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Notice valid under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The defendant-debt collector was properly granted judgment on the pleadings where it notified plaintiff-debtor that he must dispute the debt "within 30 days of receiving this notice" because the notice complied with the requirements of the FDCPA. "It makes no difference that the letter said 'within 30 days of receiving this notice' rather than 'within 30 days after receiving this notice.' Both mean the same thing." The plaintiff argued that "'of' and 'after' are different words, and that they can bear different meanings. True enough." However, "[n]o reasonable consumer, even an unsophisticated one, would read the letter as an instruction to travel back in time (though no more than thirty days back) to dispute the debt." There was merit to the plaintiff's argument that "the day a consumer gets notice does not count toward the thirty-day deadline for disputing the debt." However, he did "not have a good argument that [the defendant]'s chosen preposition misleads the reader on this point. Neither 'of' nor 'after' says anything - either way - about when to start counting." Therefore, the defendant "spoke with enough clarity to comply with the Act."

MICHIGAN REAL ESTATE 95: Property owners did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves.

When the delivery of a deed is contingent upon the happening of some future event, title to the subject property will not transfer to the grantee until the event has occurred. However, in this case A and J did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves, then deposited the deed with their attorney with the instruction to record the deed only upon the happening of a future event, thereby placing a condition only upon the recording of the deed.

MICHIGAN PROBATE 57: Brother granted permanent guardianship of siblings.

At a multiday hearing to address the extension of the guardianship, the eldest children, the mother’s relatives and friends, and school personnel testified regarding the mother’s care of the children, appellant’s treatment of and interaction with the children, and the eldest siblings’ role in aiding the mother to raise the children.

FAMILY LAW 88: The trial court found that the children did not have an established custodial environment with defendant because, before the separation, he did not have a large role in the children’s lives.

The trial court credited plaintiff’s testimony that, before the parties’ separation, defendant spent minimal time helping to care for the children, so its finding that the children would not have looked to defendant for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort during that time was not against the great weight of the evidence.

REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

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