The battle continues

I spoke with another attorney — one who is doing work that has to do with my family.

I know the guy cannot represent me due to that reason but I wanted to give him a heads up plus let him know what is happening because when I sue Bro this gent will also be on notice that the suit is happening.

He told me to try the county courthouse and get a recommendation for somebody who would take the case on a continuing basis.

That distribution I mentioned, that’s Bro’s — it will be frozen until the case is settled. Ha — Bro is going to hit the ceiling when he finds that out; it will probably work to my advantage.

He mentioned a “chance reissue” to me — having to do with getting Bro booted from the deed and property — but he said it will be a big possibility that the court may order this house to be sold.

And for what price and where will I go? I get to be tied into a mortgage, too, at this stage of the game, in addition to taxes??? I wouldn’t even be able to buy much of a home with the proceeds from this house; thanks to no money, it’s in need of LOTS of repairs (the ones that I mentioned in an earlier update) and I am not sure who’d take thehouse “as is” and screw a short sale. I’ll lose money galore on that.

Sell the place? Then let Bro be sued for the full amount of how much it will cost to fix everything and in the interim, he vacates the premises by court order — and when it’s fixed and ready to go, I sell.

Maybe there is a way I could find my way around this:let the court decide that I pay off his debt in exchange for his half the house — I’d have to get the money somehow to pay it off. That’s the thing: if he owes less than 70 grand it would be to my advantage; this dumb house assessed for 180K 17 years ago; there are no improvements since then, except for a kitchen downstairs in the apartment I live in. Reassessment would put what price on this home? Not much more, I don’t think.

What he owes and to who and how will be subpoenaed. That is a given.

I am prepared for a battle royale. What the heck else am I supposed to do? Let him ride my coattails and step all over me in the bargain and “win” that battle???? Let him take me down and drain my bank account because he won’t pay up???  Bullshit.

If he so much as raises his voice to me when he finds out he’s being sued, I will call the police — and tell him in their presence that if he causes trouble he will be taken away by them the very second he tries it.

What I want:

For the court to decide he needs to pay up for what he owes me  (the back taxes that he did not pay for several years, plus the homeowners insurance and water for those years)  plus the total of the repairs that never got done — that’s about 150K total — plus have him relinquish his half of the property. (that’s about 100K more since this huse assessed for about 200K some time ago; we have no improvements here since then, tully knows)   I cannot afford to live anywhere else. I am 56 years of age and I currently do not have a job; it’s not feasible for me to move to another locale and more or less start over.

ETA: I just called the county bar. They will supply 3 names and it’s $25 per consult to speak with each one. I think that’s a good deal.  Stop in to the bar and complete a form and you’ll get the 3 names.

8 thoughts on “The battle continues”

  1. New Jersey reassesses houses on an annual basis, or no less frequently than every 2 years, and they assess based on 100% of the market value. Check your last tax bill. It should list the current assessed value.

    Were I the judge, I would assess the cost of half the value of the repairs not done (and that would need to be made to make the house sellable) to you, even if I ruled in your favor and awarded you the full cost of what your brother owes you plus interest and legal expenses. You also benefited from living in the house, and should have to pay an equal share of any repairs required. It might be worthwhile (somewhat later) when it looks like the case will go to court, to pay for a house inspection to see what needs to be done.

    Some things that I can see going wrong with your house are for the furnace/air conditioning system, hot water heater and garbage disposal to fail, along with any and all appliances. This is before you get into any structural issues. If you have access to your attic or other roof void, it would be worthwhile to take a look and see if the roof is leaking yet. An early, small leak might be absorbed into the insulation before you see the wet mark on the ceiling. Presuming that you have asphalt roofing, the fact that the shingles are losing little bits of of the flecks that cover them is not necessarily bad, depending on the age of the roof. You might see them when you clean out your roof gutters n a few weeks. The thing to know is when the last roof was installed, and that you can’t go over two layers of asphalt shingles before you need to tear it all off and install a new roof.

  2. The roof has to go. There’s a leak up there along with a lot of cracks. Roofs will cost about 15-18K to replace, including materials.

    The whole thing will have to be torn apart, including the wood. That’s a whole story in itself.

    I tried having another talk with him this morning. I told him he was cutting off his nose to spite his face and if I go down and this house is lost he goes right down along with me AND the house. He’s got nobody to move in with; he won’t make rent on his retail salary, unless one of his lady friends will take him in.

    He still insists he has no money for oil. The whole conversation ended with him yelling at me “Get out of my *%$#* house or I will have the police come and throw you out.”

    “‘Your’ house, really?” I replied. “Did you forget another person owns it with you?”

    “I want you out of here. This is harassment! Don’t bitch slap me!” he replied.

    Harassment, eh? He has no idea what’s coming up. He’s in for the shock of his life.

