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Questions Answered by Thomas. R. Morris
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...
Read more »

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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 have 14... 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 document...
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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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Michigan on
Q: New car contract with a dealership question.

I purchased a new car in 12/19. All the contracts have been "signed, sealed and delivered", I received my new title from Sec. of State. I paid out of pocket (plus a check from my insurance co.) for the car, there is no leanholder on the title. Can the dealership say "oops, one of the rebates we... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jan 15, 2020

I would not dismiss the idea that the dealer can come back for more money. The answer probably depends upon the written agreement. I would look at what you agreed to: You may have agreed to pay $X for the car, and the papers probably show the rebate as the source of partial payment, so, from the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Have property in Florida with joint ownership with my wife and me and my wife's sister. Sister wants to by us out .

Do we used a quit claim deed from Florida or Michigan to convey ownership?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Nov 4, 2019

You and your wife would execute a quit-claim deed in a form complying with Florida requirements, because the deed would be recorded with the county register of deeds in Florida.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: Do I need to worry about a conflict of interest when hiring a lawyer for an employment contract?

I need to hire a lawyer for help with an employment contract. I've found one in town, but I live in a fairly small town. Should I ask the lawyer if my client is their client and avoid using that lawyer if that is the case?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Oct 25, 2019

It's not wrong to ask, but the lawyer is required to make that determination whether or not you ask.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Does having POA give that person absolute power of the sale of joinly owned property that was inherited?

Myself, two brothers and my sister inherited property when our Dad died. The property is for sale and we cannot agree on a selling price, deadlocked at two votes each. My sister, who has POA claims that she can make the decision without our approval and has continued to lower the price against one... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Sep 9, 2019

Your sister claims to have POA (power of attorney) for whom? Your deceased father, I presume. He no longer has a say in the matter, so neither would his attorney-in-fact. I question her authority.

How is the property titled? When you say you inherited property, do you mean that the...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Michigan on
Q: Can I change terms in a contract without informing the other party?

For example, say I am looking to take out a loan of $1,000 at 10% to be paid over a year and am able to take the contract home to review.

If I change the contract to instead say that the loan is for $1,000 at 5% to be paid over a year and return the new contract signed, to the bank. If... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Sep 4, 2019

The short answer is no. Perhaps someone else is in the mood to write a lesson in contracts law. I will just use the phrase «no meeting of the minds ».

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Michigan on
Q: Can the previous franchise we owned legally force us to repaint our vehicles?

We owned a Servpro restoration franchise. 2 years ago we sold our license instead of renewing, and went on our own. We took all labeling off the vehicles. Servpro is now telling us that we have to have the vehicles repainted. They do not have the color trademarked. The vehicles were never... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Aug 9, 2019

The franchisor can make you stop using their trademarks. You may be correct that the color is not a trademark, but did you agree in the franchise agreement to comply with this request? If repainting is not covered by the agreement or by trademark law or by state competition law (which might be... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Michigan on
Q: Can a debt collector put a freeze on your bank account if your disabled and receiving social security benefits?

We have a joint bank account. I work, however my husband is on disability. An attorney's office has frozen part of our savings account. Can they touch this if the majority of the money in the account is from my income.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Aug 2, 2019

Yes, unless you object to the writ of garnishment to raise the issue. The court does not automatically know that the social security proceeds are exempt.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: How can i have a property lien removed?

The lien is not mine and was placed on it 17 years ago by the Department of Justice. I purchased the property 3 years ago through Detroit landbank authority and am trying to sell it. What are my options? Also prospective buyer found the lien through a title search?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jul 19, 2019

You need to consult with an attorney who can review the land record and the documentation of the lien. It's not possible to provide an answer to your question without a review of the particulars.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Help me under stand property ownership real estate laws. The perpetrators don't give two hoots about my health.

Can someone take over your property and enter, make changes, hookups to property, utilities,electrical

phone, water, heat, drill holes in walls. I am not a criminal I am old but not incompetent. . .even if this was so, my family should be contacted and they should be asked for permission.... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jul 16, 2019

Maybe a family member or friend could help you to determine who is doing what. This is not yet a legal issue, because, as Mr. Zichi said, what is happening has not been determined.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: my parents are separating and my stepfather won’t contact or cooperate with listing their home. How can my mom proceed?

He has moved out. She’s trying to list the house because she can’t afford it on her disability alone. He won’t communicate with anyone. She’s trying to move forward with the process to prevent losing the house. Is there a way she can try to make this work? Any help is appreciated.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Jul 16, 2019

Divorce is the legal process that seems to be the best candidate. There are other legal processes, such as a personal bankruptcy, that might cause the process to move forward as well. Your mother should consult with an attorney.

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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
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
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
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
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 »

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