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Questions Answered by Thomas. R. Morris
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Contracts for Michigan on
Q: If I move out of my apartment am I responsible for utilities in my roommates name if I still pay my half of rent

I'm planning on moving out and I still have a lease on my apartment, my roommate wants to take on the full lease at a later time, until then am I responsible for the utilities in her name until then or just what's in my name? We have no agreement outside of the lease with the apartment... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Sep 3, 2020

Once we get the facts laid out, the answer will become clear.

If the lease is in your name and you move out with the expectation that the roommate is going to sublet from you, you and the roommate need to determine the terms of the sublet. If the roommate is going to "take on the full...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Mom had a mortgage and died recently. No will I'm the only child being made Executor. What are options keeping the home.

Am I able to assume her Mortgage and keep making the payments or am I required to sell the home and land. I want to keep the property and can make the payments. But I don't know how the process goes and am feeling overwhelmed.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Sep 1, 2020

You can keep the property and continue making payments. Federal law, 12 USC 1701, invalidates a due-on-sale clause in this instance. You may want to confirm this with the lender because, although I believe this law to be applicable, there may be facts of which I am not aware.

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I live in a trailer park can the manager come on the leased piece at any time or do they have to give notice

they are saying they will come and take my trump sign in my front yard

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Sep 1, 2020

I expect that the lease provides the landlord with the authority to maintain the property. If the lease does not permit you to post a sign on the property, I expect that the lease would permit the landlord to enforce the lease by removing a sign. Without reviewing the lease, I cannot determine... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is the seller of a house allowed to hold an estate sale after we've closed on the house?

She has until Aug. 30th to leave and is holding an estate sale on the 24th, 25th. We own the property now though. Is this legal? We also see the estate sale pictures have our home's window screens alongside items being sold. Our real estate agent has told us she's allowed to hold the sale... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Aug 20, 2020

When you sold the property and allowed the seller to remain you formed a landlord-tenant relationship. Do the terms of the lease restrict the tenant’s use such that a sale is prohibited? I doubt it, especially because a moving sale is to be expected.

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2 Answers | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law for Michigan on
Q: An "Application for Leave to Appeal" in the Michigan Supreme Court by 8/26. How much should I expect to pay?

Drug case

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Aug 11, 2020

The filing fees charged by the court are listed on its website. If you are going to file an application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, you may want to consider hiring an attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: What do I file to remove an Affidavit of Interest that was filed fictiously against my property at the register of deeds

It was filed by tenants I am currently evicting due to them breaking the lease (which was a lease with option to buy when I decided to sell) that expired 2 years ago. They told me they aren't buying it and to take them to court to remove them.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Aug 10, 2020

If you are filing an eviction action, add a count to your complaint to ask the court to declare the affidavit invalid, to order it removed from the records, and seeking damages for slander of title. This is too complicated to tutor you on. You should probably hire an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: I won a lost wage disabilty claim against my auto insurance company and I just filed bankruptcy can creditors take it?

I am currently not working and have not for the last 2 years due to an auto accident injury and am actively seeking social security disability at the moment

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Aug 4, 2020

The issue is whether the claim, or the money you received or will receive, can be claimed as exempt in the bankruptcy case. Another relevant consideration is the chapter of your bankruptcy case. In chapter 13, for example, the trustee does not always take control of non-exempt assets. You need... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: I made an oral lease agreement but want to cancel and have the deposit back.

I made an oral agreement to sublease the defendant's apartment room for 4 months and I paid the first-month rental as a deposit. Twenty hours after I paid the money, I decided not to rent this room and requested my deposit back, however, he refused to give the money back. He said he... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jul 19, 2020

I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but I don’t see a basis for a rescission of the lease, or a claim that the other party breached the agreement, so I would say based upon these facts, that the landlord is in the right. Is there a basis for a claim that the landlord breached the agreement?

4 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can second mortgage lender seek post-sale deficiency judgement after liability was discharged in Chapter 7

In 2009, my neighbor filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and kept her house with two mortgages, 100k+ and 25k. Her personal obligation for the second mortgage was discharged. A loan modification of the second mortgage in 2015 adjusted the principle, term, and interest rate. In late 2017, my... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jun 24, 2020

If the borrower on the second mortgage loan received a discharge in bankruptcy, and did not reaffirm the debt, that borrower no longer has personal liability, and cannot be pursued for the loan, whether or not the amount owed is a "deficiency."

There are some assumptions in your...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: In contract and found mold during inspections

I've been told if I ask for seller to fix they could cancel contract and fix on their own. (There is supposedly 2 more offers that came in after our contract was closed, 1 is 10% more than we offered) Can I legally force them to resolve the mold or will i risk losing home, since they can... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jun 5, 2020

If the contract is worded as I expect that it is, which is to give you the option of cancelling the purchase in the event of an unsatisfactory inspection, and to give the seller the option, but not the obligation, to try to remedy the defect, then you cannot force the seller to resolve the mold... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: I put a tree in an alley way which is now condemned. My neighbor is claiming them now. Is there a way I can move them?

