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Federal Income Tax Filing Options for LGBT Couples

Same-sex couples who are legally married, in a civil union, or in a registered domestic partnership must treat federal and state tax returns differently. Because the Internal Revenue Service [more…]

Why Some LGBT Couples Refuse to Lie on Federal Tax Forms

The IRS compels LGBT married couples to lie about their marital status on their federal income tax return forms. But as more and more states allow same-sex marriages, there is increasing tension between [more…]

Ten Ways the Law Harms the LGBT Community

Gays and lesbians face many legal hurdles in their daily lives. Knowing how the law hurts you is important because you can then take action to effect change. Here are ten ways the law hurts same-sex couples [more…]

What Are DOMA's Effects on LGBT Couples?

The federal DOMA (Defense of marriage Act) remains the law of the land. Although the Obama administration believes DOMA to be unconstitutional, and his Justice Department recently asked the Supreme Court [more…]

The Facts about Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana (or medical cannabis) refers to the use of marijuana as a physician-prescribed therapy to reduce the pain or discomfort associated with some medical conditions or to lessen the side effects [more…]

Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Going to Small Claims Court

Everyone who goes to small claims court goes with one objective in mind: to win. One way to win is to not sabotage your own case by making mistakes that will cost you points in the courtroom. Here are [more…]

Possession of Property before Foreclosure

The mortgagor has the right to possess the property as long as she doesn’t default. The mortgage agreement specifies what constitutes default, but generally acts of default include failure to repay the [more…]

Property Law: Mortgage Defaults

If the mortgagor defaults, the mortgagee can foreclose, meaning the mortgagee can sell the mortgaged property and keep as much of the proceeds as needed to pay off the mortgagor’s debt. The mortgagee may [more…]

Extinguishing Junior Interests in a Mortgage

In a mortgage foreclosure, foreclosing mortgagee has the right to sell the same title that the mortgagor owned at the time she gave the mortgage to the mortgagee. After the mortgage is created, the mortgagor [more…]

How the Proceeds of a Foreclosure Sale are Distributed

In a foreclosure sale, the mortgaged property is sold to the high bidder in a public auction. If the property is foreclosed in a judicial action, a sheriff or other public official may conduct the sale [more…]

Anti-Deficiency Statutes Protect Mortgagor

Property law declares that a defaulting mortgagor can suffer serious consequences. If she can’t pay her debt, she’ll lose her property in a foreclosure sale. The winning bid will almost surely not be as [more…]

Statues that Protect the Mortgagee

Here are the statues that protect the mortgagee in a foreclosure, and other details about redemption of the property per the various laws that apply. [more…]

Transferring Mortgaged Property

The owner of mortgaged property can transfer her property just like any other owner. But she can’t change the rights of the mortgagee. Because a mortgage is an interest in land, it stays with the land [more…]

Ten Property Subjects Commonly Tested in Bar Exams

You may wonder what property law you need to know in order to pass the bar exam. If only the bar examiners would tell you the questions beforehand, you’d be sure to find the right answers and know what [more…]

Ten Common Mistakes in Applying Property Law

Everyone makes mistakes. In fact, people often make the same mistakes. Here are ten common mistakes property law students make in applying property law. Now, there is no hard evidence that these are the [more…]

Identify Recordable Property Documents

State statutes specify the requirements for recording a document regarding a property. Generally, any conveyance of any interest in land may be recorded. Typically, the state statute doesn’t require recording [more…]

Comply with Conditions for Recording Title

A person records a recordable document by taking it to a county official, who has the duty to maintain such real property records concerning property in the county. The county official doesn’t evaluate [more…]

Using Indexes to Find Recorded Documents

The recording system helps people determine the state of title before buying an interest in land. A buyer wants to know, for example, whether someone has an outstanding mortgage that will result in the [more…]

Distinguishing the Three Types of Recording Statutes

Although recording acts differ among the states, all recording acts make an unrecorded prior interest unenforceable against a later interest in some situations. So even though you don’t have to record [more…]

Determine Whether an Interest Is Recorded

Property law provides that all recording acts protect later interests against prior interests only when the prior interest isn’t recorded. So if a prior interest [more…]

Paying Value for Property Interest

All recording acts but two of the race statutes protect a later interest from a prior interest only if the owner of the later interest paid value for it. The recording statutes are generally meant to protect [more…]

Recording Documents in Property Law

The principle of first in time, first in right may seem unquestionably right and fair. Someone shouldn’t be able to give away someone else’s property rights. But selling an interest that conflicts with [more…]

Merging a Purchase Agreement with a Deed

The buyer and seller of real estate typically sign a purchase agreement, an executory contract that obligates the parties to buy and sell the real estate on certain conditions. They may make various promises [more…]

The Formal Requirements for a Deed

A deed is generally a pretty short and simple legal document, maybe just a couple of pages long. Sometimes deeds use exotic-sounding, or archaic-sounding, legal terminology. But the formal requirements [more…]

A Deed’s Traditional Parts

Deeds traditionally contained more than the elements required today. You may still run into these traditional components, so it’s good to be familiar with them: [more…]


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