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J. Warren
J. Warren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2241
Experience:  Experience in residential real estate and commercial leases.
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What state are you in? In Florida. I'm not so sure it's as

Customer Question

What state are you in?
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: In Florida.
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: I'm not so sure it's as much real estate as it may be something else. I purchased my home in 2002 from my parents whom were both married. In 2005 my mom became ill and my dad filed for guardenship over her. In 2011 I took out a small loan, 50K on my home and the only way to get the financing was to have my dad sign and the bank said I had to go add him on the title at the court house here, so I did. Since then, my mom passed away in 2014 and my dad has been an awful person to me and all his family because of his new wife. I only owe 30K on it now and it has at least 100-120K in equity in it. My dad changed his and my mom's will and refuses to sign a quit claim deed. He knows full well he has paid NOTHING on my house. What can I do? He's 78 years old and controlled by this younger wife of his now.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Will it be useful to get a signed affadavit from my sister stating my dad only signed for loan purpose and I have paid everything. Or can I just sell the house and start over? IF I sell the house and start over will he be able to lie and get half the proceeds? He has turned into an awful person since being with this woman. Also, I married in 2005, but my husband is not on the title.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I was always sole owner and only one one the title and did not have a mortgage on it as I paid cash for to my parents in 2002. However, when I went to get a loan to do remodeling updates in 2011, that's when my dad signed and the bank told me I had to add him to the title/deed (or whatever it is at the courthouse here in our county), so I did. And, since then I have only been able to claim 50% of homestead exemption because my dad does not live here and NEVER paid a penny on my house or anything for it. They told me he claims homestead at his house so that's the way it will have to be until the loan is paid off. I never thought or worried until this woman. And, now I realize there is nothing or any paperwork, just good faith on my dad's part, that he was only on there for the loan purpose. So, do I start by going to the bank and ask to review my loan file and hopefully I will be able to find something in there stating they (the bank) made me put my dad on the title/deed in order to get the loan?
Expert:  J. Warren replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! 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:  J. Warren replied 6 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear about your situation. First, you need to review the deed on the property and determine if the deed states that you and he are joint tenants with right of survivorship. If the deed contains language that refers to holding the property jointly with rights of survivorship, then by operation of law on his passing the property goes to you and it doesn't matter what is in his will.

If the language on the deed states that the two of you are tenants in common, then that creates a not so simple solution to the situation. That would be mean that the interest is considered dividable and he could will his 50% to whom ever he wishes and on his death, that person now is a 50% owner. If that is the case, you should retain local counsel and begin working on negotiating him quit claiming his 50 to you. If that fails, you could try and resolve it through the probate of his estate when he passes.

All my best and encouragement. Thank you for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which truthfully addresses your question. Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Where and how do I find out about the language of the deed?
Expert:  J. Warren replied 6 months ago.

you should have received a copy of the deed when you closed on the loan. If you can not locate in your personal files, you may be able to find a copy of the deed online here: http://publicrecords.onlinesearches.com/Florida-Land-Records-and-Deeds.htm or go to your County website and look for record search.

If not, you can go to the County Recording Office and obtain a copy there.

The language will be in the first paragraph of the deed and will state something similar to the following: "X and Y, as joint tenants with right of survivorship".

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I got a copy of both deeds, when I purchased the house as a single person in 2002, which was a rental house of my parents. I bought the house for cash 48K. It was a "General WArranty Deed" by a title company at the closing. It states Made this March 4, 2002 AD by (my dad) and wife, (my mom) called the grantor, to (me), whose address is..., hereinafer called the grantee.However, in 2005 I married, but my husband was never put on the deed. And, in 2006 I applied for a home remodel loan with a local bank and the bank said I needed a co-signer so this is where my dad came in at. And, the bank said I had to change the deed to include my dad's name since he was going to be a co-signer, so I changed the deed on my own using wwwlawdepot.com. At the time I was only doing what the bank instructed in order to get the loan. And, that deed is called a Warranty Deed is dated Sept. 19, 2006 and says: As a Necessary Incident to the fulfillment of conditions contained in a title insurance commitment issued by it. Grantee: my name and my dad's name
The Warranty Deed Made this 19th day of September 2006, by (my name) of (my address) (the "Grantor"), to (my name) of (my address) and (my dad's name) of (his address of his and my mom's home where they claim homestead), (collectively the "Grantee"), in the state of Florida.
The property is homestead to the Grantor.
Together with all tenements, hereditaments and appurtenacnces thereto belonging or in anywise appertaining.
To have and to hold, the same simple forever.In witness whereof, the Grantor has executed this deed under seal on the date aforesaid. (my signature).So, what does this mean? Do, I need to get bank records from the bank with them stating they told me I had to do this JUST to have my dad co-sign? And, also get my bank records showing that I spent the monies on remodel AND have been the ONLY one paying the loan back, which is down to 30K now.
Expert:  J. Warren replied 6 months ago.

Florida law requires that a deed specifically state that title is to be held as joint tenants with right of survivorship and absent that language, title is that as tenants in common. This results in a dividable interest in property. Meaning each own 1/2 interest in the property and can transfer that interest via last will and testament or during their lifetime.

This is problematic for you. Arguable this was not your intent but you will have to convince a judge of this or your father with the help of a lawyer negotiating on your behalf or in some form of mediation. Yes, the fact the bank required this helps support an assertion that the intent was never for him to hold a transferable interest in the property. The fact you have been paying the loan as well can be presented. This is an equitable argument that your actions showed what the true intent was and that from a fairness standpoint, you should receive title to the house (you've made all the payments and improvements). However, this is not a matter that is clear cut as the document transferring title lacks the language that is required and a judge would weigh that heavily.

I suggest you retain local counsel to try and work out a solution prior to your father's passing. However, in the event of his death, this matter can be brought in the probate court to argue that his interest should not transfer to his surviving spouse or another named beneficiary.

All my best and encouragement. Thank you for allowing me to help you with your questions. I realize this was not the answer you were hoping to receive however I have done my best to provide information which truthfully addresses your question. Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.