    My final words were “Use some common sense.” Who knows if it will even penetrate.

    I tried a few more local shops today, to see if they need help. So far, nothing; the owners are away this weekend; they should be back on Monday. One is an ice cream place down the block from me; it’s a store owned by one person. Some of the college kids changed their hours and they need more help — but here’s what else: all of the applications were taken — so the owner is coming in with more. Looks like a lot of people are applying for that job, too.

  3. Pay attention to your timelines: unless you get the judgement and have it registered and inform the lawyer and his bank before the money is disbursed to your brother, the money will not be as easy to find. You want to stop the money from being disbursed to him. He is also not obligated to deposit the check into any bank where he currently has an account. I don’t know what kind of stock is being sold to give him the money, but any publicly traded stock requires only three days for the sale to clear the exchange, and then a couple of days more to cut the check and mail it to the recipient.

    If an estate is being settled, a delay in disbursing the money makes sense, because many states require publication of the death of the person whose estate it is, and for people to come forward to make claims against the estate. The usual approach is to publish a notice for three weeks running in a local newspaper (the listings come out on Wednesday in a lot of places, opposite the obits), and then give people at most a couple of months to make claims against the estate. When filing an estate tax return, one usually has to wait for the IRS to agree, for lack of a better word, that adequate tax has been paid, so that adds some more time. Unless things are unusually complicated or there is a dispute, this can be wrapped up in six months or so.

    There are programs that provide assistance for people who can’t afford heating oil or are having problems paying their utility bills. If you are getting food stamps, you probably qualify for that assistance.

    1. I am surprised that the 2 of us were not asked if we have debt or any type of monies outstanding. Wouldn’t they have to ask us for the precise reason you pointed out?

      This distribution is a mess in itself.

      A nephew is not next of kin like a wife or a husband or a child.

      If we were first tier that money would have come down the pike to us months ago. The person in question died in spring of 2011.

      We are second tier and that’s where the whole deal with the hung up stock sale comes in. And where the hung up distribution comes in in general.

      I know of somebody whose mother died and it took a good chunk of time for that stock to sell; this sale is now taking nearly 3 times as long as that. They are dragging their feet and I do not know why; that money should have been here weeks ago (and it would save MY day, too, which is why it’s crucial to me that I get mine. I am in one bleep of a pickle and more. My head is literally spinning and I am ready to tear my hair out from this entire mess)

      There is other money that cannot be distributed until there’s a sale of something else — long story.

      This money will be tied up for who knows how long to come — there will be a freeze on it anyway, after the suit is underway.

  4. If your garage has no roof or the roof is severely damaged enough that daylight is let in through the roof , you risk having the house condemned. Have you looked into FEMA aid for reconstruction or repair? Chances are that you don’t have homeowner’s insurance because you are not required to carry it if you own the house without a mortgage, and your brother wouldn’t pay for the premium.

    If you do have homeowner’s insurance and they pay anything for repairs and your brother didn’t kick in for the insurance, you get to keep the money yourself because you paid for the insurance. One of the weird things about southeastern Colorado is that every ten years or so, we will have a bad enough hailstorm to damage the roof enough to require repairs or even replacement . As a result, my home owner’s insurance policy is about 1.5% of the value of my house, about four times what I was used to paying for a comparable house in Oregon or Virginia. Even if you were paid for an insurable loss, you are not obligated to spend the money on replacement. It’s a lot like totaling a car. I totaled a car back in 1991, decided not to replace the car, kept the money, and took mass transit for eight years. With houses, it is better to do the repair or replacement

    1. The garage will be condemned. There is no roof on it at all and it is cracked and pulling apart.

      We never found out why the garage is doing that. I called in an engineer over 15 years ago and he said it could be anything:

      Underground stream being diverted; something could have happened to it when that pool in back of the garage was installed. Or maybe it “just” happened.

      The house in back of me is drifting, too, and so is a garage next door. The pool’s cracked a few times so you can see something is going on with the innards of the ground.

      1. If the garage is free-standing, you have less of a problem. The garage can be demolished without affecting the house, so the only problem is cost. If it is attached to the house, you have a larger problem, because it is entirely possible that the wall between the garage and the house is not suitable for an exterior, and so will have to be finished.

        The more worrisome thing is how the garage is tied into the structure of the house if it is attached to the house. Very often there is another room in front of the garage, often a laundry room, that will be lost when the garage is demolished. If the structure of your house is such that thee garage can be cleanly taken off, there is still the issue of sealing the remaining house from the weather, and terminating power and other utilities supplied to the garage.

        1. This is a free standing garage.

          I’ve retrned from the county bar with 3 referrals; I have started calling and setting up appointments to get the ball rolling on this.

          What a mess. I am all set to tear out my head hair, my eyebrows, my eyelashes and my nose hairs.

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