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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55703
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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We loaned $58000.00 to our children for home improvements on

Customer Question

we loaned $58000.00 to our children for home improvements on a house we sold to them for $1.00 (which they have not paid) now they are threatening to sell the house which is attached to our property (for well under market value) and move back to their old home (which has not sold and we are on the deed also) and put this property up for sale. We do not have a written contract with them but I have the full accounting of monies loaned, records from bank statements etc, and about a lot of witnesses including themselves which do not deny they owe the money
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tamera. My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today! It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Typically, transactions relating to real estate are required to be in writing to be enforceable. But, the lack of a written contract can be overcome by the concepts of promissory estoppel, detrimental reliance, and unjust enrichment. This situation arises when Person A relied upon the verbal agreement, Person A performed based on such reliance, and because Person B defaulted, such reliance is now to Person A's detriment. Where there is i) partial performance by Person A based upon the mutual promises, ii) Person A relied upon such promises to perform, iii) Person B's failure to perform would be to Person A's detriment, and iv) result in Person B being unjustly enriched, Person A can overcome the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing. Your situation satisfies all the foregoing elements. So, what I would do if they don't comply with your demands is to file suit on the debt they owe you and then, in conjunction with filing the suit, place a lis pendens on the property (which is a fancy term for a lien in this situation) which will prevent them from transferring clean title to anyone pending the adjudication of your suit.

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