Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In

Questions Answered by Thomas C. Valkenet

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Maryland on

Q: Is there a Maryland law that indicates home sellers must cover cost to fix septic or well?

if they don't pass inspection? or are these addendum's that are put into an offer?

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jun 13, 2019

This is a negotiated item. The standard Board of Realtors contracts have contingencies for buyer's inspections of these items. If the inspections fail, there is a negotiation over repairs, who pays, price reduction, etc. There is a point where the buyer may elect to cancel the deal if the item is... Read more »

View More Answers

4 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: Great grandmother's property going into lien foreclosure in 2 wks. If I pay taxes, can I sell the property.

Great grandmother died in 1985. Left property as heir property. My mother held power of attorney. My great-uncle attempted to sell the property. He couldn't b/c the heirs never paid my great-grandmother's attorney for the work he did. As such, the deed was never transferred to the heirs. Taxes are... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on May 22, 2019

You can pay, but you will be deemed a volunteer, which means nobody will have to pay you back. Your course of action is through the probate proceeding to replace the old personal representative, who failed to have the prior deed recorded, or to safe guard estate property. You may, or may not be... Read more »

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: Is it worth pursuing a buyer who defaulted on a residential sale 2 days before closing after removing all contingencies?

Our buyer unexpectedly presented us with a unilateral termination as we were preparing to close.

- we met all deadlines including original closing date

- we agreed to and completed over $5k in repairs (our agent coordinated with the contractor to pay out of proceeds)

- the... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on May 21, 2019

This is a very common situation. Buyers can elect to break a contract. The question is whether there is a penalty. In your situation, you may elect recovery of the EMD or a suit for specific performance. Your contract certainly has mandatory mediation as predicate for a lawsuit for damages, but... Read more »

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: I just became aware that my Siblings forged my name on a deed of a in 2007. I am unsure re SOL.

I had been told house was being rented. We owned the property jointly.

House in MD; I live in AZ

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Apr 29, 2019

You must sue to have the deed declared void. Now that you have discovered the forgery, you have limited time.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: Myself and my brother both inherited our mothers home in 2012. I offered a buyout amount. He refused.

The offer is minus half of the mortgage, property taxes and maintenance repairs. What exactly is he financial responsibility for as half owner of the house?

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Apr 11, 2019

Your use of the phrase "inherit" is not descriptive enough. Did the Estate grant a deed naming both of you as co-owners? Or are you referring to a Will giving you the house, but the title document was not executed and recorded?

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: Is it a requirement for a buyer to hire a real estate broker in order to buy a real estate property in Maryland?

I was told that Maryland by law requires you to hire an agent for the acquisition of real estate. I find that hard to believe.

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Apr 9, 2019

Not true. But an agent or lawyer can be useful.

When the unrepresented shows interest in a residential property, the selling agent will usually try to convince the buyer to use a buyer's agent in the selling agent's own office.

The other common fallacy is that you must use only...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: The fixes agreed upon in the inspection notice were not completed- Seller has now said he will NOT fix, what can we do

Seller and Sellers agent told us at settlement that the receipts would be sent to us a few days after settlement or left at the house, they were never sent or left. When we went back to them to get the agreed upon items fixed they both said that they will not be doing these fixes now. There were 2... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Mar 26, 2019

This is a very ordinary claim for breach of contract. You may sue to enforce the promise, or you may complete the work and sue for the actual cost to you of completing what was promised. The amount in controversy will determine the court where claim is brought. If the evidence is that the seller... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: I want to put the deed to my mortgaged home in my sons name,what is the first step/

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Mar 20, 2019

This is not difficult, but unless the mortgage is refinanced by him, or extinguished by full payment, he will take subject to the mortgage. Also, the terms of your mortgage might restrict your ability to re-title without paying the balance.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: My HELOC was transferred. Does the assignment of deed of trust have to be recorded, and who bears responsibility ?

HELOC was transferred in September and new servicer has not produced an assignment of deed of trust, despite my many attempts to get a copy. Don't they have to file an assignment at the courthouse in order for the title to be clear?

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Mar 14, 2019

Not in Maryland. But to protect the borrower, you are credited with all payments to the former holder/servicer until and unless you receive notice of the new beneficiary/note-holder.

3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Securities Law for Maryland on

Q: Can a settlement agent who signs a loan application also be the notary and witness on a deed of trust.

Seems to be to many roles and a conflict of interest, fraud or unethical. I read somewhere that only an attorney can prepare deeds of trusts.

