MY GRANDMOTHER WAS TRICKED OUT OF HER PORTION OF HER 2 FAMILY HOME AND SHE WANTS IT BACK NOW.

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MY GRANDMOTHER WAS TRICKED OUT OF HER PORTION OF HER 2 FAMILY HOME AND SHE WANTS IT BACK NOW.

MY GRANDMOTHER WAS TRICKED OUT OF HER PORTION OF HER 2 FAMILY HOME AND SHE WANTS IT BACK NOW. MY AUNT TRICKED MY GRANDMOTHER INTO SIGNING A DOCUMENT THAT RELINQUISHED HER RIGHTS TO HER HOME. MY MOTHER OWNS A PORTION OF THE HOME AS WELL. BEFORE MY GRANDMOTHER SIGN HER PORTION AWAY EACH PARTY OWNED A THIRD—AUNT1/3—MOM1/3—GRANDMOTHER1/3–AS IT STANDS TODAY MY AUNT OWNS 2/3 AND MY MOTHER OWNS 1/3. MY AUNT WANTS TO SELL AND MY GRANDMOTHER AND MOTHER DO NOT WANT TO SELL. HOW DO WE GET MY GRANDMOTHERS PORTION BACK AND PREVENT THE SALE OF THE HOME?

Asked on June 21, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can legally undo the transfer of your mother's share to your aunt if you can prove fraud, duress or mistake.  Again, you would have to submit proof of this to the court.

If you cannot do so (even if you can), in the case of multiple owners where one or more wants to sell but not all, the court could move to partition the property.  This would mean dividing the property.  However, if it's a two family home but one structure it would probably prove impractical to so divide (either physically or legally); in that case the court would either have you buy out your aunt's share, or order a sale of the property with the proceeds to be distributed proportionately.

What you need to do now is to consult with an attorney in your area and see what they advise as to how best to proceed. 

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The only way to seek your grandmothers's interest back is for her to file a lawsuit seeking a rescission of the deed transfer in which she signed her interest over to your aunt. You would have to prove that the transfer was illegal due to fraud, coercion, duress on the part of your aunt or that you grandmother signed it by mistake thinking it was some other document.  This is not an easy standard to meet unless your grandmother is suffereing from some mental incapacity or was in ill health. In order for your aunt to force a sale, she would have to file a partition action which in essence seeks her 2/3 portion of the premises. Your grandmother in turn could at that point file a counterclaim seeking rescission of the deed transfer instead of filing a separate action. However even if your grandmother successfully defends her claim, your aunt would still be able to get the house sold and get her share unless you could prove extreme hardship. You in all likelihood would have to come up with money to buy out your aunt. I suggest you speak with a real estate attorney in your locality to better advise you on how to proceed.   


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