Real Estate Law

Have Real Estate Law Questions? Ask a Real Estate Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Real Estate Law
This answer was rated:

My home was extremely damaged in Hurricane Sandy. I have relocated

My home was extremely damaged...
My home was extremely damaged in Hurricane Sandy. I have relocated here to Port St. Lucie awaiting my insurance claim to be processed. I have received an initial settlement for $34,864.39, of which $15,000.00 was spent on mold remediation. However when Serv-Pro was doing the clean up they found additional damage. I filed a supplemental claim and just found out they want to settle that claim for an additional $46,100.00 without a contractor's estimate (I am having a hard time finding a contractor). My question is I am insured for $125,000.00 for property damaged and I owe a little over $100,00.00 on my mortgage. Can I just take the money they have given me and pay most of my mortgage and just walk away from the damaged property. My mortgage and taxes are paid to date but I would not be able to come up with the difference of the mortgage balance. Can you help me. The damaged property is located in Keansburg NJ.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Answered in 7 minutes by:
6/14/2013
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 56,033
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
Verified
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. One, I would not necessarily settle for the $46,100 the insurance company has offered. Insurance companies tend to low-ball these offers and if you contest this, it's likely they will offer you more money than their initial offer on this. Why is that? Because the insurance company doesn't simply get the unilateral right to arbitrarily establish the settlement amount because they are not exactly an unbiased party. Write the insurance company a certified, return receipt requested letter explaining that you don't consider this to be a fair and reasonable settlement and demand that they agree to a higher amount within a short specified period of time or you will have no choice but to file a claim against them. Be sure to mention you intend to file this claim as not only a breach of contract claim, but also as a failure to reasonably settle, which will entitle you not only to actual damages, but an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. This is typically all you need do, because insurance companies want to avoid punitive damages and the bad publicity that comes with failing to settle. Two, no matter what settlement amount upon which you ultimately settle, this is to compensate you for your damages. You are under no legal obligation to spend the money on reconstruction. You can apply all the proceeds to your mortgage and then pay out the balance over time.



Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


If I understand you correctly, you are advising me to asked for a higher settlement even though I don't have a contractor's estimate. Should I hire an attorney?

Thanks for following up. Yes, that's what I would do. You have nothing to lose...they're not going to go down in their estimate and in my experience they almost always agree to a higher amount when pressed for one. I would not hire an attorney at this point as you don't want to spend additional settlement dollars on attorneys' fees, but, rather, I would reference in your letter you have consulted an attorney and that if they don't agree to a higher settlement, you will engage the attorney to pursue the suit. Also be reminded that you should be covered for the room and board cost of living elsewhere and storage and moving costs while you are displaced, so if you have not included those in your settlement, you need to demand those be included in your settlement.
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Thank you for your advice. I can not claim my housing and moving expenses as they are not covered in the Flood insurance policy and my homeowners insurance denied any claims because the damage was caused by flood.

You're welcome...it's been my pleasure to help. If you don't mind, I would appreciate you letting me know the outcome of this. Thanks and have a great day!
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 56,033
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
Verified
Richard and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Thanks so much for the positive rating and the generous bonus! I appreciate your kindness and the opportunity to serve you! If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help! For easy access, my bookmark is: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-legalbeacon/
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


I have one more question, I received a call from the Insurance company telling me that they were sending the $46,000.00 check to settle the account by UPS, however I'm not sure I should forward it to my mortgage company because it might seem that I agree to settle for this additional amount which I am not happy with. What should I do?

Thanks for your follow up. I would contact the insurance company and let them know you are not going to accept this check because you don't agree with the settlement. You really don't want to accept/sign any check until you have agreed upon the amount. So, send it back with a letter demanding the higher settlement amount.
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Could I ask them to just pay off my mortgage, since I'm insured for more than I owe?

Yes, you can do so.
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 56,033
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
Verified
Richard and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Thank you! Have a great day!
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Ask Richard Your Own Question
Richard
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 56,033
56,033 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.

Richard is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

5,436 satisfied customers

17 years of legal experience including real estate law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

11,126 satisfied customers

17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

7,785 satisfied customers

Experienced lawyer

Ray

Ray

Lawyer

7,559 satisfied customers

Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

6,207 satisfied customers

I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.

