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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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Money was owed to an individual so that person (we'll call

Customer Question

Money was owed to an individual so that person (we'll call him Joe) went through an attorney and put a lien on my property. A "dation" was put in place by his attorney until I could pay Joe money owed. I sold some of the property. Joe was paid in excess of $100K which included extra to pay for all legal fees. Almost a year later a lien was put on Joe for money he now owed to someone else. Joe's attorney never completed the necessary paperwork to remove the "dation" and Joe's name was still on my remaining property which now caused his lien to tie with my property. Some of my funds from the first sale were retained until Joe's lien was either paid to release my land or my funds were going to be used to pay off Joe's lien. None of the attorneys will do a simple correction of record showing my debt was paid to Joe prior to the lien placed on him. The attorney who was responsible for completing the release of the dation is now the DA. Are they covering up for him or is it really that difficult to just do a correction of record?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, this is not that easy to clean up at this point. You cannot just ask the attorneys to "correct the record" when there is an active lien/interest in your property by a third party - you can however file what is called a "quiet title action" to clear the cloud on title created by this latent lien against your property. Furthermore, in your quiet title action, you can ask the court to award you attorney's fees for the cost of pursuing this (assuming you actually do hire an attorney - which I would highly recommend) as the other side should have corrected this (remember, the other party is the one that is responsible for this, even though their attorney (the now current DA) is the one who should have removed it).As both you and the other party are likely to agree as to the statement of events, and you likely have sufficient documentation to support this, the third party claimant is unlikely to pursue this action too aggressively, but I would recommend hiring a lawyer in any event (it is going to be the fastest way to deal with this, and a quiet title action is notoriously difficult to prosecute as a "pro per" (unrepresented litigant) as it is a procedurally complex cause of action (there are a lot of very minute rules associated with the pleading stage that must be followed precisely in order to be successful).It is possible that this matter can be resolved out of court through negotiations, but hiring a lawyer ahead of time is still going to place you in the best position - even though you won't have a court order to force the issue, your attorney can still negotiate for your creditor to pay their fees as part of any resolution due to their error in failing to remove the lien against your property.