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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 4, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Herald Zeltung, New Braunfels, Texas Tuesday, June 4, 1991Page 7 BARRY D. MOORE GENERAL PRACTICEBOARD CERTIFIED RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE LAW Texas Board Of Legal Specialization 245 S. Seguin 625-7751CORNELIUS & POWELL ATTORNEYS625-6933 391 LANDA STREET NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXASKENNETH D. BRAZLEATTORNEY AT LAW 395 LANDA NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS 78130(512)629-8008 FAX (512)629-2161TROY D. BURCH, JR. BEVIL & CHUNN ATTORNEY AT LAW 389 S. SEGUIN (Across from the Civic Center) TEL (512)625-9117 WADE ARLEDGE LAWYER 245 S. SEGUIN NEW BRAUNFELS, TX, 78130 (512)629-8145Ronald D. Zipp ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW 384 LANDA NEW BRAUNFELS. TEXAS 70130 24 HOUR NUMBER (512) 629-5600OFFICE HOURS: MON -FRI 8:30 a m - 5:00 P M. EVENINGS, WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS BY APPOINTMENT STATE LAWS LANDLORD AND FAMILY LAW PERSONAL Q« I received a letter in the mail that directed me to send ONE AND NO/100 ($1.00) DOLLAR, each to five people whose names and addresses were included. I was instructed to add my name to the bottom of the list and make 200 copies of the new list. I was given the name and address of two companies that sell mailing lists and was told that for $15.00 they would send me address labels for 200 people. The letter also said that I should receive $50,000.00 within 60 days and that the scheme was legal under Title 18, Section 1302 and 1304 of the United States Postal and Lottery laws. Is it legal? A. Not in Texas. Section 32.48 of the Texas Penal Code defines the proposed plan as an “endless chain” scheme, a Class B Misdemeanor. Punishment under the Penal Code for a Class B Misdemeanor is a fine of no more than $ 1,000.00, conf ncmcnt in jail for no more than 180 days or both.PERSONAL INJURY -DAMAGES Q. My wife fell at the mall while shopping due to a defect in the sidewalk and broke her hip. She was bedridden for a time and has been out of commission for some time. Do I have a claim for damages against the mall for the injury to my wife? A. Probably. Texas law provides for damages to the non-injured spouse for loss of an injured spouse in at least two areas: 1. Loss of performance of household services and domestic duties by the injured spouse; and 2. Loss of consortium, which includes loss of affection, comfort, companionship, assistance, sexual relations, emotional support and love necessary to a successful marriage.WILLS Why do I need a Will? /\« Three basics reasons for a Will are: 1. Probate is much less expensive when there is a Will as compared to when there is not. 2. Without a Will, your property is distributed in accordance with Texas law and goes basically to your children not your spouse. 3. You can provide for specific gifts you might want to make to a particular person.TENANT Q. What is involved in evicting a non-paying tenant? A* Before filing a formal eviction complaint in the Justice of the Peace Court, the landlord must give the nonpaying tenant a written “demand for possession” which gives the tenant at least three (3) days to move from the property, lf the tenant docs not vacate the property, the landlord may then file an eviction action (sometimes called forcible entry and detainer) in the Justice of the Peace Court. The complaint will then be served on the tenant by a deputy sherif! or process server and a hearing will be scheduled in approximately ten (IO) days, lf the Judge rules in favor of the landlord, the Judge will sign a judgment ordering the tenant from the property, lf the tenant has not moved within (5) days from die date of the judgment, then the landlord may obtain a “writ of restitution” which will authorize the County Sheriffs office to physically remove the tenant. Attorneys can provide additional information and assist in the legal procedure.REAL ESTATE We have had financial difficulties lately. We arc behind on our mortgage payments. Can our mortgage company foreclose on us? lf so, do we still owe them money if they sell the house? As lf you default in paying your mortgage and the mortgage is properly documented, your property can be taken by foreclosure. If the property is your primary residence the lienholder is required by Section 51.002(d) of the Texas Property Code to give you a minimum 20 days written notice to pay the sums past due before they can call the whole debt due. The loan documents may provide for a longer period of time. Furthermore, once they call the entire debt due, they must give you at least 21 days written notice before they can sell the property at foreclosure. Foreclosure sales can only lake place on the first Tuesday of a calendar month and must take place at the County Courthouse. lf your property is foreclosed and die sales price at the foreclosure sale is not enough to pay the debt and legitimate expenses of the sale, you may be sued for the difference between the foreclosure price and total sums due. If die lienholder buys the property at foreclosure, the price they may receive on subsequent sale of the pro(vrty has no bearing on the amount for which you can be sued. The only safe way lo avoid suit after foreclosure is to negotiate a limit lo your liability when you first lake out die loan. Q. Can one attorney represent both sides to a divorce? A* No. A divorce is a lawsuit in which both sides have interests which must be protected. One attorney can do all of the paperwork necessary to complete the divorce but can only represent and give advice to one party to the divorce. I’m the parent of two children, ages six and nine. I was divorced three years ago and I now receive Two-Hundrcd Dollars ($200.00) a month in child support. Am I entitled lo more? If so, what must I do to get more? A# The child support guidelines arc spelled out very clearly in the Texas Family Code. The Court may order a parent to make weekly, monthly, or a lump sum payment for the support of the child until he or she is eighteen (18) years of age, or has graduated from a secondary school, which