Swift Justice: Pest control, quit-claims and fraudulent mothers

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Dear Jackie,

My son's car (parked) was backed into by a pest control employee. The company's lawyer is being difficult with us because they have high deductible insurance (we only have liability insurance on the car so we are on our own). We submitted two preliminary estimates (both around $1,700), and the lawyer is refusing to pay to have the bumper fixed and instead sent us a check for $1,136 to fix the hood and grille. She says the bumper had prior damage (the new damage is in the middle of the bumper, the old is on the front left panel, neither requires replacement). We do not feel that we should have to foot the rest of the bill or the cost of a rental. Please advise as to what we should do! -- Sandra from Oceanside, Calif.

Hi, Sandra,

You can file a small claims action against the pest control company. Here is the link for small claims court in San Diego County: http://bit.ly/iQKdAV. You will need to be prepared to prove to the court how much of the damage was done by this accident as opposed to what was pre-existing. Photos, estimates and any other documentation are important for your case. Take a look at the court website and consider filing a claim.

Dear Jackie,

In 2009, I was quit-claimed a condo in Sunrise, Fla. In reality, we quit-claimed to each other. No title search was required. Now, that condo has a lien attached to it, and I cannot sell it. This lien was never divulged to me at the courthouse on the day of the transaction. The lien was issued to previous owner, not myself. I would very much like to sell this condo and would greatly appreciate your help with this matter. -- Lynn from Plantation, Fla.

Hi, Lynn,

If there is a lien and you want to sell the condo, then the lien would be satisfied out of the proceeds of the sale. Just because a title search was not required does not mean it wasn't necessary. Just because you did not know about it, doesn't make it go away. Since I don't know how much the lien is, I cannot give you any more information.

Dear Jackie,

I gave my mother access to my bank account so that she could pay her rent. I moved out of the state. When I landed in Ohio, I saw that she overdrew my account by about $700. I am wondering if I would have a case to go after her when I did not give her permission to overdraw my account at all. I have a letter from the bank stating that she did the two transactions that forced the overdraws in a casino. Do you think I have a case to get my account fixed? -- Christopher from Clinton, Ohio

Hi, Christopher,

You gave her access to your bank account. When you did that, you paved the way for her to do what she did. It is very sad when a parent does this to their own child. You could sue her, but a judge will ask if you gave her access to your account. You will say yes, but not for her to overdraw the account. If you sue her and win, how will you collect the judgment? Sounds like your mom has some issues that would make collection difficult. Never, ever give anyone access to your back account, not even your own mother!

(Jackie Glass is a lawyer and former district court judge from Las Vegas, Nev. Submit your legal questions to Jackie by emailing askjudgejackie@gmail.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @theJudgeGlass. This column is being provided for informational purposes only. It may not be relied upon by you as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.)

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