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Erica Crohn Minchella

Erica Minchella’s Answers

446 total


  • Need advice on a Bank of America short sale approval letter for a property a client of mine looking to purchase.

    Line #10 states: "There must be no transfers of property within 30 days of the closing of this transaction." Is this enforceable in the face of the doctrine of privity and due to the fact that the approved and executed sales contract states that...

    Erica’s Answer

    The purpose of the language in the BofA approval letter is to assure that the property is not going back to the Seller in circumvention of the "arms-length" transaction that is required of the sale.

    You should consider the language barring the transfer as a counteroffer to the contract that provides for the ability of the buyer to transfer the property. My opinion is that it would be violation of the contract and approval letter to transfer by a change in the beneficial interest in the trust. The issue being that if BofA does, at some later date, find that the transfer occurred, they might consider the transaction a fraud. Why set your clients up for that?

    There should be some valid ways of accomplishing what you want without violating the terms of the short sale agreement. Speak with a local attorney who has some experience with short sales to get some insights.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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  • How do I protect myself financially when I inherit half of a poorly maintained house with a brother I don't get along with?

    Neither of us has extra money. I live close and he does not but insists on getting half. It has sentimental value and is not to be sold. A partnership with my brother is a horrifying thought as he is a bully. I can't ruin my perfect credit score.

    Erica’s Answer

    You should try to determine whether your state allows you to "disclaim" an inheritance. If so, you will never come into ownership of the property.

    This is not intended as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney in your area to assure the proper legal handling of the matter of which you are concerned.

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  • Legal options for abandoning my property/mortgage?

    The building that my flat is in is slowly falling apart it seems, my neighbours are just plain awful and my stress levels are sky high. I've already had to fork out a lot of money for repairs to the roof and external parts of the building. Now we ...

    Erica’s Answer

    Most lenders will not accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure unless the property has been on the market for 90 days. In your situation, a deed in lieu would probably be least damaging to your credit and would assure that the lender would not pursue you for a deficiency, which they might do otherwise, since this is an investment property. The next best option would be to negotiate a "consent" foreclosure, wherein you would consent to allow the lender to complete the foreclosure in advance of the requirements of the law. That would be more damaging to your credit, however. It would be best to consult with an attorney in your area about the most expeditious way to get the property out of your name and into the name of a party who will either maintain it or get it sold to someone who can address the continuing issues.

    This is not intended nor is it legal advice, but is only intended to be a direction in which to seek advice in your state and your locality. Please consult with an attorney in your area for the specific requirements of your situation.

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  • I purchased a house on a sales agreement and need to know if there is a legal way to back out of the sale.

    I purchased the home on a sales agreement. Shortly after purchasing it I discovered that we are unable to follow the terms because it requires that we insure the property and we are unable to get insurance due to problems the property has when we ...

    Erica’s Answer

    Unless you can post the entire agreement on this site, it is impossible for a lawyer on this site to give you good advice.

    Hire an attorney to review the entire agreement. You may well have a "frustration of contract" defense, but you need advice based on the entirety of the agreement, not the little you are able to explain in your posting.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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  • Can a lien holder demand for payment on home I bought from a tax deed sale?

    Bought home from a sheriff sale or a tax deed sale, paid past due taxes to satisfy sale, this home is now my property. One year later, received a letter from an law firm representing a bank or lien holder for this property I just bought demanding ...

    Erica’s Answer

    Hopefully you got legal counsel when you made this purchase or got a title insurance policy. Either of those will help you get through this mess - the attorney because of the potential malpractice, the title insurance, because it will take care of any liens that they failed to detect when you made your purchase.

    If you had neither, you should seek legal representation now, because, obviously, you will need it.

    I am not sure whether you purchased the home from a sheriff's sale pursuant to a foreclosure, in which case the lien requested by the law firm may have been foreclosed out. If you purchased it from a tax sale, the tax lien is superior to any mortgage lien.

