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Maryland Consumer Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I lent a sculpture to a friend about ten years ago and it was on her front lawn all that time. She recently sold the

house and left the sculpture for the new owner. Do I have the right to reclaim my sculpture? I live in Montgomery County MD and that is where the sculpture is too.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 6, 2022

Can you prove it was a loan and not a gift? Is there a claim that you gave up ownership through abandonment of it? Your friend who sold the house in all likelihood did not inform the buyers that the sculpture was not part of the sale and did not convey--in fact, your friend may even have... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Legal Malpractice for Maryland on
Q: I'm a realtor in MD and a client posted a defamatory google review...can I sue for non-economic damages?
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 28, 2022

I am also a MD broker, and we have had this question from many of our clients, over time. The answer is entirely dependent on what the review says, and the circumstance. But it is extremely unlikely that you would ever recover non-economic damages. Have you exhausted your remedies with Google? Have... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Maryland on
Q: Midland funding filed a suit in 2019 and the summons was just issued. I am just now being served a summons.

My dad was given a summons for me today for a debt that is now past Maryland’s 3 year statue of limitations on credit debt collection. However even though the summons was just issued on March 8th, 2022 it states that they filed in July 2019. How am I just being served and is this legal? Does the... Read more »

Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on Mar 19, 2022

The statute of limitations is satisfied once the lawsuit is filed. So long as the lawsuit was filed within three years, the statute of limitations was satisfied. In addition, some contracts are under seal in which case the statute of limitations is 12 years.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: I'm was only nervous because they have the last 4 of my social security number and told me that I have 2 civil suits

pending against me. If I ask them for proof and they don't give it to me should I just block the number?

Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on Mar 15, 2022

If you are being sued in Maryland, you can look up your cases on Maryland Judiciary Case Search. All civil lawsuits in state court should appear.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Hello I'm reaching out to find out if I am being scammed

I received a call from two different companies about a debt that is not mine. How can I find out if I'm dealing with identity theft or a scam?

Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on Mar 15, 2022

It very well could be a scam. Do not provide any personal information. Tell them to send proof of the debt by regular mail.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Unlicensed contractor stole money and isn’t giving it back
Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
answered on Feb 16, 2022

You can sue the unlicensed contractor for the money. An unlicensed contractor can even be sued for money paid for services performed since he was unlicensed.

You can also file criminal charges for theft and working as a contractor without a license. The court can order restitution as part...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Just found out that my contractor is unlicensed and has made a mess. Fired him and hired licensed contractor.

Unlicensed contractor owes me thousands and I believe stole money and medication from me

Also claimed to be licensed and insured!!!

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 14, 2022

If this was a home improvement project (construction work/remodel on your residence) then file a complaint with the MHIC. You cannot get any money from them, but they will bring criminal charges against the unlicensed contractor, and the judge in the criminal case can order monetary restitution... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Consumer Law and Products Liability for Maryland on
Q: Am I legally obligated to pay a repair bill to a car repair service center if they damaged my vehicle,

They had my vehicle for several months. When it was just about ready, it fell off the car lift and sustained damages totaling my vehicle. Their insurance company wrote it off as a total loss and is offering me a just and fair offer for compensation. The service center is still requesting me to... Read more »

Eric Todd Kirk
Eric Todd Kirk
answered on Feb 9, 2022

They never returned a repaired car to you. They did not live up to their end of the contract. I would not be inclined to pay the bill. You can submit the bill to their insurer and ask them to pay it.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: How can I obtain the rights to my photographs from a photographer free of watermarks?

Recently, I had family photos taken by a photographer. Prior to the on site shoot the photographer and I discussed, through text message, watermarks on the photos as well as the use of the photos. He stated the final product would not have the watermark and we could use the photos at our... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 25, 2022

You have a contract, I hope, which is written. The terms of payment are or should be stated, as well as what you are paying for exactly and what the photographer is to provide for that payment. Without reviewing the terms of the contract, it is impossible to advise you. As a general matter,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Can a debt summons be served on me and handed to a family member at old address. I have not used in a decade.

Current address I have on Id is not that address and has not been in years. Address on debt is not that address either. State is maryland

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 30, 2021

It is not proper service unless you live there. However, the court does not know you do not live there, so in order to contest service, you will have to file a motion to strike the service as invalid, sign an affidavit that you do not live at the address where the summons was served, and claim you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Products Liability and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: Supplier/ installer company sold the ceiling track light to the dentist. The light got separated from the pole, fell and

The light got separated from the pole, fell and caused injury. Expert concluded that the security pin that hold the light to the pole was not installed. Company came and replaced the light and installed the pin in other thirteen pieces of the same type of equipment. There was a personal injury... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 24, 2021

(1) and (2): The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues recalls for unsafe consumer products, and the manufacturer remains liable to injured persons (emphasis on "injured") on account of their dangerous products, but there is n general right to sue companies solely on the basis that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Am I or my assets liable if add fiance to bank acct OR credit card, if a past Collections comes after her? Thanks.

