ABOUT REAL ESTATE: How to file a legally enforceable property lien | Real Estate | latrobebulletinnews.com

2022-08-20 06:35:15 By : Mr. Daosen Liao

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Sunshine and clouds mixed. High near 85F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph..

Cloudy skies early followed by scattered showers and thunderstorms later during the night. Low 66F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%.

Filing a lien against someone can be easy, but it’s a useless endeavor if it isn’t done properly.

DEAR DAVE: I designed a website for a guy who was planning to start his own business, and we signed a contract that called for him to pay me $4,000 for the work. He paid me $1,000 up-front, and I completed the job, but then he stiffed me for the remaining $3,000 because he decided not to start the business. Can I file a lien against his house to collect the $3,000 that he still owes me?

ANSWER: Probably not — at least, not yet.

Lien laws vary from one state to the next. But you apparently have no pre-existing financial interest in the property, and the deadbeat didn’t pledge it as collateral to pay his debt, so your chances of filing an effective lien against the home are slim.

A better course of action might be to sue the man in inexpensive small claims court, where you wouldn’t even need to pay a lawyer to represent you. If you win the case, the judge will issue a monetary award in your favor: If the defendant doesn’t pay up quickly, you could then file a lien with the county recorder’s office and attach it to the man’s title to his home.

Even then, the new lien wouldn’t guarantee that you would get your money right away. The current lender on his house probably would not require that he pay your lien off until he decides to either refinance or sell, which could be several years from now.

Technically, you could probably take the man back to court and ask the judge to order that the property immediately be sold. But the outcome of the lawsuit would be uncertain, and the time and money you would spend probably wouldn’t be worth the $3,000 that you are hoping to recover. Consult an attorney for more details.

REAL ESTATE TRIVIA: More than 40 million lawsuits are filed in America each year, according to legal analysts at the U.S. Financial Education Foundation (www.usfef.org).


ANSWER: It’s realty shorthand for the federal Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1975.

RESPA was designed to provide homebuyers and sellers with complete settlement-cost disclosures, both before and after their deal closes. It also outlawed several practices that were all too common before its passage, including secret financial kickbacks among real estate professionals and the misuse of a client’s funds.

RESPA’s rules are regulated and enforced by the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (www.consumerfinance.gov or call 855-411-2372).

DEAR DAVE: We would like to replace our old living room carpet with a new hardwood floor, but that would cost too much money. So, we have been thinking about buying laminate or vinyl flooring that looks like real wood but is much-less expensive. One flooring salesperson said that laminate would be best, but two others said that vinyl would be better. What do you think?

ANSWER: I wondered the same thing last year, when I finally decided to replace the old carpet in both my living and dining rooms. After days of research and discussions with professional flooring experts and neighbors who had recently put in new flooring of their own, I determined that vinyl would be the best option for me.

Most people can’t tell the difference between laminate or vinyl flooring from their costlier, real-wood counterparts. But while laminate and vinyl flooring alike can each work well in most rooms of a home, their physical composition can limit their usefulness in others.

Laminate flooring is usually made of wood chips, plastic and glue. Though topped with a clear protective coating, the fact that it’s mostly made of wood byproducts means that it isn’t water-proof — making it a poor choice for, say, bathrooms and damp basements.

Vinyl plank flooring, which can look as real as oak or mahogany, doesn’t have any wood components in it. That makes it waterproof (or at least water-resistant), which in turn makes it durable enough for just about any room in the home and lets it handle spills better than laminates.

A recent check of a half-dozen internet websites operated by big home-improvement stores or flooring specialists showed literally hundreds of choices among vinyl and laminate products that sell for between $2 and $3.50 per square foot. Professional installation averaged about $3 per square foot.

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