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Teri A. Walter

Teri Walter’s Answers

3,955 total


  • I rented my house and the Tenant's checks returned

    This is the second month and my tenant checks coming back with 0 balance in his AC. I contacted him more than once he never answer me. I have 12 posted checks from him. I live in Houston TX. What I can do for him? Can I take him out of my house ?...

    Teri’s Answer

    What you need to do is to file an eviction to get the non-paying tenant out and get a new tenant. Start by sending a three day notice to vacate, and then file the eviction action in the JP court in the precinct where the property is located. You can get a judgment for the unpaid rent (and attorneys fees, if a proper 10 day notice is sent) at the same time as the judgment for possession, but getting the judgment paid is another matter altogether.

    As to the bad checks, it's my understanding that the DA won't accept criminal charges on these, since they can't prove intent, but the Harris County District Attorney has a check fraud division that you can check with. http://app.dao.hctx.net/FAQs/4/Other_Divisions/5/Check_Fraud.aspx

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  • Transferring real estate deed.

    I would like to give a home that is free and clear to my mother. I understand I need to file Quit Claim Deed. However, in an event that she passes, I would like to get the home back. I understand that the "Death Transfer Deed" is not valid in Texa...

    Teri’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Lautin. A Quitclaim deed is virtually always the wrong answer. Transferring the property is likely to create numerous tax issues for both of you, not to mention the need for additional work later to get the property back in your name after she passes. I usually hear this question in the context of people wanting to get property OUT of their parent's name, so the parent can qualify for some governmental benefits, (which may be another negative result of transferring it).

    You haven't stated why you feel the need to transfer the property now. If you want to let mom live there rent free, just do that. On the other hand, if you're just trying to get the property out of your name to avoid having it seized by creditors, that would be a fraudulent transfer and could be reversed by the creditor.

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  • As an international student, can I easily break my rental lease without consequences?

    I have 4 months left in my lease. The A/C in my appratment doesn't work, my landlord won't fix it, i didn't give my landlord my social security number, I wanna keep staying in houston after i break the lease, what problems can I have ?

    Teri’s Answer

    There are procedures in place for breaking a lease for this kind of problem. Basically, it requires at least two written notices, by certified mail, and allowing the landlord time after each notice to fix the problem. Look at www.texastenant.org for a complete description of the process. If you do it right, you won't have any further liability on the lease. If you do it wrong, you'll get yourself evicted and it will be difficult to find another property that will accept you as a tenant, whether you're international or not.

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  • Texas tenant rights. After I signed a year lease the landlord informed me that they would be doing monthly inspections.

    Is this legal? What are my rights? Contract- B. Access: Before accessing the Property, Landlord or anyone authorized by Landlord will attempt to first contact Tenant, but may enter the Property at reasonable times without notice to make repairs ...

    Teri’s Answer

    Your rights are governed by the lease agreement. The language you quoted is somewhat more intrusive than I usually see, at least as to entering without notice for inspections of property condition. If they've decided that they actually want to do monthly inspections without notice, I'd definitely plan on moving at the end of the lease.

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  • Timeline question: In district court, end of the discovery phase, how long before trial or settlement out of court will occur?

    Plaintiff has disposed defendant and will depose defendants witness at the beginning of the.month. Defendant has decided not to depose the plaintiff. On average how long before the case goes to trial and or is settled out of court? In other words...

    Teri’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Most cases in Harris County will have a first trial setting within 18 months of the time they are filed. If the court has not yet set the case for trial, then someone needs to request a setting from the court. The case may not be reached for trial on the first setting, and if not, it will be reset. As to settlement, that can occur at any time, but the most popular time for a settlement is immediately before trial.

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  • If someone gets a TRO does this place a stay on the eviction hearing in County court?

    An Appeal was done regarding decision on eviction. The hearing has been scheduled in County Court. If a TRO is granted in District Court does it place a stay on the eviction? Does it supercede County Court? Am I required to show up in County C...

    Teri’s Answer

    There is no way to answer this without reviewing the TRO.

    If a TRO was granted, you'll going to have to appear at a hearing for Temporary Injunction within 2 weeks. It sounds like you have more going on than just an eviction - you should talk to a lawyer ASAP.

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  • Buyer's Remorse / Specific Performance

    I made an offer on a property in April. The offer was accepted. I still do not have a closing date. This process has taken over 80 days to complete and there is still no end in sight. I have had three lenders and two dropped the ball and missed cl...

    Teri’s Answer

    Unfortunately, a suit for specific performance won't work for you. In order to sue for specific performance, you have to actually make a tender of the purchase price, which presumably you can't do because of the problems with the lender. Although theoretically the seller could sue you for specific performance, that will be pretty useless, since you won't have the money to pay unless your loan goes through.

    Look at the contract for two primary questions. 1) What is the closing deadline?. (it may have been extended, so look at the last one). If you're past the closing date, the deal is already dead, and the contract says what happens then. 2) Was the contract contingent on you getting financing? If so, you may be able to get your earnest money back and just move on.

    Lots of people are having these types of issues, due to ongoing regulatory changes.

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  • Can't serve tenant. What's trick to finding someone.

    Tenant moved out owing over 5,000. Intended to file in small claims but have problem. Tenant did not forward his mail. Changed jobs. Cut off cell phone I had on him. I can't find him. I know he is still in town because my son saw him at the mall....

    Teri’s Answer

    Almost everyone is findable, though some take longer than others. Many private process servers can help with this. You'd be amazed what you can find out on line in a few minutes with the access to the proper data bases. .

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  • Commercial tenant eviction

    This is regarding a commercial lease space. A tenant has become 6+ months past due and has no intentions of paying. An employee of the tenant was on site and I asked them to leave(it was amicable) and placed the required legal notice on the front ...

    Teri’s Answer

    Evictions - even commercial evictions - are pretty quick. Most can be handled on your own, but if you've never done one or are not comfortable, it might be worthwhile to hire an attorney to do it the first time.

    If you have a commercial rental property, this is a problem you might run into again, so a little education might be worthwhile. If you talk to a lawyer, they'll want to review the lease, too, and that may alert you to potentially more expensive problems that can be avoided.

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  • Do I need to hire an attorney ? I have a car dealship and never recived my titles from the auction.

    I've bought 2 cars from IAAI auction on March 2015. One 2008 Chevy Cobalt and the other one 2000 Dodge Caravan. I paid the full amount of 3513 for 2 cars. Plus the shipping cost 850 USD. I fixed the cars becouse the cars had accident, and I have ...

    Teri’s Answer

    If the titles were lost, they can file an affidavit with the state to get replacement titles, so I suspect that's no the whole problem.

    You now have two problems - 1) You owe either the title or a refund to your buyer, and 2) You may need to sue the auction house for your damages, which at this point are the full purchase price, plus repair costs. Depending on what representations were made before the auction, you may have a claim for violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and/or fraud, in addition to a breach of contract. The first one is relatively easy to solve. The second will require you to consider how much it is worth to have a membership in an organization that's willing to sell you cars that they say they have titles for, when they don't.

    My suggestion would be to first straighten out the issue with your customer, and then gather all of the documents and talk to a lawyer about suing the auction house.

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