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Brook McCray Smith
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Brook Smith’s Answers

559 total


  • I had a verbal agreement to loan someone money who has not paid me back. Can I sue them in small claims court?

    I have evidence of them acknowledging they owe via text messages as well as credit card statements of the specific items I loaned them money for. I have been trying to receive funds for 2 years.

    Brook’s Answer

    Contact the Distrct Court where the defendant lives for forms and instructions on how to file a Small Claims suit.

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  • I am buying a property with delinquent taxes, directly from the owner. What documents should I require. I will need to pay tax

    Should I take owner to court house with me to pay tax and get receipt?

    Brook’s Answer

    You can obtain a statement of the amount necessary to pay delinquent taxes from the county treasurer's office without the participation of the current owner. The property will also be subject to 2015 taxes. This information will be available from the treasurer of the municipality (city, village or township) where the property is located. You would be well advised to consult a real estate attorney before completing the purchase for advice regarding title insurance, deed preparation, seller's disclosure issues, survey requirements, well and septic inspection requirements, etc.

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  • My son purchased a used truck on 7/21 (its now 8/14) he received a call yesterday stating the bank is not approving the loan

    1 Worked with dealership for a week prior to signing documents to make sure every thing was set (financing and condition of truck) this was not a last minute evening or weekend deal 2 required dealer to do $2500.00 in repairs before purchasing...

    Brook’s Answer

    Contact the bank and the dealer to request a meeting to resolve the matter. If you are correct that the issue is the $2400 warranty, the dealer can agree to reverse that charge, eliminate the warranty and solve the problem. Don't surrender the truck or agree to sign any documents without a thorough understanding of the changes being made. If you have any questions or uncertainties, hire an attorney to review the documents.

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  • I sold my house for a cash offer. on the day of the closing the real estate agent was trying to find any reason to delay closing

    I sold my house for a cash offer. on the day of the closing the real estate agent was trying to find any reason to delay closing until he stated that i am not making things easy and his buyer has been trying to withdraw from the deal several times...

    Brook’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Powe. Your statement of facts leaves some questions unanswered. From what you have said, I conclude that the real estate agent that was seeking the delay is the selling agent, representing the buyer, not the listing agent, representing you. For a reliable answer to your questions, you will need to hire a real estate attorney to review your documents and advise you.

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  • I want to transfer property in my name to my llc and be exempt from uncapping and property transfer tax

    My property is in my name as an individual. i want to transfer by deed to man LLC that i am an owner in with my brother and mother. The property transfer affidavit does not provide me an exemption and i am worried of uncapping and additional tax...

    Brook’s Answer

    As Mr. Sowell indicates, there is no exemption for the transfer that you propose, but you should discuss your situation with a real estate attorney. There is likely a way to at least get you close to where you would like to go without an uncapping.

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  • A neighbor wants to access my property to make repairs to theirs; am I liable if one of their workers injures themselves?

    A neighbor wants to access my property in order to make repairs to their property (construction of a retaining wall). They *can* make the repairs from their side, though it would likely cost a good deal more and be a great deal more difficult. I w...

    Brook’s Answer

    You should tell your neighbor about your concerns and indicate that if they are willing to reimburse you for the cost of having an attorney prepare a temporary easement agreement that will address the issues that are of concern, you are willing to proceed. If this is acceptable to the neighbor, get a quote from a real estate attorney and have the neighbor advance the necessary funds.

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  • Our condo Purchase Agreement states developer will deliver unit within a year. After this time, can we demand full deposit back?

    Section (10) says: 'The Unit, if not constructed by date hereof, will be erected, complete and ready for occupancy by Purchaser not later than one year from the date on which the Agreement becomes a binding purchase agreement....". This date passe...

    Brook’s Answer

    Your question has both strategic and legal aspects. As has already been noted, the best legal answer can only come after a review of your paper work by a real estate attorney. Chances are that you do have the right to rescind if the completion date will be significantly later than promised. Note that "significantly" is the key concept and if you go to the mat with a lawsuit, a judge will decide whether the time difference is/was significant. Before you withdraw from the agreement, be sure to determine the actual cost of that withdrawal. If the price of the unit was agreed upon a year ago, you may have to pay more and wait much longer for a replacement home.

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  • Can someone sue me for money he paid to mitigate a personal guarantee on a lease if I never agreed to pay?

    A former business partner is suing me for money he claims he paid to relieve our guarantee on a lease. He claims I owe him part of this amount even though there was never an agreement to take this course of action. I proposed we allow the landlord...

    Brook’s Answer

    If you have been served with a summons and complaint, you need to contact a business attorney to respond to the claim within 21 days from the date of service (28 if your were served by mail). If you and your partner were jointly liable on the debt, he can bring a valid claim for contribution from you for amounts that he was "required" to pay. "Required" is a fact question that will need to be decided by the court. Take all of your documents to an attorney, and arrange for the filing of a timely response.

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  • I signed a non-compete with my Florida employer. Can they take action against me if I accept a job with a competitor in CA?

    I’m a remote employee in MI, but my employer is based in FL - and had me sign a non-compete. I've been offered a job in California with a company that may be considered a competitor. I’ve heard that non-competes can’t be enforced in California. Co...

    Brook’s Answer

    As the other attorneys have noted, this is a question with several complications. A proper answer cannot be given without reading the contract. Chances are the contract may have a choice of laws provision stating that Florida law will be controlling. If that is the case, you should have it reviewed by an attorney licensed in Florida. The best case would be an attorney holding a license in both jurisdictions.

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  • Can I be put out

    My husband and i owe a home however its in his mother's name. All of the utilities are in my name i also have 3 children that reside in home

    Brook’s Answer

    You can be put out by your mother-in-law , anyone to whom she has given a security interest in the home, and the local taxing authority. If your mother-in-law holds legal title to the home. you do not own it. If your mother-in-law wants to transfer title to you, she should have a deed prepared by a real estate attorney to accomplish this.

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