Know your rights

Q. About two years ago, my wife and I ran into financial difficulty and made the choice to attempt to settle our credit card debt. Most creditors settled with us, but one credit card company wouldn’t settle, so we quit paying altogether. If we are sued and have a judgment against us for this debt, can our wages be garnished? I guess essentially we want to know what can happen for non-payment of credit card debt. Thank you.

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Richard Alderman

Q. I have been married for three years. I’m now getting a divorce. There is no property or custody to fight over, but I would like the wedding ring I gave my wife. It belonged to my grandmother and is very special to me. Do I need to get a lawyer to have her turn over the ring?

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Richard Alderman

Q. What are my legal rights as far as forcing the parents of a child my son was playing with to pay his medical bills? My 5-year-old son was playing on their property with other children, and was hit in the eye by a ball thrown by their son. Shouldn’t their homeowners insurance pay for this injury?

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Q. My mother recently died. At the time of her death, she had very little property and no money. I am now getting numerous calls from a debt collector who says that because I am her sole heir, I owe her debts. The debt collector has offered fair payment terms, but I was wondering whether I really am responsible for her bills. I am becoming very upset because of all of the phone calls.

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Q. I’m a landlord and paranormal investigator. I have had a lot of people ask me this question: If someone is murdered or dies in a house or apartment, does the landlord have to tell potential tenants about paranormal activity? I know when something like this happens, the spirit can stay there and make noises, like doors shutting, footsteps and names being called. Does the landlord have to disclose this information? Also, if the landlord knows that one of the houses has paranormal activity going on, is it legal for him to charge more?

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Q. I owe a lot of money and can’t pay my bills. My largest debt is for a student loan. I have been told that even if I file bankruptcy, I will still owe my student loans. Is this true?

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Q. I am moving out of my apartment. I know a landlord cannot deduct from a security deposit for “normal wear and tear.” What is normal wear and tear? Does the statute have a definition?

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Q. Is it lawful for a landlord to request a walk through every four months as part of a lease for a rental property? I’ve leased several homes and I have never had a landlord even suggest something like this. I feel like my privacy would be violated if I agreed to this. Therefore, I’m contemplating not signing the lease.

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Q. I had a divorce in January 2012. In the decree, a 2012 Toyota Corolla was awarded to my ex-wife. When we bought the car, it was in her name as the buyer and mine as the co-buyer. My ex-wife had been doing very well, making all the payments on this car, until April of this year. I thought my attorney had sent Toyota finance the divorce decree to show she was liable for all future payments.

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Q. I recently had a small fire in my apartment. I think it was caused by the new clothes dryer I had installed. The landlord collected for the damage to his building from his insurance company. Now the insurance company is coming after me for $60,000 because of a clause in my lease. This fire was not my fault. How can I be sued?

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