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Richard S Sternberg
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Richard Sternberg’s Answers

142 total


  • Would I be able to pursue him in a small claims court for $300?

    In Washington, D.C., a rent-controlled state (or city rather), it is illegal for a sublessor to charge his/her subtenant more than the sublessor pays the master landlord, even if the sublessor pays the utilities. In the master contract, which th...

    Richard’s Answer

    Yes. It will cost more in time, aggravation, and actual costs than it could possibly be worth, but as an old professor of mine once taught, "Any idiot can sue. It takes a filing fee, paper, and a pen. Sometimes, a crayon can be used, instead." You might consider a complaint to the RA, but that isn't worth it, either.

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  • What is the legal way to remove a non contractual pastor from a church

    I need an attorney to represent me as a sole incorporator in a church

    Richard’s Answer

    Then, retain one. A competent lawyer will need to review the articles and bylaws as well as employment contracts and manuals of the church entity before answering your question.

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  • Can someone file a lawsuit concerning their violation of pursuit of happiness right after they've been sued excessively.

    a judge who awarded a excessive amount of money for harassment to a plaintiff which the specific amount was over ten million dollars. the defendant attempted to sue the judge and plaintiff for violation of his pursuit of happiness rights. thought ...

    Richard’s Answer

    The better, safer, more effective means of pursuing your happiness would be to stay on your meds. I know sometimes you feel better without them, but you really do need them. Once you are stabilized for a month or so, seek legal guidance from Community Legal Services.

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  • What should she do to avoid losing the house to the bank?

    Owner of house with a standing mortgage has past away. The mortgage is paid by the daughter (current occupant), but she is having a hard time getting the house/mortgage in her name.

    Richard’s Answer

    The bank is correct. She is not. While the technical title is different in this situation between DC, Md, and VA, and the steps required to change title or sell are different based on the date of death of the title holder in DC, the bottom line is the same. She need to open an estate so she can move the title and take control of the mortgage. She ca. Try doing that pro se, but, with a house involved, that's a mistake. Get a well-rated local lawyer as, at least, an attorney-advisor.

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  • My sister and I would like to find out if there is fraud involed and if so what can we do about it.

    I live in Harrisburg P. A. I found my uncle will in Washington D. C. it's on file in probate court. But it have not probated and the neither have the estate. But the representative states that he the sole beneficiary but the will dones't have a ...

    Richard’s Answer

    If you have read the Will, it is fairly easy to determine whether you are a beneficiary. Are you listed by name or relationship to get anything?

    If you are and you have heard nothing, you might want to pay a lawyer for a short consult, have him read the Will, and check the court file for the status of the probate.

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  • Real Estate, Breach of contract

    (PROBATE CASE) Seller did not have authorization to sell the property. Hired a Realtor to sell the property entered into a contract with the buyer. The seller can not obtain aurhrization to sell within the last year. The buyer has been waiting for...

    Richard’s Answer

    As Mr. Gross notes, only someone who owns or controls property can sell it, and a contract from someone who doesn't own or control property, is simply void. Perhaps there is some claim for fraud or misrepresentation, but if the buyer knew the salient facts, I'm not sure how he'd define the fraud.

    In DC, there has come to be a fairly common practice in which the Buyer contracts with the heirs and then guides them to an attorney familiar with probate, real estate, and tax certificate practice in DC. If that's what you are seeking, you need to find a lawyer who knows those areas of Law.

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  • Purchase that was illegally purchased

    our step grandmother decided to sell our family property that was there for a long time ago. the property initially belongs to our great granparents and wer believe she doesnt hve legal rights to sell the property and now we have been served by th...

    Richard’s Answer

    I'm not sure your description is sufficient for me to understand the transaction. What is the chain of title to the land. Did your grandfather's wife inherit it from him? Who has filed suit for what? And, while we're at it.m, where?

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  • Tenant paid the rent for August today. Should I still go for the hearing tomorrow?

    A DC 30 Day Notice to Vacate was served to the tenant, and is due to expire on the 6th of this month. The violations are, none payment of rent (hearing is tomorrow), consistently paying rent late, changed locks and refused to provided a key (af...

    Richard’s Answer

    It depends on what you filed, and, of course, I must assume that the "where" is DC, because this is quite different in Maryland or Virginia. If you filed a 30-day Notice to Quit based on non-payment of rent, and the rent is paid, you are done. Under the Trans-Lux case, a tenant cannot be evicted once all claimed rent (including late fees and bounce charges, as long as they are rent, are paid. It doesn't matter how many times, so make the late fees hurt (if you can under law and not as retaliation). If you filed for breach of a condition of the lease, and that condition hasn't been cured, you might be able to maintain the case. It is very fact specific, and the notice must be perfect. Consult your counsel. Being a landlord without counsel in the District is not for novices or wise men.

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  • Can a divorce decree be enforced if other spouse passed before the deed was changed?

    If the divorce decree ordered that the spouse's name be taken off the house but the spouse who was the original purchaser passed before this was done, can the divorce decree be enforced to have the spouse's name taken off of the house? What does t...

    Richard’s Answer

    I'm a bit confused by your description of the facts, so let me restate and have you correct me. One spouse we'll call H bought the house but titled it to H & W by entireties. In their divorce, H was to title the property to W, but never did before he died. Was the divorce final before H died? If not, the problem is solved. W owns it by succession outside the estate.as a result of the entireties title. If the divorce was final, the unities of the entireties title was broken. I recently researched this in DC, and that converts the title to tenants in common. In some jurisdictions, I believe the title converts to joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTWROS). If it is JTWROS, the problem is also solved. W owns by succession. You produce the death certificate and it would probably be convenient to file a corrective deed. If the property is held in common, W needs to timely file a claim in the estate of H. Either way, a good lawyer who knows probate and real estate would make this a great deal easier, and, if H was living in the house when he passed and it is now vacant as well as on its way to foreclosure, it might be timely to get it listed and sold. If nobody closer to H has filed to open the estate, W might file to be PR as a creditor of the estate.

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  • I have my Consent Order Approving Sale. Why is the tittle company waiting out an additional 30 days before I can settle?

    The title company says "this is a title insurance underwriting requirement that we wait out the 30 day appeals period. All title insurance companies have the same requirement." This is not subject to exception. But it is costing me additional m...

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I have managed to get my title underwriter to insure immediate closings after an Order to Sell in probate matters, but they might be taking a bit of a risk that an appeal will be filed and the Order will be reversed. If you can control the selection of title agency, which,by Law, can be selected by the Buyer, you might want to shop around. It seems to me that the Order to Sell is good immediately unless it says otherwise, and it is up to the other side in the litigation, if any, to obtain a stay pending appeal. It really isn't up to the title agent doing the closing; the issue needs to make it past a title underwriter. That's one reason that many title agents write for multiple carriers. Shop around.

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