Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California


I'm in a dilemma!

My home is up for sale and is due to close on the 29th of this month!

In Jan. 2012, my ex-husband and I entered into a stipulation to sell the house because he wanted his share of the equity.

That same month, our agent told us that our house was worth 160,000 leaving us with only $12,500 ea. after the 1st and 2nd loans were paid.

Well, to my surprise, I receive a call from my ex telling me he wanted nothing from the house because he knew I would eventually go into foreclosure and all he wanted was to save his credit. So, he asked me to schedule an appointment with a notary and we both signed a grant deed granting the property to me, a single woman.

1.5 years later, I could no longer continue making the mortgage, so I put the house up for sale. Well, the equity on the home is now 100,000 and he wants a piece of the pie!

Can he still be entitled to 50% of the equity even though he granted the property to me at his own free will?!

And, no we did not file a quit claim. So the title company requested a declaration from him stating he signed the grant deed, but when he signed said declaration, he presented the stip to them and now they're not sure which document supersedes the other. The sale is stalled and my buyers are getting nervous! Please help!

Thanks Mercy

Asked on 8/22/13, 3:41 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Don't these documents have dates on them? Also, if the grant deed to you is notarized but hasn't been recorded yet, there's nothing I can think of that'd prevent you from having it recorded now.

If necessary, you may need to file a quiet-title suit to have a court determine ownership, and based on the given facts, you should prevail. Such a suit would probably be a lot cheaper than loss of half the equity.

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Answered on 8/22/13, 4:04 pm

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I agree with Mr. Whipple.

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Answered on 8/22/13, 4:33 pm
William Christian Rodi Pollock

I would suggest you take all the documents to an effective real estate attorney. I agree there should be no restriction on recording the deed. If the title company is giving you difficulty, try another title company. ( and record the deed through them). A good real estate attorney should be able to help you navigate through this when all the documents and dates are in front of him of her.

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Answered on 8/22/13, 5:16 pm

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