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Questions Answered by Jay Schmerler
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: Can a house seller not return my $5000 deposit because the loan not approved , and he put house back to market?
Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jan 15, 2019

This is fact dependent. Have an attorney review the terms of your contract of sale and then review the details surrounding your mortgage application.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: If an insurance policy check is put into an estate account does that make it part of the estate?

I am the executor of my mother’s estate. My sister received a life insurance check because she was the beneficiary. We both knew that this was for funeral expenses so she asked me what account to put it in and I told and she put in the estate account. Now she wants to check back. Is this check... Read more »

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Oct 15, 2018

If the insurance check is related to a policy refund or some claim made by or for the decedent, then those funds are part of the estate. It should be deposited into the estate account and can then be used for any estate expenses. I don't understand why your sister "wants it back". If it was your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: I have a question about selling a house in south New Jersey

After signing the contract for the buyer to get my house can I still change my mind and decline selling it? Or will it be to late?

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Aug 9, 2018

You will need to speak with an attorney and have that person review the contract in order to answer your question.

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for New Jersey on
Q: How am I supposed to pay for an attorney if I'm bankrupt?
Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Aug 8, 2018

There are many ways. Get help from family or friends. Work out a plan with the attorney if you're filing Chapter 13. Are you working? Have any source of income? If you qualify, get help from Legal Aid.

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: Determining a fair price for the sale of a piece of my property?

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Join Date: Aug 2018

1 posts

Reputation: 10

Out of the blue this week, a contractor approached me about selling a 25 by 260 section of my property in order for him to build a road (my property is currently 100 by 260). He bought a large parcel of land... Read more »

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Aug 1, 2018

First of all speak with an attorney knowledgeable of land use law. You want to be sure that what land you are left with meets the zoning requirements for your area. In addition, you don't say, but is there a mortgage on your home? You'll have to deal with your Lender for its OK before you can do... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: general question: what happens when a foreclosure is overturned if the buyer already sold the property who loses money?

what happens when Mr. A loses his house through foreclose & Mr B buys it from the bank and resells it to Mr C.

In the event when Mr A decided to overturn the foreclosure will Mr. B have to pay back for Mr. C the amount he got at closing or not?

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Aug 1, 2018

This "hypothetical" sounds like a Bar exam question. The scenario should never have happened if B & C did their due diligence. You don't say what you mean buy Mr. A "overturning" the foreclosure. If you mean redeemed the property from the sale within the time allowed, then Mr. B didn't wait out... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: I am a Resident of New York State. I have two vacation homes in New Jersey.

I am selling one and maintaining the other. Am I considered a Resident (8.97% tax liability) or Resident (2% tax liability) for sale of the first vacation home?

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jul 24, 2018

You are a non-resident and therefore are subject to tax on the sale. A minimum of 2% must be withheld at closing. Any balance due is determined when taxes get filed at end of year.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New Jersey on
Q: Which parts of an estate are taxable?
Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jul 20, 2018

Your question is too general and without facts to really specifically answer. New Jersey has several taxes that can arise from administering an estate. There may or may not be inheritance taxes. There may or may not be estate taxes. The answer is based on who inherits, what the assets are, and what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: My town allowed a religious group to take trees down on my property w/out my consent and installed 12' metal pole

A religious group convinced my town to allow them to install a "religious boundary" in my town. The plan was to use the existing utility poles for their markers. we don't have plots on my street so the town gave them full access to the 5' utility easement on my front lawn and they came w/ tree... Read more »

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jul 20, 2018

Your situation is fact sensitive and cannot be easily answered based on your post. Is there anything in writing from the town authorizing this? Typically the landowner grants easement rights to a utility and it is just that utility that has the rights, in a limited way, to use the property.Unless... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: May I rent my condo for a fixed, non-renewable term of 1 year in New Jersey? If yes, what must be in the term clause?

