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Willard H Chi

Willard Chi’s Answers

8 total

  • What can we do about restitution never paid over 17 years ago? Person moved to Utah.

    We received a judgement against a woman for $15,000. The woman spent almost one year in prison, was released, made one payment, moved to Utah and never made any more payments. We didn't know what to do and was told that we would have to contact ...

    Willard’s Answer

    I agree, highly unlikely unless you renewed your judgment within the time allowed for renewal (currently 10 years). You can present the judgment and ask that she honor the debt, but you would not be able to enforce the judgment unless it had been renewed. It's unlikely are a professional debt collector, but you also don't want to run afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act any any state/local consumer protection laws. If you wanted to send me the judgment, I could look it up and see if it's still active. Otherwise, good luck.

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  • My ex-husband owes me nearly $300,000 in back alimony and the remainder of thesettlement he agreed upon. What can i do?

    I was married for 35 years. The divorce was final in June of 2006. The decree ordered him to pay me a monthly alimony fee of $4,000 per month , for life, and $150,000 that was remaining from the settlement we agreed upon. He hasn't paid me any ...

    Willard’s Answer

    If your divorce decree contained a money award for your spousal support (which it should), each missed payment is recorded as a lien against your ex-husband's real property in the county where the divorce was recorded. The same would apply for any money award of a lump-sum payment that wasn't made, so I would make sure those are properly recorded and see if he has any equity in his real property.

    If you were represented by an attorney for your divorce, it would make the most sense to contact your attorney and enforce these money judgments. To collect on unpaid judgments, you could offer to pay a portion of any money recovered (contingent fee) if you could not afford to pay an hourly rate.

    Meet with an attorney and see what your options are. Good luck.

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  • If I pay for last month of lease, can I leave early and be released from obligations of lease by walk thru insp & turn in keys

    Am I required to reside in apartment to avoid responsibility of any damages after I leave

    Willard’s Answer

    If you signed a standard lease form agreement, you are often obligated to inform the landlord if you will be gone from your apartment for more than 7 days. Oregon law doesn't require this, but it's found in virtually all lease agreements. This is reasonable, as an occupied apartment is less likely to be damaged by weather or break-ins than an unoccupied apartment.

    Separately, you may be required to conduct a walk-through after you move out so that both landlord and tenant see the same condition of the apartment, so that your security deposit can be returned in full or reduced by any damage found in the walk-through.

    Again, this depends on the terms of your rental agreement. You may consider negotiating an early termination and conducting the walk-through earlier to get any security deposit back and resolve all remaining issues, if that helps your specific situation.

    Good luck.

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  • If a contract is filled out by the agreeing party but has no space for a signature, is it still legally binding?

    I provide in-home daycare sevices and made my first contract but forgot to leave space for parents to sign, so I would just write in the space for a signature and then they'd sign it. On one I forgot to even do that, but the parent that was making...

    Willard’s Answer

    A contract need not be written down and signed in order to be binding on the parties, but there must be agreement as to the terms. There are certain circumstances where a written contract is required, but this situation does not seem to be an exception. It can be argued that a parent who has filled out your form has agreed to the contract terms. Changes to the contract can also be agreed upon without a writing.

    There are also non-contractual arguments you can make, like quasi-contract or quantum meruit, where the parents received a benefit from you and even if there was not an agreed-upon contract, they owe you some amount for your services.

    A demand letter from you detailing why they owe you payment and giving them a deadline (more than 10 days is advisable to get attorney fees, possibly) may get you a satisfactory conclusion.

    DISCLAIMER: This response is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship; the response is merely intended as general legal information. Mr. Chi is licensed to practice in Oregon and requires a signed representation agreement before rendering legal advice to his clients.

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  • I broke the lease and did not pay on my move out day what kind of rights does landlord has to charge me?

    I broke the lease and moved out on the 7th of June and my lease agreements is till 30th Jan, 2010. I moved out because I could not afford to continue living there and did not pay on move out day. Manager told me that she will bill me if I don't ...

    Willard’s Answer

    It sounds like you have a fixed term lease and if it was a form lease that your landlord had you sign, it probably obligates you to keep paying rent until the landlord finds another tenant to take your place. But the landlord does have the duty to make reasonable efforts to find a replacement tenant. While I would need to see the lease agreement, I find it questionable that it would require you to pay a lump sum amount upon moving out early.

    Keep in mind other costs that your landlord may pursue against you, namely utility bills, damage to the space, and if you left any personal property behind, costs associated with removing and storing them. I would recommend you negotiate with the landlord for some sort of buy-out agreement to avoid increasing your costs from breaking this lease.

    Mr. Chi is licensed to practice law in Oregon. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice.

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  • What happens if I don't respond to a summons from a credit card company?

    I received a summons from a credit card company that is trying to collect a debt. I was under the impression that I only have to file a motion if I want to try and dispute their claim. If I don't file a motion, I again am under the impression th...

    Willard’s Answer

    Just to add a few more details to the previous answer, you have 30 days from the date of being served these papers to file an appearance or an answer. You can also notify, in writing, the attorney for the credit card company that you plan to file an answer, which requires the credit card company's attorney to give you 10-days written notice before taking the default. They're probably seeking all the costs and attorney fees related to bringing this lawsuit, so if you have any beliefs that there is an error in the the lawsuit or that you have any claims against the credit card company, then you should consult with an attorney about the specific facts of your case before the time expires. In some cases, your attorney fees may be paid by the opposing side (if you can prove violations of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, for example).

    Below is a link to the Lawyer Referral Service of the Oregon State Bar. You get a 30-minute consultation with an attorney for $35. Good luck.

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  • Isn't there a statute of limittions on bill colectors collecting?

    i am being garnished for a debt that was in me and my ex's nams back in 2001. can i fight it?

    Willard’s Answer

    There are statutes of limitations that apply for debts, or debts stated, and it's generally 6 years from the last activity (either use of credit or payment by you in the case of a credit card). There are also Fair Debt Collections laws, state and federal, that apply in how they go about collecting the debt, so it's definitely worth reviewing and considering fighting. If you think they've violated Fair Debt Collections laws, you generally only have a 1-year statute of limitations to file, so you should look into it right away.

    Hope this helps,

    Willard Chi

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  • An easement (driveway) passes through our property. Can the user of the easement widen the drive without our permission?

    The easement user, without our permission, widened the driveway by three feet, taking more of our property. We did not give permission to do this, and instead asked him not to do it. The easement user claimed he had someone survey it and it was ...

    Willard’s Answer

    It depends on the contents of any easement agreement, and whether it was recorded properly. It should state whether someone can expand the driveway, and whether permission is required from the other party. A well-written easement agreement will state the exact location and size of the easement, maintenance responsibilities for the easement, and the duration and revocability of the easement.

    If your easement user is in violation of any easement agreement, you may have the option of terminating the easement (though likely you have to give him notice of any violation and allowing him some time to correct the violation).

    As for any land grab, you'd want to protect against any adverse possession (land grab) claims he may have by sending him a letter advising him of what land you own.

    I would need more details to give any definitive options, but you may need to act on this soon if it has gone on for a long time. I hope this helped.

    Willard Chi

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