Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Do I need a lawyer in order to claim the surplus funds from my father's trustee's sale of real property?

Asked on 9/24/13, 10:37 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

William Christian Rodi Pollock
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That depends on why your father doesn't claim the funds.

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9/24/13, 10:42 am
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
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I'm going to assume that your father is deceased and that's why there is a trustee with the power to sell the property. If that's accurate, my opinion would be that retaining a lawyer might be necessary or at least beneficial if either (1) the trustee is not conducting himself/herself/itself properly and is failing to do what's required under the terms of the trust, or (2) the trustee has genuine and honest reasons for withholding pay-out of the surplus funds. The reasons might include some provision in the trust document itself as to when the trust terminates and the cash from sale of property is to be distributed, or something that casts genuine doubt on the amount that can be distributed, or to whom. In any event, you can start with an initial conference with a lawyer, which usually would be at no charge, and the lawyer can then explain whether or not a lawyer's services would be beneficial, and maybe give you a guesstimate of the time and cost. Maybe a phone call or a letter from the lawyer to the trustee will suffice......or possibly a lawsuit might be necessary. Let's hope it's just a misunderstanding or communication difficulty.

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9/24/13, 10:58 am
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach
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I actually think you are talking about a surplus of funds after a foreclosure sale conducted by the exercise of the power of sale in a deed of trust by a trustee. If so, then I think you need to at least consult with an attorney.

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9/24/13, 11:52 am

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