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Charles F Basil

Charles Basil’s Answers

322 total


  • Can my lawyer sue me for the legal fees that were supposed to be paid by my ex-husband according to the judgement received?

    During my divorce my legal fees were awarded to be paid by my ex-husband (after 6 days of trial and the final judge decision), to be his responsibility but since than he filed for bankruptcy and there is a possibility that the fees might be dismis...

    Charles’s Answer

    You need an attorney. Your lawyer has a suit against you, and your house has been liened.

    While the obligation of your ex to pay may not be dischargeable, as between you and your lawyer, you had a contract to pay him, regardless of your ex's ability to pay. That's why he's suing you.

    You may be well advised to take 2 courses of action: move to include your ex into the lawsuit as a third-party defendant; and file a motion for contempt along with a motion to stay your lawyer's suit.

    I definitely think you need a lawyer to help you. The bad news is an attorney who is defending you in a case where you're being sued for unpaid fees will want to be paid upfront.

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  • What rights do you have as a tenant on a house that is in the process of foreclosure?

    my landlord has not paid the mortgage to the house I live in in almost a year or more and I just found out due to a state marshal serving papers to the house. im afraid ive been paying rent and nothing gets done. my land lord lives in jersey and I...

    Charles’s Answer

    Since 2009, federal law provided that leases would survive a foreclosure. The tenant could stay at least until the end of the lease, and month-to-month tenants would be entitled to 90 days' notice before having to move out (this notice period is longer than any Connecticut's non-foreclosure notice period).

    If the buyer of a property at a foreclosure auction intends to live on the property he may terminate a lease with 90 days' notice (even if the lease is for much longer).

    Good luck.

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  • I am buying a home with a life long friend who is married but may be getting divorced. Should I put him on the mortgage ?

    He is not putting any money down on the down payment. Just helping me with money towards the mortgage.

    Charles’s Answer

    Just to clarify, the mortgage is a conditional deed that an owner/borrower signs over to a lender. If your friend is not an owner of the property, he would not properly sign a mortgage. Therefore your question implies to lawyers that you contemplate making your friend an owner, and my colleagues are rightly advising you that appears extremely unwise given the facts you laid out.

    The question in my mind is will you be able to qualify for the mortgage loan only taking into consideration your own income? If that is not the case, having a co-borrower might be the only way to qualify. You need to take a cold hard look at this transaction, and determine what your options are. If you can afford it on your own, I'm unsure why your friend is involved.

    If your friend remains involved, you'd also want to make sure your agreement is outlined in writing as these things occasionally go sour, and you want to make sure to memorialize everyone's rights and obligations.

    I recommend you see a lawyer to discuss the transaction.

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  • Signed a promissory note with 11 % interest over 25 years ago in NY. Made interest payments for a couple of years.

    Was told it would be forgiven. Stopped making payments. Changed mind and now wants to get paid plus the interest for the last 23 years. Is this a collectible debt?

    Charles’s Answer

    Also, if you don't want to pay it, and you don't want to abandon the statute of limitations defense, don't make any new payments.

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  • What rights do you have as a tenant when the house you live in is going into foreclosure?

    the land lord where I live got served papers for a lean on the house by a state marshal. im worried that something is going to happen where I have to be out of the house immediately and ive been living here paying my rent on time faithfully every...

    Charles’s Answer

    This is the only time where a tenant might actually have greater rights in a property than the landlord. The landlord carves out part of his ownership rights (the use of your unit) and sells it to you for your rent. If he loses the property, conceptually your deal with him is done, because he no longer owns it.

    My colleague is correct in stating that recent laws have given some protection to tenants, where previously they had none.

    It's also quite possible that if your lease is expired or expiring, the new owner might make a deal with you to stay (once they bring a summary process action against you) for a few months duration, possibly on very beneficial terms to you, in order to avoid a summary process trial.

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  • My girlfriend gets harassed threatening eviction do to me staying at her apt periodically. Landlord ises camera.

    The landlord uses a camera to see when i am here. The camera is aimed at front doors and windows of apts. it is not in the lease at all about cameras. I do not live here i live in another town although i do stay periodically to help do to severe b...

    Charles’s Answer

    Generally, there is a right to place a camera on the premises to take video in public areas. That would include the doorstep. Cameras that are set up to look inside the windows are generally improper and actionable.

