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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4836
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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Customer Question

Attachment: 2013-04-17_115412_medicaid.4.10.13.doc

Hello, Can I file a judgement lien for breach of contract on an apartment building in Little Falls, NJ. Back in August 9, 2001, my mom had an apartment building and it became an LLC. We signed a First Operating Agreement and my mom was 98% shareholder, my sister was 1% and me 1%. My mom was diagnosed with dementia in 1999, and now she has Alzheimer's. Back in 2004, my sister influenced and persuaded my mom to give up her shares to my sister making her 99% owner and me 1%. Last year in Feb. 2012 when I found out, I accused her of medicaid fraud because my mom was living in California and she took her back to New Jersey in 2007 and put her in a nursing home in Morris Plains, NJ and the State of NJ is paying for her care and my sister was getting the 99% rental and paying taxes on it. This past Christmas, 12/25/12 my sister wrote me a text telling me she is selling the building and will be splitting it with me 50/50, but I need to sign an Amendment to the First Operating Agreement.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Hello Sonia. Thanks for submitting this interesting question. I am truly sorry that you find yourself in this unfortunate position. Your sister did what she had to do to get 98% of the building out of your mother's name and qualify her for Medicaid. Why she took 98% herself and didn't give you half in 2004, I can't answer, but that was fixed when she offered you 50% in 2012. You did not say why you refused to accept an even split on the building and forced your sister to file a partition suit to sell it. Legally that's all you had coming and a lawyer's advice should have been sought before you refused it. Now you think you should get your full share, not 1% and I agree. But you have no grounds to sue your sister for breach of contract after you refused her offer. Neither can you appeal or set aside the NJ court ordered sale. Also, since you have never filed suit and obtained a judgment against your sister, you have no judgment lien rights against the property. I suggest that your best (an probably only) course of action is to make peace with your sister and accept her offer of 12/12. You should offer to reimburse her for the legal action that she had to take.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So, what I am understanding is that The State of New Jersey and the Taxpayers of New Jersey should be okay with what my sister did. I have documents and people to testify that my mom was diagnosed in 1999 with dementia and it got worst and now she has alzheimers. My sister persuaded my mom in 2004 to take her 98% shares and waited five years to put my mom on medicaid. I told my sister that she committed medicaid fraud and she decided to sell the building before my mom passes away. I guess you are telling me that I should have taken the 50/50 and signed that my sister did not do anything wrong, but there were moral issues, which no one cares. I agreed to sell the building but she wouldn't until I signed the amendment operating agreement contract. So now you are telling me that I can't even reverse the appeal and file a Civil Action to put a judgement lien on the sale of the apartment building in Little Falls, NJ. Confused and sad, Sonia XXXX XXX-XXX-XXXX.XXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

The "gift" of the building to your sister in 2004 was not subject to being included as your mother's property for Medicaid purposes. Waiting out the five year "look back" period is a commonly recognized and perfectly legal estate planning tool. I understand your moral concerns, but I must stick to the legal realities of where you stand now. If you feel morally bound to repay NJ Medicaid with your share of the building's value (assuming your sister agrees to give it to you now) you can do that by simply gifting the money back to your mother. That will take her off of Medicaid until that money is used up. Or you could put the money to some other charitable use. It is your decision to make. You should consult with a local attorney on these matters before proceeding with expensive lawsuits and/or appeals in NJ.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My mother had dementia and now she has alzheimer's. My sister committed Medicaid Fraud. I have the paperwork that my mom ended up being persuaded and influenced. She tricked me and my step dad. So you are telling me I can not file a Civil Action lawsuit to put a judgement lien on the apartment building so I can prove to the courts that my sister scammed the State of New Jersey and my mother by taking away her assets?

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.
I didn't say you couldn't file a lawsuit to claim the things that you have stated here. You certainly may do so. If you win the case and obtain a judgment against your sister that will constitute a judgment lien against the property as soon as it is entered by the court. If that is the way you choose to proceed, I wish you the best of luck.
I hope this Answer is helpful and that you will give it a positive rating. If you have any follow up questions please send back a Reply. You should consult a local attorney to verify that this information is accurate for your state. Thank you for using Pearl.com- Just Answer. We appreciate your business

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