Newly engaged and want to add fiance to bank account(s) and or credit cards of mine for access. Trust is complete from me to her...

She has a $120k debt from car accident (torn artery/needed resuscitation) 7 years back. Those bills stopped and havent been seen in longgggg time... thry dont... Read more »

Daniel Staeven
Daniel Staeven
answered on Dec 6, 2021

The simple answer with this fact pattern is that you have liability for your cash in a bank account as it will be presumed that she owns half of the money prior to your marriage. This fact pattern is only presumed if the creditor comes after your jointly owned account.

Adding your fiance...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: A car is under parent name, but I pay car note and insurance which is under my name

4 years ago, I traded in a car for another. It was put under a parents name. I pay the car note and pay for insurance which is under my name. I’ve been hearing that as soon as car is fully paid for, they are going to claim it stolen and take the car. They haven’t allowed me to update... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Nov 22, 2021

Gather all your evidence of payments, trading in your prior car as the downpayment, cost of oil changes and maintenence, insurance premiums and policies issued in your name, as well as any evidence of your continuous possession and exclusive use of the vehicle since it was purchased. They may have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Maryland on
Q: Does time barred debt cover school tuition in Maryland from 2009
Daniel Staeven
Daniel Staeven
answered on Oct 25, 2021

It depends. What type of school debt are you talking about? Is this a private school for children? Or, private loans for undergraduate or graduate schools? Or, loans for a college education? The type of debt will depend on whether it is time-barred or not.

You should contact an attorney to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Consumer Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: My mortgage company refuse to sign my insurance claim check and sent the check back with no explanation.

I live in Maryland

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Oct 14, 2021

You cannot expect a response that will help you in any meaningful way without providing facts, details and context. Start with stating what you received an insurance check for, why it was sent to your insurance company, and the reason the insurance company sent it back to you. If you don’t know... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, Contracts and Legal Malpractice for Maryland on
Q: I was given 2 responses but I dont know how to respond directly. I signed with my current Attorney in Oct of 2019.

Came up with a plan - started paying the bankruptcy each month. Paid into it March through November of 2020. My attorney filed something incorrectly - case was dismissed for a month. Started getting calls from creditors. He corrected it - I'm back in the bankruptcy. Bankruptcy approved in Dec... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 16, 2021

You can get a second opinion from another experienced bankruptcy lawyer, who will need to review your case and the filings in it. If there is something new that can be done, other than what is being done, then they will tell you. If there was malpractice, then they can identify it for you and... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: The loan is in my name only but the registration and tags are in mine and Exs name. Who ownes the car legally?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 15, 2021

By title, you both legally own the car equally. Neither of you could be charged with the crime of theft for taking possession of the car from the other and driving it away. Civilly, however, as part of an alleged contract or agreement pursuant to which one of you made all the payments toward the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: What type of lawyer specializes in home warranty cases? My builder is refusing to cover items in the 1-year warranty.
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Aug 3, 2021

That’s just a litigator who practices in the county where the builder will be sued.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: I am the builder of a new home in Prince Georges County Maryland. I am having a horrible time with an overzealous HOA

I am representing a purchaser of a custom to be built home. The lot is within a 50 year old community called Montpelier in Laurel MD 20707. All of the houses with the exception of this one lot was built in the 60's . The association is Montpelier Community Association. They have an... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Jul 30, 2021

Your questions says you are "developer," but that you "represent the owner." Regardless, you have a political and legal problem. If you can't negotiate your way through a community organization staffed by non-professionals, you have the legal option of seeking a declaratory... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Does my friend have to pay for heating oil mistakenly delivered to my address?

A heating oil company delivered oil to a friend's house that was supposed to be delivered to a house two doors away. My friend found a bill/receipt on her patio and took it to the address listed on the bill/receipt, thinking that it had just blown into her yard. Turns out the oil was... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jul 3, 2021

The section you cite is directed to deliberate efforts by a seller to get a consumer to buy their product, without a contract, by intentionally delivering and then billing that consumer for the goods they did not order. The situation you describe is not that scenario; rather, it is a mistaken... Read more »

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