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  • Does a person who was not married to the deceased have legal rights to the deceased persons property?

    A civil suit has been started against this person who is holding on to the deceased persons property, saying that they are entitled to it because they were together for 13 years, never married and no children together. A few years ago the deceased...

    Charles’s Answer

    As a general proposition of law, it's difficult to say from the facts that you posted. The reason why is that there is more than one way to transfer property. If the decedent clearly continued to use the property as his own, maintaining it, paying taxes on it, etc, then an argument that he retained it as sole property is strengthened, and the laws of inheritance apply (in my state there would be no inheritance rights in these circumstances).

    If on the other hand, evidence existed that at the time of the suicide attempt a gift was made of these items (which typically would require transfer of possession and a donative intent) then perhaps the property was gifted prior to the death and inheritance rules do not apply. Of course, if it were the type of property that requires a deed or other transfer papers, a transfer without these would be defective, and a court would have to be very convinced that there was an equitable reason to conform the gift (it gets much harder).

    Finally, these people might be viewed as having contractual rights, independent of inheritance. They may have agreed that as part of their contract these items would be transferred on death, and if the will of the decedent did not provide for them, it is possible in the face of convincing evidence that a court might order the transfer if it believes a contract did exist.

    These scenarios are very fact driven, and the burden is on the person significant other.

    Good luck.

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  • Can I take a court order to the city town clerk office and place a real estate lien on the debtor property?

    I filed a contempt of court form because my ex did not pay alimony as was ordered in the divorce settlement. The court ordered him once again to pay by a specific date which he has not done.

    Charles’s Answer

    Typically, a judge will find that a person is in contempt and order a purge date (a date by which an action must be taken by the contemnor in order to avoid punishment). There is usually an order requiring reporting back to the court, or scheduling a new date to insure compliance with the previous order.

    I suggest that you contact your attorney or the court clerk concerning what the judge has ordered as oversight provisions in your matter. You can ask for (and the judge can grant) a lien against property he owns.

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  • A will that leaves certain property " to my daughters who survive me, or to the survivor of them" means what?

    A will going through probate in the state of Connecticut lists in two clauses certain tangible property and cash to be given to "my daughters who survive me." In a subsequent section of the will, the language is "All the rest, residue and remainde...

    Charles’s Answer

    As a general proposition, if there is nothing else from the context of the will that would clarify what is meant, I'd have to say it might open the door to litigation if all of the daughters did not survive.

    If all of the daughters survived the decedent, the point is moot.

    However, if they did not all survive, the question to be litigated is whether the language means (1) the gift is given "per capita" to a class (the daughters) and the only ones who will take are those that survive the decedent; or (2) the gift is given "per stirpes", meaning that the direct descendants of a daughter who predeceases the decedent will divide their share.

    As a general rule, most lawyers will use the terms "per capita" or "per stirpes" so that the intent of the decedent is clear. Vague language can be troublesome (unless all the heirs agree upon what it should mean).

    Good luck.

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  • When someone dies intestate (had dementia); can you contest the Probate Court's distribution to a sibling who rejected him?

    One sister was conservator and is now executor, but Probate CT said sibling who refused to help deceased in his care or even allow him into her home, must now share in his estate.

    Charles’s Answer

    For the purposes of this answer, I will assume that you are correct that the brother who had dementia did not have a will and died intestate (there was some question of this in a previous answer).

    The law of intestacy is a fall-back, one-size-fits-all estate plan that the state imposes when a person did not create his own estate plan. The fact that the sister is sharing in the estate presupposes that the brother who died did not have a spouse or children or living parents. That being the case, the law "guesses" that the decedent would want to leave his assets equally to his siblings, no matter what their history. Relying on the intestacy laws for your estate plan, therefore, often creates unjust results.

    The fact that he had dementia is really insignificant in any distribution question. Since wills speak only at death, and many people are gravely ill or incompetent prior to their death, it's very often the case that someone is incompetent and in need of assistance prior to his or her death. Only if the will were signed *while* a person is incompetent is the dementia significant.

    In either case (will or laws of intestatcy) a beneficiary may act indecently toward a decedent and not be penalized. However if the decedent were competent to make a new will, the beneficiary could be disinherited. Or, if that sibling did something to bring about the death of the decedent, there are avenues to challenge the distribution because of the wrongdoing.

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