Categories
Quiet title Real Estate Tax sale

What do you do after purchasing real estate at a tax sale?

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Each year, almost every county in Indiana holds at least one tax sale. Some people purchase real estate at a tax sale, think they got a great deal and that there are no further steps to take.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. The county will issue a “tax sale certificate” at the tax sale. The buyer must go through some more steps before getting the deed to the real estate.

First, a buyer must figure out each person having a substantial interest in the real estate. This includes the prior owner and certain creditors such as banks holding mortgages. A buyer will want to have a title company perform a title search to make sure all proper parties are included in the list.

After completing the title search, a notice needs sent to each person with a substantial interest in the property. There are certain time limits for when this notice must be sent. There are also a number of statutory requirements for what must be included in the content of the notice.

Any person may redeem the real estate within 1 year after the tax sale. The redeemer must pay money to the county and restore the real estate ownership back to the prior owner. The redemption price includes the amount of the tax sale price, interest and you may be entitled to reimbursement of attorney fees and title search fees.

If the property is not redeemed, the buyer must petition the court for a tax deed within 6 months after the expiration of the redemption period. Again, notice must be given to all interested parties. If there are no objections within 30 days after the petition is filed, the court will direct the county auditor to issue a tax deed to the buyer.

Unfortunately, this is still not the end of the road. Most title insurance companies will require the buyer to file a quiet title lawsuit against any person who may have a substantial interest in the real estate. A quiet title action is a lawsuit against everyone who may hold a claim on the real estate and its seeks the Court’s declaration of clear title.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC handles tax sale and quiet title cases. To learn more, or set up a consultation, contact Shannon at shannon@sgstarrlaw.com.

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.

Categories
Personal Injury Premises liability

Have you been hurt on someone’s property?

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If you are injured while on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Common examples of premises liability cases include: slip and falls; dog bites or other animal attacks; exposure to toxic substances; falling objects from store shelves or construction scaffolds; fires; electrocution from exposed wiring; assaults due to negligent security; and failure to mark or identify hazardous conditions.

Under Indiana law, your ability to pursue a premises liability lawsuit will depend on your status as a visitor to the property, and the duty that the owner or occupier owed to you based on that status.

As a visitor, you may fall into 1 of 3 categories – invitee, licensee or trespasser. The property owner owes the highest duty to invitees. The duty owed to invitees is to fix any dangerous condition or warn the invitee about the danger, if not obvious. Property owners owe lesser duties to licensees and trespassers. However, property owners could be liable even for trespassers, for example, by intentionally placing hidden dangers or traps on the property.

Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC handles premises liability cases. To learn more, or set up a free initial consultation, contact Shannon at shannon@sgstarrlaw.com.

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.

Categories
Eminent Domain Real Estate

Understanding Eminent Domain

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Eminent domain is the process by which states and localities have the right to condemn and force the sale of private property usually in order to serve a public purpose. Condemnation is the act of a government exercising its power of eminent domain.

The government must have both a legitimate public purpose for the taking of the property and also pay a property owner a fair market value for the land it is condemning. A legitimate public purpose can be acquisitions for roads, parks, airports and schools.

A property owner will learn their property is sought for acquisition by receiving a notice in the mail. Before bringing a eminent domain proceeding, the government is required to enter into purchase negotiations with the property owner. The property owner does not have to accept the offer.

The property owner has a right to challenge the determination of the value of the property. The valuation of the property is one of the most important parts of the case. Valuations should be made by expert appraisers. Legal counsel should also be consulted through the process.

If the property owner rejects the offer from the government, the government then files a complaint. At that point, the procedure and legal steps for an eminent domain case can be complex. It is important to consult with an attorney at the beginning of the eminent domain process to make sure your rights are fully protected and that you fully understand the process.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC handles eminent domain cases. To learn more, or set up a consultation, contact Shannon at shannon@sgstarrlaw.com.

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.

Categories
Family Law Guardianship

Guardianships – Caring for a Minor Child or an Aging Loved One

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A guardianship is a court ordered arrangement used to declare one person incapacitated (“the ward”) while authorizing another person (“the guardian”) to act on their behalf when making legal, financial and medical decisions. A guardianship can be used to appoint a guardian for care of a minor, or an adult unable to manage his or her personal affairs.

Circumstances may arise causing people to seek help for family and friends through guardianship. Some examples include orphaned children, dementia patients and victims of traumatic brain injuries.

In most circumstances, the individual’s treating physician must first certify and attest to the nature of the incapacity of the person.

In determining the person qualified to serve as guardian, the Court considers the following factors –

  • Any request by the person alleged to be incapacitated, including designations in their Power of Attorney or Will;
  • Any request by a minor who is at least 14 years old;
  • Any request by the incapacitated person’s spouse;
  • The relationship of the proposed guardian and ward;
  • Any person acting under the ward’s Power of Attorney; and
  • The best interests of the ward.

Once the Court is assured that the need for guardianship exists, the Court, after due notice to the incapacitated person and his or her closest living relatives, will appoint a Guardian.

