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Margaret Agnes Palms

Margaret Palms’s Answers

53 total


  • My son accidentally signed an online lease thinking that he was asking for info. They will not let him of the lease.

    My son is a student who plans to transfer to Boone, NC to attend ASU in the Fall. He thought that he was filling out a form to get information for the available "cottages" but received a notice that he had signed this lease; however, the email sa...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Agreed with Attorney Hatley. They may have been tricking your son into signing, or may have just neglected to explain things thoroughly. A demand letter from an attorney would be helpful, but your son could also send a letter explaining what happened and stating that he was misled and has no obligation or intention of following through with the fraudulent lease. If there truly was no "meeting of the minds" they wouldn't be able to enforce the contract. With that, it's more unlikely they would initiate a legal action to collect on the lease. Be sure to send all correspondence by registered mail, return receipt, and save your receipts and copies. Best of luck to you, and I hope your son enjoys the High Country. It's a great place to live!

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  • Online buying

    I didte free trial for a product and had to pay for just shipping and handling. Three weeks or so they took 65.00 dollars out of my account. They said send the product back with a tracking number I did that the same day I spoke with them and gave ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    If you paid with a credit card it should be relatively easy to have your credit card company reverse the charges on your card, provided that you can prove you sent it back via tracking nimber. You may also need to prove that they had a trial period with a return policy. If their website or materials don't list a return policy, then the bank will probably allow you the credit upon proof that you returned it. If you used it debit card or checking account, contact your bank and see if they have a smaller policy to reverse the charges. Banks and credit card companies are well aware of unethical merchants and this merchant lose their charging privileges if they get too many complaints like yours. Good luck!

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  • Mortgages:

    So if you have not so good credit can you get a mortgage? We are looking to purchase a house in Florida and we have an existing house here in NC! Are there still Bridge loans?? Can we purchase the house as a second home and rent it out ?

    Margaret’s Answer

    Relocation out of state when you own a house is always a challenge. It takes time to sell your existing house, and you usually won't qualify for the new mortgage when you have obligation on the old one. Especially if, like you say, your credit isn't good. There are sources for Bridge loans, but not usually for owner occupied properties, such as buying your residence in Florida. The best option for a residence is probably FHA, since the qualifications are lower. But why not just sell your house in NC first? Being a long distance landlord can be a big headache. And these days you can usually get a better house as a rental than buying (no maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc.) Make life easy on yourself, and best of luck!

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  • Wrongful foreclosure

    Two people bought the house together and they are on the deed. One of them is a borrower. The other one is not on the deed of trust. Borrower stopped paying the mortgage and still renting the place. The person who did not owe anything to the lende...

    Margaret’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The good news is that if you truly aren't a signor on the loan, then you won't likely be liable for any of the debt that remains after the foreclosure. The bad news is that they can still take the property if the debt is not paid. However if you didn't sign the deed of trust, it's possible that their security interest in the property might be defective. Best to consult with a foreclosure defense attorney regarding your options. As mentioned by the other attorneys, it might help to contact the bank for a workout, but to do that you would probably have to sign a new note that makes you liable. If the property is generating enough income to make the payments, or more, it might be a good option. But this is complicated so best to get good legal advice.

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  • Would and attorney be able to help negotiate the terms of a real estate purchase?

    There is a property I would like to purchase (farmland) that is not listed, but I would like buy. Is this something an attorney could handle, or would I need a real estate agent?

    Margaret’s Answer

    If you and the owner would like to handle the transaction without real estate agents, that can be a good option. This would save the expensive commissions that a real estate agents need to charge for marketing, negotiating, and many other valuable services. But if you and the owner have reached an agreement on price and terms, a good NC real estate attorney can draft the purchase documents for you. It's possible you and the seller would want to each have your own attorney to protect your differing interests, but this would still likely be less expensive than real estate commissions. Any NC attorney can do this for you, but best to use the one that will be representing you in the closing, since you will be paying him or her anyway for title examination and closing services. Good luck!

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  • What is the statute of limitations in the state of North Carolina for foreclosure?

    I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2011, and my debts included an equity credit line on two small duplex apartment buildings in North Carolina. I know that I am not responsible to repay the forgiven debt, but the bank has the legal right to foreclose...

