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We all love our pets, but often that love doesn't extend to other people's pets or strays; especially if they're straying onto our property and leaving a little something behind. Feral, stray, or wandering cats can be a nuisance -- one that tempts us to engage in some extreme behavior. But taking matters into your own hands might be a little too extreme.

So if you're thinking about killing a cat on your property, you should think about this first:

Homeowners' How-To: Spotting a Foreclosure Law Fraudster

Sometimes you hit a bad run of luck, which is what happened to Southern Californians with homes in foreclosure who were also bilked by their lawyers. Two Orange County law firms are accused of depriving distressed homeowners of $15 million in fees in one year alone, while providing few if any legal services.

The firms -- Brookstone Law and Advantis Law, both with multiple offices in Orange County -- targeted vulnerable clients and hooked them with false promises, guarantees that lawyers ethically cannot make. So it's no wonder that the Federal Trade Commission called the firms "shark tanks" and is seeking to freeze assets, rescind contracts, bar the lawyers from practicing law, and more. Let's examine the case, reported by Courthouse News Service, and consider how to spot a fraudster.

Preparing to Meet a Real Estate Attorney

When you are meeting a lawyer for the first time on a real estate matter of any kind, it's a good idea to make a list. Before your appointment, know your concerns and questions.

That's the first step. But it is a big one and will help with what's next, which is meeting your lawyer. So let's break down this list. Don't worry, it's not complicated.

Buying a Home: Get to Know the Rent-to-Own Process

You share the American Dream and want to own a home but your savings are minimal and your credit is ailing after years of economic insecurity. There is a dream deferred option -- it's called rent-to-own and it allows people to work towards home ownership gradually.

Renting to own is a little like moving in together or having a long engagement before marriage. It's a commitment but gradual. While state laws vary and individual contracts will have their own conditions, let's look at how rent-to-own agreements generally work.

3 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be a thrilling and scary experience. There is quite a bit to it, from figuring out what you can afford and what is available to securing financing and understanding the paperwork.

At times during the process you may feel like renting forever would be easier than trying to buy. But it is worth trying if you want what home ownership can bring, which is a sense of personal stability and investment in your future. Before you launch, review this checklist of considerations.

Whether you're already managing an apartment building, or thinking of buying a house as a rental investment, leasing property to a tenant can get complicated. In response to the shady landlords out there, many states have passed strict tenant rights protections, which can put new restrictions on everything from how you structure a lease to what you can do about evicting a tenant.

So how do you stay on the right side of landlord-tenant law? By following these seven legal tips for landlords:

You found the perfect home. You negotiated a good price. You signed all the paperwork. All that's left is to wire the closing costs and you'll be good to move in. But you might want to be careful about that last part -- a new scam has hackers intercepting closing costs and ruining new homeowners' dreams.

Fortunately, these scams can be avoided, if you're careful.

Property values in some areas of the country haven't just bounced back -- they're soaring. This can put tenants in some untenable positions as landlords try to increase rental revenues. And even if your landlord isn't trying to squeeze more money out of you (or squeeze you out of your apartment or house entirely), you may be having a more mundane landlord-tenant disagreement and you want to know what your legal rights are.

Here are five big tenant rights questions and answers to help you figure out where you stand with your landlord:

5 Questions When Buying a Vacant Lot

You've been scanning real estate listings, looking at vacant lots and plots of land, and you are very tempted. The prices are so nice compared to parcels with homes on them, and you like the idea of a clean slate.

But wait. Before you dive in and find yourself in a mess, consider these five questions. They should help get you thinking about what you need to know before you buy a lot in any state.

3 Tips on Renting Space to Family or Friends

You have a studio apartment in a university town that would just be perfect for your niece -- she's starting college next semester. Her mother, your sister in law, has been talking to you about letting her stay there.

You do want to help but you are not sure how to handle this so it does not turn into a financial loss or a family feud. Here are some do's and don'ts for renting a room or apartment to family members.