Questions Answered by Cedulie Renee Laumann

Q: When a loved one passes away are you required by law to open up an estate if they have a house in a reverse mortgage

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 17, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
If someone dies with property titled in their sole name, then yes, an estate should be opened. Very generally speaking family has no obligation to open an estate (unless they are the named personal representative in a will) but it is usually in their interests to do so.

A reverse mortgage is a lien against the property, but that in and of itself doesn't indicate what is in the estate (sometimes there will be equity going to the heirs/estate, sometimes not).

Q: If I sell my Maryland house with a life estate deed WITH power before I die, is the remainderman entitled to anything?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Apr 7, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
No.

Life estate deeds with full powers are used regularly for estate planning in this state and if properly drafted the remainderman has no interest whatsoever until the life tenant dies.

Please note that an attorney cannot realistically answer questions about a specific deed without looking at the deed itself, but very generally life estates are split into two kinds: 1) "without powers" (where the remaindermen need to get involved with any sale/mortgage proposed by the...

Q: Could this lien be for a house sale because I did not live in Md. In 2015. Grounds and authorities: section 13-805 -

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 22, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
While an attorney cannot analyze a purported lien without looking at it, property tax liens for failing to pay annual property taxes usually fall under the tax PROPERTY article, title 14 (not the tax GENERAL article).

The code section you cited in the general tax article usually applies to other kinds of tax liens. The Comptroller should be able to tell you what the underlying tax deficiency might be (income tax, inheritance tax, etc.)

While not legal advice I hope that...

Q: What is the maximum interest I can charge for a business tenant rent default in Maryland

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Maryland's usury laws are fairly complicated. The location of the tenant is likely irrelevant. The general legal rate of interest in MD is 6%. Most of the time people can charge up to 8% so long as there is a written agreement to that effect. However parties can agree in various situations to higher interest rates in writing, up to 24% and in some cases higher. Federally charted banks don't follow the same rules and a corporation can be charged any interest rate the parties agree to. A...

Q: My husband passed away, no will. He was the sole owner on the house and one vehicle. Will I be forced to sell home

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
When someone dies without a will, the laws of intestate succession apply. Depending on what other family they leave behind, property may have to be split with the children or parents of the person who died. Generally the person handling the estate will want to wait before paying credit card debt off to see what other claims might be filed against the estate - the law gives an order or "priority" of paying obligations in an estate.

Please sit down with an attorney who can take a...

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

4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Both attorneys correctly noted the general principle that people need to pay off their mortgage before transferring / deeding their property, BUT there are still ways a parent can legally add a child to a deed without needing to pay off the mortgage early.

A) If the goal is to transfer current ownership, you can do so by means of a deed after you contact your lender's assumption department. There is a federal law that addresses the situation you describe. While in MOST cases you...

Q: In Maryland if there is no will and the estate representative doesn’t sell the home of the deceased in the allotted time

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
The difficulty with your post is the phrase "and the state takes over and puts it up for auction." That is not normal, so an attorney would want to understand why the state of Maryland would possibly be involved with putting up a property for sale. Now Maryland counties routinely put properties up for tax sale when the taxes aren't paid, and sell them to private parties, but your post suggested "there are no taxes owed."

Generally speaking, if the appointed personal representative...

Q: I own a timeshare with my mother, who is now deceased. How can I get her name off the deed?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 13, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
This can only be done by a Deed. The Personal Representative is the only one with authority to sign a deed after someone dies, so this requires someone to serve as Personal Representative. An estate should be opened where the deceased person was domiciled (which may or may not be where they lived). If property is in other jurisdictions you may need to start secondary (or "ancillary") estate proceedings in the other states. Some states have a streamlined process for transferring real...

Q: We are on Septic, "Will we be able to sell our house?" - drain field is not on our property.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Some options in situations like this are getting and recording an easement from the neighbor on whose property the drain field lies, or, in some situations, replacing the entire septic system with a documented one solely on the right property.

An environmental study might not be necessary but getting records from the health department (or whatever department in your county has records of private septic systems) and a survey probably are both essential first steps.

The big...

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

3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Securities Law for Maryland on
Answered on Mar 4, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
As Mr. Sternberg noted, a notary cannot witness their OWN application but they most certainly can witness any other borrower signing that and the host of other documents a borrower signs at a closing. A notary who witnesses documents to get title insurance must also be a licensed title insurance producer but there is nothing unethical about a notary being the only witness to the various loan and closing documents.

