venue. However, it seems to me that this would be heard in the District Court, You would need to provide more information.

  • Will a court force someone to sign a settlement agreement that is inaccurate and/or incomplete?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 17, 2016
    Generally, the answer "NO." No one will force you to endorse a settlement agreement. In fact, at time of settlement, most courts require that you appear before them and the judge will ask you under oath, if you understand the terms of the settlement agreement and that you voluntarily enter into the agreement. If you have any reservations or concerns, then do not endorse the agreement.

  • Could a lawyer help interpret the city code regarding a person living in a RV in the backyard?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 17, 2016
    Item 3 permits that the unit be "stored" on the property of a one family residential dwelling. Good luck.
    David

  • Paid off, Home w/ 1 Acre.Both Parents Passed. But Mom has her name & Son & Daughter on Quick Claim Deed.Need Mom's name off.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 17, 2016
    The best thing you can do is to provide copy of the QCD to a real estate attorney to review. You don't state how your mother's name shows on the QCD. Also, will need to know the title history after the specific deed you refer to was endorsed. Were there subsequent deeds on title? Was there a will? Your question requires more information for a real estate attorney to review.

  • Can I sell house while under a land contract?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 23, 2016
    The land contract terms control but generally speaking you should be able to do so. If there are profits to be made, coordinating this will take a professional assistance from a real estate attorney/ professional. Otherwise your current land contract seller could take advantage of the situation. Good luck!

  • Can a landlord tell you what you can do with the yard that comes along with the rental?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 1, 2016
    Generally, what a tenant can and cannot do with a leased property is specified in the written lease itself. Otherwise, local ordinances can restrict how a property is used. Take a look at the lease terms first for restrictions on use.

  • How do we do a quit claim ?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Apr 3, 2016
    A quit claim deed is but one type of deed that one can use to transfer real estate. It is a very easy form to complete. However, while the form may be straight-forward, the circumstances surrounding the transaction need to be examined. The grantor of a quit claim makes no representations as to the marketability of the title. They are giving whatever interest they have in the property ---which could be nothing, or it could be loaded with liens and other title problems. Accepting a quit claim for a property means that the grantee agrees to take the property with all the title deficiencies with it. It's best to have a real estate attorney review the title and understand what you are trying to accomplish by using a QCD. There may be better transfer documents that warrant the quality of title.

  • Who pays for a survey when someone is disputing property borders?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 31, 2015
    In general, whoever disputes the property line boundaries should obtain a location survey. They usually run about $150. You may have to have a metes and bounds survey that can be quite costly. But before even considering ordering another survey, the survey you ordered years ago should suffice. Also, do you have your owner's title policy on property with a legal description that matches the deed? Things to consider. If it escalates you should consult with real estate counsel.

  • I have a signed Loan Agreement the Borrower has moved to Georgia refuses to acknowledge the debt. What recourse to I have?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Oct 5, 2015
    Sue the debtor for the balance invoking this provision. You don't have to sue for a judgment in Georgia. You can file in the state in which the contract was executed and where the debtor or lender reside. You have to first obtain a judgment by filing a winning lawsuit. Then you can pursue the debtor. You should also consider the statute of limitations. In general, receipt of last payment in 2011 may only give you until 2017 to collect. Check with your state statutes.

  • Need to know statue of limitations for pursuing against mortgage co. regarding wrongful foreclosure.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Aug 19, 2015
    Generally, challenging the foreclosure should really be brought during the redemption period. Courts have ruled that after the homeowner, does not have standing (right to bring an action) to bring an action after the redemption period has expired because there is no longer a mortgage on the property so there is no further interest. Federal law gives you some remedies through the federal consumer protection act/bureau. At the very least, 2 years from the date of the foreclosure sale would seem the appropriate statute of limitations unless there was a fraud committed.

  • What type of lawyer do I need for being a victim of construction fraud

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 20, 2015
    A real estate attorney or a business attorney should be fine. There are several forums which you could pursue these individuals.

  • Can an IRS debt be reduced without filling out paperwork?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 19, 2015
    Simply stated. No. The process can seem overwhelming and requires tenacity and patience.