I have heard that NJ law mandates leases to be always automatically renewed upon expiration and that if you want to sell your property, you must go thru the eviction process if the tenant refuses to move out. Is this true? I'm afraid to lease because I feel a landlord has no control but the tenant... Read more »

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jun 28, 2018

You heard correctly. NJ landlord-tenant law very much favors a tenant. Research the Eviction for Good Cause Act. I would consult with an attorney to learn the pros and cons of renting, especially if you are looking to sell the property down the road.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: Can I get wife's name off of mortgage without refinancing?

My wife and I are divorcing and I am taking over the mortgage. Is there a way (or a form) that will allow us to remove her name from the mortgage and deed without refinancing the house?

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jun 21, 2018

Only if the Lender will release your wife from the existing mortgage. That will not happen if your income alone would not be sufficient to repay the existing loan. You do not say whether your wife signed the Note as well. Regardless, your wife will need to transfer her interest in the property to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: I need to add my wife's name to the deed of our NJ home. What are the next steps?
Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jun 12, 2018

It's fairly straightforward. A new Deed must be prepared that adds your wife to the title, you sign it, then it gets recorded. Other documents must accompany the Deed so it can be recorded. There are different ways to co-own the property so you should consult with an attorney on this and have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: I moved out of my apartment. I lived there 2 years. Can my deposit be taken for ware and tare?

I never took before photos or after, I don't think he did either. He replaced the cabinets that had some were and tare on it. There was 1 door that was dry rotted and broke the side where it locks the dead bolt. Also 1 door that was broken on my account. Can he charge me to replace all the cabinets... Read more »

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jun 4, 2018

Typically you are not responsible for ordinary wear and tear. You may be responsible for any damage caused by you or your guests. It becomes a question of proof and the burden is on your landlord to prove you were the cause. It's unfortunate you did not take pictures. If nothing else, take before... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: How did a buyer make it to closing without submitting tax paperwork? He had a pre-approval.

Edit for facts and clarity.

I accepted a contract on my house from a pre approved VA buyer. We went through inspection, title and on the day of closing it turns out he couldn’t get a loan, due to not filing 2017 Tax Returns. I am now out two months of payments and will have to deal with... Read more »

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Jun 3, 2018

There is simply not enough information to answer this question. As long as you had nothing t

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: In NJ, deceased spouse, no will and I'm not on the deed or mortgage. If house forecloses, can the bank come after me?

My husband passed away without a will, and we live in NJ. I am not on the deed or mortgage on the house. The house is underwater and the Estate is insolvent. If I walk away from the house and let it go into foreclosure, could the bank come after me? All house bills are in his name only.

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on May 12, 2018

You did not mention if you are on the Note. If you are, you would potentially be at risk for any shortfall in the loan after foreclosure. You should speak with an attorney to review options.

Jay Schmerler

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New Jersey on
Q: Employment offer at-will meaning they can let me go without cause or reason, is that legal in NJ?

How am I protected if they let me go I can not claim for unemployment benefits because of the agreement.

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on May 9, 2018

At-will employment is legal in NJ. As to the issue of unemployment, you may be eligible depending upon the reason for the separation. There may be some delay in receiving the benefits. This really depends upon the facts.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: i was told a home buyer can back out of a real est contract up to the minute of closing in new jersey? is this possible?
Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Oct 21, 2015

Generally speaking, no. As Leonard Boyer stated, you have provided insufficient facts to address your question and concerns. If this is more than a hypothetical question, then whoever it pertains to should consult with their real estate attorney. Backing out at this late stage can be costly.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: adding a soon to be husband to a deed on house purchased while single. How to retain 100% equity, will a prenup work ?

Hi, my soon to be husband is would like his name on the deed once we are married. I am single and have purchased this property and currently pay mortgage, basically I am the sole owner.

How can I add him and retain 100% equity ? I am not familiar with US or NJ laws. Can we do a prenup where... Read more »

Jay Schmerler
Jay Schmerler answered on Oct 21, 2015

If your goal is to retain 100% equity, you must retain 100% ownership. Adding your soon-to-be husband to the Deed may very well defeat your goal. There are several complex property rights issues that can affect what you contemplate so I would strongly urge you to consult with an attorney... Read more »

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