A notary cannot sign as the preparing attorney unless they are in fact...

Q: My bank account has been levied. Can they take all of my money out ? or is there a certain amount that can be taken ?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 21, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
The question does not describe the context but I'll assume that the asset seizure stems from a judgment which someone is trying to collect.

Maryland law exempts certain amounts from garnishment, but the exemption is not automatic. Very generally speaking Maryland allows an individual a sum total of $6,000 to exempt from garnishment. Additionally, some sources of money (such as social security) may be exempt from garnishment. In other words, a creditor with a valid judgment can...

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?

3 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 11, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
If your father owns the property free & clear and he is looking to give it to you, in exchange for you paying him back, this sounds like a family mortgage situation. This is documented by a note and mortgage/deed of trust. My firm helps clients set up family deed transfers and family mortgages, as do other attorneys in this state. Some private mortgages by unlicensed lenders are no longer allowed in this state, but Maryland does still allow parent/child mortgages.

Typically if a...

Q: I have a Tax Lien certificate in Charles county MD. What statute shows allowable costs for Letter of Settlement?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
The reimbursable expenses are outlined in Md Ann Code Tax Property Article Title 14. Specifically you'll want to look at 14-843. No, the costs of purchasing a lien certificate are not recoverable although the amount of taxes the original purchaser paid would be.

Because the statute allows for reimbursement of specified attorney fees, most tax sale certificate holders utilize the services of an attorney. You are encouraged to consult with an attorney. While I hope this online post...

Q: A lawyer doctored a document and presented it as the original to win his case. What can be done.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 11, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Most rulings can be appealed if there was an error in the trial court's handling of the evidence. However, keep in mind that appeal rights are very time sensitive.

Separately, the Attorney Grievance Commission in this state investigates charges of lawyer misconduct.

While not legal advice, I hope the general information above helps.

Q: Is anyone familiar or heard of Mortgage Edge Corporation. They're listed on Deed of Trust as beneficiary.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 11, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
The beneficiary under a Deed of Trust IS the lender.

Although this online forum is not designed to seek legal research on specific issues / entities / matters, you can check with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) for information on the last known resident agent for corporations operating in this state.

While not legal advice, I hope the above general information helps!

Q: My new commercial lease does not include any terms regarding rent increases. Is there a maximum amount in Maryland?

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 10, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
No, commercial leases don't have caps in this state and generally the terms can be whatever the parties negotiate.

Q: Am I responsible for water and sewer charges that were charged to the builder? I'm being sued over front foot fees.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Generally front foot assessments go with the property and become an obligation of the new owner (the same way HOA fees or property tax obligations would). Typically these payments last up to 30 years after a new development is built. That being said, both the contract and the closing paperwork should reveal the existence of front foot assessments.

If the Seller NEVER disclosed the front foot assessment, didn't put anything in the Contract and failed to notify in any of the...

Q: I am a trustee on a property that's in pre foreclosure. I would like to buy the home. Trust doc says we can buy and sell

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Foreclosure and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 10, 2019
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Under federal law, family members inheriting property may be able to simply take over the mortgage payments instead of refinancing in certain situations. However, whether that is feasible depends on other factors, such as buy-out ability. If the property remains in Trust, it is sometimes possible for a trust to take out its own mortgage (or refinance) but that is more complicated than an individual getting a mortgage on their own residence. If the property is at risk of foreclosure then it...

Q: Does a doctor break any laws dating a former patient?

1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law and Medical Malpractice for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
As with many things legal, whether a romantic relationship is legally problematic will depend on the circumstances. Was the doctor pursuing the patient while treating or did the romantic interest arise well after the termination of the doctor/patient relationship? Was the doctor/patient relationship a single visit without dependency or was this a long-term counseling situation? Besides all that, is the doctor in a practice / group with rules about such relationships?

Off the top of...

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

3 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Legal Malpractice for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 18, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Attorneys can appropriately represent more than one defendant in a given case (or for that matter more than one plaintiff), so long as the parties represented by the same attorney don't have claims or conflict involving each other. What an attorney cannot do is represent parties on two different sides of the same case (E.g, a plaintiff and a defendant in the same case).

Your post does not elaborate on why you suspect there is a conflict of interest, but at the end of the day if two...

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