It’s My Home, but I’m NOT on Title

Date:

The Legal Pad

Rachel King | Contributor

DEAR ATTORNEY KING,

I am losing my home… Please help!

Here’s the short version. In 2005 I bought a house, hindsight I couldn’t afford it, adjustable rate and well, you remember. A few years later the bank took that house. Fortunately, I’ve had a good career and have always been able to support myself. In 2012, my parents agreed to help me buy my home. I would pay for it, but it would be in their name because of my foreclosure history. I made the downpayment; they went on the loan and title; I have lived in my home and paid the mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, EVERYTHING! My parents never lived here and never paid for anything.

Unexpectedly, both of my parents passed away recently, and my siblings are trying to take my home in probate. They say that because it is in my parents’ names it gets divided between all of us.

Sincerely,

I can’t lose my home again!


DEAR I CAN’T LOSE MY HOME AGAIN,

This is more common than you think. Many family members have complex interfamily agreements, most of which are not in writing, and none understand the legal complexities that can result.

Typically, the name on the deed of real property is the owner. However, there are circumstances that allow for the equitable owner to be different than the legal title holder. If the administrator of your parents’ estates is unwilling to work with you to help clear up the title issue, or your siblings are refusing to recognize the agreement that you made with your parents it is time to start compiling any text messages, emails, or letters from you parents that support the home being yours; find your purchase and closing documents; make a list of the individuals that participated in the transaction; locate the records for the down payment and all of the mortgage payments, tax payments, insurance payments, and anything else that you have that can show your financial support of your home.

All of this information can be used to show a court that you are the equitable owner of your home and the Judge may Quiet Title in your favor, making you the legal title holder.

One last thing: talk to an attorney as soon as possible! You want to make sure that you take action to protect your interest!

Good Luck,

Rachel King, Attorney at Law

This is not legal advice. For further information or to set up a consultation with Rachel King, please call or text 951-834-7715. Rachel King is a strategic litigator with expertise in elder abuse, and conservatorships and has extensive courtroom experience. She has been featured in LA Weekly, CEO Weekly, and SD Voyager. Ms. King has appearances on CBS and is featured regularly on podcasts around the world. Tune in to Gavel’s Down, Voice’s Up, Rachel’s new podcast available wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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