  • How can I move out from under a commercial lease?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 14, 2015
    The best way to "move out" is to negotiate an amicable exit with your landlord. Have you considered rent abatement? Which is a reduction in rent instead of leaving altogether. Review your lease with an attorney for any personal liability. Landlord still has to mitigate his damages by reasonably working to lease out vacated rental space. From a practical business approach, if one of the stores is doing "ok," consider keeping that store. Landlord should want a paying tenant in at least one of the stores.

  • How do you know if a loan is secure or unsecure ?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 13, 2015
    In general, when your lender has a lien on the car title, they are named as "lien holder" or "secured party" on the title. If you have the original document of title in hand, you will see this plainly on the title. Some lenders will actually hold the original title and you retain a copy. They will issue you a clear original title when they receive their loan proceeds paid in full. (A credit check is insufficient to determine lien positions.)

  • I may have been scammed in a "Loan" scheme. I borrowed some money from my mother and need to explain what happened. How?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 12, 2015
    I agree with Attorney Nementh's assessment. Notify your bank immediately and file a police report. I would also ad that if any personal information was compromised, (such as SSN) then report a Fraud Alert with the credit reporting agencies such as Trans Union. Good luck.

  • Title company called and said they only charged a 5%realtor fee and it should of been6% so we owe another1%? Signed 21 days ago.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 11, 2015
    How unusual. Title companies usually just place the fees as reviewed and approved by all parties to the transaction which would include agents of the mortgage companies, realty companies, and the buyer and seller themselves. But in the end, the listing agreement is a contract and unless it states otherwise, fees due under the contract would be due regardless of the time and date collected. You should still be able to negotiate a lesser fee out of inconvenience since the equity in the home would have easily satisfied your obligation.

  • My mortgage lender sent me a letter informing me that my payoff was $2000.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jul 2, 2015
    Somewhat disconcerting. You have the right to an accounting from your mortgage lender. Request the accounting and they will have to send to you the amortization schedule from the inception of the loan. If it still is not consistent with what you believe your pay off is, then have them explain it to you. If it is not a sufficient explanation, then I suggest contacting your appropriate state regulators or contact a real estate attorney.

  • Can my father use a Quit Claim Deed to transfer ownership of his home (he owns with no mortgage) to my sister?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jun 30, 2015 Selected as best answer
    He can transfer the property using a quit claim deed. This type of deed transfers whatever interest he has in the home to her. So if it is free and clear (free of any liens or mortgages) there should be no problem. Make sure the deed is recorded in Wayne county after it is endorsed by your father. Good luck.

  • Home Equity Line of credit from a family member

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jun 22, 2015
    You are correct in that you have little security left in the remaining equity. If the first mortgage goes into foreclosure, your lien could get wiped out. However, you can have other assets, if available, secure the lien as well. Finally, since you are already anticipating the risk, if your father no longer has a payment left after a foreclosure on the 200K mortgage, then he should have some money available to pay you back.

  • We are signing a business Promissory note, that we will pay over 3 years. What does the following language mean?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jun 12, 2015
    Pretty strong language. Basically whoever is signing as a guarantor (meaning, as a co-signor, you will pay in the event that the borrower does not pay) waives any right to say they were not notified of the borrower's default. That the lender does not have to do anything to inform the guarantor that a payment is late, or provisions of a contract have not been satisfied by the borrower. Pretty restrictive and the co-signor should be concerned. Commercial loan agreements and financial documents are written for the lender and a majority of the language contained therein is dedicated to what rights the lender has against the borrower in the event of default.

  • Real estate attorney

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Jun 8, 2015
    Before you start your eviction, you should record your quit claim deed. If you don't, a valid defense to the eviction could be that you are not the property owner of record. As grantee of the property you should either have a copy of a lease from the former owner, or the tenant is a month to month tenant. Declare your default and follow the eviction process as answered herein by fellow attorney.

  • My house was built in 1999. After an inspection found out there was lots of problems with the installation

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 29, 2015
    Your question begs more questions. Did you just purchase the home recently and through the inspection process discovered that the roof was installed poorly or did you build the home in 1999 and found at a much later date that the roof was installed poorly? If its the latter situation, there may be some remedies. If this is with regards to a recent purchase of a home and the inspection revealed this defective roof, then you have some recourse. We would need to know more.

