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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 118812
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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I posted the question below in February 2014. We were

Customer Question

I posted the question below in February 2014. We were unsuccessful in blocking the sale of the home because we were unable to find a signed copy of my grandmother's will. So my uncle's wife sold the house this month, and the new owners just served my parents
with an eviction notice. I would like some advice on what can be done to ensure my parents can remain in the house for as long as possible. I would also like to know if we use the prescribed tactics, how many months my parents can expect to remain in the house
if they choose fight the eviction process - even if they know they cannot ultimately win. The house is in Brooklyn, New York. Lastly, I'd like an estimate of how much this might cost. == OLD QUESTION FOR REFERENCE == Questions: 1 - What can I do to immediately
prevent and/or delay a sale of the house until this issue is sorted out? (I don’t want my uncle’s wife to be able to 1) sell the house 2) keep all the proceeds and 3) evict my parents) Given that my grandmother has passed away, 2 - How would we go about (what
are the exact steps) of challenging the sale of the home nearly 10 years after it occurred? 3 - How does the loan my uncle’s wife being in default impact everything? Context: My parents have been renting one floor of a 3 family home for the past 35+ years
in Brooklyn, New York. The house was owned by my grandmother who passed away in January 2014. My grandmother lived on second floor. My family lived on the first floor. And my uncle lived in the basement with his wife. About 10 years ago, my grandmother was
in the hospital (we thought she was going to die). After she recovered, we learned that my uncle got my grandmother to put the house in his name. He then subsequently transferred ownership of the house to his wife, xxxxx. So xxxxx currently owns the house
even though she didn’t pay for it. xxxxx then took out a $150K loan on the house which she has failed to repay. I believe the loan is currently in default. Before my grandmother passed away, my mother hired a lawyer to look into the matter. They ran out of
funds to pursue the case to completion. However, in the process, my grandmother participated in 2 depositions (I’ve both read and have a copy of both depositions), wherein she stated she had 1) no idea what she was signing and that 2) she never intended for
her house to go to only one of her children - particularly because she had 5 children. Also, the signatures on all of the house transfer paperwork are very different than all the copies we have of my grandmother’s signature. I recently learned that xxxxx is
trying to sell the home. If she is successful in doing so, she will not only prevent my aunt’s and uncles from receiving their portion of my grandmother’s home, but she will also be able to evict my parents. My parents are both in their mid 60s and are not
in a financial situation to find a new home in New York City. I however, have some funds, and I’d like to know the most effective and financially prudent way to 1) prevent the sale of the home and have the home 2) void the sale and 3) have the house transferred
equally to all of my aunts and uncles. Please respond if you’ve dealt with such a matter in the past.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Now that you have already lost the will contest, the number of options have now reduced for your parents. Unless your parents discover some evidence of ownership that could be used to appeal the previous court decision and get the judgment and thus the sale vacated, your parents' only shot is to object to the eviction suit. In objecting to the eviction they could get 1 or 2 continuances as the NYC housing court is busy, but quite honestly, the most they can buy themselves on an eviction is maybe 2 months, 3 months maximum

An eviction suit, once ownership is decided, moves quickly even with continuances.

Your parents could hire an attorney to challenge the sale as invalid and take the new owners to court and argue their purchase was not a valid or legal purchase. The problem with this tactic is that while it would buy them maybe a year or more, when they lose the case, they will be looking at paying their own attorney's fees of likely about $10,000 PLUS the other party's attorney's fees. So it may not be a cost effective means of keeping them in the property.