ever is later. The amount is calculated by taking the monthly gross minus federal income tax (calculated for a single taxpayer claiming one personal exemption and taking the standard deduction) and minus the social security insurance tax. Child support is then determined by taking that monthly net resource times twenty percent (20%), for one child, twenty-five (25%) for two children, thirty percent (30%) for three children, thirty-five percent (35%) for four children, and for five children or more, not less than thirty-five percent (35%). lf die amount you are currently receiving is less titan what the child support guidelines say you should be receiving, you may request a modification of the prior child support order. This requires application to the court, a hearing in which both parties may provide testimony to the court, or an agreement as to the amount that should be paid. If a hearing is required, die court will make an order determining the amount of child support to be paid.TAX LAW Q# As the owner of an S corporation, can I avoid social security tax and other payroll taxes by not paying myself a salary? A. An owner of an S corporation that works for his company must pay himself a reasonable salary for the services he performs for the corporation and the usual payroll taxes on dial salary must be paid. lf he receives distributions from the S corporation and has not paid himself a reasonable salary, die IRS will treat die distributions as salary and slap on FICA and odier payroll taxes. The IRS now has a nationwide program for identifying S corpo-ration owners who fail to pay diem-selves a reasonable salary.INJURY -ATTORNEY’S FEES Q» What kind of fee arrangement is available with an attorney to represent me on a personal injury claim? A# In most cases, a contingency fee agreement. This means that a personal injury attorney will meet with you and review your claim at no charge. Lf the attorney determines there is a probability of recovery, he will represent you for a percentage of the recovery as his fee. lf there is no recovery, there will be no fee obligation. The fee is contingent on a recovery. The usual fee percentage will range from 33 1/3% to 40% depending on the type of claim. REALESTATE Q • We have found a house that we really love. We definitely want to buy it. The Seller has offered to sell it to us by “Contract for Deed”. Should we accept this method? We don’t want to lose this house. A* A “Contract for Deed” generally provides that a Seller conveys title to the property only after the full purchase price, with interest, is paid over a period of years like a mortgage. The property is not actually yours. The property belongs to the Seller until a deed is executed and delivered to you. Generally, under a Contract for Deed all the advantages belong to the Seller and the disadvantages are the Buyers. In the event of a default by the Buyer it is much easier for the Seller to take the property back than through a foreclosure. The Seller does not have to get the property released from any prior liens or Seller obligations. The Seller can even mortgage the property while you are paying for it. The Seller may fail to pay the property taxes even though you have given him the money for them. All these factors are a nsk to the Buyer. There are other problems that can jeopardize the Buyer’s mutest or seriously delay the conveyance of clear title. lf you must buy under a contract for deed be absolutely sure to have the contract or a summary of its terms recorded in the real property records ai the County Clerk’s office. That is the only way to provide some protection for your interests. DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING LETTERS JUNE 21, 1991Carter Casteel Attorney and Counselor at Law OFFICE: (512)625-7751 245 S. SEGUIN RESIDENCE: (512)625-8621 285 RIO DRIVE NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS 71130Gary D. Mathis, JD, CPA Board Certified -Tax Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization 348 E. San Antonio St. 625-7531 R. BRUCE BOYERAttorney at Law 376-A Landa Street New Braunfels, Texas 78130 512-625-6511 512-625-7117 512-620-6000 FAX Board Certified Residential Real Estate Law Texas Board of Legal SpecializationGARY L. STEELATTORNEY AT LAW 297 W. SAN ANTONIO NEW BRAUNFEL, TEXAS 78130(512)620-1699JOHN J. CURTIS Attorney at Law Executive Banc, Suite 180 NEW BRAUNFELS, TX 78131-1998 (512)620-7509 Law Office Of Kimbel L. Brown Attorney At Law (Former Amis Ben County Attorney! Civil and Cumin* Practice Since 1981 625-3455 260 N CASTELL NEW BRAUNFELS. TX. FUUV IL'tAMU •« It AA* AO*** MA COUMT UHM It O Si Alt* OMTWCT COURT FOH SO01 MC AM « WtS'tHN UM11 HK.'I» INO I MJ AHL) CCFH MMU SY TNC It AAA SOARD OF it UWC. AXtC IAI. UA HOMSIJOHN BEVIL BEVIL & CHUNN ATTORNEY AY LAW 389 S. SEGUIN TEL. (512)625-9117 THE ATTORNEYS SPEAK IS FEATURED EVERY FIRST TUESDAY IN THE NEW BRAUNFELS HKRALD-ZEITUNG Q Do you have a legal question you would like featured in The Attorneys Speak? Ask the experts. The Attorneys Speak will bt* published every first Tuesday. Please include return address. Mail your questions to: The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung c/o The Attorneys Speak P.O. Box 311328 New Braunfels, Tx. 78130 The purpose of this page ta to inform the public of the Ism r.M generally address Ila application Specific questions rvgsnhng the Ism should be directed lo your personal attorney No legal decisions should be baaed on information in this column mu hoot consulting your omm attune* For assistance or further iniurtuauun regaling TV Attorneys Spew I callCorbie 625-9144JOHN C. CHUNN BEVIL & CHUNN ATTORNEY AT LAW 389 S. SEGUIN TEL. (512)625-9117JACK ROBISON ATTORNEY AT LAW391 LANDA ST. NEW BRAUNFELS, TX. 78130512/620-4916 FAX 512/620-6247BEVIL & CHUNN Attorneys At Law PERSONAL INJURY & ACCIDENT LAW 389 S. Seguin St. New Braunfels(Across from the Civic Center) Not Certified By Texas Board of I egal SpecializationWilliam Schroeder Attorney at Law 267 West Mill St. 625-7381SANDRA D. SARRAN Attorney at law MEMBER STATE BAR OF TEXAS NOT BOARD CERTIFIED IN ANY AREA OF SPECIALIZED PRACTICE (NO CHARGE FOR INITIAL CONSULTATION)1-512-899-4585 Hwy 2673 STARKVILLE .89^45*5 ;