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Questions Answered by Thomas. R. Morris

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Divorce for Michigan on

Q: Bankruptcy and Divorce?

My wife and I are planning to divorce. The problem is that neither of us can afford to live alone and our debts are so intertwined between us (both names on everything) that splitting it would be impossible. We're considering a bankruptcy to simplify the process. I believe we make too much to... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Apr 24, 2019

Their may be an advantage to filing before a divorce, but your situation is too complicated and/or the facts too sparse for an attorney to advise you in an on-line discussion so I don't want to go into detail. You should consult with an attorney who handles bankruptcies.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: Do we HAVE to payback a gift with no documentation?

My MIL offered us money to buy a house. She paid for it, and had us leave her out of all documentation. Then, tells us she took a mortgage out on her own home to give us the money, and wants us to pay it back. We felt trapped and paid payments. Now she is talking about “pulling our house”... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Apr 3, 2019

If this was a gift, you do not have to repay it. If it was agreed to be a loan, she is entitled to seek repayment. But, even if it is a loan, it is not secured by a mortgage on the house and although she has remedies available, those remedies do not include "pulling" your house. If you applied... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on

Q: Being evicted from land contract home. Can I remove improvements I made like cabinets, stairs, flooring, water htr etc?

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Mar 31, 2019

Short answer: No. A different answer is possible if the land contract gives you that right, but I doubt it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on

Q: The apartment i live in has a management corp. running the complex. Can i sue both owner & mgmt or just mgmt?

I did not know that i had to state a claim upon which relief could be granted in ordet to have a question answered sir.

Please forgive me. - - the question is this i have a lease with apartment complex. Section 1 states: Lease is between me and owner LLC, however Section 2 states: for... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Feb 13, 2019

You have not provided enough facts for me to be able to determine whether you have a basis to sue anyone. However, if you claim that the lease was breached by the landlord, your claim would be against the landlord, whom your refer to as "owner LLC", and not against any of the landlord's agents,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Michigan on

Q: If I buy a replica designer bracelet for about $20, then I resell it for the price of the real bracelet about 7,000

is it illegal?

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Feb 7, 2019

Not in the abstract, but look out for MCl 445.903.

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Michigan on

Q: How do I get back an engament ring I thing it has been pond

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Feb 3, 2019

If you gave an engagement ring to your fiancée and she pawned it, that would be an anticipatory repudiation of the contract for marriage. Under Michigan law, the gift of an engagement ring is a conditional gift, so if you find it in a pawn shop, you can claim to be the owner. In other words, I... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: Does my ex-wife have the right to list for sale our jointly held real estate property without my involvement?

My Judgement of Divorce from a year ago states that our home has to be sold immediately as of Jan 1, 2019. My wife tells me she has listed it for sale but I can find no evidence that this is true. She will not give me the name of the Realtor that she used so that I might verify what she says.... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jan 18, 2019

If you cannot find evidence that the property is being marketed for sale, then the marketing is not effective.

If you are still a co-owner of the property, her entry into a listing agreement won't be effective. You would not be obligated to sell the property were a buyer to be found....
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: what do I need to do to sell a home jointly owned by me and my incapacitated mother?

My Mother is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and the general POA that I have will not cover selling property.

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jan 16, 2019

You will need to have a conservator appointed by the probate court. The conservator could potentially be you.

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4 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: My parents filed chapter 13 bankruptcy. Sold me their house for less than it's worth. Trustee wants to sue me for equity

I took over payments on my parents house, and they added me to their mortgage in February of 2017. I paid their payments (to them and then they paid their mortgage) for a year. In February 2018 they signed a quit claim deed and I refinanced the house to remove their names and have the loan in my... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jan 10, 2019

You need to discuss this confidentially with an attorney, not on a public forum like this where the trustee can see your questions (and answers) and use them against you.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: My fiance and I bought a house. He is on the mortgage , both on deed. Can he remove me from the deed without consent?

