Does Your Potential Home Have Seller Disclosures? 3 Things To Know About Them

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

One very important piece of paper that you’ll need to sign when closing on your new home purchase is the seller disclosure form. This form is where the seller lists all the problems that they know about their property. The form includes some key questions about their home, including issues such as asbestos and flood damage. Before you sign the form, here are 3 things you need to know about it. Sellers Must Fill Out The Disclosure Form On Their Own The seller’s agent can explain to them what the form is, but the seller is the only one that should be filling it out. This is because the form must be filled out honestly by the previous owner for liability purposes. The expectations are that by having the seller fill out the form, they are responsible for any problems they disclose, or problems they chose not to disclose. The integrity of the answers can be ruined if the seller’s agent gives them advice about how to fill it out. Sellers Cannot Avoid Answering Questions When filling out the disclosure form, they will have three possible responses: Yes No Not to my knowledge (NTMK) The seller can only give NTMK as a response if they honestly do not know the answer. For example, they may think they have lead paint in their home due to the age of the home, but unless they have the home tested for lead paint and know with certainty, they can write NTMK on the form. A seller cannot avoid admitting to a problem by writing NTMK as an answer. Sellers Are Protected By Answering Questions If there is an existing problem with a home, it is in the seller’s best interest to disclose this information on the seller disclosure form. Disclosing problems provides them with legal protection if any of the listed problems are made apparent after the home is sold. When a seller decides not to admit to a problem with their home because they are afraid it will cause them to lose the sale, it can have big legal ramifications down the road. It opens them up to a potential lawsuit where you can sue the seller for damages related to making repairs. Do you feel like the seller of your new home lied on their seller disclosure form? Before signing the form, talk with a real estate lawyer like Jack W Hanemann, P.S. to find out what your options...

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Single Parents, Active-Duty Military Service And The Need For A Family Law Attorney

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As a rule, single parents cannot join the military on active duty if they have custody of their minor children. Single parents may join the Guard or Reserve components of the military and retain custody of their children, as long as they have a Family Care Plan in place that provides for the care of their children if they are called to duty away from home station. However, for those that really want to serve full-time on active duty in the military, there are provisions that allow for single parents to enlist or be commissioned in the military service. One simply needs a trusted friend or family member who can take care of any minor children, and the assistance of a qualified family law attorney. Temporary Custody In order to serve on active duty, a single parent must temporarily relinquish custody of any minor children. This sounds more traumatic than it really is. The first step is to find a trusted individual who will take care of your children and give them all of the love and care that you would provide if you were home. Many individuals choose the other biological parent, their own parent or a sibling, but you should choose someone that you trust implicitly, and someone that loves your children and is loved by your children. Once you settle on the right person and you have discussed things, you can begin the process to relinquish custody. This is a temporary situation, but must be handled through the court system. Family Law Attorney Next, you and your chosen guardian should visit a family law attorney. Your attorney will walk you through all of the steps to transfer custody of your minor child to the guardian of your choice. While every state is different, the steps are generally the same: * File a Petition to Transfer Custody With the Local Family Court * Notify the Other Biological Parent of the Hearing, Either by Process Server or Registered Mail * Court Hearing With a Judge or Magistrate * Custody Is Granted to the Guardian * Papers Are Filed With the County Recorder’s Office * You Can Now Enlist or Be Commissioned for Active Military Service The process of transferring custody can take up to a year, so it is important to start early and don’t allow yourself to become frustrated. Once you complete initial basic training or officer training and get through your first term of service, you can petition the court to relinquish custody from the guardian and restore custody to you. If you have questions, your family law attorney–like one from Ivy Law Group PLLC–is your best source for...

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Why You Should Involve A Lawyer In Short Sales When You Buy Property

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Short sales are a fairly simple process. An owner does not want to let his or her home go to foreclosure, so instead he or she sells it in a short sale to a buyer. The buyer pays the total sum of what is still owed on the property and then the owner transfers the property to the buyer. Sometimes the owner is left paying a small portion of money still owed on the property as part of the agreement to sell it to the buyer. Although many people could probably navigate a short sale on their own, here are some very good reasons why you should involve a lawyer in all of your short sales. Resolve Arguments with the Owner’s Lender Some lenders are tough negotiators. When a buyer does not have legal representation, he or she might have quite a time of it trying to negotiate a fair and mitigable price for the property in question. Despite the fact that the current owner can accept almost any offer, it is ultimately up to the lender and the amount of money they want to recover from the property’s original borrower. If you get a real estate lawyer involved, these arguments fall to your lawyer to resolve, and you are free to negotiate with the property owner regarding how much the owner is willing to “short-sell” his or her property for. Act as a Legal Witness/ Notary Public When You Sign Documents As is the case with any purchase of property, you will have to sign several legally binding documents. The documents may even require a notary public, depending on the governing laws in your state. Not only can your lawyer read the documents ahead of your signature and spell out in simplified language what they state, but he or she can also be the witness you need to the document signing and transfer of property. File a Lawsuit When the Terms of a Short Sale Are Breached Once a property owner commits to a short sale, it is very difficult to back out of it legally. It is much more likely that you will encounter breaches in your contract with the previous owner — breaches that involve the terms of the sale. One such example is requesting that the previous owner vacate the property by a certain date and the previous owner is still squatting on the property after a few weeks. This may require more extreme action, including filing a lawsuit against the previous owner for the breach. This is another area of expertise where your lawyer’s knowledge and services will come in very handy. Click here for more info about  short...