A guardian is a fiduciary and must therefore act in good faith to protect the minor or incapacitated person. A guardian may be responsible for ensuring that a person’s basic needs are met, such as food, clothing, shelter education, and medical care. A guardian may also be responsible for managing the finances of an individual if they are not capable of doing so. In that instance, the guardian will have a duty to report financial activity to the court. The level of responsibility that a guardian has over an individual will vary based on the circumstances and the determination by the Court.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC handles guardianship cases. To learn more, or set up a consultation, contact Shannon at shannon@sgstarrlaw.com.

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.

 

Categories
Landlord Tenant Real Estate

Understanding the Landlord and Tenant Relationship

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The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC has represented several landlords and tenants in both residential and commercial disputes. This article will highlight some key features of the landlord and tenant relationship in the residential context.

Under Indiana law, a tenant has the right to a habitable home. Prior to move in, the rental unit must be up to housing code standards.

What are the rights and obligations of the parties during the tenancy?

During occupancy, the landlord must keep the electric, heating, ventilation, plumbing and sanitary system in good working order. On a similar note, the tenant must use the water and electric systems in a reasonable manner.

The tenant must follow the rules and regulations of the lease. A landlord can enter the rental unit, but must give reasonable notice and do so at a reasonable time. Most landlords give 24-hour notice and enter during normal business hours.

When must the security deposit be returned?

Within 45 days of the tenant moving out and providing a forwarding address, the landlord must send the tenant a letter either returning the security deposit or giving an itemized list of any deductions claimed.

How does an eviction work?

The landlord has the right to terminate tenancy and pursue an eviction case for tenants who do not pay rent or violate a lease term. The landlord must provide a 10 day written notice for eviction for non-payment of rent. In Indiana, the eviction procedure varies by county. In Tippecanoe County, an eviction hearing usually occurs within 10 days of the filing of the eviction complaint in Small Claims Court. If the Judge finds for the landlord, the tenant typically has 7 to 10 days to vacate. If the tenant then still will not vacate, the Sheriff can help. If there are damages to the premises once the tenant vacates, the landlord can request the Court set a damages hearing.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC has represented several landlords and tenants. Shannon drafts and reviews leases, handles eviction and damage hearings, and handles collections. To learn more, or set up a consultation, contact Shannon at shannon@sgstarrlaw.com.

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.

Categories
Auto accident Personal Injury

In case of an accident…

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If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to take immediate steps to protect your rights. While not an exhaustive list, here are some helpful things to remember to do in case a car accident occurs:

  1. Call the police. Having the police at the scene of the accident ensures you have an official record of the collision and protects key evidence.
  1. Call your insurance company. Tell the insurance company how the accident occurred and the extent of your injuries.
  1. Talk to witnesses. Make sure you obtain the contact information of any potential witnesses.
  1. Take photographs. Take photographs of the cars, the accident scene, your injuries, the surrounding traffic, and the weather.
  1. Get medical treatment. Do not let anything get in the way of your medical care. Maybe you cannot get time off work, are worried about health insurance coverage, or do not think your injuries are serious. However, delaying, skipping, or only getting intermittent treatment could damage your health and your case. Keep track of medical professionals you seek treatment from and also your medical bills.
  1. Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Do not talk to anyone about the accident other than your attorney, your insurance company, and the police. Do not talk to a representative of another insurance company without the knowledge of your attorney or your insurance company. If representatives from other insurance companies should call you, ask them to call your attorney or insurance company to arrange for any interview.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC handles car accident and personal injury cases. To learn more, or set up a consultation, contact Shannon at shannon@sgstarrlaw.com.

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.

Categories
Estate Planning

Do I need an estate plan?

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An estate plan is essential for every adult, regardless of age or health status. Having a proper estate plan ensures that the needs of you and your family are met now and in the future. Here are examples of common estate planning documents:

Will

A Will is a legal document that says how to distribute your assets upon your death. The exceptions for such distribution are assets that transfer by contract (such as “pay-on-death” bank accounts and property held in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship).

There are also other functions a Will can perform. For example, you can nominate a Personal Representative. The Personal Representative carries out the administration of your estate after your death.

You can also designate a guardian for your children. It is very important to decide who will be the primary custodian and caregiver for your children if both parents die or are unable to otherwise care for their children.

Advance Directives

In addition to a Will, documents referred to as “advance directives” are important for every person because they deal with difficult issues involving life, death, and incapacity. Advance directives include:

  1. General Durable Power of Attorney. This document allows you to name a person to make financial decisions for you in the event of incapacity.
  1. Health Care Power of Attorney. This document provides for the appointment of a person to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself.
  1. Living Will Declaration. This document allows you to state your preferences regarding end of life decision in the event of an incurable illness or persistent vegetative state.

Having a proper estate plan in place can give you peace of mind knowing your loved ones are provided for and protected.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC handles estate planning and administration. To learn more, or set up a consultation, contact Shannon at shannon@sgstarrlaw.com.

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.

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Uncategorized

Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC Open for Business

I am pleased to announce the Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC officially opened for business on December 22, 2016. Thanks for your support. Happy holidays to you and your families.