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Herbert Warren Cooper IV
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Herbert Cooper’s Answers

526 total


  • Can an employer force me to give up my property!

    My work now requires that we give up an item we "care" about in order to get a walkie talkie that is necessary to complete our job. Can they do that?

    Herbert’s Answer

    It sounds like the employer is looking for a deposit to insure the return of the walkie-talkie? Not sure that is permissible, if the walkie-talkie is a job requirement. See comments by the other attorney - on point. Good luck!

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  • Mortgage Modification, just paid $2995 now new paperwork wants $675.37 and a new $1000 escrow. Is that legal?

    We worked hard to save my mothers house from Foreclosure. The lender panned out what seemed like a reasonable deal. We were to pay $2995 partial reinstatement fee and a new $675.37 mortgage. We paid the 3k payment and the acceptance paperwork came...

    Herbert’s Answer

    As the other attorney indicated, there are generally not enough facts in an online question to be able to accurately answer the question.

    However, as a general proposition, a lender has the right to protect its property interests, and if there are outstanding tax liens against the property which would be senior to or otherwise affect the lender's interest, they can pay those off and recoup it from the borrower or his or her successors. It would be unfortunate if they hadn't bothered to check those figures prior to making a modification.

    You might check with a legal clinic to see if they have anyone who could assist you.

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  • Are you responsible for damages from a healthy tree falling?

    My neighbors tree fell and damaged my fence. She went and got an arborists report stating that the tree was healthy. The day it fell, May 3rd , there was no storms or high winds. You can see that there is a rotted area in the pictures. Does this ...

    Herbert’s Answer

    The neighbor's insurance generally won't pay you for "an act of God". That said, if the fence will be costly to repair and or it will be costly to remove the remainder of the tree from your property, you may wish to have the tree examined, as mentioned by the other attorney. That examination, along with the pictures, should address the question as to why a healthy tree would fall. Of course, there are plenty of trees that have a certain level of apparent disease or damage which thrive for years, so it may not be readily apparent to a non-expert. Good luck!

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  • Can a property listed as secondary home for mortgage be converted to Investment property after Purchase.

    I am currently renting in Massachusetts and trying to buy my first home in Dallas. I was told that I have to indicate it as an investment property if I intend to rent. My question is I intend to buy as a secondary home and rent it out in future. ...

    Herbert’s Answer

    You would need to discuss it with your lender or their representative. As you may know, primary residences get favorable mortgage rates on the premise that you are less likely to default than with a business property, and the same holds true for vacation or second homes, to an extent. As long as you comply with their rules, you should be fine. You just don't want to get to closing and find out that they are claiming that you withheld your intent from them.

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  • Loitering or trespassing?

    I walked out into my backyard and I noticed a small rug hanging over my fence I flipped onto the ground. Went in the house. Came back out 15-20 mins later rug was back onto the fence. Once again I placed it onto the ground. Went in the house I was...

    Herbert’s Answer

    Back in the day, one would have simply called the neighbor to ask that they not hang the rug on the fence. As the other attorney noted, some fences built on the property line may be considered shared property, but if it is entirely on your property and you or your predecessors built it, then fine. You are correct that the police generally won't want to get involved, but if it might devolve into violence or other disturbance of the peace, they might, if only to avoid a future crime. Good luck!

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  • Cancel timeshare within 3 business days

    what information MUST I absolutely include in my letter to cancel a timeshare contract within the 3 business days according to MA Law. Do I send the notice to the seller listed in the Condo Certificate trust Sales agreement? There are no specific...

    Herbert’s Answer

    As the other attorney noted, if there is more than one potential address, send it to all. It would be wise to use "trackable" mail such as certified mail with return receipt/signature required and or Priority Mail Express with signature require. That said, read the materials carefully, as a statutory notice provision generally expects that the address for cancellation will be clearly identified (at the risk of having the offeror be in violation of the statutory recission provisions.)

    Good luck!

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  • Unit Deed vs Master Deed

    2 unit condo both lived for 19yrs without condo fees 50/50 interest we are trustees. the unit deed has a cap on reserve but the master deed doesn't.

    Herbert’s Answer

    It isn't clear what the question is. If it refers to a minimum reserve, rather than a cap, that might be an issue. It isn't clear how a cap on the reserve is an issue, unless it violates lender's requirements. It sounds like you don't have any reserve anyway. Sleeping dogs?

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  • Can a trustee dissolve a irrevocable trust if both parents have passed away?

    My parents had an irrevocable trust with naming themselves and my oldest brother trustees. they also named him and us siblings beneficiaries of trust. We need to sell 2 rental properties to clear up a mortgage on primary residence. can this be ...

    Herbert’s Answer

    This really isn't the proper forum for obtaining detailed legal advice based upon specific facts - which is what you need in your particular circumstances. One would need to look at the trust instrument, and know a bit more about what is intended, and what taxes you seek to avoid. In theory, one can terminate a trust "early", but there are many factors which determine how easily that might be done. There may be other alternatives besides terminating a trust, including, potentially, a loan. It would very much depend upon circumstances.

    In short, the trustees and or the beneficiaries need to consult with an experienced attorney to obtain specific legal advice appropriate for the circumstances. Good luck!

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  • Is it better to ask for a petition for instructions or a complaint for declaratory judgement as a beneficiary of a land Trust?

    Grantor for RE trust died 5 years ago. There were two trusts that held one piece of property to make transfers for tax reasons. One revocable the other irrevocable.The irrevocable had 1 successor trustee , 1 of 3 beneficiaries.The revocable had al...

    Herbert’s Answer

    This is a question which, as others have noted, requires a detailed review of the facts, including the basis for not wanting to sell any property, whether there is a financial need to sell, what powers were set forth or limited in the trust documents, intent of the original grantor or grantors (i.e. former owners of the land), etcetera. There are a variety of different paths one could take, either in regard to real estate law or trust & estates law, as both apply.

    If there is real estate of any value involved, you should obtain legal counsel (not simply post on Avvo), and get legal advice tailored to your situation. Good luck!

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  • If an executor of estate refuses to disclose the balance of an account with cd's could you take legal action for embezzling

    Executor has control of non probate assets, checking & savings account and cd's. He refuses to say what is left and we fear he's been helping himself. The house has not been probated yet but we are concerned about what's left and do we have the ri...

    Herbert’s Answer

    It depends upon who the owner is. You really should consult an experienced attorney. In some cases, beneficiary designations of nonprobate assets are used in lieu of a will. It gets a little complicated, as the intent of the decedent comes into play.

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