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Questions Answered by Thomas C. Valkenet
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Does title insurance cover improperly subdivision Issues with the county on a piece of property.
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Oct 18, 2019

It may. But the specific facts of your transaction are essential to any lawyer giving you a coverage determination. How you frame your title policy claim is important, as an improperly worded demand for coverage could result in a denial that is tough to overcome. If you are in active litigation,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it unlawful in MD to keep a deposit on an "as is" property sale if you fail to disclose a known structural defect?
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Oct 15, 2019

Perhaps, it depends on all the circumstances and the reason for termination of the contract. Of course, whether it is legal or not really depends on the willingness to pursue recover. Your standard MAR contract has mandatory mediation within the first year. And you must also consider the broker... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: My home was foreclosed in july 2019. The home was owned by me and a co-owner. The deed was titled as tenants in common.

A few years after purchasing the home an individual who had a judgement against the co-owner n another county in maryland, came to the county where the home was owned and attched the judgement. The home was sold by the bank for a $150,000 profit.

Am i entitled to half of that money since... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Oct 3, 2019

If you mean that the foreclosing bank generated a surplus from the subsequent sale out of foreclosure, then you must make claim for the surplus that has been deposited with the tax collector. Your co-owner may also make a claim, and the two of you may negotiate, agree or fight over the split. The... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Maryland on
Q: Since I owe a large sum on my house; when I die, can my adult children just 'give the keys' to the mortgage company ?

I hope my adult children would not have to pay off my house

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jul 30, 2019

Assuming you are the only name on the deed, the house becomes "property of the estate" upon your death. Your "just debts" must be paid out of the assets in the estate, and that includes the mortgage. Your heirs may be able to refinance the mortgage so the house is not sold to a third-party.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I am in MD state. If i break my lease am i responsible for the remaining balance of rent if a tenant is in the appartmen
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jul 26, 2019

If you signed the current lease, the landlord can make claim on you. You can then make claim for a portion of that amount against your former roommate. If you have vacated and the new tenant replaced you, with a new lease, then the landlord cannot make a double recovery. You may still be... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can Can You Quiet Title A Estate Estate / Property With No No mortgage / Lease.. && Not Regarding Adverse Prosession

Maryland Maryland

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jul 12, 2019

Yes. A quiet title action may be brought to address any dispute over interests in real property. Adverse possession is only one of many potential disputes. You may also couple many equitable claims with demands for money damages and injunctive relief, negative and affirmative.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Does a seller have to complete and provide a property disclosure form for a renovated home that they did not reside in?
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jun 26, 2019

Yes. Of course, the seller can also disclaim knowledge of anything by stating "as-is." The question as to actual knowledge of latent defects is the most important, however.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can a primary borrower divest all interest in a property when they are not on the deed?
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jun 19, 2019

If you are not on the deed, then you don't have an interest in the real property. You can remain liable for the loan if you have signed the promissory note or deed of trust as a borrower/guarantor.

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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
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 »

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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
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 »

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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
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 »

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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
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.

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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
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?

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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
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 »

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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
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
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.

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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
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
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).

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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
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 »

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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
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 »

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