Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Florida

My mother is in dispute with my sister over ownership of a property. My sister was purchasing the home, but never finished paying for it. She may have gotten my mother to sign a quit claim deed, under false pretenses of course, and states she owns the property. I know she actually didn't finish paying the payments, due to other financial problems she was having at the time. She took a "break" in payments,and never started back. My mother has no records of payments made, due to the nature of the "handshake deal with her daughter". I am unsure if my sister has account statements or canceled checks proving her payments made. How does my 80 year old mother go about, getting her last payments or taking back her home legally? under the Elder Care Law, Real Estate, or any attorney?

Asked on 8/30/13, 12:30 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

The dealings between family members can get ugly. If there was no value for the quit claim deed, it may be able to be reversed. If there was consideration it will be hard depending on what the false pretenses were. These are expensive pieces of litigation so be prepared to pay hourly to right this wrong. You mom needs to decide whether that money will be well spent or not.

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Answered on 8/30/13, 1:02 pm

Byron Petersen Byron G. Petersen P.A.

Your mother is entitled to file an action in Circuit Court entitled "action to quiet title".

Your mother is entitled to file an action in Circuit Court for fraud and to rescind any verbal or written contract for sale.

You mother is likely entitled to file an action in Circuit Court for the property to be "restored" to her (but she would have to refund payments already received less damages caused by your sister to the property)

Your mother can file a written demand that your sister leave the property followed by an ejectment action.

Your mother can file a typcial claim for breach of contract for damages equal to the payments she has not received.

Given your mothers age, she can likely file a claim for "undue influence".

There are several other claims available to your mother, as well.

The above is not a legal opinion upon which you or your mother may rely. A legal opinion can only be obtained and relied upon if you or your mother formally retains a Florida Attorney and meets with that attorney face to face. Legal Services in your county may also be available to assist.

Byron Petersen

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Answered on 8/31/13, 11:56 am

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