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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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Question. Had a contested divorce. It is now final. We had

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Question. Had a contested divorce. It is now final. We had rental property (which is now split up, so I have some, he has some) and our management company filed an interpleader action. In my marital dissolution agreement (the divorce is in Tennessee and
the property is in Arkansas) I retain ownership of the company, and I get the proceeds subject to the interpleader. The rental property was owned by a single member LLC in which I was the sole member. The company did several things wrong 1) They paid over
$2,000 for a fence for a house that their building company (not the property management company, a separate company owned by the same person) had built for me. They did this at my ex husband's urging. They alleged that this is how they did it for two other
houses they built for us, but I have proof that I dealt directly with the fencing company on those two houses. 2) They upgraded a HUD property to the tune of $5,000 --- again, at the urging of my ex husband -- and AFTER they knew we were going through a divorce.
They also allowed him to sign a new management contract in his name, because he showed them a post nuptial agreement (which was thrown out in settlement and we were still legally married) -- and they did not contact me. I settled with the management company
and agreed to pay their $2,000 in legal fees --- net of tax, it's $1,500 which is small potatoes compared to the cost of litigation. I wrote a smart ass comment to my attorney, that he inadvertently sent to opposing counsel. They are now back tracking on their
settlement. My questions are 1) What could I have to pay on behalf of the management company for the interpleader 2) Do I have action against them for their wrongdoing --- should I contact the Real Estate Commission and lodge a formal complaint? The management
contract was signed by my ex on 11/12/14 but I didn't find out that he had signed a new contract until March or April of 2015. Is it possible that I will not see a dime of this escrow money, ever?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thank you for contacting me. My name is***** am a consultant here and I am looking forward to assisting you with your question. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Please be patient as I will be typing my responses to you from scratch. Also, I can only answer/address the questions you ask specifically based on the information your provide. Please try to provide as much information as possible so I can best assist you.

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Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

I do have one question prior to beginning to answer. Is the interpleader action due to the fact that you were going through the divorce and the property management company did now know who to pay so they interpled the rental proceeds pending the divorce?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I proved to them through business documents that I was the sole owner of an LLC, and wanted the funds deposited into the business bank account (not me personally) --- through the divorce my spending was monitored (as you probably know) and I needed the funds to pay property taxes. I ended up firing them and getting enough rent collected with a new company to pay those, thank god.They were "trying to do the right thing" but were really in essence being punitive because they were friendly with the ex. I don't care, I just want the money from it. What type of damages are awarded to a plaintiff? Shouldn't this be fairly inexpensive for them?
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

My concern is that if you were the sole member of the LLC, then your husband had no authority to bind you or the LLC. So unless I'm misunderstanding, it doesn't seem to me that you would have any liability here?

Are you saying that they wrongfully interpled the funds despite the fact you proved to them you were the sole owner of the LLC and now you are attempting to recover that money from the interpleader action?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but I agreed to pay their legal fees because it's only $1,500 net of tax -- small potatoes really. Worth getting the money and not being tied up forever.My ex had given them a post nup that said that I would give him the company --- and they allowed him to sign a new contract a day after he was served divorce papers. So, he said the company was his, I said it was mine and had the documents to prove it.
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

The costs for the interpleader action are typically either shared equally by all parties involved (minus attorney's fees as each party is responsible for their own attorney's fees) or the interpleading party pays the costs of the interpleader action and all other parties are responsible for their own attorney's fees.

If you can prove the funds were wrongfully interpled (which it seems like you might be able to do so), you may be able to escape having to pay interpleader costs and certainly their attorney's fees.

Any settlement negotiations are inadmissible in court, so you don't have to worry to what you agreed to with the management company coming in.

If you can prove there was some type of collusion between the property management company and your ex husband to wrongfully bind the LLC and withhold your money through the interpleader action, then I think you could have a cause of action against both parties.

I don't think you would be responsible for the contract your ex husband signed because he didn't have authority to sign on behalf of the LLC at the time he entered into the contract. It's not your fault that the property management company did not do their due diligence.

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