Skip to main content
Justin C. Lowenthal

Justin Lowenthal’s Answers

470 total


  • In real state market, is that the discrimination to ask the listing agent who is the owner of the property ?

    or where the owner of the property is from?

    Justin’s Answer

    Absolutely not. It also public record in case you wish to investigate property owners yourself. Contact your county recorder/assessor for information about property records.

    See question 
  • Timeshare - contract listed me as cosigner but I did not sign. Is it valid?

    Over 3 yrs ago, an ex-partner and I visited a timeshare presentation in Las Vegas. We were going to purchase and when we left my ex partner made all the arrangements for payments and kept all the documents. We did sign a contact but the area of fi...

    Justin’s Answer

    Sorry, you are going to have to see an attorney about this. It is impossible to respond to your question without seeing the contract and what was signed (and not signed).

    See question 
  • What is the minimum term for seller carryback financing under current Dodd-Frank rules when transaction is exempt from TILA?

    Buyer wants seller carryback financing for one year. Is a one-year term legal under the current rules? The transaction does fall under Dodd-Frank exemption No. 1., making compliance with TILA requirements unnecessary. If a one-year term is not le...

    Justin’s Answer

    Only fully amortized loans are permitted (no balloon mortgages allowed). If the loan can be repaid in 1 year it should be fine. However, the seller must determine in good faith and document that the buyer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan. Unless this is a very small loan, I seriously doubt that this is an exempt carryback.

    See question 
  • Gift Tax: Risk of taxes when add adult daughter on title to home?

    I am adding adult daughter on title to my home. I am currently the sole owner. Title (in CA) will be held as "joint tenants with right of survivorship." So at moment of passing, house belongs 100% to her (avoid probate). Except for some savings a...

    Justin’s Answer

    This may be an obvious question, but have you met with a realtor or real estate attorney about your short sale options? It seems impractical to be concerned about estate planning when you have no real assets and you are paying on a house significantly underwater.

    See question 
  • Can I sue real estate agent for referring me to a real estate developer/investor who turns out to be a fraud.

    I went to a real estate brokerage office and explained a real estate agent that I want to mortgage my house and purchase a rental condominium. Real estate agent told me that in the next office is a real estate investor who can help me. That I ca...

    Justin’s Answer

    All of my colleagues provide sound answers. Something to add might be that you should consider contacting the Bureau of Real Estate and ask the BRE to investigate and assist you. If the real estate broker(age) had any notice whatsoever that the "real estate investor" was a fraud, or at least deceitful, advising you to place your money with him was arguably gross negligence. You may want to file a BRE complaint and sue the brokerage if you have a meritorious claim.

    See question 
  • Single member LLC AND W-9 FORM

    Hello, I will be doing a project for a company for the next 6 months. I registered an LLC and I will be the only member. The other company has sent me an W-9 form. My question is do I fill my details or my LLC details or both in the LLC f...

    Justin’s Answer

    First, obtain a tax ID number for the LLC from the IRS. This can be done online. Then fill out the W9 form with the LLC's information and new FEIN (tax ID number). You will sign as "John Doe, Manager".

    See question 
  • I invest money in HSA into index funds but had no distribution. Do I have to pay state taxes (CA) on dividends or rebalances?

    I most invested it in Vanguard 500 Index fund and recently Vanguard Wellington as well. My HSA bank did not give me any tax document 1099 whatsoever but I read that CA taxes earnings in HSA. Are sale (but reinvest) during rebalances considered ear...

    Justin’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The answer to your question lies in the Instructions for Schedule CA (540):

    Interest or other earnings earned from a Health Savings Account (HSA) are not treated as taxed deferred. Interest or earnings in a HSA are taxable in the year earned.

    I've attached the form for your consideration.

    See question 
  • In a legal disagreement, how can I be sure the person sending the letters actually represents other members of his LLC?

    Simply put, I am fielding demand letters and threats of legal action by the "registered agent" of an LLC - however, he is not the sole member and I believe he is making these threats against the will of other members in his LLC. I believe...

    Justin’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First determine if the LLC is member-managed or manager-managed. You may find out this information by contacting the Secretary of State. The "registered agent" has no inherent authority to file a legal action against you or any other party. The person who serves as registered agent, however, may ALSO be a manager or member-manager of the LLC. In that case, he or she may threaten and/or file a legal action. If the LLC is member-managed, any member may do this.

    If you wish to alert the LLC and its members as to this individuals conduct and correspondence, hire an attorney and request that he or she send a letter to the LLC, cc'd to every member and manager of the company. They may wish to enclose all correspondence previously sent to you by the registered agent.

    Good luck!

    See question 
  • Can I as a sole member of LLC represent myself in court?

    My LLC is based in Delaware and I am a sole member. I filed a motion to set aside a default judgement against me on behalf of my LLC. Case is in Santa Clara. The opposing party filed that I can't act on behalf of my LLC. Why not?? Also, they ...

    Justin’s Answer

    Only an attorney may represent an LLC in court. You may only do business in California as a foreign business entity by filing with the Secretary of State an LLC-5 - Application to Register a Foreign Limited Liability Company (LLC) and paying the appropriate fee.

    See question 
  • How do I sue a CA LLC that has been dissolved?

    If I were interested in suing a CA LLC that is dissolved and bank accounts have been closed what is the process? Does this make a lawsuit more difficult? The LLC was dissolved a couple years ago.

    Justin’s Answer

    If the amount in controversy is sizable, you may want to investigate, or hire an attorney or investigator to investigate, how dissolution of the company was performed. If the dissolution was improper, such as giving priority to members (stakeholders) over creditors, the managers of the company may be liable to some extent. As my colleagues have indicated, suing a dissolved LLC will be no easy task. Hope for the best but be prepared to be disappointed.

    See question