Can someone put property in your name without your knowledge or consent?

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Can someone put property in your name without your knowledge or consent?

My mother is being sued for contract indebtedness for a piece of property she has never seen and never asked to have her name on. Her sister, who is currently in jail awaiting trial for mortgage fraud, put the property in my mother’s name via a warranty deed. The mortgage company has now filed a lawsuit and listed my mother as a defendant. My mother was never notified of her name being listed on property until she started receiving property tax bills for the land. She hired a lawyer to file a quit claim deeded the land back to her sister. How can some assign property to you without permission?

Asked on May 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No one can force you to accept property--period. Whether it's a gift, an inheritance, or a scam, you cannot be made to take any asset--including real estate--without your knowledge and consent. Your mother may wish to consult with another real estate attorney--it's not clear that she even needs to quit claim the property back; the proper response may be to simply get a court order that the transfer was null and void from the beginning ("ab initio"). Indeed, quit claiming it back could possibly reinforce that the transfer was valid: you can't quit claim something you don't own, after all. (At least, that's what I'd argue if I were the mortgage company's lawyer, which might allow me to still go after your mother.) So it would be a good order to get a second opinion as to the best course of action, based on all the unique circumstances of this case.


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