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Adam Elliot Karhu
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Adam Karhu’s Answers

14 total


  • When a person creates a fake rental

    If a person needs a mortgage , and creates a fake rental application to show the bank their old home is going to be rented ;but really is not; is that right?

    Adam’s Answer

    It's called mortgage fraud and it is punishable by up to 30 years in federal prison, $1,000,000.00 fine or both.

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  • Can a Homeowner's bank increase a sale price 4 months into a signed contract

    I went into contract on a short sale in Bellmore Long Islane in August. Contracts were signed on a price of 241,500. I've gotten all of my ducks in a row, Engineers, report, appraisal, inspection, mtg commitment, etc... All of a sudden, we receiv...

    Adam’s Answer

    Unfortunately, that is the way it sometimes works with short sales. Although the seller was willing to sell to you at a lower price, the bank needs to make sure that they are getting proper value for their collateral, which is now underwater. These counteroffers are impossible to obtain earlier since the contract you signed with the seller is part of the offer to the bank.

    Hopefully you are getting a good enough deal that it is still preferable to move forward than to cancel the deal (which you have the right to do at this point)

    Speak to your attorney regarding all your rights and responsibilities regarding the contract of sale.

    Good Luck!

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  • Real estate possession after closing.

    What clauses should I make sure to add or not to include in the agreement when seller wants to stay in the house for a month or so after closing?

    Adam’s Answer

    First of all, you should not be representing yourself in a real estate transaction.

    My advice is always to do everything possible to obtain vacant possession at closing- it can prevent a lot of headaches going forward. Having said that, if there are no other options, the contract should require a large escrow amount held back in the event that the seller stays longer than he or she is supposed to ( and/or for damages). In addition, a strict per day amount should be specified for liquidated damages should the seller be unable to vacate on time ($250+) along with tax adjustments and your mortgage interest . The contract should state that no landlord client relationship should be construed. Finally, make sure that vacant and broom clean possession will be delivered when the sellers vacate.

    A good real estate attorney can protect your interests and tailor the contract to your particular concerns.

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  • Time is of the essence notice for real estate purchase.

    Here is the situation-: Closing date in contract says "on or about 60 days". We will soon hit the 60 day mark from contract date and seller is not planning to close anytime soon. We are clear to close. I have two questions: 1. Should I send Tim...

    Adam’s Answer

    On or about means anywhere from 30 days before that date to 30 days after. You cannot send a time is of the essence until 30 days after the original 60 days and you must give them reasonable time to close after that (2 weeks).

    Bear in mind that if you try to default them and keep their down payment they will most likely argue against a default and perhaps file a lis pendens against the property to prevent you from selling until the down payment issue is resolved.

    Many other facts are important too. Have you fulfilled all of your responsibilities under the contract? Is there a mortgage contingency clause?...

    Do you have an attorney? He/she should understand the timelines well and be able to advise you on the other particulars.

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  • Selling a home without a C of O

    I purchased a home back in the 90s I may want to sell it I have not decided yet, but when I purchased the home the home had no C of O. I remember when closing on the home back then the previous owner left money for me to obtain the C of O. If I wa...

    Adam’s Answer

    Legally speaking, you can contract to sell your house in whatever condition a willing buyer will take it. However, many banks will require all the CO's in place prior to closing (with some exceptions). Speak with a qualified attorney who will draft your contract and ensure that you will not have to expend more money or energy than you'd like in obtaining or having the buyer obtain the necessary CO/CO's.

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  • Is there a legal time frame for seller bank to make decision on Short sale in Bellmore NY

    I entered into a Short Sale contract on a house in Bellmore NY on Aug 15. I've since gone through the process of obtaining everything I need to close (Inspections, Appraisals, Mtg Commitment, etc...). It's been about 90 days now since contract. M...

    Adam’s Answer

    Generally a short sale contract should specify a time period for obtaining short sale approval (90-120 days). If the approval is not received within that time frame, the buyer and/or seller have the option to cancel the deal and the downpayment gets refunded to the buyer without any further rights or obligations by either party.

    Do you have an attorney? If so, he/she should be able to determine that timeline. If not, you should hire an attorney (as is the case with any real estate transaction) and if no timeline is specified, allow him/her to negotiate in good faith with the seller to try and release your downpayment after a certain amount of time has elapsed. In addition, when representing a buyer in a short sale, I always add language to the contract that prevents the buyer from being stuck in the deal and then having the commitment expire (which is a real concern in this banking environment).

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  • What are my legal rights concerning landlord negligence during Hurricane Sandy?

    I live in an area of NYC that experienced flooding during Hurricane Sandy and have had no power (no heat or hot water) since Oct 29th. The utilities company restored power to the area on November 8th and informed me the landlord needs to have an e...

    Adam’s Answer

    You will not be liable for the time that the apartment was uninhabitable. Your lease might speak to this sort of "act of god" circumstance and should be reviewed by a qualified attorney to see what your rights and obligations are. This is not negligence though. It might be considered a constructive eviction or a breach of the implied warranty of habitability. Depending on your lease, you may have to go back to the space when it is habitable and start paying rent again but in the time being, you are not required to pay rent for a space that is uninhabitable.

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  • Can a landlord charge me to recarpet the whole apartment for a stain in one room?

    The carpet was new when we moved in. 2 and a half years later we left and hired a professional cleaning company to clean the place. The stain in the carpet looked to be just a slight discoloration once they left. When I speak to the landlord about...

    Adam’s Answer

    Because of different language in every lease, you probably want to speak with a qualified landlord-tenant attorney who can review your lease to determine your exact rights and responsibilities but depending on the size of your security deposit the landlord can only deduct damage above reasonable wear and tear (which a stain is). He is likely entitled to a portion of the security deposit to replace the carpeting in that area but it sounds unreasonable to re-carpet the entire place due to a small stain. You might want to determine a fair amount of the security deposit that you are willing to concede for the stained carpeting and send him a certified letter (keep proof of mailing) asking for the balance back. If he refuses or is unresponsive, take him to small claims court. Make sure you take a lot of pictures of the stained area and the other carpeted areas as proof that nothing else needed to be replaced.

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  • What can I do now after waiting for 1 year about my landlord throwing my belongings out instead of returning to court as instruc

    in Sept. 2011 my landlord took me to court due to inability to no longer pay $1,800 monthly, I was ordered to vacate premises, which I wanted to do willingly. End of September I moved all my furniture and had to go back and remove all my clothing....

    Adam’s Answer

    Can you give a little more information on how he was instructed by the judge to handle the situation? Depending on the facts, him throwing out your things might have been unlawful and at the very least, this seems like a matter you can take to small claims court for the lost clothing and personal belongings.

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  • How does one go about getting a legally binding contract between tenant roommates for a sublease?

    Attempting to sublease my room and need a contract between my roommates and I because they refuse to accept the person I found to fill the room. They have agreed to pay my portion of the rent if they fail to find someone, or if the person they fi...

    Adam’s Answer

    First of all, make sure that the current lease allows you to sublet the space without the Landlord's prior authorization because you could end up in breach of lease. If however, the lease/landlord allow, you should definitely get something in writing that would hold up in court if things go sour. Although this can be done by you, you might want to consult an attorney to quickly go over the situation and put something in writing that is simple yet comprehensive and protects all of your rights. Although there is no required form, it should be typed and preferably notarized to put everyone involved on notice that it needs to be carefully considered prior to signing.

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