Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

real estate

my father died several years ago, however, i paid the mortage all those years, now the property has been recovoyed to him the mortage was in my father. what can i do

Asked on 6/10/09, 11:14 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Re: real estate

Your lawyer would file papers with the court for what is called "quiet title."

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Answered on 6/10/09, 11:45 am
David Gibbs The Gibbs Law Firm, APC

Re: real estate

I'm totally unclear on what you are asking. What is "recovoyed"? That's not a legal term. If you mean "reconveyed", then you have a problem, and either you need to go back into probate court and have the property transferred to you, or as Mr. Stone suggested, file a lawsuit to quiet title to the property. Either way, you are going to have to retain an attorney, as there is no non-judicial means of transferring that property without a deed signed by your deceased father.

*Due to the limitations of the LawGuru Forums, The Gibbs Law Firm, APC's (the "Firm") participation in responding to questions posted herein does not constitute legal advice, nor legal representation of the person or entity posting a question. No Attorney/Client relationship is or shall be construed to be created hereby. The information provided is general and requires that the poster obtain specific legal advice from an attorney. The poster shall not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice nor as the basis for making any decisions of legal consequence.

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Answered on 6/10/09, 12:04 pm
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: real estate

Quieting title only works if you are "entitled" to hold title, and is only necessary if someone or something stands in the way of your obtaining clear title "of record" by some other means. Probably you have good title, but let's start at the beginning:

First, paying the mortgage, by itself, doesn't give you legal ownership. There are at least four ways you could have become legal owner, however, which would give you a good chance to obtain title in yourself, whether by quiet title suit or a simpler means:

1. If you held title with your father as joint tenants, you would have become sole owner "automatically" upon his death, and could get the public records squared around to show that by filing a couple of simple forms with the recorder - no trip to court required, at least probably.

2. If your father had a will, you could have inherited the house, and a probate proceeding in court would have been needed (probably) to determine that you were indeed the intended heir and to place title in your name.

3. If your father had a living trust, the trust document will be your guiude as to waht to do; if it named you the successor trustee and beneficiary, a lawyer can straighten out title for you, probably without a court proceeding. If a trust named someone else as trustee or beneficiary (heir) with respect to the house, things get difficult.

4. If "none of the above" seems to fit, i.e., no will, no trust, no joint tenancy, the rules of "intestate succession" will apply. If you are the only surviving child, you will probably inherit everything, but a probate proceeding will be necessary.

You should take any papers you have to a local attorney who does probate work or handles wills, trusts and estates and get a free initial consultation to determine where you stand and what's the cheapest and fastest way to get title in your name.

The reconveyance to your (deceased) father is just the mortgage lender's way of acknowledging that the loan is fully paid and it is giving back its collateral.

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Answered on 6/10/09, 12:05 pm
Chris Johnson Christopher B. Johnson, Attorney at Law

Re: real estate

If title was held in your father's name alone, a probate would be required. The property would pass according to his will, if any, and if not, then to his heirs (his children in equal shares, if he was unmarried at the time of his death).

If there are other heirs involved, you may be entitled to some reimbursement for the payments you made, which could be offset by the rental value of the property if you lived there.

The probate process will give you (and any other heirs) clear title to the property.

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Answered on 6/10/09, 12:46 pm

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