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I owned a house with two other siblings and sold it. I have…

I owned a house...

I owned a house with two other siblings and sold it. I have now received a letter from a lawyer demanding we sign a quit claim to a large hospital who has now bought the house and land because a portion of the plat was omitted from the sale when the buyers purchased the house from us. I am not sure why the lawyer is not seeking to address this omission with the last owner and make it right with them -- whatever that entails. Please advise why we are being threatened with a law suit if I don't sign.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

No. But my 2 siblings, without contacting me first, have signed the paperwork. I do not want to be involved until I know that the buyer has been informed of the omission and wants to handle it this way. It is their land, not ours.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the house located?

In Morrison, Illinois.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No, that's the gist. Thank you.

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/19/2018
Attorney Wendy
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 551
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. I am working on a response and hope to have that to you shortly.

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This is probably a situation of the attorney who sent you the quitclaim deed sounding more hostile than need be. It sounds like when the sale as done from you to your buyers the plat left out a portion of the land. Since that is the case, ownership of that part of the land is unclear and title is what would be termed cloudy. Thus, a future buyer, when they perform a title search to ensure that the seller actually has ownership of the property being sold, that title search will uncover anything that might make it unclear that the buyer does own the property. If you and your siblings intended to sell the entirety of what you owned in the property and not to keep a small portion; then the quitclaim deed is a method to clear up that title. It is a way of saying - I have no ownership in that part of the property and it was intended to be transferred to our buyers. That way when the next buyer comes in they now know for sure they will own the entire property after the sale.

If a lawsuit was mentioned in the correspondence from the lawyer, it likely was a quiet title action. These lawsuits are used to clean up title/ownership with prior owners cannot be contacted or will not sign off on a quitclaim deed acknowledging that they sold all their interest in the property and will not come back later claiming they own it or any portion of it.

Thus, if you and your siblings intended, when you sold, to sell everything you own, your signing the quitclaim deed is likely the best course of action. This also avoids the situation where you believed you sold everything but because the plat was incorrect you actually still own a portion of it which could down the road subject you to property tax liability, liability for any injuries on the property, etc. So, it also protects you to clear up this ownership/title issue. Just be sure that you do not and did not plan to continue any ownership of the land in question before signing.

I hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Attorney Wendy
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 551
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Attorney Wendy, thank you so much for your clear and easy to understand answer. I have been concerned about the ramifications of leaving the people we sold the house to out of the equation when it is clear the error concerned property they should have had, but didn't, because of someone's error. If I do not have to worry about them coming to us later, if they find out an error was made, and suing me and my sibling, then I am okay with signing off on the document. Yes, the portion of land in question was indeed intended to be sold to the family who purchased the house from us. Again, my thanks.Mark

I totally understand your concern; signing the quitclaim actually protects them as it says, yes, they should've owned that all along.

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