My boyfriend's grandfather broke his hip and entered a hospital and then a nursing home for rehabilitation. During that stay in the hospital, one if his sons tried to sell the house behind his grandfather's back without consulting his grandfather although his son was POA. The grandfather caught wind of the situation and changed the POA to his other son. However the process of selling the home was well underway and although the first son was no longer POA, the final papers were signed and he house was sold to a buyer for well under the estimated value of the home. In fact, the son even added all the contents of the home to the sale of the house. None of this info was disclosed to the grandfather or the other son for several months after the alleged transaction. Meanwhile, the locks were changed on the home and the current son with POA had to go to the other people (they were actually relatives of a current neighbor, with the police, to retrieve the new set of keys as the grandpa was released from the hospital and wanted to go home. Nothing was said by the "new buyers'" for several months after this suspicious sale. Now they have contacted a lawyer and are asking for almost twice their buying price in order to transfer the deed back to the grandfather. So basically he is living in a house that is no longer his according to county records. I cannot see how this can be a legal sale. To me, this is elder abuse and taking advantage of a man that was being hospitalized and had no knowledge of What was was going on. In fact, once he did find out the intentions of what was happening the other son was named POA so the final closing papers were not signed when the previous son was POA. This is in the State of KY but in a small town and they seem to not be getting anywhere with the lawyers there. This must be a fraudulent sale. What can be done in such an incident? Thanks
Son #1 (just for purposes of identification) was named in the Durable Power of Attorney and entered into a contract for sale of the house, with dubious power to do so despite the fact that GF was in rehab, but presumably still in control of his faculties and of sound mind?
Son #2 was named in the DPOA but was not aware of the sale until after execution of sale documents but before closing?
Apparently the transaction was closed and a deed was executed by Son #1 to the buyers, who are now suing for title as well as apparent damages? So whoever received the funds form the sale failed to return them?
There's potential fraud in the attempt by Son #1 to sell the house, in any execution of documents representing that he had the power to do so after the DPOA had been changed, and in the apparent retention of funds after the deed was executed.
One of the elements of proof of fraud is the INTENT to commit fraud. So Son #1 would have had to know that executing documentation after revocation of the DPOA would in fact be fraud.
Still, there are serious miscarriages of justice involved.
There's negligence on the part of the title company, which should have verified that Son #1 still had the power to sign the deed. Or perhaps it did so prior to revocation of the DPOA and Son #1 failed to advise the title company he no longer had authority? Or perhaps he forged GF's name?
Whether this is STRICTLY fraud, I don't know. I don't have the software to do a search for case law on the issues; this would have to be done by an attorney.
But the buyers are entitled to refund of their purchase price, if as I understand it, they paid for a house which they didn't get.
If Son #1 kept the funds, he is obligated to return them. The buyers' cause of action is against Son #1 and possibly the title company, and possibly the real estate company depending on whether or not the agent knew that Son #1 lacked authority at the time of execution of the Deed.
Was Son #1 notified that his authority was rescinded? Who accepted the funds at closing, and what was the disposition of them?
Your family needs a good real estate attorney, ASAP. I would look for one in a medium to large size firm which also has a litigation practice area. Avoid a single or small practice firm; they don't have the resources to consult each other or assign a real estate and litigator to work on the issues together.
Look for attorneys in larger cities, with larger practice areas. I would check the state bar association directory, then specific practice areas (real estate and litigation), then review different law firms' websites before contacting them to determine if they're even interested or would take the case.
It's really unfortunate that this happened while GF was in rehab - it must be a devastating blow to him that Son #1 could be so duplicitous.
I wish you luck and success in resolving this issue, but remember this: the buyer's attorney is likely asking for various damages, possibly threatening to sue, but generally good attorneys prefer to work out a settlement.
That would of necessity include refund of the purchase price, and probably some of the buyer's costs and/or emotional distress.