Laurel H. Siegel’s Answers

Laurel H. Siegel

Boston Real Estate Attorney.

Contributor Level 7
  1. Does a tax assessor have the right to enter your home?

    Answered 8 months ago.

    1. Laurel H. Siegel
    2. Henry Lebensbaum
    3. Michael J. Szklasz
    4. Shelley Ann Elder
    4 lawyer answers

    In Massachusetts, the municipality does have the right to send an inspector to your home, and part of their inspection would include entering your home your home to determine what improvements or alterations may have been made that would have an impact on the assessed value of the property. You also have the right to ask them not to enter your home. However, in doing so, you would waive the right to later challenge the assessment of your property if you believed that it did not accurately...

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  2. I signed a mortgage for my brother. He hasn't paid in over 5 years and I have been stuck with it. How do I get out of this?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Laurel H. Siegel
    2. Constantine T Mariolis
    3. Erik Hammarlund
    3 lawyer answers

    If you used your property as collateral for a loan for your brother and you signed a mortgage and a promissory note to the bank, you have a binding legal obligation to the bank to repay the loan and, absent some proof of fraud by the bank, there is no way to avoid that obligation. However, if you have suffered a financial hardship or have another qualifying circumstance you may be eligible for one of the many borrower assistance programs. Depending on what, if any, agreement you had with your...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. When in a mortgage refinance is marital status verified? If at all?

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Laurel H. Siegel
    2. Julie A. Franklin
    2 lawyer answers

    The first question is why would/did someone misrepresent their marital status? Ultimately, marital status is not relevant to the making of the loan. If the loan is solely in one person's name the lender looks only to that person's credit, and not their spouse, in determining whether they will make the loan, and under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act a lender cannot discriminate against a borrower based on their marital status. But providing false information on a loan application...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. Can anyone assist with a certain language in a P&S agreement?

    Answered 8 months ago.

    1. Michael J. Tobin
    2. Laurel H. Siegel
    3. E. Alexandra Golden
    4. Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel
    5. Steven S. Bloom
    5 lawyer answers

    The language means that the seller has a contractual obligation to deliver the property to you without tenants, and if they can't do so they may be in breach of the P&S. However, if there are tenants in the property they also have certain rights and depending on the timeframe for when you expect to close, whether the tenants have leases or are tenants at will, and other factors, the seller may not legally be able to remove them before your closing. As mentioned by the other attorneys who...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. How are you today? my first question is how can i find out if my father owes taxes on his property

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Thomas J Callahan
    2. Laurel H. Siegel
    3. Steven M Zelinger
    3 lawyer answers

    You should contact the tax department (often referred to as the treasurer or collector's office) for the municipality where the property is located. They may be able to give you an informal, oral statement of whether taxes are outstanding for the property, although not all municipalities are willng to do so. For a more formal statement, you would request a document called a Municipal Lien Certificate, which is a legal document listing any outstanding taxes and assessments for a property. You...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. Can my mother put her home in my name even though she still owes a mortgage on it?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Laurel H. Siegel
    2. E. Alexandra Golden
    3. Mark L Scheier
    4. Abraham Thomas Schwager
    4 lawyer answers

    Most standard residential mortgages include what's called a "due on sale clause" which allows the lender to demand repayment of the loan in full if the ownership is transferred to anyone other than the borrower. However, there is a federal statute which exempts certain types of transfers from the due on sale clause, including some transfers to family members and to certain types of trusts. She should consult with an attorney to review your mother's mortgage and the federal statute to...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. Hi ishort saled my house last year i do not owe the irs anything.why do i owe mass and anything i can do

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Laurel H. Siegel
    2. E. Martin Davidoff
    3. Brian C. Pascale
    3 lawyer answers

    In 2007 the federal government enacted the Mortgage Debt Relief Act which has allowed taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence, including balances forgiven by a mortgage lender when they accept a short sale. However, that act applies only to federal income tax, and Massachusetts has not enacted a similar act for state income tax, which is why you may still owe state taxes on the amount forgiven by your lender. You should speak with a tax attorney or...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  8. Can a Homestead Declaration be filed under a different document type other than Declaration of Homestead?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Joshua N Robbins
    2. Thomas C. Marino
    3. Laurel H. Siegel
    3 lawyer answers

    A homestead would not usually be listed under a different document name. And yes, you could file a new homestead if you wish. However, before doing so you may want to hire an attorney to review the title to your property for you. It's possible that the homestead was recorded but was not indexed correctly (names and addresses can sometimes be misspelled in the online index) and an attorney may be able to locate the original homestead for you.

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  9. Foreclosure payment determination in foreclosure

    Answered 4 months ago.

    1. James Ostendorf
    2. Laurel H. Siegel
    3. Mark L Scheier
    4. Thomas C. Marino
    5. Danielle M. Callahan
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    Further to Attorney Ostendorf's response, the bank has the right to foreclose on the mortgage if payments have not been made, but they have no requirement to do so. And there are a number of reasons why a bank may choose not to foreclose in a particular property - depreciated value of the property, too many other foreclosed properties on their books, etc. So, even though the mortgage has been unpaid for 6 years, the bank has no duty to initiate foreclosure and has the right to just allow the...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  10. Can a mortgage company legally add you to a mortgage without contactin you?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Justin Puhlick
    2. Laurel H. Siegel
    3. Erik Hammarlund
    3 lawyer answers

    Do you mean that you are both listed as borrowers on the mortgage, or just that you both signed the mortgage? If you and your wife are both listed on the deed to the property, even if your wife was the only borrower for the loan, the bank usually would have required you to sign the mortgage to show your consent to the lien on the property. That by itself would not make you a co-borrower on the loan. The bank would not be able to add you to the mortgage without your consent. You should...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer