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Collecting a Judgement and More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 12/16/11

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On Tuesdays and Fridays, attorney Joe Escalante answers legal questions for free on the LegalZoom Facebook Page. Did you miss the last Free Joe? Don’t worry. We’ve got it all right here.

Carol: I won a judgement last year and have been trying to collect it. I have put liens against this person, taken her back to court, had a bench warrant served on her with the bail set at the amount owed, and now I find out that she’s letting some property go to foreclosure and possibly filing bankrupsy. Will she be able to include this judgement and get out of paying me anything? How can I protect myself so that I get the money due me?

Joe Escalante: If you have a proper lien on the property, it can only be transferred subject to your lien. When the bankruptcy is filed, you will theoretically have an opportunity to get in line with other creditors to recover your debt. Bankruptcy is for you in this case. It is your friend, perhaps.

Carolyn: I would like to know ifmy husband and I(his wife) do a Quick claim deed to our house to our two children will they have topay estate tax when they sell it? Can my husband do a Quick Claim Deed to me (his wife) only?

Joe Escalante: I think you are referring to a quitclaim deed transfer. That is a transfer that makes no warranties on the property. It just transfers whatever interest the transferor has to the transferee. Estate planning is worth discussing with your tax pro at least. Sounds like you should look into creating a trust for this property. Click the link below:

LegalZoom: Here you go, Carolyn:

Carolyn: Is there a way that a couple who are married can move the ownership from both parties to only one party? I’m seperated from my hudbsnd snd he has said that I have the house and contents and has stated itin writing. What do I do to be sure that if we divorce that the property is mine only andnot divided?

Joe Escalante: To remove a person from a deed, you need to record the transaction with the county recorder or land registry office. Enter all present owners under the grantor section then in the grantee section include all present owners except the person to be removed. You can do this with a quitclaim deed.

Abu: GOOD MORING dear legal zoom im going through a devorce how can i file a charge against my ex wife for using me to getting a green card and now she left th u.s. thank you so much

Joe Escalante: That kind of charge needs to be filed by a district attorney’s office since it involves primarily criminal conduct. However, it will be hard to prove since she did not stay in the U.S. to take advantage of what you are claiming she did.

Scotty: if someone has comitted perjury about adulter does she have to be fpund guilty of it before actually filing perjury against her or is witness testimony and physical prrof enough without a trial????

Joe Escalante: Perjury is criminal conduct. You can’t do anything about it, other than filing a criminal complaint with the police, and good luck with that. The district attorney’s office must feel that it’s important enough to use government resources to file the charges.

Crystal: I have been trying to leave my husband, but he makes it impossible. Finally, he told me to draw up papers for separation and when I did he refused to sign them and tore them up. I am unemployed and cannot afford to have an attorney handle the process, but if I leave without it, I am still “legally” bound to him or can he claim desertion?. What can I do legally to get a separation/divorce if he will not sign the paperwork?

Joe Escalante: This is called a contested divorce, as opposed to an “uncontested divorce. You can file the papers yourself with the court as a “pro se” litigant and serve him the papers. He will have to respond or be subject to a default judgment.
Of course it is better if you have an attorney, and he may end up having to pay your legal fees actually. So, at least get a consultation with a divorce lawyer before you try to do this yourself. Click the link below to find a nice one, or a mean one:

LegalZoom: Here you go, Crystal:

Marcy: Hi Joe! I obtained a judgement (and have renewed it once already ) against a tenant that skipped out on our rental house in Riverside, CA. I know where his whereabouts generally and it appears that he now has some money including a home. What steps do I take to start collecting our judgement? It’s up to about $5,000 now. Thanks!

Joe Escalante: You need to record a lien against the debtor’s new property. The lien is created simply by recording an abstract of the judgment (or, in appropriate cases, a certified copy of the judgment at the county recorder’s office in the country where the property is held. Call the county recorder and they will guide you through this, or be jerks to you, in which case, call back later and talk to someone else.

Marcy: Bahahaaa!!! Thank you so much Joe! Since liens don’t expire I won’t have to worry about renewing the judgement either, right? Thanks Joe! I’m also a business owner and help run a non-profit and have relied on your products for years :)

Joe Escalante: It’s different state by state. A lien can expire along with a statute of limitations, in some cases. Be diligent.

Andrew: Is it possible to make my business it’s own financial institution, and register as a bank so that I can record and spend 8 times more money than I actually have?

Joe Escalante: To start a bank, you have a few options. You can contact your state agency that charter’s state banks, or you can go to the Federal level for a charter.
A third option is becoming a creepy off shore financial institution. Here’s a place that offers “turn-key” off shore bank services for people with ambitions just like yours:

Joe: I’ve worked for a demo /scrap company for four years with tons of overtime but NEVER paid time and a half how long is the window open to get back pay?others have sued in federal court and won and now they won’t work them and cuz I’m from ohio also they hardly work me only michigan guys r workin is that aloud?or would that be like punishing us ohio guys for them not obeyin the federal laws?

Joe Escalante: You need to visit someone at the state labor commission. Tell them what’s going on. File a complaint. You can do this anonymously in some cases.You might also want to get a consultation with a wage and hours attorney in your area. There are many that would love to get their mitts on this case. Click below for a head start in finding a good one:

LegalZoom: Here you go, Joe:

Sharon: sold property to an mom and son,carried the loan.She passed can i quick claim this over to him now,she left no will and he has brothers,but her wish was for him to get it.

Joe Escalante: There’s no such thing as a quick anything with respect to property transfers. You are most likely referring to a “quitclaim” deed. That just means you are transferring your interest in a property without any warranties. E.g., a third party may have a claim on the property. You are not admitting or denying that, you are just saying, ” I hereby transfer MY interest in this property to the “grantee” listed in the quitclaim deed.

Tom: A follow-up on a question I had last week:
If a home-owners association sends a cease and desist letter against a homeowner for a violation of the deed restrictions, but the homeowner feels the HOA is mis-interpreting the deed restrictions (i.e. renting the house to vacationers), what would be the course of action by the homeowner (there are no mediation clauses in any of the contracts). The penalty for disregarding the cease and desist has not been defined yet – I’m assuming it would be not be one-time, but some sort of ongoing fee for continued use. If one time and less than $1000 I would assume small claims, but if ongoing, and the owner wants the HOA to correct its interpretation and drop the cease and desist? This is Monroe county, PA.

Joe Escalante: It may cost you, but the proper thing to do would be to file for declaratory relief from the court. That’s basically like asking a judge to tell your HOA, and the world, that you have a right to do what you plan. Wear your 3 wolf shirt and you might not need an attorney.

Tom: The filing would be in the lowest level (in our area) civil court I assume?

Joe Escalante: Yes. I’m pretty sure.

Jean: How can small businesses grow if they can’t get a loan to do it? My business is going good, I hired another person, we’re getting so busy we can’t keep up. I’d like to expand some and then hire another person. I keep trying for small loans but can’t seen to get one.

Joe Escalante: Those are hard to get. Banks will rarely loan, unless you can prove you absolutely don’t need any money. Some turn to investors, selling shares in company, etc. It’s an age old dilemma.

Brenda: does one need to use a mediator in a fault grounds divorce ?

Joe Escalante: If the judge orders it.

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December 20th, 2011 at 5:47 am