Generally when someone sells a business they have a :buy-sell" agreement which spells out any known liabilities using warranties and apportions the risk of unknown liabilities to one of the parties.
So you should see the lawyer that handled the sale to review what warranties if any you got in the sale. You may need to sue your shady cousin for "indemnity" for the liability they may have left you with.
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Ms. Koslyn is correct, you should contact the lawyer that you used to aid in your sale of your interest in the restaurant. I understand that you don't have a lot of money for this, but a few well spent dollars now may save you from a lot of legal work down the road.
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I believe you mean the Landlord...but that's an understandable confusion. You need to hire a lawyer immediately. If your name is on that lease, you will in all liklihood be liable. However, you do have some recourse, most specifically against your cousin, if your lawyer was good enough to include 'imdemnification' language when he took it over. Unfortunately this will costs money. If you do nothing or try to handle this yourself, it is more than likely that you are looking at a very large judgement against you from the landlord. That what you would pay a lawyer would likely pale in comparison to the judgment. If you own any assets at all, they would then start to go after your assets. It is important to defend yourself. You may be able to get out of this case very easily via a motion...it depends on the specifics. You can also very liekly find a lawyer that will take payments with very little up front...I know our office will often do that. Best of luck and consult a lawyer immediately, time is of the essense.
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