  • Can I fight "Quit Clam Deed" if I didn't know what I was signing.... I was tricked by mom and my siblings. it was notarized.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 18, 2015
    Since a notary witnessed your endorsement and you agreed that you signed the deed, I believe it will be difficult to unwind this transaction unless you can prove you were deceived. I would have an attorney review the deed to see that it even has all of the elements of a legal conveyance.

  • Can we walk away from a manufactured hhome in a park, we owe way more than house is worth, and no one will refinance

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 18, 2015
    Before "walking away" you might want to consider approaching the lender to see if they would work with your obligation and modify the balance due. The rate seems quite high. You also might want to run an amortization schedule for this since you have been paying on it for 20 years to make sure all of your payments have been credited properly. If you have paid the balance down by over half of the original note balance, then you have other rights as well. Reconsider 'walking away" until you consult face to face with an attorney. Defaulting on a credit obligation has far reaching consequences.

  • If I spend my mothers credit card after her passing can I be arrested for it ?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 17, 2015
    If you are not a co-signer or authorized user on the account, you shouldn't be using it ---it's theft.

  • I need advise ASAP. I own a hair and tanning salon. The girl I hired as my bookkeeper didn't renew my salon license.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 17, 2015
    Before contacting the state licensing division find out what the regulations are and any penalties for late filing. You will most likely have to pay a fine or late fee. Generally, your stylists have their own licenses. The salon as a business has its own separate license. You can't hide from an honest error, so the best thing to do is contact the state for expediting the paperwork this week with the appropriate fees. If it becomes challenging after that, then you should reach out to a business attorney. Good luck.

  • Ex husband forged my signature on the bank paper work to reduce the interest rate on the mortgage .

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    Sounds more like a statement to me. But I am confused. It sounds more like you are alleging that your ex committed fraud, well, federal bank fraud to be more specific. If he is paying your mortgage as part of your alimony, your allegations would cause him a lot of legal problems. Instead, if you are seeking monies equivalent to the difference between the two mortgage payments consult with a divorce attorney to help you with a post judgment modification on alimony. Your ex wouldn't do you much good sitting in jail.

  • How to write an LLC resolution and/or meeting minutes to appoint a non-member as its authorized signer for Real Estate deals?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 15, 2015
    Your request requires a specific power of attorney referencing the contemplated real estate transaction. Most title companies these days require such a document because of the rampant real estate and mortgage fraud of years past...and to prevent fraud moving forward. A corporate resolution would also be required by the closing agent. You definitely need to sit with a qualified real estate attorney who can give you the proper language to use for all of your real estate transactions.

  • I entered into a land contract in 2008 for$60,000 we are able to refinance we asked for a payoff and it is now $79,000

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 14, 2015
    Advances under a mortgage or land contract are added to the balance and will normally have the contract rate of interest calculated on said advances. Advances can be for taxes, insurance of for anything necessary for the seller to protect their interest in the property. The provisions of a land contract vary with each transaction. You should have your land contract reviewed and have the amortization schedule verified by a legal professional.

  • Got an installment loan with loan me. they don't have a license with CA finance lenders. Is the loan valid?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on May 13, 2015
    First, be careful with licensing requirements. Your lender may have a federal exemption that allows them to operate in various states without a state license. This is because they hold federal licenses or charters (such as a being a bank or banking arm). If that is not the case, then generally, they are not authorized to lend in your state. At the very least, you could rescind the transaction. which means that you would give the money back as if no loan ever existed. They will definitely have a difficult time enforcing their collection activity in a court of law, but it doesn't mean they won't bring an action against you.

  • My daughter signed a lease for a college apartment. The management company did not sign. Is she liable if she does not move in?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 26, 2015
    In general most leases dealing with college housing hold all tenants liable for the entire rent even though each student / tenant agrees to split their share of the rent. You should have an attorney review the lease to determine the most favorable way to proceed.

  • What would be the statute of limitations to sue a guardian who lied about material info at a petition to sell real estate hearin

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 26, 2015
    When real estate is sold, any delinquent property taxes and other liens on the property would have to be paid in order to provide marketable title to purchaser. Regardless of timing, taxes would have been paid at closing.