I planted them in the alley, it has since been condemned and the trees are now on the half that my neighbor gained by less than 2 feet. I have offered to buy the land and he refuses. Is there a way I can legally remove the trees? Or anything at all?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on May 26, 2020

You probably mean that the alley was vacated.

A tree, once planted, becomes part of the land. It belongs to the landowner. That’s the simple answer, but there are possible exceptions. For example, rights to timber can be owned separately. I think that your neighbor owns the trees.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: If I sign a lease but can't move in, am I liable for all rent due for the term of the lease?

I am an international student planning to study in the US (Michigan). There is a strong chance I won't be able to get my visa and actually move in, but my landlord is saying that if that happens I will still have to pay all rent due under my lease. Is this true?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on May 7, 2020

It may be true. If you want to avoid liability you could insist that the lease provide for your option to terminate it if you don't receive the visa. If it's too late and the lease has already been signed, you could try to sublet the leased premises. We would have to examine the lease... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I'm buying a house that has a tenant living in the house. The purchase agreement was in place before the governor place

the say at home order. I'm afraid the tenant is not going to move. The agreement was I get the keys at closing. Can I legally make them move?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Apr 29, 2020

Once the closing of the sale occurs and you become the owner of the property, you will be legally entitled to evict the occupants. Whether and when the district court will process and enforce an eviction becomes the issue. Evictions are being adjourned until after May 1, or some other date, by the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Civil Litigation, Contracts and Insurance Defense for Michigan on
Q: So my grandfather passed away then 4 weeks later my grandmother pass before my grandfathers insurance came in!

My grandmother may pass before the check is deposited into her account how can my mom or uncles save it before it goes back to insurance

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Apr 6, 2020

The question is not altogether clear to me, but it sounds like the insurance payment is property of your grandmother's estate, and that a probate case needs to be commenced in order to deal with the payment. An attorney with the whole picture will be able to guide you through the probate... Read more »

5 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: Got layed off March 19, 2020. On March 20, a debt collector took all the money from bank account, I have no money left.

The money that was in my account was to file bankruptcy, all the courthouses are closed to the public due to the Coronavirus. Everything I had was in my account, now I have no money for rent, food, my car. Is there any way to fight this during a national emergency?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Mar 22, 2020

The bankruptcy courts are not closed for case filings.

You might find an attorney who will file with no money down, or you can file yourself. You can apply for a waiver of the filing fee.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: A related question. Dad put sis on his deed. He wants to add me. Does sis have to agree?
Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Mar 18, 2020

Probably. If “putting sis on is deed” means that the property was transferred by Dad to Dad and Sis, then Dad and Sis need to sign the deed that conveys it to

Dad, Sis and You. I would need more details to give a definitive answer. An attorney could figure this out once the intention is clear.

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2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Collections and Social Security for Michigan on
Q: Is it legal for my savings acct. ( DIRECT DEP from soc sec) to be garnished by credit card company?? FACTS/background

Joint acct, social security check made out to me for the care of my husband. The only money that goes into this acct is his ss check.

The garnishment was against me not him.

4k was taken without my knowledge. I didn't receive garnishment writ as they stated. I was told I... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Mar 9, 2020

If only SS is in the account, the bank should have raised the issue, but I don’t recommend reliance upon a bank to do so.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My husband and I are joint owners of our home. He passed away, and I would like to transfer the deed into my name.

What documents do I need, and where do I go to get the transfer done?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Feb 5, 2020

In other words, your husband was a joint owner. With his death, he ceased to be a joint owner, and you became the sole owner. The land records won't reflect that fact until his death certificate is recorded.

If the deed naming you as a joint owner is already recorded, there is no...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: Currently in Chapter 7. Tried to sell my house twice, but trustee never responded to buyer.

The reason I filed is contractors destroyed our house making it unsafe. we fell behind on bills and had to file to avoid losing house. The trustee stated that my house is worth more than I stated; however I informed her about the damage and the amount to fix it. House is now in possession of bank.... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jan 30, 2020

This is too complicated and the facts too sparse for effective discussion in this forum, and you should consult with an attorney, privately, so that the advice you received is confidential. You may be able to file a motion to compel the trustee to abandon the property, but to do so would probably... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: What happens if the trustee didnt file the final report for distribution of assets before the due date?

My Chapter 7 has been reopened due to receiving assets, the judge ordered trustee to file final report on June 1, 2019 but I havent gotten any information since then and the status of the case is still "awaiting trustee's report"

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jan 27, 2020

There is not usually a deadline, and the order is unusual. It is probably up to you to enforce the order, and ask for the court to impose a consequence.

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