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W. Jay Brown

W. Brown’s Answers

17 total


  • Are verbal agreements legally binding in Michigan in connection with commercial real estate?

    We entered into a verbal agreement with another person to purchase a commercial property. They are on the land contact agreement BUT we pay 3/4 of the payment with the other party paying 1/4 of the land contact payment. Terms were five years when ...

    W.’s Answer

    There may be some thing that can be done. While the other attorneys who responded are correct that a contract to purchase real estate must be in writing, I think there are deeper issues here and there may be another way to get at the issue. It appears you may be able to claim a joint venture or partnership with the person who has a written land contract with the seller. An oral partnership or joint venture agreement can be enforceable. I would certainly advise that you obtain legal representation to further investigate your rights.

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  • Issues with my Photography business: Should I contact a lawyer?

    I have a very amateur photography business. I don't charge much at all and I give the customer's ALL of their photo's (edited and unedited). Most professional businesses don't do this and I've found a lot of customer's really enjoy it; they like t...

    W.’s Answer

    You don't say how much you are owed. This is important because hiring a lawyer is an investment. If you are owed $100, it sure doesn't make any sense to spend money on a lawyer. If you are owed significantly more, then hiring a lawyer may make sense as you should be entitled to recover what is owed and a letter from an attorney may be effective. If not, small claims court is likely an option.

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  • I received a Writ of Garnishment for a person I never heard of.

    It was a certified, return receipt first class mail (it was signed for). They want me to garnish someone's wages. I am not the employer or have anything to do with this matter. Do I have to respond? What should I do? I tried calling the number on ...

    W.’s Answer

    Scary that a lawyer not licensed in Michigan would try and answer this question. If you have been served with a writ of garnishment, you must serve a response on the garnishee disclosure form. If you fail to respond in the time frame provided by using the garnishee disclosure form, you can be held personally liable for the debt. Please read and follow the directions on the "Garnishee Disclosure" form that should have been served on you.

    Please note that the above answer is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be specific legal advice. Questioners should contact an attorney of their own choice for specific legal advice tailored to their individual situation.

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  • Refinancing in wife's name alone...does husband have to sign documents?

    I am about to refinance my home; it is in my name alone at the original time of signing, I am now married. I am still refinancing in my name alone. The mortgage company wants my new husband to sign certain docs; not the official note, just docs ac...

    W.’s Answer

    The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits lenders from requiring that spouses guaranty or otherwise sign for loans.

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  • How do I get land put in my name?

    My parents in Michigan died owning a building lot in Arizona in both their names. I have their wills and death certificates. How do I get this land put in my name so I can sell it?

    W.’s Answer

    You are going to need to open a probate estate in the probate court. Once an estate is open and a personal representative appointed, that person can deed the property to a buyer.

    This answer is for general information only and is not specific legal advice. You should consult an attorney of your choice for legal advice specific to your situation.

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  • We live in Michigan. we owned an LLC company and decided to close it down 2 months ago. we made no money the entire time. we ran

    we live in Michigan. we owned an LLC company and decided to close it down 2 months ago. we made no money the entire time. we ran it on a negative cash flow. we probably didn't do things right because we didn't "legally" close the business. we sold...

    W.’s Answer

    In general, using a limited liability company protects you from individual liability. Therefore, a judgment against your company is worthless as your company has no assets. When shutting down a company, as long as you used the available assets to pay creditors (and did not pay yourself), there should not be any liability.

    The above is general information only and not specific legal advice. You should consult an attorney of your choice for legal advice regarding your specific circumstances

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  • How do I fight a Claim of Lien?

    We recently had our driveway concreted and paid the foundation company in full. The foundation company is now filling bankruptcy and the concrete supplier has put a Claim of Lien on our property for the price of the concrete supplied. We did not s...

    W.’s Answer

    Under the Construction Lien Act, a homeowner who has fully paid their contractor is insulated from paying the subcontractor/supplier in a lien foreclosure action. If an action to enforce a construction lien is filed, the suit must be dismissed if the homeowner files an affidavit indicating that they have fully paid for the improvement. As with anything else, it is important to make and keep good records.

    The foregoing is not to be construed as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. The answers provided are intended to be general information and not specific advice. www.midlandmichiganlawyer.com

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  • Does it matter what district court a summons & complaint for an unsecured debt is filed?

    I found a summons & complaint - where I am being sued by a creditor for a unsecured credit card debt - taped to my garage door. An "order for alternate service" was also attached. The summons & complaint was filed in a district court other than ...

    W.’s Answer

    You are talking about venue - which is a question of which court is a proper one in which to try a case. It sounds like the venue is incorrect. However, being in the wrong venue does not affect the validity of any judgment entered. You can't ignore a complaint just because it was filed in the wrong venue as a judgment entered in the wrong venue is still valid. The procedure for changing venue is to file a motion to change venue prior to or at the same time that the answer to the complaint is filed.

    This answer is for general information only and is not intended to be specific legal advice, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Consult an attorney for legal advice specifically related to your legal issue.

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  • Can your paycheck be garnished if you are on a monthly payment plan and are paying on time?

    I received a judgement letter last year and immediately got set up on a monthly payment plan. I have been paying on time every month and I just received a garnishment letter.

    W.’s Answer

    Your wages can be garnished unless there has been an installment order entered by the court where the judgment was issued. You should file a motion for an installment order to get on a payment plan you can handle. The form to use is on line - paste this web address in your brower: http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/garnishment/mc15.pdf

    There are instructions for how to do this right on the form - good luck!

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