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Lucy, Esq.
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This question is concerning real estate law in the State of

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This question is concerning real estate law in the State of Texas. In 2011 I loaned my Mother and Step Dad $36.500.00 to buy a Winter vacation home in State of TX. I Do not live in TX myself. Had them sign a promissory note that I made up myself explaining the terms of the note, 15 years, 5% interest Monthly payment of $281.00. No liens were put into place on the property so my name is XXXXX XXXXX it as the lien-holder. At this time they have not made any payments to me for about a year and my question is: I don't want to be mean or nasty, but do I have any legal recourse at this time or should I just forget about it and move on since my name is XXXXX XXXXX the deed as being the lender? Is there any paperwork I could file to assure getting paid back what's owed if and when the place ever gets put up for sale in the future? They CAN afford the payments, just don't want to pay me as they think I don't need the $$ and that I'll get my money when they pass on and/or no longer able to use the property due to advanced age. Problem is, if they end up in a nursing home/care center someday, I'm sure I would be the last in line to get my cash. I have been generous to my folks over the years giving them cars and money, etc. and told them that the $36,000.00 for a vacation home at their request was a loan and that I truly needed to be paid back and they signed a paper to that affect. I do not live in Texas and therefore do not know what to do, if anything at all, to at least file the proper documents with the correct county office to help insure that someday I'm able to get my money back when the asset is sold. I realize $36,000.00 isn't a whole lot of money and I do not want to sue them, nevertheless would like to know if there is anything I could do at this point in time that could possibly increase my chances of getting my money back at some point in the future. Any suggestions?? Maybe the self made and signed promissory note is enough but wasn't notarized. My step dad has deadbeat kids plus I too have a sibling and they will all be coming around with their hands out as soon as the parents have expired. Parents are in their 70's. Thank you in advance for your advice regarding this matter. Sincerely, Trent


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

You do have the option of filing suit against your parents for the money. The law prohibits you from forcing the sale of the home in order to pay the debt, but once you get a judgment you could put a lien on the property that would have to be paid before title could be transferred. As a practical matter, that could help you if your parents should pass away before the judgment expires. A judgment in Texas is good for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10.

Another option would be to ask your parents to voluntarily give you a lien on the property. They could sign something agreeing that, in exchange for your not suing them on the debt, they will give you a lien on the mobile home. That could be recorded and would allow you to get the money before the home could be sold. If you want to go that route, and they agree, it's a good idea to have a local attorney draft it to cover multiple scenarios. They could do that in a will, but wills can always be changed, so there's less protection for you.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
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