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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 3 decades of experience in the legal field.
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In2007 my brother offered to buy me out of co owned real estate

Customer Question

In2007 my brother offered to buy me out of co owned real estate in Mass for $200k. I find out now that the property was budgeted in 2007 to be given $230k. With more later from the town for historical preservation. This info was withheld from me. Do I have a case? He received this$. The property may be worth 2 mil now.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good afternoon,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.
1. Can you prove that your brother knew that property was all set to receive the $230,000 for preservation and improvement and that he deliberately hid that fact from you during the negotiation of his purchase of your half of the property?
2. What sort of a partnership did you have with him on this property? Was there a formal partnership agreement or did you simply buy the property as tenants in common as an investment?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes i have proof he knew of the $230k. We were partners in a realty trust. Are statute of limitation past?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good afternoon,
I believe that there is a possibility that the statute has not run on a Breach of Contract claim based on Fraud as you were presumably not aware of the fraud initially.
In MA you have 6 years after the accrual of a cause of action to file a Breach of Contract suit. Where a cause of action for breach of contract cannot be discovered because it is based on an “inherently unknowable" wrong, the limitations period does not accrue until the injured party knows or should know the facts giving rise to that cause of action (Int'l Mobiles Corp. v. Corroon & Black/Fairfield & Ellis, Inc., 560 N.E.2d 122, 126 (Mass. App. 1990)).
Alternatively, if you were to sue for straight fraud, there would be a 3 year statute of limitations. Again though, the limitations period accrues when you first learned, or reasonably should have learned, of the misrepresentation by your brother. (McEneaney, 650 N.E.2d at 97).
Because there can always be a triable issue as to when you learned or should have learned of the fraud, you should consult with a local business law/contract law attorney in your area at your earliest opportunity as you may have only a short time to get a lawsuit filed.
You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
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I wish you and yours the best in 2015,