Questions Answered by Trent Harris

Q: I'm the personal representative in my mother's estate how do I have the deed to the house change the my name

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 24, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
Assuming you were in informal probate, assuming you have letters of authority that are unrestricted as to your powers, and assuming you're the heir/devisee who is entitled to inherit the house, then you could sign a personal representative's deed conveying the house from the estate to yourself. The deed would need to be recorded at the register of deeds, and a property transfer affidavit sent to the local assessor. If a principal residence exemption was in place for your mother, it should now...

Q: Michigan. How do I open probate years after death without an account balance?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 23, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
The bank is right. To give you information, the bank has the right to require you to show proper authority over the account. But you may not need to open an estate to get the money transferred if the account is worth $23,000 or less. You could try to use an Affidavit of Decedent's Successor for Delivery of Assets Owned by Decedent, SCAO form pc598, along with the death certificate to the bank. Here is a link to the form and some instructions at the Leelenau County court's website....

Q: Ex wife did not refinance loan for house from divorce and mortgage just increased $10,000 w/o my sig. Is this legal

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Divorce and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 22, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
The divorce decree is binding between you and your ex-spouse, and isn’t binding on the mortgage company. So they have the right to continue reporting the loan as yours, until it’s paid in full. That’s the first part.

But the second part is whether the loan documents you signed permitted future advances under the mortgage. You say that the loan was a conventional loan. If so, then future advances seem unlikely under the loan documents.

Without seeing the documents you...

Q: filing for car I have, it dont run. I want to get rid of car, bank gave me release of lien paper. Can I sell it?

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 20, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
If you have a release of lien, the car is yours now and you can do as you wish with it. You can sell it but make sure you get what it’s worth. If you sell for significantly less than it’s worth, especially if sold or gifted to an insider like a friend or family member, it could hurt you in your bankruptcy. So make sure to keep good records of the sale, what you got for it, and how you spent the money afterwards.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified...

Q: My mom died about two months ago in Michigan, and my sister went to Probate Court in Wayne County to live in my mom's ho

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 17, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
It sounds like your sister has been appointed personal representative of the estate. Whether your sister can sell the house depends on how the house was owned by you and your deceased mother, whether it was joint tenants with right of survivorship, or whether it was tenants in common. If it was tenants in common, then the house is an asset of your mother’s estate now. Without more information, it’s hard to help you further. You should talk to an attorney to find out more.


Q: is social security counted as disposible income in a chapter 13 bankruptcy

5 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 15, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
For purposes of the Chapter 7 means test, Social Security benefits are not income. But for purposes of Chapter 13 disposable income, yes, Social Security benefits are counted as income from which your allowable expenses are subtracted to arrive at disposable income in Michigan. In some other jurisdictions (other than Michigan), the answer would be different.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to...

Q: Has the law been altered as of 2019?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Consumer Law, Contracts and Juvenile Law for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 13, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
There isn’t an age minimum, but if you’re a minor you’ll need your parent to come with you to the tattoo shop and give permission.

Here is a link to Michigan’s law on tattooing minors.

Also, tattoo shops are free to set their own rules about the minimum age of someone they tattoo. My recommendation is to wait until you’re older. A tattoo is forever, and not...

Q: my husband's grandmother lert a will. Upon her passing her surviving son & daughter will split the house . On her decis

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 11, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
Under Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code, a child is also defined as someone with whom the parent had an openly acknowledged parent-child relationship which continued until death of the parent. The 3rd wouldn’t necessarily have to have a DNA test or birth certificate to prove she has the right to inherit from the parent’s estate. You, or the 3rd child, should talk to a qualified lawyer in your area who can help in this situation.

Q: I am sued in small claims and I have questions about the paperwork that I received from the plaintiff's attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Collections for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 30, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
Something doesn’t add up here. If you are in small claims, an attorney wouldn’t be involved. If you are getting requests to admit and interrogatories from an attorney in Michigan, then: (a) you are in Circuit Court, or (b) you are in District Court and the judge has allowed discovery.

If you do not respond to the things you received from plaintiff’s attorney, the requests to admit will be deemed admitted. You should not ignore them, or the interrogatories. It sounds like you are...

