Deeds Titles My husband put my name on his hse when we married in 1986.

Deeds Titles
My husband put my name on his hse when we married in 1986. We divorced in 1992 and he pd me off for the hse. We reconciled, co habitated from 1993 to 2000. In 1998 he used a grant deed and put my name on the hse again as a single woman joint tenancy. Now he has served me papers with a quit claim deed saying he deeds the hse to himself as a gift, and no mention of me, or signature or agreement by me. Do these deeds affect the title? Am I still on title. If this deed took me off, why is he suing to Quiet Title back to 1992 when we divorced, attempting to unring the 1998 signature bell? I dont want to lose my interest in the house, but distance and financial contraints make the fight difficult. If he can just do it alone with a deed, why sue me? I must respond or lose. He has never attempted to neogotiate a buy out etc with me. What do I do, I have 2 wks. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Lt

5 thoughts on “Deeds Titles My husband put my name on his hse when we married in 1986.

  1. Re: Deeds Titles
    I wrote you briefly on Sunday about your situation. Here is the promised effort to give you a more complete analysis.

    First, everything prior to the 1998 grant deed is probably irrelevant. In court, those old facts would perhaps be admissible, but untimately they would at most be footnotes to the decision.

    The real case starts with the 1998 deed. The circumstances surrounding his giving it to you would be very relevant. Was it a pure gift? Was it to hide an asset from creditors? Was it in order to use your better credit to do a re-fi? Was there a promise that you would share mortgage expenses or do housekeeping chores? The answers to all of these questions, and others, showing the intent, motive, purpose, etc. and any side deals or understandings between the two of you could have a bearing on the deed’s validity.

    In addition, the deed’s “regularity” may have a bearing on its validity — it should describe the property and the interest therein conveyed with adequate clarity, and must be signed before a notary. Furthermore, for some purposes it must be recorded, but this is not necessary for the deed to be valid against the grantor.

    The suit that has been served on you probably reveals the ground or grounds upon which the validity of the 1998 grant deed is being challenged. You didn’t say exactly what he’s claiming, but you are right in thinking that you can’t un-ring this bell. A properly-drawn deed, not fraudulently obtained, becomes effective upon delivery to the grantee, and its effect canbe reversed only by another valid, signed instrument, or by court order.

    A person can deed property to himself, but only to the extent of his ownership. Deeds to one’s self are most often used to convert a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common, which eliminates the right of survivorship but not the ownership interest of the co-tenant.

    So, the deed to himself probably affects title by converting your joint tenancy to a tenancy in common, but you’re still a co-owner (I would assume from the facts given).

    He probably realizes that he can’t accomplish his “grab” by executing deeds alone, and that a court decree is necessary. However, since his legal grounds appear weak (from your facts) at best, he may be hoping that you won’t defend and he will get title by default.

    There is also the possibility that his claims are based upon ouster and adverse possession. One can’t get title against a co-tenant by adverse possession unless there has also been what is called an “ouster.” That means the co-owner in possession has effectively “kicked out” or denied the possessory rights of the owner out of possession by violence, threat of violence, intimidation, physical restraint, restraining order, or some similar means.

    Again, if you would FAX a copy of the suit and any deeds you have I’ll give you a better answer, and we could then (if you wish) discuss low-cost defense and representation over the phone. The FAX is (707) 523-4498.

    Bryan Whipple
    Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
    P O Box 318
    Tomales, CA 94971-0318

  2. Re: Deeds Titles
    This is a messy situation. Once you are put on title to property, you generally can’t be removed except by (i) signing a deed, (ii) foreclosure, or (iii) a legal action (including quiet title). Based on what you described, you probably have an interest in the property and should fight to defend it. If you ignore the lawsuit, the court can enter a judgment canceling your interest in the property. You should find a real estate attorney near the location of the property as soon as possible.

    Scott Schomer
    Schomer Law Group
    8740 Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 107
    Los Angeles, 90045

  3. Re: Deeds Titles
    I assume the property is located in California. You may have a claim against the property and him based upon appreciation in equity. Please contact our office at 714 363 0220 for consultaiton and review of the lawsuit your recieved and consultation. You will have to answer the complaint and perhaps file a cross-complaint.

    Larry Rothman
    Larry Rothman & Associates
    Orange, CA 92868

  4. Re: Deeds Titles
    What you do, why stop and see an attorney now. You want an attorney who is an expert in real estate in your area. Additionally, if there is a past history is that attorney has participated in dissolutions of marriage dealing with separate/community property issues it would be very helpful. If you only have two weeks what you waiting for. I would expect your two weeks is the 30 days in which to formally answer the complaint. You don’t waste time in this kind of situation as I am sure your husband is not going to be very cooperative with you since he is instigating these procedures to take you offer title.i have been practicing law in this speciality for over 30 years in the san francisco bay area and if you wish to consult with me you can contact me at 925-945-6000.

    Michael Olden
    Law Offices of Michael A. Olden
    1035 Alta Mesa Drive
    Moraga, CA 94556

  5. Re: Deeds Titles
    Your question came in at 10 p.m. Saturday. You deserve a full answer, and I’ll compile one for you tomorrow or Monday. In the meantime, it sure looks to me as though you are still a co-owner and the quiet title suit is bogus. Nevertheless any suit must be answered or you may lose by default. I will give you a full analysis based on your limited facts very soon. Meanwhile consider FAXing me a copy of the suit at (707) 523-4498 and we can discuss how to file an effective answer.

    Bryan Whipple
    Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
    P O Box 318
    Tomales, CA 94971-0318

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