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Edward Lewis Blum
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Edward Blum’s Answers

46 total


  • Can I sue the seller, Realtors, or brokers for non disclosure of water damage, temporary power, deception and negligence?

    My husband and I purchased a home in January. There are signs of possible water damage cover up as well as negligence by our realtor. We were also mislead to believe that power had been restored by close of escrow only to find that it was rigged o...

    Edward’s Answer

    While the prior answers are all good ones, I approach these cases slightly differently. I like to start by establishing the dollars involved to repair or correct the problem, so that I can help my client decide whether to throw a lot of good money after less bad money. This is necessary to avoid having to chase the legal fees. Since most of these cases settle, it is generally a bad result if you have spent more in legal fees than the cases is worth in settlement. This is true, in my opinion, even where you would be entitled to recover some portion of your legal fees from the seller if you prevail at trial. The cost of the fight is just too high in most cases. (And did you say that the seller is in prison? Good luck getting that judgment collected.) Some times it is just better to spend the money to correct the problems, rather than seeking justice. In my experience that holds true if your hard damages are $75k or less under facts like yours.

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  • How do I evict my roommate who doesn't pay the rent on time. We are both on the lease....

    He doesn't pavement on time · Consistently 15 days late and doesn't pay utilities. Help!

    Edward’s Answer

    You have a problem, since you have only the right as a tenant, not a sub-lessor. If the landlord wants to help, s/he can evict both of you and then enter into a new agreement just with you. But, be careful in suggesting that to the landlord since it may be giving the landlord the idea to get rid of both of you. It is surprising that the landlord has not already given you notice to pay or quit. See a local tenant attorney

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  • If I get a third mortgage, does the first mortgage and the heloc have to approve?

    I do not want to refi, nor would I qualify. I also do not quaify for a reverse mortgage. If an investor would give me a third mortgage, do the first and second position lenders have a right to approve?

    Edward’s Answer

    I recommend that you obtain a review of the existing mortgage documents for the 1st and 2nd to make certain that they do not prohibit further encumbrance of the property. It would be unfortunate if you were to obtain a 3rd only to find later that the holder of the 1st or 2nd declares a default of the terms and conditions of your prior deed of trust with one of them. While the chances are not great that a further encumbrance is prohibited, you would be wise to check it out. Please consult a real estate attorney.

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  • What happens when tenants in common can not decide on how the money will be split between them after a sale of property?

    The other owner is refusing to pay her share of repairs, HOA and mortgage she did not contribute to but still wants 50 percent of the profits. We do not have an agreement of how the profit will be split.

    Edward’s Answer

    The court will resolve all issues between co-owners. Where there is no agreement between the co-owners, the court will use its inherent power in equity to decide the case. The parties can agree to an alternative method of resolution, and, indeed, many people in this situation would agree to binding arbitration. This case sounds like it would better be suited to binding arbitration, assuming that each side has access to all of the information that would be needed to decide the case, e.g., the nature and amount of expenses claimed, as well as income to be divided (if any).

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  • I was served with a summons requesting a Quiet Title and Declaration Relief on a property my husband sold when he was a live.

    I was unaware that my husband never provided the purchaser the signed deed 22 years ago. I do not have the deed and don't know how to locate it. I'd like to sign the property over to the owner. Do I need a lawyer to help me do so?

    Edward’s Answer

    Mr. Chen is on point. It is quite possible that, if you are not contesting the claim to free and clear title, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the plaintiff's attorney to allow your "default" to be taken in the quiet title action, in exchange for an agreement that you will have no other exposure to any claims in the action, and that the plaintiff will "indemnify" you from any cross-complaints filed against you in the action. This gives the plaintiff what he or she wants without you having to be involved in the lawsuit and without the fear that you may have some financial exposure. This is just one of the possible results for you, but do not attempt to deal with this yourself. There are potential traps that an attorney, preferably one who does real estate litigation, will help you avoid. If it works, it would likely be the least expensive way out of the problem for you.

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  • Statue of limitations on 2nd trust deeds

    My house went into foreclosure 2 years ago with a 1st and a 2nd trust deeds. Is it true that after 4 years the banks can't come after me for the unpaid debts?

