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William F Nichols

William Nichols’s Answers

97 total


  • Can I sue my new house construction builder?

    I recently purchased a new construction house (Feb '16) and everytime there is a heavy rain (4 times already) our yard and even our garage and crawl space gets flooded. I have tried working with the builder to fix the issues, but they have been ve...

    William’s Answer

    Get an appointment with an experienced real property trial lawyer. Your state may have a contractor's board or other regulatory agency that can bring pressure on your contractor and an experienced lawyer will know what can be done and the best approach to get your problem fixed. You may also need to consult with an engineer or other builder to determine the cause (improper grading for example) and best remedy to the problem, but start with a lawyer.

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  • How can I try to negotiate with my ex BF's attorney when he is demanding I buy him out when there's no equity in the house!?

    Both our names are on the house, I live in it with our two children & he is demanding we put it up for sale or I buy him out!? Could the judge force me to put it on the market? I don't think it's fair for our children to have to move again(we ju...

    William’s Answer

    Sorry for your situation. Most states allow a co-owner to force a sale of co-owned property often referred to as a suit for partition. Since you were not married but had children together there will be issues of child support, custody, and visitation that will need to be decided. You need to consult with a domestic relations litigation attorney to look at the complete picture. Your ex BF has you focused on the house and there are other issues that must be resolved and how the equity in the home, if any, is resolved is just part of the equation. Good luck.

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  • We paid our home off 9 months ago, and do not have a clear deed yet.

    Ocwen Mortgage will not send our deed, and will not return our calls. What can we do?

    William’s Answer

    It depends partly on what type of debt instrument was used to secure the loan. If if was a deed of trust, that instrument will list a Trustee which is often a title company that does business in your area. You could contact that trustee, show them your payment history that shows the loan paid off, and demand that the trustee verify with the beneficiary that the loan has been paid in full and therefore the trustee should issue a deed of reconveyance. If you have a mortgage then unfortunately you are left with dealing with Ocwen. Almost every state has a statute that describes what must be done to remove a mortgage or trust deed lien after payment in full where the lender neglects or refuses to remove the lien. It would be a good idea to visit with an experienced real estate attorney in your area. Sometimes all it takes is a letter from an attorney to get things moving. You can use Avvo's Find a Lawyer tool. Good luck.

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  • How do I get a title into my name if the transferring path is out of state?

    My mother in law and I bought a mobile home last year. She moved 3 states away a couple months ago and now wants to take her name off of the title. She cannot make a trip 700 miles away on a weekday as she has a job to do it at the county clerks o...

    William’s Answer

    Do you have a certificate of title to the mobile home? Is there a loan against it? If you have a title and there are no liens then you can contact the agency that issued the title and ask if they have a form power of attorney that your mother in law can sign which grants you the ability to sign her name on an application to re-title the mobile home. If there are liens you may not be able to get her name removed if her creditworthiness was part of the decision to make the loan. Good luck.

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  • Lawsuit quiet title vs adverse possession

    My title is free and clear. My deed is accurate so are my surveyor markings. Neighbor is claiming a few feet of my property by adverse possession (driveway). Do I file to quiet title or sue against adverse possession?

    William’s Answer

    Your claim would be to quiet title in your name. Adverse possession is likely the counter suit that would be filed by the neighbor. Don't delay and get an appointment with an experienced real property attorney that has litigated contested quiet title actions. The laws in every state are different when it comes to the elements of adverse possession, including length of time, whether taxes were paid on the disputed strip, etc. Good luck.

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  • How do I get a property lien vacated

    I sold a home to 2 parties on a Real Estate contract. Foreclosed. 1 party took out a loan . Defaulted. Loan co. got judgment. I want to resell property, but this lien shows up. 1 Can a lien be placed on property not owned, such as Real Estate Co...

    William’s Answer

    You need to take all your documentation regarding the sale and the foreclosure to an experienced real estate lawyer. Ordinarily when a property is "foreclosed" all lien holders are notified and if they don't step up they lose their lien. A good real estate lawyer will be able to sort through the issues fairly quickly and determine what additional information is needed in order to map out a plan to clear the title to the property. It may require a quiet title suit or other litigation to clear the lien. Good luck.

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  • Who does the estate/trust attorney represent after both Trust ors (mom and dad) pass?

    My mother specifically omitted (in big bold black letters) my 2 sisters in an amendment to her trust. I am the sole trustee and there is nothing in her pour over will designating her assets. The estate attorney that handled the estate planning an...

    William’s Answer

    You don't say whether the trust amendment was drafted by the attorney who drafted the original trust. If that attorney also drafted the amendment then yes, it would be unethical to take a position contrary to the document that the lawyer helped to draft. If, however, the amendment was not drafted by this lawyer or another lawyer in that firm the ethical rules are not so clear cut. You can always contact the local bar association or state bar to lodge your complaint. An experienced estate planning/trust administration lawyer can help you determine whether an ethical violation is present.

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  • My mother and stepdad pasted away in Texas and their will can't be found. I'm the oldest child. How is the estate divided?

    I have two step sisters, and my mother had 4 children, 2 have pasted away. Do we divide the property between my 2 stepsisters, my sister and myself? Do we have to give my 2 deceased brothers share to their children?

    William’s Answer

    Without a will, a person is deemed to have died "intestate" and the statutes in Texas will determine how the estate is to be divided. An intestate administration will be required to determine who is entitled to what share of the estate. Your don't say which of the two passed away first and that usually affects the formula especially in a blended family. You will need to contact a knowledgeable Texas probate attorney for advice. I recommend that you look for one in the area where your mother lived at the time of her death. Good luck.

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  • If the buyer breaches a real estate contract on a home is the sellers agent able to sue them for their commission?

    The buyer is wanting to terminate the contract and not sign the closing paperwork. The sellers have already signed their papers and the only thing left is for the buyers to sign. The buyers have not done a final walk through yet.

    William’s Answer

    Usually the remedies for breach are detailed in the purchase and sale agreement. Often if the buyer refuses to close at a minimum they lose their earnest money deposit. But the buyers don't have a contract with the seller's agent, so it is unlikely that they would be liable directly to the seller's agent. A consultation with a knowledgeable attorney in your area would likely get your question answered definitively.

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  • My dad's will (post 1985) names his ex-wife as a beneficiary

    There are many problems with the will, but my main concern is the following: "The rest and residue of my estate, I give to my wife, [ex-wife name] and her heirs." I know that the ex-wife's gift fails because they are divorced, but I am conce...

    William’s Answer

    You need to consult a California probate attorney who can look at the pertinent provisions of the probate code and the cases that have interpreted and applied those code provisions. I would be surprised if the ex-wife's children have an interest in the estate. Don't delay getting some advice. You can use AVVO to help find a competent probate attorney who can get you the correct information.

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