Questions Answered by Cedulie Renee Laumann

Q: Can our landlord sell the house and evict us without us wanting to leave?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Since the post suggests a Philadelphia location and a Maryland question, I'd first want to confirm where the property is located.

If in MD, Maryland law applies. (If in PA, re-post to PA). In Maryland, a landlord cannot oust a tenant during the lease term simply because the owner wants to sell (assuming the lease doesn't give the LL such right). Instead, the termination provisions of the lease apply and the landlord would need to wait until the end of the term or give the appropriate...

Q: What happens to my foreign bank accounts if I die in America without a valid will?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
If you are domiciled in Maryland at the time of your death, die without a will and an estate is opened up here, your probate property passes under the laws of intestate succession. Who gets the probate property and in what percentage depends on what relatives survive you.

Some property goes to beneficiaries by title and would not become a part of a probate estate. So it would be important to know how any bank accounts were titled. If the bank accounts had a beneficiary, presumably...

Q: My foreclosure auction was 4 days ago. I dont know if it sold. I have a tenant living there.

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
As with many things legal "it depends." If the tenant is a "bona fide" tenant (not related to the owner who lost the house), they may get 90 days or they may get to ride out the current lease.

The rules for how long a tenant gets to stay under the terms of their pre-foreclosure lease differ depending on who bought at auction (for instance, if someone bought to occupy the property they can oust a tenant quicker than someone who bought the property as an investment). It also varies...

Q: If a person uses a company to illegally obtain earnings from someone can that constitute fraud and can they be legally?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Small Claims for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
The question is unclear. To analyze possible fraud claims you are highly encouraged to seek legal advice from an attorney specific to your situation.

Q: Is there discovery in every case?

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
No, discovery is not mandated. It is up to the litigants to request what discovery they desire/need, consistent with the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure.

Q: I have a commercial lease in MD whats the max late fee my landlord can charge. I'm 7 days late. I have read 5 percent or

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Commercial leases do not follow the same rules as residential leases. The percentage cap you refer to (which is actually $5 per month or 10% of the payment due, but no more than 3 monthly late fees) deals with consumer debt which does not apply to commercial situations.

With few exceptions, the parties to a commercial contract can usually agree to any financial terms they wish.

See Md. Ann Code, Commercial Law, Title 14, Subtitle 13

Q: Home under appraised by 25k. Is the listing agent at any fault?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 5, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
A public post on this site is not designed to give any legal advice or opinion specific to a situation, but just general information related to a topic of law.

Let me first clarify /re-state your question: you asked a real estate agent to do what you wanted by listing at a certain price, now you wonder if there is legal basis to hold her "at fault" for following your instructions because a third party (appraiser) later had a different opinion of value?

Generally speaking, NO,...

Q: Am I liable for a mortgage if I did not fill out the loan application but am on the deed?

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 30, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
To answer the last question first, a deed does not in and of itself have anything to do with obligation on a loan. So if the loan is not paid off, the mere recording of a deed doesn't change anyone's liability.

More generally, in some situations, there is a loan by one but not all of the owners as borrowers. There are two related questions about "being liable" when someone is on the deed but not the loan. First, the non-borrower generally risks the lender taking the collateral...

Q: who pays inheritance tax/

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 14, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
As another attorney noted, except for things like life insurance or small amounts of $1,000 or less, a 10% inheritance tax is due in this state for anything inherited from a cousin (or most anyone else outside of immediate family). As to who actually pays this, depending on how the Will is written the Estate may pay the tax on your behalf. The lawyer handling the estate should be able to tell you whether or not the estate will pay the tax on your behalf.

Q: I have a contract on a home that has failed well water test for lead and nitrate. The Sellers say that adding one...

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Environmental and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 19, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
An attorney cannot assess the Seller's obligation without looking at the Contract.

That being said, there is no law that requires a Seller to install a whole house reverse osmosis system to fix well water issues, though the contract may speak to issues of repair and condition. It is not uncommon to treat well water by a water filtration system that covers the house and perhaps a single reverse osmosis system under the kitchen sink. Alternatively, if the lead is coming from certain...

