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Maryland Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can mortgage company foreclose on a home owned solely by my brother whose estate is in probate?

Brother died intestate on 8/13/2021. Probate court date is 27 October, at which time personal representative will be selected. Creditors will have 6 months to come forward. House is major asset and there are insufficient cash funds in the estate at present to pay mortgage payments. Equity in... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 16, 2021

No chance the mortgage company can foreclose and sell that fast. It takes at least 90 days of no mortgage payments to trigger the foreclosure notices, and if the PR communicates to the mortgage company the death of the borrower and that an estate is open and the house will be sold, then they will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Libel & Slander for Maryland on
Q: How detailed should complaint for Slander be if filing in District Court. Make sure I'm not presenting argument.

I want to give enough detail so the judge knows I have a serious issue that needs the court's judgment but I do not want to be presenting arguement.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 16, 2021

The cause of action in Maryland is called “defamation of character” and it encompasses both verbal (slander) and written (libel) defamatory statements. A sufficient statement of a cause of action requires that you allege sufficient facts to meet each element of the cause of action. You must... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Consumer Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: My mortgage company refuse to sign my insurance claim check and sent the check back with no explanation.

I live in Maryland

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 14, 2021

You cannot expect a response that will help you in any meaningful way without providing facts, details and context. Start with stating what you received an insurance check for, why it was sent to your insurance company, and the reason the insurance company sent it back to you. If you don’t know... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: Does the landlord have a right to charge returned check fees on a “lost” and canceled check?

Wells Fargo Bill Pay rent check was late. Late enough to be over 5 days past due. Allegedly. Once LL reached out, rent was paid via PayPal. Stop payment on late check was placed. LL later tried to cash late check. LL is now charging late fees plus bounced check fees as it seems he tried to cash the... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 14, 2021

If you paid via PayPal, and the Landlord received the PayPal funds before he tried to cash your late check, then your Landlord had no right to try and cash the late check and receive double payment, so he has no right to charge the bounced/returned check fee. If your payment was late, and your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized for Maryland on
Q: What is the process to put a lien on an individuals investment property?

I am a mtg broker. I brokered a loan for an individual on a commercial office space. Halfway through the loan process she requested to pay me "outside" of closing. This is not common practice. She made up a lame excuse that she likes to use different accounts for different payments.... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 14, 2021

You will need to sue her and obtain a judgment first. The judgment, upon it being entered in the circuit court having jurisdiction where the property is located, will become a lien against the property. There is no way to place a direct lien against the property except by a written instrument... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for Maryland on
Q: If your dui charge is beyond a year, can't be prosecuted? In the staye of Maryland correct ?
Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr answered on Oct 13, 2021

If charges were filed within one year, then you can still be prosecuted. In most DUI cases, the citations are served on the date of the arrest and then the Defendant has been charged. There is a constitutional right to a speedy trial, but the right must be asserted and any delays caused by the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: Still waiting: Does the State of Maryland require [by law] that an HOA be formed to enforce covenants?

I posted this question last week and received one very eloquent response as to the wisdom of forming an HOA so as to enforce covenants BUT, at the end of the day, I did not receive a straight up "yes" or "no" answer to my question which again is: "does the state of Maryland... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Oct 12, 2021

Yes. The phrase "in place" means properly organized, and in good standing with the State of Maryland. There are instances where an HOA described in recorded declarations has been allowed to lapse, or is no longer functioning. There are reported appellate court decisions describing what... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I planted trees & built a garden on the strip of land that the original owner of the property next-door told me was mine

The property has now sold for the third or fourth time & the new owners had a survey done. It shows the trees and garden are on their side of the survey line. We spoke to them within a week of their moving in and they said not to worry they couldn’t use that tiny strip of property next to... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Oct 11, 2021

Yours is a common issue. Our Firm recently had this exact issue (dispute over ownership of flower beds near shared boundary) in a D.C. case. Do you have a survey? Perhaps it conflicts with the neighbor's survey. Also, have you or your predecessors used the beds to the exclusion of your new... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: In the state of Maryland do existing covenants (came attached to the land plat) require the formation of an HOA?

Our community (13 houses on 75 acres) was established ca 1985 and the developer established and controlled the covenants, this until January 1, 2010. After that, these covenants revert to the lot holders (13 homeowners). As the document reads, these are currently enforceable by each lot owner BUT... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 11, 2021

If the covenants cover aesthetic issues like the type and color of roofs, whether windows are allowed on car garage doors, the type, location and set-back requirements (or prohibition) of sheds, sunrooms, fencing (including limits on type of fencing materials), location and type of shrubs, parking... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Real estate question, Maryland. I put in an offer of 94k on a house(100k listed) with a price escalation up to 110k.

My offer was for the house as is, No contingencies, cash. Second offer was made the following day. Seller accepted the second offer and we were asked to be back up bites but my agent was never sent paperwork. After an inspection was done the first buyer decided to back out. Upon receiving... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 10, 2021

It cetainly sounds fishy. Have they now accepted your contract and are trying to proceed based on your high escalation price, and do you want to back out, or to only pay the initial bid amount? Can you prove that the seller was in on the alleged fake LLC bid? You need to act sooner rather than... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: On a trust with a ridiculous age of 35. Plus the fact that the trustee refuses to let beneficiaries know information.

