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Laurel H. Siegel

Laurel Siegel’s Answers

36 total

  • Do i need a lawyer to sell my mothers house she left her belongins to me and my brother we have a will the will is in probate.

    are we required by law to have a lawyer ? what can happen if we don;t have a lawyer

    Laurel’s Answer

    There is no law that requires you to have an attorney when you sell a house. However, there are many things a lawyer can do to help protect you during the sale and after, particularly where this is an estate sale and you need to make sure you have all of the paperwork from the probate properly completed so that are able to sell the property.

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  • In a life estate between two parties, if one moves away, how long before the life estate is void?

    House deed with life estate between two parties, one has been gone for over a year.

    Laurel’s Answer

    There is no time limit on a life estate. Unless something in the deed specifically limits the time or makes it subject to the person continuing to live in the property, someone holding a life estate in a piece of property owns that interest for so long as they live, and it only terminates when they die, regardless of whether they actually live in the property.

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

    When in a mortgage refinance is marital status verified? If at all? What are the consequences for being a married person but listing your status as "single" on the mortgage application? Will this ever be investigated/verified? This is for Mass...

    Laurel’s Answer

    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 constitutes fraud, which is a criminal violation.

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

    Full possession of said premises free of all tenants and occupants, except as herein provided, is to be delivered at the time of the delivery of deed, said premises to be then (a) in the same condition as they now are, reasonable use and wear ther...

    Laurel’s Answer

    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 have responded, this is a complex issue and you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible about your rights.

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  • Does a tax assessor have the right to enter your home?

    The town is reassessing homes every nine years. Is it necessary for the Assesor to enter the house in order to do their job?

    Laurel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    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 reflect the condition or value of the property.

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  • Sales VErification form from my town assessor

    In April, 2013, my husband and I purchased a single family home in Avon, MA. The deed was recorded the same day and the town knows the purchase price. Last week, we received a Sales Verification Form from the Board of Assessors asking us to answ...

    Laurel’s Answer

    The municipality does have the right to ask questions to verify the details of your property, and even to have someone inspect the property. You have the right to refuse to answer or to permit inspection but in doing so you also would be waiving your right to challenge the assessed value they give to your property if you disagreed with it.

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  • I have a 2nd mortgage on a property, a bank has the First; can I foreclose on the property because of non-payment to my 2nd?

    The First mortgage to the bank is being paid, but I am not. If it is possible for me to foreclose and take title, is the current owner still bound to pay the First, or do I have to assume that mortgage? Thank you for your input.

    Laurel’s Answer

    As a second mortgage holder you can foreclose on the mortgage. However, since there is a mortgage ahead of you in first place you would have to notify the first mortgage holder of the foreclosure, and if ultimately the property were sold in foreclosure the first mortgage holder would get paid first, and then you would receive any additional amount from the sale (up to the amount actually owed to you for your mortgage). If the amount from the sale of the property was not enough to pay off both the first mortgage and your mortgage, the first mortgage holder would be paid in full and you would get the remainder. You would then have the option to go to court to get a deficiency judgment against the borrower for any amount still owed to you.

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

    I specifically remember a homestead declaration being filed several years ago, but an online search in the registry does not show the homestead declaration anywhere under either of our names. The home was refinanced since that time but I thought t...

    Laurel’s Answer

    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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  • Want to start a at home/online fashion jewlery business

    Whatdo i need to start a at home/online fashionjewlery business in MA state or just start do i just start selling and pay taxes at end of year?

    Laurel’s Answer

    You would need to consider what form of entity you will want for your business, such as a corporation or a limited liability company, or just operating the business as a d/b/a (doing business as) using your own social security number. You should confer with an attorney about the various liabilities and tax implications of the options available to determine which would best fit your needs, and that will determine what forms you might need to file with the state, your local city hall and/or the taxing authorities.

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  • MA Lien on property..Can property be refinanced by daughter who resides at home (+ 10 ys) was caregiver

    Quit Claim deed 15 years ago...daughters named..oldest lives at property. Dad is 82 in nursing home post stroke now dementia, HCP is invoked

    Laurel’s Answer

    If there is a lien on the property, a mortgage lender would generally require that the lien be paid off prior to closing on a refinance. In some cases, they may permit the lien to be paid off using the funds from the refinance loan. You would need to speak directly with the lender you want to use to see if they would be willing to do that. If there are other people other than the daughter named on the deed to the property, the lender may require that all of the others be included as borrowers for the loan. Even if they are able to give the loan only to the daughter, all of the other owners would have to sign some of the loan documents (particularly the Mortgage) as part of the closing, including the father if he is on the deed (or an authorized representative for him if he has dementia and does not have the capacity to sign for himself).

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