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Laurel H. Siegel

Laurel Siegel’s Answers

38 total

  • Is this commercial lease agreement enforceable by landlord?

    I am the CEO of an LLC. The LLC signed a commercial lease agreement for a showroom in Boston. The landlord required triplicate original signed copies of the agreement, along with a letter of credit equivalent to the deposit, as well as financial s...

    Laurel’s Answer

    It would be best to have an attorney review the lease agreement for you, and any correspondence between you and the landlord, to confirm your rights and responsibilities but, absent some overriding clause, if it does contain language stating it's not deemed executed until both parties have signed and signatures have been delivered to both parties, and they did not deliver a signed copy to you, and if you have never been given keys or taken possession of the property, then most likely it would not be enforceable.

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  • Would self-employed friend's name on the deed cause problems (like a lien) later if they couldn't afford their income taxes?

    My friend and I are purchasing a house. Because of credit issues the mortgage is in my name only, but theirs will be added to the deed. We've confirmed that the property won't affect their very necessary disability payment eligibility. However, th...

    Laurel’s Answer

    Yes, unfortunately, if your friend is listed as a co-owner on the deed to the property, it is possible for a lien for your friend's unpaid taxes to be put on the home, and even if it is not your lien and you are not married, any lien on the title for the property would affect you because it would prevent you from being able to refinance or sell the property until the lien is paid off by your friend and is released from the property. Regardless, if you have not already, it would be a good idea for you to contact an attorney to help you put together a joint ownership agreement laying out your mutual responsibilities with your friend for owning and maintaining the property, particularly their responsibility to pay you for half of the mortgage since you will be the only one listed as a borrower on the mortgage.

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  • Quitclaim deed, or walk away?

    My brother and I bought a 2-family house together in 09 in Massachusetts. Both of our names are on the deed and mortgage, but he stopped helping out with payments in March and refuses to sign off the deed in fear I'll throw him out. He has horribl...

    Laurel’s Answer

    By walking away you would do significant damage to your credit. In addition, if both you and your brother are currently on the deed, the only way to remove yourself from the deed would be to have a new deed drawn up, and that would need to be signed by both you and your brother. Based on the information you provided, it sounds like you are a co-borrower on the mortgage loan, so even if you were removed from the deed, you would still be liable to the bank for the mortgage, and if they were to foreclose and did not recover the full amount of the mortgage in the foreclosure sale, they could bring what's called a deficiency action against you individually for the remainder owed. As suggested by another poster, you may want to speak with attorney about the possibility of filing a petition to partition to force the sale of the house (and seek to have the proceeds split based on your contribution to paying the mortgage and other expenses), but to do so you would need to be able to find a buyer. Another possibility might be to see if, through the petition to partition, you could buy out your brother's interest in the property (if that is possible for you) and then rent the property to tenants until you are able to sell it.

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  • Deeds, Mortgages, Foreclosure and Rights in Massachusetts

    My mother and I are both on a deed to a home and she is on the mortgage. We are no longer on speaking terms and she restricted me from calling or speaking to the mortgage company to deal with the foreclosure. If I am somehow able to convince every...

    Laurel’s Answer

    If you are listed on the deed you are a co-owner of the property,. If the property is sold, assuming there is anything leftover after paying off the mortgage and any other debts related to the property (property taxes, water and sewer charges, and any other liens that may be on the property) you are entitled to a share of the remaining proceeds. How much of a share will depend on how you and your mother hold title the property, and whether you and your mother have made any agreement about how proceeds would be divided if the property were sold.

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  • How to rectify inspection issues when selling my house

    We signed an offer letter on our house (no P&S yet) and during the buyer's inspection they found mold in our basement. We are going to get rid of it but the buyer's lawyer said that the buyers have to agree to how we get rid of it. I don't think...

    Laurel’s Answer

    If you want to keep this particular buyer yes, part of the negotiation for their continuing with the deal would include their approval of your plan to remove the mold. Otherwise, assuming there is an inspection contingency in the offer, the buyer has the right to walk away from the deal if they are not satisfied with the condition of the property or your plans to address the problem.

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  • Condominium law in MA

    Hi, I'm about to buy a unit (1) in a two unit house. There is no monthly condominium fee, the split is 38%, 62%, so when expenses arise in share, that is paid by owners as per split. I have the 38%. My questions are: If i want to fix something...

    Laurel’s Answer

    You would need to review the condominium documents (Master Deed and Declaration of Trust as well as any rules and regulations) to understand the rights and responsibilities of each owner for repairs. In many cases, for a small condo associations such the one you describe, all repairs must be agreed upon by both owners, but depending on how the documents are drafted there may be a mechanism for one owner to require a repair that is necessary to prevent damage to the property. You may want to hire an attorney to make sure you fully understand all of your rights under the condominium documents.

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  • If there are 2 names on the deed, can a house be refinanced with only one of the two names on the mortgage?

    My ex-wife has been on the deed to my house for the last 18 years but has paid nothing toward the house. Can I refinance without her being listed on the mortgage?

    Laurel’s Answer

    You could apply to your lender to be the only borrower on the new mortgage loan, but because your ex-wife is still on the deed the lender will require that she sign the mortgage document itself, as well as a couple of the other closing documents, as a non-borrower owner. No matter who the actual borrowers are, a lender always requires all owners of the property to sign the mortgage to show the owners' consent to having the mortgage put on the property. By signing the mortgage, though, she would not become a borrower, she'd just be consenting to the mortgage, and you would have sole responsibility for paying back the loan.

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  • Uitclaim deed

    mother and siblings signed a quitclaim deed to another son (sibling). deed was filed. is it valid? will the siblings who signed the property over have rights to it?

    Laurel’s Answer

    You would want to have an attorney review the recorded deed to confirm whether it complies with all legal requirements, and also to confirm exactly who now owns the property. If you are correct that the deed transferred the ownership from the mother and siblings to the other sibling, the mother and siblings no longer have rights in the property, and the sibling to whom the property was deeded now owns all rights in the property.

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  • Can you help with clarification on MA Gen Laws ch183A,s18? a. does "improvement" include siding? b. clarification of 10% clause

    Historic house is converted condo in 2006/7 with four units and four trustees (equal vote). No reserves. Exterior needs paint/repair. Trustees cannot agree on paint/repair for total of $30k or siding removal at $120K. My unit is worth approx. $1...

    Laurel’s Answer

    If the unit owners have followed the procedures required under the Master Deed and Declaration of Trust for your condominium, they may be able to proceed with the work and the assessment to your unit, even without your consent. It depends on what percentage of the units those documents require to approve repairs. You may want to hire an attorney to assist you in reviewing the documents and help you understand what is required. You are correct that the assessment should be based on the percentage interest of each unit in the condo, so if your unit only has a 20% interest, you would only be responsible for 20% of the repair cost. Again, an attorney may be helpful in reviewing your condo documents to verify the percentage interests and the responsibilities for repairs.

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  • Can a condo association change the bylaws to say you are not grandfathered in?

    i am a renter for 40 years, the condo association changed the bylaws to make it a smoke free building, can they change the bylaws to say i am not grandfathered in ??? ( that is what they did, can they do that???

    Laurel’s Answer

    The short answer is yes. Assuming that the owners of the units in the condominium and the condo trustees followed all required procedures in the condominium documents, they have the right to amend the bylaws to prohibit smoking in the building. As a tenant, your lease or occupancy of the unit is subject to the terms of the condominium documents, including the bylaws, so if there are changes in the bylaws you must comply with them.

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