Q: How do I write up a Bussiness trust 12-2004

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
The first question any business attorney will likely ask is: what are you looking to accomplish? A business trust is an old but relatively unusual way to conduct business, except perhaps in the case of real estate held in a grantor's revocable living trust. The question doesn't give any facts as to why an "unincorporated business trust" is desired. Most attorneys would ask whether the Grantor determined the tax liability for conducting a business in a trust vs. through a standard or...

Q: Is it legal to get data base off of a local gov't website

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Copyright, Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Many government websites make information readily available for search but have a disclaimer that the information cannot be harvested by an auto-bot, software programs, etc. Harvesting an entire database is probably not going to fly, but without knowing what database you are trying to access, one cannot realistically answer the question. More than likely the agency maintaining the website can answer the question.

Q: If a deed of trust has 3 people on it and it is being transferred to one person on the deed, does the transfer tax apply

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Unfortunately the answer is very locale and fact specific.

There are 3 different taxes that come into play with a deed. Transfers to/from a spouse, where property is encumbered by a mortgage, are exempt from both state & county transfer/recordation tax. Transfers to/from a sibling are GENERALLY tax exempt, at least from state tax, but in some locales (counties) the clerks may try to impose a county transfer tax based on the value of the assumed mortgage. In other counties, the...

Q: Is husband liable for a loan wife cosigned for her aunt?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Maryland does not shift debt to a spouse, so if a husband never signs any loan documents he should not be personally responsible for the debt of his wife.

Whether or not any assets are at risk will depend how they are titled.

While not legal advice, I hope that this helps.

Q: How would I find real property ie. real Estate on the Maryland probate search website? it is a little confusing

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
To find real estate in Maryland, one typically searches land records, not probate records. Probate searches will show what probate estates have been opened.

There is no way to search for what is in a particular estate (whether real estate or otherwise) without going into each estate's file and reviewing the inventories. And one cannot do that without physically going to the courthouse and/or ordering and paying for selected docket entries. But without understanding the basics it...

Q: Can I buy a property with Quit Claim deed and sell it with Warranty deed in future?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 10, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Quit claim deeds raise red flags in a title search but they don't prevent the person who gets property this way from making greater warranties.

Essentially the person giving property through a quit claim says "I don't know if I own this property but if I own it, I give it to you." There are no guarantees (warranties) that the seller really owns the property. A title search can help figure out if the seller had good title.

The standard type of deed in Maryland is a special...

Q: Can the estate in probate make mortgage payments for the joint tenant/spouse?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 31, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Please keep in mind that a federal law generally allows close family members who inherit a home to pay off the mortgage in the ordinary course and not requiring a lump sum payment.

An attorney would need to sit down with you to fully answer questions related to a specific estate.

An attorney would want to know: is the deceased parent obligated under the mortgage? Is anyone occupying the property? Generally speaking, an estate can pay the costs for maintaining estate...

Q: Are there any lawyers in Frederick Co. that do pro bono cases for Landlord vs tentant issues?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 29, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
You'd have to speak to the particular firm/attorney and ask them if they're willing to work for free based on the facts of your case and your financial situation.

However, if your landlord wrongfully withheld the security deposit without reason and without letting you know (assuming the landlord knew your forwarding address), you may not need to find a pro bono (unpaid volunteer) lawyer. That is because Maryland law says that if a tenant wins their case for getting the security...

Q: qualify for a tenant pro bon can u refer senior disaility tenant to a few of them o law firm located Baltimore md

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Criminal Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 29, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
The Pro Bono Resource Center and American Bar Association have teemed up to offer a free legal answer resource at the following website:

https://maryland.freelegalanswers.org/

They may ask a few questions to see if you qualify - if you do, you can ask a volunteer attorney your question.

Additionally, Maryland offers a free "self help" legal clinic in certain District Court locations (such as Baltimore City and Glen Burnie, MD) where volunteers help people fill out...

Q: I'm going on two years where I live.. Last year, my rent went up $30. This year, it's going up 120. Is this legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 29, 2018
Cedulie Renee Laumann's answer
Landlord/tenant law in Maryland is governed both by state law and also by the law of the county/city where the property is located.

Generally speaking, a Landlord is free to set rent at any rate they deem appropriate. That being said, the Landlord must follow the rules of the lease, so checking the lease is very important when trying to figure out if a rent increase is "legal." Additionally, in a few areas of this State (such as Montgomery Co) a Landlord must either offer a 2...

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