The trustee has not fulfilled request to know where and who is second trustee in event of death of trustee. Is there a way to get special hearing to request information or early dispersement? Especially since the value of the assets were ridiculous and the out of state property was never included... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 10, 2021

It is not uncommon for a grantor of a trust to make the age of distribution 35 years of age. They may be concerned about the reckless and inexperienced money management of youth or of particular beneficiaries, and want to ensure that their wealth transfer to their beneficiaries will be made after... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law, Civil Rights and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Q: Am I allowed to be a freelancer in the US? I'm18 y.o, my parent has a work visa and we applied for the green card

I am not doing freelancing since I don't know if it's legal and if it's not legal I will wait until I have SSN.

Alexander Ivakhnenko
Alexander Ivakhnenko answered on Oct 8, 2021

Without a work authorization you are not allowed to derive any income from any professional activities such as free-lancing. You have to apply for an EAD on eligible grounds if qualify.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Changing title to condo in Annapolis Maryland after wife passes

The property was held as tenants in the entirety.

I never received a deed after the closing in August 2021.

The estate is small and will not go to probate. Financial and equity accounts have already been handled administratively with the respective institutions.

What... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 8, 2021

Two options: (1) record the deceased owner’s original certified death certificate in the land records, or just keep it handy for the day you elect to sell or refinance the condo, which is sufficient proof to establish you as the sole surviving owner; or (2) pay a lawyer to prepare a deed to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: If a gun is taken apart does it still considered as a loaded handgun ?

I was with a friend he’s a part collector but we got pulled over in his car and in the statement of charges it says loaded handgun but the gun was not even put together it was broke down to nothing basically

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 8, 2021

A “gun part collector”? Sounds like a dodge to me. Regardless, the definition of a firearm is found in the Maryland Public Safety Code, Section 5-101 (h)(1) “Firearm” means:

(i) a weapon that expels, is designed to expel, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure for Maryland on
Q: Hello,I have been living/renting my home for over 4 years with the understanding of ownership

But now is going to be auctioned In the upcoming months can I stop it and pay for it

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 8, 2021

“With the understanding of ownership.” That will have to be clarified. Are you saying you have a rent to own contract with the owner? Your recourse will be contractual, and it will be against the owner/landlord, assuming you paid a premium above fair market rental value in order to secure a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Does having a foreign address provide grounds for denial of refinancing property in MD? I am on extended foreign asgmt.

Denial expressed over the phone and email has been solely based on the fact of having a foreign address. Official letters do not line up with this communication. Instead I receive, “we do not offer this product at this time.” This does not feel right.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 5, 2021

There’s no law that compels private lenders to lend to any person, other than to not discriminate based on constitutionally protected grounds (race, religion, gender, e.g.). They could not lend to you because you drive a Toyota. It’s not illegal. I’m not saying anything bad about Toyotas.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized for Maryland on
Q: Can undefined weapons become weapons if used in self defence?

Any object may fit the definition of a weapon if carried or used with intent to injure. But what if one carries an object such as an axe, intending to harm others if necessary in self defence? Will he be allowed to continue carrying it, or be prosecuted for malicious intent?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 5, 2021

Nobody is a mind reader. Intent to use an object as a weapon is something that is determined based on the facts. Of course, openly declaring or admitting your intentions can and will be used as evidence against you. A person carrying an ax is not committing a crime if that is all they are doing.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: What type of legal representation is needed for an inheritance buyout dispute where the home is in MD and I am in GA?

My siblings and I were willed a house. One sibling wants to keep the house and has made a buyout offer. I don't believe the buyout offer is equitable. I am seeking expertise with interpreting the appraisal to obtain a fair buyout offer. I have no idea what type of legal representation I need... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 5, 2021

It’s been a pretty hot market this past year around here, so you’re going to want to get a fair appraisal done to at least know what the house is likely able to sell for. I think what you’re saying is that the house was already deeded by the estate to the three of you, so now you all own 1/3.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized for Maryland on
Q: Can and should I file a suit for a lawyer placing a charge on my account because they got the wrong person?

My father and I have the same name just Sr and Jr difference, we used to live at the same address but no longer. The collection lawyer was looking for him and got my online checking account that I use for my personal and eBay sales. I spoke to the lawyers who did this and was told they would fix it... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 5, 2021

By rule, you had 30 days to file a written objection in court to the garnishment of your account. Separately, creditor potentially faces liability under both the federal and Maryland fair debt collection practices acts if they do not promptly remedy their error, and may be liable to you for civil... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Maryland on
Q: Do you get points for a failure to stop for a school bus ticket?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 5, 2021

Yes, the violation carries 3 points and a maximum of $570 in fines. You should request a trial (not a waiver hearing). A judge can both reduce the fine as well as grant a “probation before judgment” (PBJ) disposition that removes the conviction and points from your driving record. That will... Read more »

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