  • I bought a house on land contract the previous owner let the occupancy permit expired and repairs were never complete it expired

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 20, 2015
    First, if your municipality requires an occupancy permit for new owners or even tenants, and the property does not have the permit, then the home should not be occupied. Second, having a land contract (would need to see the documents) means that you would have legal rights to the property regardless of whether there is an occupancy permit. Need further clarification on 'someone taking over land contract", but in generally, seller interests in a land contract can be assigned. Consult with an attorney.

  • I bought a used house, and I found in winter that the air ducts don't work. This was not disclosed. Can I sue for this?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 17, 2015 Selected as best answer
    In general, the Seller's Disclosure is required to be completed by seller and seller is required to disclose any known defects or issues listed on the form. A seller's failure to honestly complete the seller's disclosure exposes the seller to legal liability. Buying a home 'as is" does not preclude a buyer from having an inspection prior to buying the property. So your question begs more questions. A legal professional should review your purchase documents.

  • What are the consequences for allowing a plot of land to go into foreclosure by not paying property taxes?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Mar 17, 2015
    I agree with Mr. Darish and Mr. Alexander but, for your consideration, I would add that while a tax foreclosure may not show on your credit report, if you do have any business or loan agreements, they may contain actionable provisions that allow a lender to call a default in the event of a "foreclosure". This can be a very broad default term. This would also apply to a tax foreclosure. Also loan and credit applications that do ask "have you had a foreclosure the past 7 years." It makes no distinction between an owner occupied home and a vacant parcel being lost to foreclosure.

  • Do collection agencies ( Alliance One) negotiate a lesser amounts than owed ??

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 27, 2015
    Generally, you can always propose to settle a debt for less than the stated balance. But collection agencies represent the creditor and are not a debtor's "friend". Several variables may help you negotiate a lesser amount than owed. Time. The older the debt, the less likely it is for a collector to obtain the full amount. Need. If you let the collector know that you 'need' to pay off the debt in order to secure a loan, or in your case, a license, the less likely they will compromise. Finally, make sure the debt is valid, and that it isn't so old that the collector can't pursue a legal action against you. Seek competent counsel if you continue to have problems.

  • I rented a place and broke the lease. They rented place back out but I still got bill for remainder or lease. Do I owe all that?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 12, 2015
    I agree with Mr. Frederick's answer regarding the landlord's mitigation of damages by immediately renting out your former unit. You will need to dispute the problem in WRITING with the collection agency and also send in your dispute of the collection to the three bureaus. If your credit score is affected and you are not getting any response from the collector, you may want to consult with an attorney.

  • If our apartment complex have a plumber and refused to call him out for an emergency should we have to pay for repair ????

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 12, 2015
    Generally a lease will provide for what repairs are covered and the time frame in which a land lord should respond. From the facts that you present, it seems an urgent matter, but there may be issues related to causation. For the sum in question you should document the invoice and either deduct it from the rent or place the rent in escrow until this is resolved. Hiring an attorney may not be cost effective based upon the amount of the invoice.

  • I am being sued by credit card company, but I don't have the money to pay. I have been unemployed for a couple of years.

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 12, 2015
    Call them up, show them you are unemployed, fill out a personal financial statement and try to get a delayed monthly payment plan, or request an installment payment plan through the court -- a motion for installment payments. Otherwise you will have a judgment against you, and the creditor may or may not aggressively pursue post judgment collection actions. This will depend on the alleged amount owed.

  • Can we sell our home to someone who the Realtor showed the house to if the Realtor never followed up with him?

    DAVID'S ANSWER

    on Feb 12, 2015
    There are several issues. First the real estate agents are required to present "all offers" unless you have given them specific instructions not to present any offers under a certain purchase price. Second, the agent has a protection period, usually 180 days, whereby any person who the agent has 'procured" or has secured a buying interest in the home, is protected for their commissions. If the fact pattern is accurate and no offer was ever presented, you should contact the agent's broker with proper representation. Otherwise, wait until the protection period expires, and then you should be able to close the deal without concern for the agent or the listing agreement.

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