RECENT QUESTIONS

Not necessarily.  First, did you name all other lien holders in the action?  If not, then the judgement is against only the named defendant.  However, if the lien holders that you are concerned about, claim through the defendant that you obtained the judgement,  then it is most likely they do not have any further claims.

Previously, an eviction action had to be filed to remove all occupants even if they did not have a valid lease. Now, for occupants who are there illegally or as a result of trespassing the landlord can use “self-help” to remove the squatters. (This does not apply to residents that had a lease that has expired). This allows the landlord to change the locks and remove stuff belonging to the residents. Physically removing a person is not allowed as that is technically assault. However, combined with the other new laws that make squatting a crime, you could have a squatter arrested by the police.

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ALL QUESTIONS

These are recent answers for legal inquiries made to Attorney David Soble.  This information is for educational purposes and should not be construed as providing legal advice. No attorney /client relationship is created.

I purchased a home via land contract in Michigan and am still under said contract. As of now do I have the right to sell the home, pay off the rest of the land contract, and keep any profits?

David’s Answer

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!

I rent a house in Michigan on a city lot. The landlord has been coming over daily cutting down all the trees in the yard, telling my kids to put their toys in certain spots and that he is going to take apart their climber and trampoline because he doesn’t want his kids on it, fencing off a large portion of the yard to attempt to grow grass, telling us what toys and things we can have in the yard, and not to let the dog in the yard. He will just show up in the yard Unannounced and pile all the toys up by the house and throw things on our trampolines and porch. Legally can he do this if the yard was shown to us and is part of the rental property? I have renters insurance that covers the yard.

David’s Answer

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.

We need to know how to do a quit claim from my mother to me.

David’s Answer

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.

I own property across the road from a house I own, and the person that has property next to it is saying that he owns part of it. I had surveyed years ago because it was part of my parents farm. I have the description of the property and deed. I don’t have the money to pay for another survey. I am trying to sell the house and river frontage. The river frontage is what is being disputed. I would really appreciate your help.

David’s Answer

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’m inquiring (doing some of the leg work) for a man whose home was foreclosed upon in November 2011, in Kent Co., Michigan, by the mortgage co (won’t list that name here). He was in arrears due to an accident/loss of work.

That he was in arrears is not in dispute. The issue is that he believes that proper procedure was NOT followed (proper notice, length of time, etc…), resulting in the foreclosure.

Obviously, he has no way of getting the house back. He understands that – that’s not his desire.

He wants to potentially pursue any OTHER legal remedies against the mortgage company for their failures.

So, he wants to know if any statute of limitations has passed. If not, I’d like to get the name and number of an attorney with whom he could consult further on this matter.

David’s Answer

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.

I rented 2 stores About 4 months ago with a lease of 5 years with option to extend. The stores are next to each other and they have separate leases even that the Landlord is the same.One of the stores is not bringing me money at all so i am thinking to close it and move out.The other store is doing ok. Whats the best way to move out without any problems,i cant afford the rent and any of expenses of the store.Can landlord cause problems for the other store and make me move out from that as well?

David’s Answer

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.

When I called for the loan documents they told me I owed $4000. I paid my mortgage 2 years ahead. I did not have a scheduled payment until 01/01/2016.
They sent me a letter on 6/19/15 saying the payoff was indeed $2000. When I call I get the runaround and they keep changing the payoff amount. I sent them the payoff amt. on 6/19/and they cashed the check. My records reflect that my payoff was 2k.

David’s Answer

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.

My father owns a home in Detroit. My sister lives with a friend in Warren, in a rental property. She needs a place to stay so my dad wants to sign his home over to her. He wants to find another home for himself. Can he simply sign the house over to her using a Quit Claim Deed or does something more need to happen?

David’s 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.

My father would like to take a $30K home equity line of credit from us (for 3 years), offering his house as a collateral. The house has $60 equity, and still has $200K in mortgage. What are the gotchas in this arrangement? If the mortgage is not paid off, we would have no rights on the property anyway, I would assume?

David’s Answer

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.

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