gifted money

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gifted money

My son bought a mobile home and put his fiance’s name on the loan. Her dad gave them money to put down on the loan. A week after the home was delivered she called the wedding off. We had 2 forms printed and had her sign them stating that she gave up all interest and that only if my son falls delinquent in the loan then she can keep from default and take property. These were notarized. The dad told us and my son that he didn’t owe him any thing and that it was a gift and he didn’t expect a thing back because he knew he wouldn’t have took a loan on know that this was going to happen. My son had to have trailer moved and has been paying the note for 5 months. Now the dad is angry with my son for not taking his daughter’s calls and threatening him with an attorney telling him that he has to pay him back.

Asked on January 2, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Money, once gifted, belongs to the recipient: the giver has no more rights to it, including a right to get it back. The giver cannot after the fact say it was a loan when there was no agreement before or when the money was given that it was a loan--that is, it's only a loan (not a gift) if the recipient accepted it knowing that he had to repay it. Based on what you write, it appears you son has no obligation to return the money, if it was a gift at the time it was given.


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