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Mar 4, 2019

Anyone can prepare a deed of trust. That is a different question. Also, almost anyone can witness a signature. But only an attorney can execute the lawyer's preparer affidavit (if the lawyer was involved).

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: My father recently purchased a single-Family home at auction. What is the best way for me to get a loan for 60% equity?

We're trying to understand the laws and process to determine the best way for me to live in the house and pay back the Money to my father. We are trying to avoid as many taxes and fees as possible.

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Feb 11, 2019

The answer depends on who is asking. For instance, the best thing for your father is for you to obtain a loan and to pay him the full purchase price in exchange for a deed. He then walks away and you live in the house. The best thing for you might be an option to purchase, or a rent-to-own. These... Read more »

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Legal Malpractice for Maryland on

Q: Can attorney represent trust & mortgage servicer.Does servicer respond to summons or can trustee answer both summon com

I served 2 summons complaints, one on Ocwen Loan Servicing and second on U.S Bank, NA as Trustees resident agents who were different companies who had different names and addresses. The attorney for U. S. Bank, NA as Trustee is representing both Ocwen Loan Servicing and U.S. Bank on two separate... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jan 2, 2019

It is not necessarily a conflict, and if so, it can likely be waived. It is not the type of thing that you can take advantage of since you are not adversely affected. It is a common mistake to think that a lawyer's ethical obligations to others can be used to advantage by an adverse party. If there... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on

Q: Is there discovery in every case?

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Dec 8, 2018

Yes, every civil case permits some discovery. The District Court limits the scope and number of written requests. And the practice of mandatory disclosures in the federal court is different than State courts. The amount and type of discovery is also dictated by your own goals in the case.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on

Q: My son Public defender has not contacted him after we have called. He has court Tuesday still have not heard from him.

What should we do?

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Feb 18, 2017

Show up for court. You will talk with the PD before the court session. If things are not how you want them, you may obtain a continuance in order to retain a private lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Probate for Maryland on

Q: What happens if someone passes away and owned a business in partnership without a will?

My mom recently passed away. She owned a Business in partnership with one of my siblings. What happens to her portion of the business? Does it go to the sibling who is the partner? Or does it go to all of the siblings?

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Dec 26, 2016

Maryland has extensive partnership statutes that must be considered with whatever partnership agreements exist, and terms of a will, or the intestacy statutes. The Personal Representative of her estate should consult a lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: Hired an Hvac contractor to install a new furnace and ac. Paid in full. Contractor did not complete the installation

Does not answer calls,texts or voicemail. What legal options do I have?

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Dec 26, 2016

You have rights to sue in court, and you may file complaints with the relevant Maryland licensing boards. The full scope of your rights depends on what is written in your documents, and other things a lawyer can tell you after a thorough interview.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: I Have a Property and The Neighbor Trees are Hanging All Over My Side, Driveway, Roof. window,etc. What can i do??

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Dec 26, 2016

It is the law of Maryland that you may cut and trim anything hanging over your property line. Anything further will require negotiation with the neighbor, or a court action for nuisance.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: Upon the death of a homeowner, who becomes responsible for paying the mortgage?

The property is in disrepair and cannot be sold for the amount owed. Also, if the property has been willed to individuals that won't pay the mortgage, will the full amount owed end up being the responsibility of the estate? Thankfully the owner is still alive, but not well. He is trying to decide... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Dec 26, 2016

Whomever is still on the mortgage. Otherwise it is up to the estate of the deceased person to liquidate the asset and pay off the loan. The current owner may try a short sale, but if the property is in poor condition it is likely nobody can get financing.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: I was in a contract to sell a home i inherited. the buyer refused to buy unless i put into estate. now he is suing.

Is it legal to sue me because he could not get his lender to settle without putting home into estate? The sell also did not take place because I refused to sign or agree to a lot of amendments. This is Prince George County MD

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Dec 26, 2016

If the house was in the dead person's name, and the will said you inherit, then you must pass title through the estate. The house is then sold to the third-party by the Personal Representative, and the proceeds of sale go to the estate for distribution to heirs (you), or you take title from the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: I live in a Townhome in Howard County. I want to replace my siding but my neighbor has denied access.

To his roof. what can I do?

Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Dec 26, 2016

If you are in an HOA, you may have shared rights of access under the documents. But you are not otherwise entitled to climb on your neighbor's property to access your own. This is a very common issue, and it must be resolved through good neighbor relations or your willingness to provide... Read more »

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.