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Thomas Martin Morningstar
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Thomas Morningstar’s Answers

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  • MVA insurance question

    Minor child (16) was a passenger in a vehicle (veh 1) that was involved in an accident with another vehicle (veh 2). The driver (veh 1) was cited for Neg 2. Both cars were "totaled" but the accident wasn't bad enough to call medical transport. Th...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Go to your own insurance agent. You will likely have some form of Personal Injury Protection or Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverages. There is likely some insurance available from the vehicles owner, even if they have to reach for their personal liability umbrella to find indemnity doillars. Insurance is your friend, especially umbrella coverage

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  • The adjuster wants to discuss the claim by phone. Is this okay to do or should I have her write it down?

    I sent in a demand letter with all the documents attached for my personal injury claim and the adjuster sent me an email saying : "The documents have been reviewed and evaluated. Would you please call me at your earliest convenience to discuss re...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Totally normal. The bodily injury attorneys will tell you not to do it without them. You of course do have the right to do it without them. Odds are you can arrange for a recorded conversation. If you are ball park on the numbers, you are probably fine. Adjusters are not what they used to be. They are judged by how fast they can close claims. If you sense the adjuster is just trying to get to to make some kind of critical admission, politely terminate the conversation and get a lawyer.

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  • Not paying last 2 months in fear of not getting deposit back.

    Our lease is up May 1st. We put down a hefty deposit, almost 2 months rent. Owners are in financial trouble and concerned we will not get our money returned. If we do not pay our last 2 months, can someone tell me if we can be evicted? The ho...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Read the lease CAREFULLY. It is unusual, but I have seen leases that EXPRESSLY SAY THE DEPOSIT CAN BE USED AS RENT.

    CAVEAT: Using a number of months rent to calculate the deposit does NOT constitute a provision allowing application of deposit amounts to rent. e.g. Deposit of first and last month's rent, is NOT a phrase that expressly allows use of the deposit as rent. It measures the amount of deposit.

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  • Have a Landlord Tenant Issue Should background chck be done for my relative visiting the US and will be living with me for 1yr?

    my wife and I moved into a new apartment in Bothell, WA two months ago and my younger brother from Africa Joined us after we had signed the lease. The Landlord is asking for an additional $42 to do a background check for him even though all he ha...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Look at your lease. Odds are: your relative is not listed as an authorized occupant. Your guests are not allowed to stay more than 15 days. Anyone who stays more than 15 days must apply and qualify as if they were a tenant (which at one year, they are). There is also likely a provision in the lease banning assignment or subleasing without written landlord consent. I'd go along if you want to continue to live there. Your landlord could next give notice to 10 Days to Comply With Covenant or vacate and you could get evicted on the provisions I mentioned above.

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  • I have to move, my question is: When?

    I have been in adverse possession of a condo since May of 2013, which was when it was sold at a Sheriff's sale. The redemption period ended in May of 2014. Friday I received a visit from the new owner, a 3 day notice to vacate along with a cash ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    This is my main line of business: post-foreclosure evictions. The investor who bought your property likely got it at the Sheriff's sale because of foreclosure of a lien by the homeowner's association, or a taxing authority. it is possible to have a sheriff sale after a judicial foreclosure. Most foreclosures are non-judicial foreclosures. How much? Most condos get Cash for Keys at $1,000 to $1,500. That is likely not enough to really move you, but it is better than adding to your credit woes by tacking on a case number in unlawful detainer (these NEVER go away!). You can play all kinds of games to get more time. I am not really in the habit of telling people how to game the system.

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  • Landlord lost our initial move in walk through

    Landlord lost our move in walk through even before we could get a copy of it and now wants us to fill one out 8 years later? How are we supposed to prove/remember everything like the carpet was used/stained/prior cat damage and the blinds were bro...

    Thomas’s Answer

    After 8 years it is not unfair to simply respond that everything in the unit is fully depreciated. Look at IRS Publication 527. The entire building has a life of 27.5 years. Paint is a 3 year asset. Carpet a 5 year asset. How is it that a landlord can take full depreciation on something, then charge you for it all over again? Double dipping I'd say. That goes even more for things that were not new when you moved in. The landlord also has a proof problem. If there is not signed initial walk through, he really does not have a basis for holding your deposit.

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  • What kind of attorney do I need, legal options can I pursue?

    Sister and I co own a rental property 50/50. She hired a property manager without my consent, and has kept all profits for the last 8 years. What are my legal rights to recoup my half of profits, and can she hire company without my consent/signatu...

    Thomas’s Answer

    As a joint owner of real estate, you have a right to your share of the rents, or profits from use or extracted assets (like mining, water or oil) off the premises. What you really need is a real estate lawyer who can tell you what type of estate you actually have and how much, if any you are able to get back. Be careful. If renting was a loss, you may end up going from predator to prey real quick. Look before you leap.

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  • Is my judgement forgiven?

    I had a 2nd mortgage that turned into a judgement. After the judgement I made payment arrangements to repay this debt. Over the past several years I've made my payments on time and have never missed a payment. Recently the creditor sent my paym...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Go to Clark County's web site. Find the Asssessor/Auditor/Recorder pages. You can usually search for the history of recorded documents by using your tax parcel number. If it has been a few weeks, there should be a recorded document on there that says the second mortgage is satisfied. Usually the word reconveyance shows up. The documents are indexed by date of recording, so something recorded this July 31 year will be 20140731######.

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  • If you sell a car as is, can the buyer take you to court to get the money back because the car ended up breaking down?

    So my fiance sold a car on craigslist. He explained all of the problems that he knew about the car, and the guy bought the vehicle, and now wants his money back. He is claiming that my fiance screwed him and that he knew about a bad part and di...

    Thomas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    "As is" means as-is. There are no warranties express or implied. Unless there was some words representing the condition of the part that failed, the whole works is as-is. That does NOT stop anyone from suing. This is America, we are free to sue, and we are free to lose. The mechanic is not a witness to the negotiations, so all he knows as a fact is the part that broke did fail... which really does not help.

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  • How do you remove a tenant of sufferance without the long eviction process and going straight to the writ of restitution?

    Acquaintance asked to rent home for a couple months, homeowner agreed to work out mutual arrangement, homeowner told "tenant" they needed to finalize rent price and sign paperwork, "tenant" moved in without finalizing price or paying any money or ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    A tenant at suffrance is a person who resides on the premises, without a rental obligation, with the consent of the owner. This person agreed to pay rent, and is therefore a tenant. The default in WA is a month to month periodic tenancy. TO DO: Call Christopher Cutting. He is a real pro and works for Evan Loeffler, 2033 Sixth Avenue, Ste. 1040, Seattle, WA 98121, Ph: (206) 443-8678,
    Fx: (206) 443-4545

    If the notice is valid, I don't think you need luck, you need Chris Cutting.

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