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Questions Answered by Thomas. R. Morris
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 »

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

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