    Margaret’s Answer

    When you filed the bankruptcy you would have stated your intention to keep the properties and pay the debt or surrender the property. It appears that you chose to surrender them, but the bank is just sitting on them. The statute of limitatioins on the debt is largely irrelevant, since the debt has been discharged and they cannont collect from you. The bank is holding their security interest (or more likely has sold the debt into a pool of bad debts) and that lien will stay on the property until it is foreclosed upon, modified for you, or some other settlement. The note/and or deed of trust probably has an "assignment of rents" clause that would make you liable to pay them the rents, but that rarely happens. To be safe, you could put the collected rent monies into a special savings account in case the note holder decides to pursue it. Regarding building repairs, keep in mind that you're improving property that you will likely lose some day so weigh it against the income you receive and the benefit of those repairs to you before they foreclose. If you can't get a dialogue going with the lender, you might hire an attorney to investigate and offer settlement. There's always a chance they would let you keep the buildings if you can refinance or modify the loan. Best of luck!

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  • What is a deed in lieu and how do I go about doing one?

    My late husband and I purchased a house for his parents. Everyone whose name was on the deed has died except me and I cannot pay for the house. What can I do to protect the house I am living in and my credit. I can make the payments on the house...

    Margaret’s Answer

    It would be very helpful to have an attorney look over all your documents before you sign anything provided by the mortgage holder. Essential really. The lender may tell you that you're being relived of the debt but sometimes don't put that into the documents, so proceed with extreme caution.

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  • Sellers w/held info on the disclosure and performed work on the home as unlicensed contractors. Do we have legal recourse?

    We have discovered the sellers knew about A/C defects (we have paperwork) and this is going to likely be problematic - yet they checked the box that said it was fine on the disclosure. We just had a pipe burst in a wall from upstairs bath. I che...

    Margaret’s Answer

    If you can prove the sellers knew about the AC defects and checked the disclosure box that there were no known issues, that could be considered fraud. You don't mention that the AC isn't working properly but if so, it would have to be the same issue as known at the time of the sale. Regarding the plumbing and electric, it depends on how much they did on the house, but as long as it was properly permitted, you might not have recourse against them on that point. Maybe you didn't get a home inspection when you purchased it? If so, it would have put you on notice, but the home inspectors are careful not to make any claims that would make them liable. Good luck.

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  • My home was forclosed on two years ago. I have just received a letter of collection from a attorney,stating that I owe 20,000.

    This is the difference between the bal and what they sold it for. Am I really liable for this.

    Margaret’s Answer

    The statute of limitations (time during which the creditor can legally collect from you) would be quite different if this has gone to court resulting in a judgment, or is just a letter stating you owe the deficiency after the foreclosure (difference between what the property was sold for and what you owe). The foreclosure would have gone through the court or clerk system, but a separate lawsuit for the deficiency would have to be filed, with notice to you, to get a judgment. If it's not a judgment, the statute of limitations may be only 3 years, so after that time they cannot legally collect on the contract (your promise to pay). If they've gone all the way to judgment, you will remain liable on this debt for 10 years from the date of judgment, with another 10 years possible if they refile the judgment. You can look through the court records and the notices you received to determine if it's a judgement or just an attempt to collect on the contract (note). But as always, with this sort of thing spending a few hundred dollars reviewing your file with an experienced real estate or debt attorney can give you the expert guidance that will go a long way to your legal options, not to mention your peace of mind. Best of luck!

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  • If earnest money is within 5 days of the Effective Date, can buyer withdraw offer within the 5 days of the Effective Date?

    If no due diligence period, can buyer ensure that the seller will grant buyer access to the house for a walk-through inspection within the five days of the Effective Date of the Contract? The inspection was done during a previous contract which w...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Are you using the standard North Carolina purchase and sale contract? Normally at least some due diligence period is stated in that contract so you can complete things like walk-throughs and appraisals. It seems like a lot of these questions are hypothetical, since you would normally subit the earnest money with the contract. If you have a good real estate broker, they should be able to help you through this process. If no broker is involved in the process, you should definitely hire an attorney to review any contracts before you sign. Best of luck!

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