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Ralph H. Schofield

Ralph Schofield’s Answers

307 total


  • What formula do I use to charge tenant

    Tenants left Berber carpets with approximately 4 to 5 deep burn marks from curling iron and flat iron in 2 bedrooms Nail polish spills in one of those bedrooms They cannot be patched. What formula do I use to charge them I am thinking...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Yes, you are on the right track. The recommended procedure is generally to take the number of years left on the manufacturer's suggested carpet life divided by the total carpet life. Multiply this fraction by the replacement cost (minus any part of that price you may be paying to "upgrade" the carpet) to determine the amount that should be charged to the former tenant.

    As a landlord, you should always keep in mind that, if there is a dispute before a court, the burden may be on you to show that full carpet replacement was the right move and that you could not mitigate the damages by other means.

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  • Can a Bank evicted me without notice if I am a victim of housing fraud?

    I am a victim of Housing Fraud. I gave a guy $ 10,00 cash to do rent to own that I found on craigslist. The guy is no where to be found. The bank foreclosed on the house 2 months ago. now the bank is evicting me . I hired a layer who said they can...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Generally speaking, once the bank takes ownership of the property after a foreclosure sale, the bank has to give you until the end of your lease before evicting you. If you don't have a lease, however, the bank can start eviction lawsuit after 90 days notice.

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  • Why can I not fire my lawyer that is not doing the job I hired him for without him getting paid the whole fee?

    I hired my lawyer to handle a SS claim, STD and LTD cases. I did everything for the SS and he got paid. Fine but on the STD he only did a letter and was given $4600. Again fine. Now I have the LTD and he is doing nothing again. He wont call me bac...

    Ralph’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Your representation agreement will have terms regarding how you are billed, but you have the right to fire your attorney regardless of what that agreement says. You should do so in writing. A new attorney or Florida Bar's Attorney Consumer Assistance Program can assist you in establishing a line of communication with your attorney and with seeking arbitration of any fee disputes.

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  • Evicting a tenant, court entered a default judgement, now tenant wants to hand the keys over. Is this legal?

    I am evicting a tennant for falure to pay rent, the court has recently enter a default judgement. The tennant has called and said they wanted to hand the keys over. Am I legally allowed to enter the house and change the locks?? Do I need to file a...

    Ralph’s Answer

    The judgment does not in itself entitle you to enter and change locks, as there is one more legal step (a writ of possession); however, if the tenant hands over the keys and agrees to vacate, you are then being handed possession by the tenant (rather than the court), which is fine. You might want to get something in writing from the tenant to confirm that the property and all its contents are being handed over.

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  • I have two jobs and am only available certain days at both jobs. One of my employers is scheduling me outside of my availability

    What can I do, as I obviously cannot work both jobs at the same time. The employer who is trying to schedule me against my availability states that everyone has full open availability during the holidays.

    Ralph’s Answer

    Unless you have a contract that prohibits your employer from scheduling you at those times, you may be limited to simply trying to negotiate with one employer or the other to avoid the conflict. If unsuccessful, you are considered an at will employee and may be fired for failure to work. Playing a little hardball and refusing to work under the circumstances may or may not be useful to you, depending on how much your employer wants to keep you on board. If it would be more of a hassle to your employer to replace you than to give you a few days off, your employer is likely to play ball.

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  • I live in Sara Cty.I want to file $3200 claim against a co. in Polk Cty. Which cty do I file my refund claim for faulty equip?

    Iron/Sulfer filter never did filter rust from sprinkler system. Florida Water Analysis tech made false statements. Outside expert states tanks should have never been installed. I was conned into accepting Iron/Sulfer System. Requested removal many...

    Ralph’s Answer

    You can bring the claim in the county where the company has its principal office/business or where the filter system was installed. Your choice.

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  • I own property in North Carolina, it was divided in 3 and one has deceased and sold to the other party which now own 2/3 and me

    1/3, I was served partition papers and didn't reply and now I'm ordered to court, will this property be sold at auction or through a realtor?

    Ralph’s Answer

    This issue is likely governed by North Carolina law, and you should therefore post your question accordingly. However, if this was a Florida property and Florida case, I would say that you would likely be looking at either (1) the judge trying to fairly partition the property to give you 1/3 of the property/value or (2) a judicial sale (auction), unless you can reach an agreement with the other owner as to how to partition the property or how to sell it.

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  • Does each missed mortgage payment constitute a new cause of action?

    Once acceleration has occured and demand for payment in full had been made..... and 5 years has passed......does each subsequent payment missed after the 5 year statute of limitations has passed constitute a new cause of action? It would seem that...

    Ralph’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Parties continue to dispute and argue this point, but generally speaking the statute of limitations is measured from the last default. If no acceleration occurs, that could be as late as the maturity date (i.e. final payment due date). If the bank has, in fact, accelerated, all amounts are due immediately and there are no future due dates. So the last possible default is the date of acceleration.

    However, if you make any payments after acceleration, this MAY change the story. Of course, the note itself may change the story too, depending on what it says.

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  • Foreclosure judgement granted and still my belongings in the house , can i still ask for them from the bank.

    I was away from my home when judgement was given against me . a month later, my house was sold back to the bank for $100. Is this right? i also came to my house before the auction date to find the locks changed, it took 2 days to finally get the b...

    Ralph’s Answer

    I agree with Ms. Golant but will add a few thoughts.

    Prior to the foreclosure sale, the bank does not own the property--you do. So, normally, you should have access to the property to get your stuff. Banks act zealously in foreclosures, though, and often have a right under the mortgage agreements to take possession of the property to protect its value, particularly if the bank unilaterally determines that you have "abandoned the property"-- a very common decision made if you are away from the home for a period of a few weeks.

    At this point, your best option is to contact the bank to indicate what happened and that you want to get your belongings out of the house. If the bank does not comply, consult with an attorney as to your options, which may include suing the bank for taking locking you out of your house (assuming your attorney determines that, under the circumstances, the bank was not entitled to do so).

    As for the $100 sale price, this is just how it appears on the foreclosure records, but it is not as though the bank bought the property for that price. Instead, at a foreclosure sale, a bank has an option to take the property if the bids are not high enough to satisfy the value of the foreclosure judgment (i.e. what you owe). Likely, you owe more than what anyone was willing to pay at the foreclosure sale, so the only bid was the bank's "credit bid" of $100. That $100 means nothing to you. If the bank tries to come after you for any amounts in the future, you would argue that the amount of their judgment against you must be offset (at least partially) by the value of the property that the bank took at the foreclosure sale.

    Hope this helps.

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  • My employer is requiring that I sign this agreement to receive severance. Is this agreement enforceable if I've been terminated?

    1.      Return all company computers and all company property in your possession. 2.      Agree that for twelve (12) months after the termination date, you will not, directly or indirectly, solicit or attempt to solicit any business from any of...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Yes. Severance is generally not a guaranteed thing. Severance pay is often given in exchange for promises or actions, and the list you provide are the promises and actions that you must make in order to get that severance pay.

    [It's possible (but unlikely) that paragraphs 2 and 3 could be deemed unenforceable if they are unreasonably broad.]

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