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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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I have a problem regarding my mothers home in upstate NY.

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I have a problem regarding my mother's home in upstate NY. Mom has basically taken care of my brother his entire life. He will be 54 in Sept. He is an alcoholic and she basically has never made him stand up and be responsible for himself. Five years ago, she got it into her head that she wanted to buy a 2 family house for my brother to live in with his adult son. (My cousin and her adult daughter occupy the other apartment) Neither my brother nor my nephew are gainfully employed on a continuous basis. My nephew doesn't work at all and my brother works menial jobs that he secures through temp agencies or through the WEP workers program. My cousin collects social security and her adult daughter has a small child so she gets public assistance. My cousin and her daughter make their rent payments, the issue is that in the past couple of months it has come to my attention that my brother periodically has trouble paying his share of the $500 mortgage on the house. My cousin and her daughter pay $250 per month and my brother is supposed to pay the other $250 per month. Even when he was living in various apartments mom would end up having to come up with his rent money on occasion when the landlord threatened eviction. I don't know why she thought purchasing a home for him would make him behave differently. He has been one month in arrears for the last 3 months. In the meantime Wells Fargo Bank is calling my mother regarding this delinquency. My mother's physical and mental health has diminished dramatically in the last 18 months. She is not able to speak to the bank. This now falls in my lap. Since I got power of attorney last month I have been trying to figure out how to proceed. I decided that as tenants my relatives should have leases. I set up 2 separate bank accounts in moms name so that my brother and cousin can deposit the money into the bank and then I would electronically transfer the money to Wells Fargo. (Previously they were sending money orders and the money was getting to the bank well after the grace period). My cousin has signed her lease and mailed it back to me. My brother has not and I have not heard from him on this matter. Is it legal for him to live in mom's home and be under no obligation to have to pay anything? I realize the mortgage belongs to my mom but there was a verbal agreement between mom my cousin and my brother that they would pay the mortgage. She basically just purchased the property because they could not qualify for a mortgage. Mom has limited income. $800 social security and $400 pension check. What can I do to force my brother to sign this lease and keep up with his payments. I set up the leases because I feel if they cant pay then they should be evicted like any other tenants. Because I have power of attorney I just want to protect her asset. It would be irresponsible of me to just let the house go into foreclosure if they don't pay although that is what my gut is telling me to do. I have a place to live so what do I care if they choose to not pay their rent and end up in the street.

Thanks for your question and good evening.My symapthy here for your situation and dilemma.

You would have to open up a guardianship for your mother here to be able to file an eviction type suit.Otherwise as the legal owner she would have to be the party to file for eviction.

I know that it is hard here to let the house go but this may be the best thing given the situation and your mother's limited resources.She would need a local lawyer here if she were to file for eviction or a guardianship to allow you to do so.

I am not sure if your mother can move here to an apartment or other living arrangements but this may be her best option.If she were to let this go into foreclosure she is basically judgment proof.If the lender were to get a deficiency judgment it may be collectible.

You could contact the lender here to see if they would agree to a deed in lieu where you deed the property back to lender.That might be an option to get her out of this tough situation.

Again the other options are going to require a lawyer either to obtain guardianship or to evict the brother.You may want to start with contacting the lender to see if they would accept a deed in lieu here and take back the property.This avoids any deficiency judgment they just take title and that's it.

It has been my pleasure to assist you tonight.I appreciate the chance to do so.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.


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This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.Information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.

RayAnswers and other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

Here is guardianship information..

As a guardian here you would have legal standing to file for eviction..

It is a possible option for you..


You may also want to contact legal aid.


Legal aid may be able to provide you guardianship and eviction legal assistance.She should qualify for it based on her limited income..


Thanks again for letting me help you tonight..

I appreciate the chance to provide you information here.