Partition Sales in Connecticut

In Connecticut, two or more parties can hold property as joint tenants with right of survivorship. In a typical situation, two parties own property together, jointly. The property is held in survivorship so that when one party dies the other property owner becomes the sole owner.

Unfortunately, the joint owners may not always agree on how to manage the property. For example, one owner may want to sell the property, and the other property may refuse to sell.

In these situations, one party can go to court, to get a court order for a partition sale, under Connecticut General Statutes 52-495. A court will order that a committee be appointed to do a partition sale.

Unfortunately, it can be expensive to get a court order for a partition sale, because of the attorney’s fees and costs involved. In addition, the committee appointed must be paid.

If you are having problems with another joint tenant, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT 06518


Serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut

IRS Form 1099 Cancellation of Debt Income and Mortgage Release

Particularly in the case of a second mortgage, a lender may send a Form 1099 to a taxpayer/mortgagor, to report cancellation of debt income. In effect, a lender is reporting to the Internal Revenue Service, that it has written off the loan as uncollectible for tax purposes.

Many taxpayers who receive a Form 1099 mistakenly believe that with a Form 1099, the taxpayer is automatically entitled to a Mortgage Release.

However, the truth is different.

  1. The Form 1099 is issued by the lender so that it can take a loss, for tax purposes. This is a tax issue.
  2. A Release of Mortgage is given when a mortgage is satisfied. The filing of a Form 1099 does not automatically release a Mortgage. The Mortgage remains a lien on the subject property.

In order to get a lien release, a taxpayer/mortgagor still needs to negotiate with the mortgage holder to obtain a Release.

(Note, in many cases, a mortgage is assigned/transferred to a third party “assignee.” The payment needs to be made to the assignee).

If you have any questions concerning your mortgage, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT 06518


Mortgage Financing & Modification – in Connecticut

After the financial crisis, there has been a change in the sources of funds for mortgage lending. Before, the financial crisis, banks were very actively involved in providing money for mortgage lending.

The situation has changed. Now, most of the money comes from non-bank lenders. Banks take in deposits and use the money from deposits and other sources to fund loans.

Non-bank lenders use sources other than deposits. Commonly, the non-bank lenders are using lines of credit (loans from third parties) to fund mortgages.

In the event of a financial crisis, it is uncertain if these non-bank lenders will be able to modify mortgages for mortgagors in distress (loan modifications) or even survive a financial crisis.

Interestingly, Quicken Loans has become the largest non-bank mortgage lender.

When there is a recession, if these lenders cannot provide a loan modification to borrowers, borrowers may have to use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to reorganize their debt (and save their home).

If you are having problems paying your mortgage, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518


serving all of Connecticut

Junk Bond Bear Market – 2020, 2021

As the economy slows down in 2019, and the trade war continues, it seems more likely that the economy will fall into recession in 2020.

The growth of debt in the U.S. goes on, unabated. One particular area of concern is the junk bond market, non-investment grade corporate debt.

There are two ways to have a junk bond bear market:

a. as interest rates rise, the value of a bond decreases.

b. in a slowing economy or recession, a corporate issuer may not be able to pay back the principal and interest due on the junk bonds, thereby resulting in a default.

For an interesting article on the debt market:

Now can be the time for investors to reallocate their portfolio away from high yield bonds, and high yield bond funds. Complacency can be costly. Don’t wait until the bear market hits, before adjusting your portfolio to protect against losses.

If you have losses from high yield bonds or high yield bond funds, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT 06518


Serving all of Connecticut

Securities Arbitration for Investors.

Uber & Lyte Auto Accidents In Connecticut

Many people are using rideshare services, such as Uber & Lyte. Unlike with a taxi company, a driver for Uber & Lyte is an independent contractor, rather than an employee. The difference becomes very important in the event that a person is hurt as a result of the negligence of a driver.

Taxi companies employ drivers who work for the company. The taxi company has its own liability insurance company to cover the vehicle driven by an employee. If a driver is involved in an auto accident with a company vehicle, even if he has no passenger, typically, the taxi company insurance policy covers the claim.

An accident with an Uber or Lyte vehicle may be different. Uber and Lyte have a 1,000,000 policy, which will cover passengers in a vehicle. However, the coverage is different than a taxcab commercial insuance policy. If you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyte vehicle which is not transporting passengers (or going to pick up passengers), there may be an issue as to whether the 1M policy will cover your claim.

I recently renewed my auto insurance. The insurance company asked if I use my vehicle for any ride sharing service, such as Uber or Lyte. Ride sharing drivers need commercial insurance to cover claims. If you are involved in an accident with an off-duty rideshare driver, the other driver’s insurance company may deny the claim if he or she does not have commercial insurance.