Dimitry Esquire

Dimitry Esquire

Attorney

5,526 satisfied customers

JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

4,925 satisfied customers

Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.

< Previous | Next >

Related Real Estate Law Questions
Homeowner died and left no will or trust. The adult children
Homeowner died and left no will or trust. The adult children want to sell the house. A lady (non family member) is living in the house. The last month she paid rent was November. She refuses to vacate… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,559 satisfied customers
Can a homeowners association deny a homeowner's application
Can a homeowners association deny a homeowner's application to plant trees within his property borders because it has a drainage easement where the trees will be planted? … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
Is it correct that if a homeowner is selling his/her home to
Is it correct that if a homeowner is selling his/her home to avoid bankruptcy in a situation when bankruptcy is otherwise imminent, a pending civil lawsuit against that homeowner could tie the hands o… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,183 satisfied customers
I had work done to my home and the contractor damaged the
i had work done to my home and the contractor damaged the ceiling after it being totally reworked. they have not scheduled repair or have they acknowledged the damaged. I have been seeking a timely cl… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,720 satisfied customers
I purchased a lot and built a house which has a homeowners
I purchased a lot and built a house which has a homeowners association with covenants. The development was built by 6 developers. I was led to believe that there were 3 separate developments, but afte… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
We are having a house built and the contractor has not
We are having a house built and the contractor has not fulfilled any deadlines. Some of the work is subpar according to other building experts who have toured the home. The home is not finished and we… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I just had a loss due to water damage. The homeowners
I just had a loss due to water damage. The homeowners insurance covered it. Will I have to pay income on the money the insurance paid me and will I need to claim it on the tax form? … read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
7,180 satisfied customers
The home we rent was damaged in the Ventura fire last week.
The home we rent was damaged in the Ventura fire last week. Fortunately my family are safe, and the structure of the home was saved. There is significant damage on the outside of the houe (deck, terra… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,785 satisfied customers
A building contractor did water damaged work on my apartment
a building contractor did water damaged work on my apartment and i signed a contract with him and after the work was done he changed the dollar amount to a higher amount. the contract stated not to ex… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,403 satisfied customers
Regarding damages to the house that he and his sister both
Regarding damages to the house that he and his sister both own, how do you submit the damages that she's done to the house to the court? With the Partition paper work? Also, can I give Power of Attorn… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,559 satisfied customers
New house. Water damage in basement. Developer refuses to
New house. Water damage in basement. Developer refuses to pay damages. Property in NH … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I live on a golf course.Golf ball damage to my house has
I live on a golf course.Golf ball damage to my house has caused damage to my roof and stucco.Approximately 20,000.00.Hoa and golf course takes no responsibility.hoa rules on protecting my house from f… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
If I have to take a personal mortgage to buy a house
If I have to take a personal mortgage to buy a house (investment property) - is there anyway I can use an LLC to protect my investment?… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
I have a mortgage on a house that come due in a balloon
I have a mortgage on a house that come due in a balloon payment in 2018, I filed bankruptcy in 2003 shortly after obtaining this mortgage, I never reaffirmed on the note and have continued to make pay… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
I have a mortgage on my house. When the insurance company
I have a mortgage on my house. When the insurance company issued my advance check for flood insurance damage it was obviously made payable to me and the mortgage company. The mortgage company now want… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
Missouri homeowner files damage claim with insurance
Missouri homeowner files damage claim with insurance company, and, receives $150,000. Insurance check is written jointly to homeowner & servicer; signed by homeowner and sent to servicer for deposit. … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,720 satisfied customers
Tina: I bought a house and needed a contractor to handle the
Tina: I bought a house and needed a contractor to handle the installation of a beam and a take down of the wall. He did minimal demolition but his people who were trying to redo a small shower dragged… read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,193 satisfied customers
I used my homeowners insurance for damages that fell into 3
I used my homeowners insurance for damages that fell into 3 event years in a row. I was kicked out of insurance. Had to buy through the State Reinsurance plan in Rhode Island. Rate doubled. Now, a yea… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x