Q: I had a Providian credit card when I was eighteen.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 21, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
It’s likely that your credit card had a high interest rate, and judgment interest has continued to accrue while the judgment remained unpaid. The maximum judgment interest rate in Michigan is 13%, so that would cause your unpaid judgment to double every 5.5 years. A judgment is good for 10 years and can be renewed. My suggestion would be to call the creditor or their attorney and see if you can negotiate a settlement to make it stop. Otherwise you will keep paying until the judgment, along...

Q: Can a rental place denie me a living based on my income in michigan I am homeless because of this.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 21, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
You're right that a landlord can't discriminate against you based on your disability. But, a landlord can refuse to rent to you based on your income. If you are on disability, your income may qualify you for subsidized housing or government housing assistance. Try reaching out to the public housing agency for your area, or the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. They may be able to help you find resources that can help you.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk...

Q: Would I be able to get a lawyer to represent me in a one time probate court guardianship case . If so what is the cost?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 16, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
Yes, the cost would first depend on the area where the Probate case needs to be filed (ie Detroit or Grand Rapids, versus a smaller city). Typically, attorneys in larger cities charge more, and attorneys in more remote, smaller cities charge less. Second it would depend how complicated the case is, and how much work it would take for the lawyer. Simple cases take less time and cost less, and complicated cases take more time and cost more. Finally, the lawyer would quote you a fee based on a...

Q: In Tennessee, when do I have to probate a will.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 14, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
You're posting a question in an area for Michigan probate questions. If the house and other property are in Tennessee, you need to talk to a Tennessee lawyer. If some of the property is in Michigan, then you could possibly open a probate estate here, if necessary. There isn't enough information in your question to answer it though, since the titling of property, its value, and whether there are payable-on-death beneficiaries on some of the financial accounts is unknown. A lawyer would need to...

Q: My sister and I are co-executors on my fathers will. Can she settle the estate without my knowledge

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 14, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
It would depend on (1) whether she has been appointed as the personal representative of the estate, and (2) how the personal representative's name was worded on the letters of authority that were issued.

If the letters said that you OR your sister were appointed as personal representative, then she might be able to act unilaterally without you. But if the letters say that is you AND your sister are appointed PR, then presumably you both would need to act together, she could not take...

Q: What happens if I don't pay some medical bills I can't afford? Can I just ignore them?

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 11, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
Medical bills are unsecured debt. If they are not paid, you can be sued and a judgment can be entered against you. A judgment creditor has a number of remedies, including garnishing wages, tax refunds and bank accounts, seizing property, putting liens on real property you own, and requiring you to come to court for creditors examinations under oath. It sounds like the advice you were given was not good advice. If the bill is yours, you will need to find a way to deal with it. I would not ignore...

Q: My exhusband contacted our town government office and had my water/sewage bill switched to his name without me knowing.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 8, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
What your ex-husband did doesn't sound right. A person who isn't on a lease for property, or an owner, generally shouldn't be able to change the name on the account. Have you talked to the town about getting it fixed?

Despite the bill being in his name, you may still owe the money if you don't want your water turned off. I would speak to the town office to get the bill fixed, and you may very well have to pay the past-due balance because it was for services you used. If you had to pay...

Q: Hello, I'm in Wayne county, and have to fill out inventory form PC 674 and need a little help as to what I should list

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 5, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
Your best bet for these type of questions would be to contact a lawyer to help you. No one can definitively answer these type of questions without knowing more about your situation.

Q: I received a letter from an attorney stating I am being sued by a debt collector, but I have not yet been served.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Collections for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 1, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
If the suit was filed properly in state court, it should be filed in the county in which you live. Call the district court and the circuit court for your county, and ask if a lawsuit has been filed against your name. Or, if the county where you live has an online site where you can search court records, you could find out that way. If the suit has been filed in federal court, then it would be for the Eastern or Western District of Michigan federal court, depending on the county you live in....

Q: Can a used car lot deny a potential buyer the right to have a vehicle inspected by an independent party?

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Lemon Law for Michigan on
Answered on Feb 28, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
It may not be illegal, but it should be a red flag to any buyer. Take your business elsewhere.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.

Q: Should I go to court, pay what the collection company wants me to pay, or file bankruptcy?

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Civil Litigation, Collections and Contracts for Michigan on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
No one can answer this question for you, or suggest an answer for you, without sitting down with you to talk specifics about all the things you mentioned in your question. You should call a bankruptcy lawyer and ask to set up a consultation.

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