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David M von Beck
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David von Beck’s Answers

59 total

  • Condo purchase, unknown construction assessment, seller disclosure statement and resale certificate are in conflict.

    I purchased a condo in 2011. Six months later, I learned of a construction assessment, and as the owner, now I owe it. 6-7 years ago, just after initial construction, the HOA sued the construction company and recovered only a fraction of the money...

    David’s Answer

    There is a significant difference between 1) a disclosure that a judgment against the condo owner was (or was not) paid in full and 2) a disclosure about the pending special assessment against all unit owners to make up for the shortfall in the HOA's recovery from the builder. In your situation, there may be liability on the part of the seller, the HOA, and even the property manager if a known, pending assessment was not disclosed on the resale certificate. This may be true even if they disclosed the prior lawsuit against the builder, because the information about that lawsuit may not have been enough to qualify as "notice" to you of the pending repairs and assessment that you now face as a unit owner.

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  • Do I need a real estate lawyer?

    We won in a foreclosure and damages. The defendant owns property adjoining ours and wants to sign a Quit Claim Deed in exchange for monies that he owes us. (approx. $50,000, which is the value of the property). He claims that all he has to do is ...

    David’s Answer

    Yes, I would recommend you retain a real estate attorney and also obtain a title report on the property that the defendant is suggesting he can use to satisfy his debt to you. Some money spent now on counsel is going to be worth it.

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  • Take out a home equity loan or refinance existing home loan?

    My wife and I are trying to figure out whether to take out a home equity loan or refinance. We own a double wide trailer on five acres that has been converted to real property. Which would be better in a situation like this? What should we know? A...

    David’s Answer

    This question may be better directed at a qualified mortgage broker, who can walk through your finances and the available loan options with you. Generally speaking, and given the current low interest rates, it may be to your advantage to refinance to a single loan -- whether fixed or adjustable -- with a low rate. It's worth noting that there is one protective advantage to having a single loan, and that is that in the event of a default, the primary lender typically will conduct a non-judicial foreclosure -- meaning a trustee's sale -- and, if the property sells for less than the loan amount, the lender will not be able to pursue you for any deficiency. A second lender -- such as a HELOC lender -- will still have a claim against you in that context.

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  • Neighboring landlord attempting adverse possession: claims a chain link fence, instead of the hedgerow defines the boundary line

    12 years ago I purchased a property with a 85' long western boundary line having a privacy hedge planted on the northern 50'. During the previous 5 years the prior owner put in a chain link fence and with the hedge in the way, placed it about 3 fe...

    David’s Answer

    There are several requirements to demonstrating adverse possession and, as is often the case, your situation is very fact specific. You will likely need to review your claim with a lawyer as any general advice on the law is unlikely to be adequate for you to make an informed decision as to whether and how to proceed against your neighbor.

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  • My home has lost so much value that it is worth quite a bit less than what I owe. Do I have any options other than walking away?

    The home is a townhouse in Shoreline WA. Four years in to a 30 year mortgage. I have to move in a year.

    David’s Answer

    You may have other options, including a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or perhaps a renegotiation of the debt with your lender. Keep in mind that if you "walk away," you may well remain personally liable for any HOA assessments.

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  • Lien on second home in Michigan when Foreclosing in Washington state?

    I am looking into either short selling or foreclosing on my condo in Washington state. I inherited via a quit claim deed from my now deceased mother, a jointly owned condo in Michigan (with my brother and sister who are also on the deed). The hom...

    David’s Answer

    Unless the lender on your Washington condominium forecloses judicially (meaning with a lawsuit rather than via a trustee's sale) and gets a deficiency judgment against you, or asks you to agree to a deficiency obligation under the terms of any short sale, it seems unlikely that you would remain exposed to that lender. Even then, the Washington lender's "lien" on your Michigan condo (assuming the laws are similar there as here in Washington) would be a judgment lien recorded in the county where the condo is located, and the satisfaction of that lien from any proceeds on the condo sale would have to await sale of that Michigan condo.

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  • My Mortgage is underwater - not behind am wondering if there's any hope of getting the principal reduced?

    One of us lost our job and we cannot really afford the mortgage anymore, even though we have been paying it and keeping it current. Keeping our credit intact is a priority. There are two mortgage (one is serviced by Chase, owned by Bank of New Yor...

    David’s Answer

    Yes, more and more lenders are considering principal reduction, deferment, and other concessions in lieu of taking properties back from their borrowers.

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  • Should i sign the short sale form?

    now im thinking of getting custody of the kids. what should i do. was gonna give her everything but found out that she has not paid mortage for more than 2yrs and its on forclosure. should i go ahead and do the short sale.

    David’s Answer

    There is no way to answer this question without seeing the form and having an understanding of what liability you are releasing, and what liabilities you might be assuming.

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  • What can do about botched roofing job?

    New roof. My contract said: Labor To tear off and dispose of existing roofing. Install new pabco architectural limited lifetime roofing with scotchguard algae block, 15 pound felt and continuous ridge vent. All metal and rubber flashings shall be ...

    David’s Answer

    So far, you've only heard the roofing company owner's version of the adequacy of his company's work and the repair. I suggest you retain a qualified roofing inspector to conduct an independent inspection of the installation. First, though, it may be best to contact legal counsel so that the inspector and attorney can discuss the breadth and nature of the investigation and any report that the inspector might prepare, with the possibility of future legal action against the roofer in mind.

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  • Neighbors tree on my roof

    My neighbor's tree overhangs my roof. I would like to cut the portion on my property. Can I do this with out consulting my neighbor?

    David’s Answer

    The short answer is likely yes. But disputes between neighbors can start from the smallest event or lack of communication, and can grow into uncomfortable, lengthy, and expensive feuds. So, I strongly suggest that before cutting anything, you first talk with your neighbor to address your concerns and intent regarding the overhanging branch.

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