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4 Tips For Improving Your Workers’ Comp Chances

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

An injury on the job is the source of a lot of unexpected stress – missing work, getting treatment, dealing with pain, and recovery time are just a few of the stresses you will be dealing with. You can lighten this burden by making sure you address the injury correctly so that your chances of a workers’ compensation claim aren’t compromised. The following tips can help walk you through the first few days after your injury. Tip #1: Report the Injury Every workplace has reporting procedures in place, which you can determine by contacting human resources. Whether it is an acute injury, such as you dislocated a shoulder while stacking boxes, or a repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel, you will need to report it following the proper channels as soon as you are aware that it occurred. Failure to report in a timely manner can compromise your case. If you aren’t aware of the severity of the injury until after you leave work for the evening, report it first thing the following business day. Tip #2: Get Copies For injuries on the job due to an accident, you should have a copy of the accident report signed by your supervisor. If for some reason human resources or your supervisor refuses to give you a copy or to sign the report, then you will need to write up your own details of how and when the accident occurred. Keep the original and give a copy to the supervisor or human resources department. Tip #3: Get Immediate Medical Care Depending on your state’s laws, you may be required to get care from a doctor chosen by your employer. If this is the case, do not see your personal physician first. In the case of repetitive stress injuries, your personal doctor may be the first to notice the condition. In this case, file a report and get referred to company doctor as soon as possible after your doctor’s initial diagnosis. Keep copies of all medical visits and diagnoses. Tip #4: Get Tests and Treatments – No Matter What It’s important that you follow through on all prescribed tests and treatments. This is especially true if you are fired or let go after coming forward with your injury. Every test that shows your injury is proof that your injury exists and that it occurred in the time period while you were still working. When you win your claim, these medical bills will be paid. Do not put off getting tests because of cost, since this can make it impossible to prove your injury. For a workers’ compensation attorney, click this link or do an online...

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What You Should Know About Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you believe that workplace sexual harassment will simply go away on its own, you are likely mistaken. Unfortunately, using humor to deal with it or ignoring the issue won’t help. Your days at work may become miserable and you may dread waking into your workplace when you are the target of sexual harassment, but you should know that you can take actions to put a stop to it. If you want to learn more about how to deal with this demoralizing and demeaning situation, read on. Two Primary Methods of Sexual Harassment Quid Pro Quo: This Latin term translates roughly to “something for something”, and can mean making a deal or trading one item for another. When it comes to sexual harassment, it typically involves a supervisor, either openly or implicitly, asking for sexual favors in return for a reward. These sexual favors can mean anything from a lunch date to sexual acts and the rewards are often work-related, such as raises. For those who refuse the advances, the reward turns into punishments, like being passed over for promotions, heavier work loads, and in some cases, the job itself. Hostile Work Environment: You know you work in a sexually hostile work environment when you see explicit artwork or calendars decorating the walls or are the recipient of sexually oriented emails. Verbal harassment is common in a hostile work environment, often using “dirty” jokes as a means to embarrass or demean. A hostile work environment can be perpetrated by both supervisors and co-workers. You may also experience repeated requests for dates, sexually related comments on clothing or appearance and crude gestures. How to Deal Keep a journal and note each incident, the date and your resulting action. This will help you stay organized and may come in handy later if you file suit. Make sure to make your feelings known to the offender, verbally and/or in writing. Surprisingly, some people are unaware that this type of behavior is offensive. Report the offender to your human resources or to a supervisor. Take it to the Next Level If you ascertain that your complaints are not helping matters, you may need to take the following steps: 1. Contact your state’s employment agency and/or the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and file a formal complaint. 2. Contact an attorney, who can help by sending a letter putting your harassers on notice that you are serious about this issue, assist in filing complaints and represent you in court, if necessary. Not only does this type of problem seldom go away without taking action, you could be doing harm to your sexual harassment claims by not acting swiftly enough. Don’t wait until you are...

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Emotional Abuse In A Marriage: What A Lawyer Can Do To End It

Posted by on Dec 5, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Do you live your life walking on pins and needles because your spouse has a bad habit of calling you names for any little thing? An emotionally abusive marriage can leave you in a bad state of mind for a long time, so you may want to take the step of filing for a divorce (even if you are scared). Discover in this article how a divorce attorney can help you end your emotionally abusive marriage without having to fear what your spouse might do. What is the First Step of Ending an Abusive Marriage? To begin the process of your divorce, you may want to have a consultation with a lawyer. Although a divorce can take place without the help of a lawyer, you will come out better in the end with one to speak on your behalf. He or she will ask you about the names that your spouse calls you, how often it is done and why you think it is happening. You must tell the lawyer if your spouse is also physically abusive or has threatened to harm you if a divorce is filed. What is said during the initial consultation will let the lawyer know how to move forward with ending the marriage while keeping you safe. What Happens After the Initial Consultation? The first thing that the lawyer will do if your life is in danger is file an emergency restraining order against your spouse. The judge will likely make it mandatory for your spouse to leave the marital home for the duration of the divorce process. The lawyer can also help you get emergency custody of your children until custody arrangements are made in the divorce. An investigation will be done to determine if your spouse has a mental health history. The lawyer will also find witnesses of your emotional abuse. What Can Be Obtained When the Divorce is Final? If you had to depend on your spouse for finances, the lawyer can help you get alimony in the divorce settlement. You may also be able to gain ownership of the marital home if it is proven that your abusive spouse caused the marriage to fail. You may also be given the marital home if you get full custody of the children. The debts that accumulated in the marriage will be divided between you and your spouse, as well as any money that is in the bank. Speak to a divorce lawyer to get out of your emotionally abusive...

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