I bought a Condo for my Mother, several years later I quit deed, giving her the house under a life estate with deed reverting to me upon death. Later she wanted cash through a reverse mortgage and I told her it was her house, just take me off any connection to the property. I needed to provide her a power of attorney to get the loan and take me off the deed. However it seems she didnít take me off the deed.
When taking out the mortgage she was under the impression that none of her survivors would be responsible for any fees, or taxes or mortgage balances. When I contacted the lender after her death we informed them we didnít want to deal with the house and also asked if we needed to pay for anything including the condo fees. They stated that they were responsible for all fees including the Condo Fee.
This past week I received a letter from the condo associations attorney with an Amended Claim of Lien for the fees, late fees and legal fees attached, threatening legal action that was not limited to the foreclosure of the property. The old lender has since resold the mortgage and the new lender stated they werenít responsible for the condo fees beyond any lien repayments (They have since become more resistant to speaking with me as they state Iím not on the loan Ė After I gave them the letter). The association plans to foreclose and rent the property until the reverse mortgage lender sues which they believe will be 2-4 years. What is my risk and what is my recourse?
2 Answers from Attorneys
You need to take the paperwork and see a lawyer YESTERDAY. You may have liability for taxes and fees until the lender forecloses, and depending on what was done with the loan and the power of attorney, may have liability there too. (You also may not depending on what's in the papers).
A phone call to the lender doesn't help. Let a lawyer look at your papers to be sure.
Your first paragraph indicates you did not really know what happened with the deeds and ownership, and did not take steps to make sure the transactions you thought were being made were handled correctly. The rest of the story, and your questions, depend on what actually happened with ownership, etc. We don't know. You'll need to see a lawyer to review all of the documents, and perhaps do a title search.