    Edward’s Answer

    Any lender that is entitled to sue (yours may not be) must do so within the four year statute of limitations. The issue will be when the statute starts to run. You would be taking the position that it started when you first failed to pay an installment, but the facts may show that the statute did not start to run until a later date. You should have an attorney review the documents

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  • Real estate: I am an agent. Is there a special form I use to sue for my commission?

    The buyer of a house failed to close escrow and backed out of the sale the day he was supposed to fund his loan and close escro . I have been told by other agents that I have a right to sue for my commissio . Normally I wouldn't, but this buyer wa...

    Edward’s Answer

    I do not believe that an agent can sue or arbitrate for commission, since the agreement is between the seller and the broker, not the agent

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  • Recourse or non recourse?

    I have a 1st & 2nd purchase money loan on a home I bought in 2006 in CA. I took out the loans to purchase the property in 2006, have never refinanced, etc. I converted the home into a rental in 2013 and am considering a strategic short sale or str...

    Edward’s Answer

    The devil is in the details. The key to whether this is a true purchase-money loan is the intent of the lender at the time the loan was made, evidenced by all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the loan at that time. So, to be certain that you have a purchase-money loan, the following facts should be established:

    1. when you applied for the loan, you had yet to close escrow to the property.
    2. also, when you applied for the loan, your stated purpose on the loan app was to use the proceeds to acquire the property, and this was made known to the lender at or before the time the loan was granted.
    3. when the lender funded the loan, the funds were sent to the escrow holder handling the purchase transaction, and the deed of trust in favor of the lender was recorded as part of the closing
    4. you did not take out any money from the loan proceeds to use for any purpose, other than the acquisition or improvement of the property. If you did take out some of the loan proceeds, even to pay credit card bills or take a vacation, that portion will be treated by the IRS as "forgiveness of debt income" to you in the year of the short sale, which will have to be declared on your return. IT is taxed as ordinary income. This rule may have been changed; so, please confirm with your tax preparer that this is still the position being taken by the IRS. There is a worksheet that should accompany your tax return (Form 982).
    5. if any of these factors were not present at the time the loan was made (and, especially, in view of your conversion to a rental property before the short sale), the IRS may take the position that the loan was recourse, and all of the loan proceeds are taxable after short sale. You can argue that ruling, so long as you have most of the factors going for you. Again, please confirm with your tax preparer.

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  • Statute of limitations on a HELOC during short sale in CA?

    Breach of contract on HELOC was March, 2010. House sold in short sale December, 2010. Short Sale Buyer paid HELOC $25,000 to approve the short sale. HELOC holder approved short sale but did not release me from the balance ($250,000). Does the ...

    Edward’s Answer

    If the HELOC was issued at the time you purchased the home, which many lenders were doing some years ago, then the loan which is called a HELOC is really a purchase-money loan, and there is no right on the part of the lender to sue for the balance. If, on the other hand, the HELOC was issued after you acquired title, then the lender may sue after a short sale that occurred prior to July 15, 2011, as yours appears to be.

    The four year statute of limitations starts running at the date of the breach, which means that if you were still delinquent in your payments at the time of the closing of the short sale after deducting from the accrued arrearage as of that date the amount that the lender received from the short sale, then you were technically still in breach, and the earlier breach date would likely apply. If, however, you were 'caught up' through the short sale payments, then the later date would likely apply, namely, the date that you first went into breach after the closing.

    You should have an attorney research this issue (i.e., pre July 15, 2011 short sales), as there is new law that may govern whether the lender can proceed against you.

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  • Hi my ex and I co own 2 properties in San Francisco. He has hired a lawyer to dissolve. What are my rights and responsibilities?

    Hi my ex ( we broke up about 8 years ago) and I co own 2 properties in San Francisco and I recently received notice from his lawyer that he wishes to dissolve his co ownership in these. 2 properties. I would like to know my rights and responsibili...

    Edward’s Answer

    Partition by sale will be ordered by the court unless the parties have agreed in writing to an arrangement whereby one is entitled to purchase the interest of the other by appraisal

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