We live in Michigan

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jan 9, 2019

Not easily. A judicial procedure, such as partition, could “remove” you from the deed. And if ownership is joint, your death would vest title in the survivor. But a co-owner cannot simply “remove” you from ownership.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Michigan on

Q: Can an old owner continue to ask questions and request documentation on certain transacafter the sale of the business

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Dec 31, 2018

The former owner can always ask, but the buyer may not have a contractual obligation to respond to the questions, so it may be difficult to use the law to require the buyer to respond.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: Is it mandatory in the State of Michigan that the seller have Title Insurance included in the closing costs?

I had to buy title insurance at the time of purchase. Why had this additional cost for the seller at closing?

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Dec 19, 2018

Title insurance is not a legal requirement, like liability insurance for the operator of an automobile. It is customarily charged to the seller because it is the seller that may be providing to the buyer a warranty of title.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: We bought our home and paid to have it set up on someone's else property. The man has passed and family trying to evict

It's been 4 year since the man has passed. No one came for rent until they are saying we owe 10,400.00 in back rent after 4 years.

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Dec 17, 2018

You may owe the rent, but the fact that they did not try to collect it for four years may give you an argument in court that you should not be immediately evicted. Is there a written lease? Consult with an attorney and provide him or her with the lease. There is not a simple answer to your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Michigan on

Q: Can I get someone to collect on a loan if it was just a verbal agreement?

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Dec 14, 2018

A loan generally does not need to be in writing to be enforceable under Michigan law.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: Want property conveyed as "husband and wife or the survivor", is this not possible in Michigan

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Dec 14, 2018

This is possible, but don't try to come up with the language on your own. An attorney could advise you as to the proper language to use. Have an attorney advise you as to the entire transaction if you are not certain how exactly to do it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Michigan on

Q: What right to land contract owner have when the buyer dies unexpectly?

The contract mentions benefits to heirs but we have seen no Letters of authority. The person only passed away on 11/26 but heirs have been in property(they got keys from Fathers body as he died in the building) and say they plan to change the locks tomorrow 12/6 This contact was never registered... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Dec 5, 2018

The administrator of the estate of the buyer, or his proper heir, would presumably have the right to take over the purchaser's interest in the land contract. (Is there anything in the land contract that prohibits assignment of the purchaser's interest?) Rather than to try to write a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: Can I legally trim my neighbor's overgrown, encroaching bushes and tree which invade into my property?

My neighbor who has placed many Arborvitaes along our adjoining fence line along with a spruce tree. all plants have exceeded between 10' to 20' in height. Can I hire Landscape company to come and trim up to 20' high vertical from our adjoining fence vegetation only what is encroaching on my... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Dec 4, 2018

You can cut whatever is on your property.

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Michigan on

Q: A joint bank account associated with my SSN has been frozen due to an attempt to collect a debt. All of the monies in

the account are not mine. The deposits are direct deposits from his employer. Do I have to prove all transactions associated with the account are not mine or just the contributions made to the account?

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Oct 30, 2018

Michigan law permits you (or the owner of the funds) to establish ownership. See Danielson v. Lazoski, 209 Mich App 623 (1995). Someone needs to act quickly to object to the garnishment or otherwise assert rights as to the funds. You should consult with an attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law for Michigan on

Q: I was court martialed. My case went to the appeals court. I won. How do I find the decision from the appeal courts.

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Oct 23, 2018

This is a question of military law. The United States military has its own system of law. Here is a link that provides a summary of the appellate process with respect to military-law appeals:

http://www.usmilitarylawyer.com/military-appelate-court-review.asp

How to find the...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on

Q: Is there a "best" time of year to file for bankruptcy?

Thomas. R. Morris answered on Oct 12, 2018

Good question. The answer may have to do with tax refunds. If you regularly receive refunds, the best day to file may be just after you have spent your refunds. There are a lot of competing considerations, but that's my candidate for a seasonal factor.

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