If you were involved in an acciident with an Uber or Lyt motor vehicle, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518


Serving New Haven Count and all of Connecticut

Motor Vehicle Insurance – Payment for Vehicle Loss

A person can be in an accident in which a vehicle is “totaled.” When a vehicle is totaled, an insurance company will pay to replace the vehicle. This often happens when the cost to repair the vehicle is greater than the value of the vehicle. For example, it is not economical for an insurance company to pay $10,000 to repair a car which is worth only $7,000.

In these situations, you need to determine how the insurance company will determine “value.” If your insurance company will be paying the amount due, check if your policy provides for payment based on “actual cash value” or “replacement cost.”

  1. With replacement cost, you determine how much it would cost to replace the same vehicle at the time of loss. Often, you can look at a guidebook, such as the book from NADA (
  2. The “actual cash value” is a different calculation (ACV). ACV considers the depreciation on a vehicle. The normal calculation is –
  • original cash value less depreciation

the depreciation number should be based on the useful life of the vehicle and the number of years in service, i.e. 60% depreciation if car is 3 years old with a 5-year useful life.

there can be an additional deduction for items such as high mileage

In certain cases, you can obtain full replacement cost coverage. Also, if you are buying a car on credit, you may be required to obtain “gap insurance.” which covers the difference between normal insurance coverage and the amount of a loan. Gap insurance between important when a loan is upside loan (the loan amount is greater than the value of the motor vehicle).

If you have any questions in Connecticut concerning insurance coverage issues, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518


Serving all of Connecticut

Collateral Source Reduction Rule with Medpay in Connecticut

In Connecticut, a person may purchase an automobile insurance policy with a medical payments provision (Medpay). Medpay provides payments for medical care up to a specified amount, provided in an insurance policy.

As an example – a claimant/insured is involved in an auto accident. His motor vehicle insurance company pays $5,000 for medical payments. The insured pays a total of $2,200 for auto insurance coverage with $200 of the premium for the Medpay coverage.

A jury awards the following as damages

$5,000 for economic damages (all economic damages are covered and paid for by Medpay).

$15,000 for non-economic damages

Total verdict of $20,000

In this situation: the award will be reduced by the $5,000 in economic damages, the amount of the Medpay, less than $200 paid for the Medpay coverage.

The final judgment becomes $15,200. $15,000 non-economic damages plus $5,000 economic damages less $5,000 collateral source reduction plus $200 cost of Medpay coverage

See Jones v Riley, 263 Conn 93 (2003).

If you have an auto insurance claim in Connecticut, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518



Time Limitations to Suit – Insurance Policy

It is common for an insurance policy to set a time limit in which to file suit, concerning a claim.

For example, you have an insurance policy with Giant Insurance Company. The insurance policy covers claims concerning homeowner’s insurance. The insurance policy provides that a suit concerning a claim against Giant must be commenced within 2 years from the date of the incident which caused the claim, such as a fire or theft.

Connecticut State law provides a statute of limitations period of six years, for contract claims. The legal issue is whether the insurance policy applies – the limitations period of 2 years in the insurance policy overrides the state statute of limitations.

Although I could not find a specific Connecticut Appeals Court case, the general rule is that parties are free to decide, by contract, the time frame in which to bring suit. (In Connecticut, there is specific law which applies to underinsured motorist claims which require a minimum amount of time to file suit, which can override an insurance policy provision).

This is a potential trap for claimants. A claimant who is having a problem with his or her own insurance company must review his or her insurance policy. It is vital to start suit within any time limit set by an insurance policy.

If you are having problems with an insurance claim, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT 06518


Serving all of Connecticut

Airbnb Scams

Often, Airbnb hosts provide a good place to stay at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, there are some hosts who are very deceptive and fail to provide the place which is promised. Because of the number of places available, Airbnb has not done a good job screening hosts.

Recently, I had two very good experiences and one very bad experience.

The first two hosts were super. The hosts were very nice, and helpful. The places were as promised.

The third host was not honest about the place. The listing was for a “private room.” I had booked for three people. First of all the picture was of the living room, not the bedroom. Second, the room was part of an apartment rented by the host. Third, the larger bedroom was very small and could not fit three people. Fourth, there was another small bedroom available, but we were not told before we arrived if we could use this bedroom. Fifth, there were no interior locks on the bedroom door. (After I listed the problems on the Airbnb website, the host claimed that we “never checked in.” In fact, we called her and she never called back. )

I have a friend who booked a condominium in the Bahamas. When he arrived with his family at the condominium, the conditions were terrible, so he had to stay a hotel for the weak, at an added costs.

The idea of Airbnb is good. However, guests need to be careful when booking accommodations. There are many hosts who are willing to take advantage of guests, to make a fast dollar.

Therefore, prior to booking, always check the reviews. More reviews are better. I made a mistake by booking with the third host, without carefully checking the reviews. Next time, I will be very reluctant to book at any place with a bad written review.

Robert M. Singer, Attorney at Law

2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518