legal advice

Q. Is it true that medical bills or accounts are not allowed to remain on your credit report for more than four years in the state of Texas?

A. It is not true. Medical bills are basically the same as any other debt. They stay on your credit report for seven years. There is a four-year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a debt; however, the fact that you cannot be sued does not mean you no longer owe the debt, and it will not become “obsolete” and removed from your credit report for seven years.

 

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Q. I would like to know if the property manager of an apartment project can refuse to give the tenant the owner’s name if the tenant requests it.

A. According to the Texas Property Code, the landlord or property manager must disclose the name and address of the holder of record title after you request it. If the information is not disclosed, you could be entitled to $100 plus one month’s rent in damages, as well as attorney’s fees and court costs. I suggest you send your request by certified mail.

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Q. We had our foundation repaired by a company that gave us a “lifetime warranty.” Now that it has cracked again they won’t even return our calls. We are not even sure if they are still in business. What are our legal rights? What kind of an attorney do we need?

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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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Q. At one time, Texas law allowed a person who had his identity stolen to have his credit reports locked. Is this still 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. 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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Q. I gave proper notice to end my lease and started moving out a week before it ended. I moved almost all of my belongings into my new apartment and was living there, but I accidently left a jewelry box in my former apartment. When I went back to retrieve it, it was gone. I still had my key and three days remaining on my lease. Is my landlord responsible for the theft?

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