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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102162
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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I really am asking this question friend...but I bet you've

Customer Question

I really am asking this question for a friend...but I bet you've heard that before...LOL!
A friend of mine is purchasing a house from an acquaintance he met through a mutual friend. Anyway they signed an Agreement of Sale for the acquaintance's house for 100k, the house is in pretty serious need of repair and my friend intends to repair and flip the property. The 100k is under market by about 100k, but the house needs about 50k worth of work.
After getting to know the acquaintance, my friend is now afraid the acquaintance is on medication, either prescribed or not, and the acquaintance could come back at some point in the future and say ....I wasn't of sound mind. Is that a real possibility?
Appreciate any insight - thx! Eileen
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

There is always a possibility that he may do this. There is no way to stop him from attempting this. However, the chances of him succeeding are slim.

You are referring - no doubt - to the doctrine that a person who does not mental capacity when signing something is not bound by it. The law of PA makes clear that a contract is created where there is mutual assent to the terms of a contract by the parties with the capacity to contract. Taylor v. Stanley Co. of America, 305 Pa. 546, 553, 158 A. 157 (1932).

However, the contract is presumed valid. It is up to them to file a complaint for declaratory judgment to void it, and they would have to prove by CLEAR evidence that they lacked mental capacity. This means medical experts, witnesses, etc. And the drug had to have been so powerful that they really did not understand what they were signing.

Most Judges/juries are skeptical of such claims, and barring expensive witnesses and a lawsuit, this would likely fail.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never rated positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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