Legal answers to your questions

February 14, 2008 9:46:46 AM PST
We have many viewers looking for some legal guidance and our People's Lawyer answers some questions.QUESTION:

Five years ago I bought a house with my boyfriend. I move out two years ago and he now pays the mortgage. How do I get my name off the loan?

ANSWER: The only way to get your name removed from the loan is for the lender to release you, or for your boyfriend to re-finance. If he refuses to re-finance, you have the right to force the sale of the property. Threatening to force a sale may persuade him to re-finance.

QUESTION: I was adopted as a child. I just learned that my biological father died without a will. Am I entitled to any of his estate?


First, as you seem to recognize, if there is a will that controls who inherits. Without a will, you may inherit a share of his property, unless the document terminating his parental rights provided otherwise. In most cases, adoption papers do provide that the child shall not inherit.

QUESTION: I am being sued by a debt collector for a ten year old debt. I thought I heard you say that lawsuits for debts were barred after four years and they could not sue?

You are sort of right. What said was that under Texas law, the statute of limitations provides that lawsuits for debt must be brought within four years. The problem, however, is that this law is what is known as an affirmative defense. That means that you need to defend the lawsuit and raise the defense. If you raise the statute of limitations, the matter should be dismissed. If do not defend, the debt collector will win.

If you have a legal question for The People's Lawyer, Click Here to email your question.

- Headlines at a glance