    You cannot do this without hiring a lawyer - I'm sure it will cost you less than the $120,000 being demanded.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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  • I've heard the term: "to cloud a title," Is there is such a thing? And if so what does it mean. Is there any advantages to it

    if your property is going to be foreclosed (there's no secondary mortgage on the house)? Another question: if your mortgage was transferred from one bank to another, and it happened more than once. Is there a possibility that the bank does not...

    Erica’s Answer

    "Clouding Title" means that there is a lien or claim against title preventing it from being transferred. That is generally not an issue with a foreclosure, because the lender forecloses out any subordinate claims to theirs as lender.

    There are many defenses to foreclosure, especially in these days when the lending standards of the 2000's were in such disarray. Unless you feel competent to represent yourself in a foreclosure, you need counsel to help get you through a foreclosure proceeding and determine what defenses are appropriate to your situation and based on your lending documentation.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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  • A friend of mine wants to buy a condo in my name as her trust but I 'm not sure how this will affect my tax status

    she's going thru a divorce and that's why she wants to do this we live in Massachussetts please let me know if this is a good idea I'm not sure if it is the real estate broker told me to ask an accountant but I don't have one I do my own taxes. ...

    Erica’s Answer

    True story: I have a client, Mrs. Jones, who was asked by a friend, Mrs. Smith, to use her, Jones', credit to buy a home for Smith and Jones would have use of it. Ironically, Jones didn't own her own residence, but she agreed to take on a mortgage and title to property because Smith couldn't.

    Fast forward three years: Smith decided she no longer could afford the property. She advised the lender to change the address where the bills were being sent so that they would be sent to Jones. She also notified the utilities and the homeowner's association to send future bills to Jones.

    Jones contacted me. We attempted two short sales with no success. Ultimately, the bank foreclosed. The utilities sent their bills, and eventually their threats to Mrs Jones. We are waiting to see if either the bank, the homeowners association or the utilities will come after my client. At this point, she is contemplating bankruptcy - for a property that she got NOTHING out of.

    Using your credit to help a friend out is a really, really bad idea unless you have good legal counsel to help set up the situation to protect you from your friend's default.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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  • I have a great credit score and am thinking about doing a short refinance on my current mortgage. What impact does that have on

    my credit score?

    Erica’s Answer

    How a short refinance will be reported by your lender is something you need to ask your lender. They will tell you how they will report any variance from the normal payment of your mortgage as established in your original loan documentation.

    Credit scoring is a closely guarded trade secret, so no one could tell you with any certainty how much impact it will have. To the extent that the lender reports your loan as "not paid as agreed" it will have a negative impact on your credit.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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  • We purchased our home in August 2002. While trying to obtain a modification, we pulled out all of our loan origination documents

    We found that there were numerous deceptive practices that were not known until July, 2009, which involved the broker, Countrywide (America's wholesale lender) and chicago title. All currently have settlement agreements due to similar practices. C...

    Erica’s Answer

    You should consider having a HUD qualified counselor handle your matter, so that you are at least getting guidance from someone who has some knowledge in this area. There are many agencies that will provide counseling for free or at reduced cost.

    Until I read your last line, I was ready to suggest that you find an attorney knowledgeable in foreclosure law to protect your interest. You may still qualify to be part of a class action suit. You would need to do some online research to find an attorney willing to do this. There would be no cost to you other than your time.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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  • How can I refinance with wife's lien (child support owed to me) on home?

    After a 2+ year divorce and more than $45K in atty fees...Home and child custody awarded to me during divorce last month. I need to do a cash out refinance and make a marital equity payment into a county managed trust fund to be used to pay child...

    Erica’s Answer

    You could either pay the lien through a family loan, or pay the lien from proceeds of the refinance.

    Also, if you wife was supposed to executed documents and did not and now is unavailable because of her incarceration, you might be able to go back into the divorce court to obtain a Court Order in lieu of her signature.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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