My brother and first wife divorced after 9 years or so. My brother married another lady, after that 13 years have passed. Now my brother and wife have sold their home and told my 80 and 82 year old parents that they need to find another place to live. They do not have money for a down payment so they are forced to rent or purchase a small condo with a 30 year old mortgage. It is getting very stressful for my parents and my brother and his 2nd wife will only text and email us and my parents. My parents helped raise his 3 children being a built in sitter and a built in dog sitter. We siblings believe mom and dad deserve 60,000.00 from proceeds of sale. They sold property to my brother for 85000.00 and then my parents paid 81000.00 for retirement area and shed. Property sold for 259900.00 this week. Thoughts?

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GA and igloo, bravo! What a large source of great information.

I know nothing about real estate but Schulz, I do know your brother is a jackass. He did your folks "dirty" and needs to be held accountable. I agree, quickly contact a real estate attorney.

Since he refuses to speak to any family member, I'd love to see his face when he opens the e-mail that he's being sued! 😮

Obviously he stood behind the door when consciences were being passed out.

Get him and make him pay!
Helpful Answer (3)

Garden - I think property sold this week. It’s at the very tail end of post.
So if that’s the case & act of sale is done, filed, recorded, 260k proceeds paid.

Schultz1 - at $260k I imagine the buyers got a mortgage. If so almost always mortgage lender will require property be sold via a Warranty Deed. WDs almost always have Title insurance, which means title co did a deep dive into property history to uncover any issues - like liens, clouds, etc- that would be an concern for lender. If WD done, there’s imo nothing at the courthouse regarding parents funds or lien or rights on the property. So that route is closed.

BUT They could consider themselves tenants and refuse to move. This is when bills, etc show the house to be a giver permanent legal address & for years.  The new owner would have to do an eviction process & sheriffs dept usually does these but if there’s issues with tenants... like their handicapped, on oxygen, blind, limited mobility... sheriffs dept has to get APS involved. It will morph into a hot mess. Your folks have to refuse to budge...... they can’t both go anywhere..... cannot leave premises. Are they mad & determined enough to make this happen?
This gets additional sticky as new owner can seek damages from your Brother & Wf2 for non disclosure of existing tenant. Or if the title insurance has an error & omissions clause, the title co has to deal with this. Someone would need to pay them to leave.

You have any idea who the a Realtor groups were for both buyer & seller? 
If so, there’s likely 1 or 2 Title companies that are always & only used. If you have  a pal who is a Realtor they can find this info out. Knowing who it is will come in handy to casually name drop in a conversation. 
Helpful Answer (2)

This does get complicated, doesn't it?

1. There's really no point in chastising your brother for his unconscionable actions. A lot of us here face similarly noncontributory members of the family, and that rarely changes (from what I've read). At this point, I'd focus more on financial balance and remediation.

2. Do your parents have financial records to document the $81K cost of the addition to your brother's house? Did they pay the operating costs and a portion of the property tax bills and/or any assessments? I.e., all documents relating to the costs for addition, including tax bills, water bills, etc.? Were there separate bills such as for the water, heat and electricity?

3. If not, did your parents pay operating costs on a square footage basis, such as a 25% portion if the addition consisted of 25% of the total square footage?

If so, organize the documentation and bills, and sum up the costs, not only for the initial addition but for the operating costs of that specific addition, through the sale date, and during the period during which the sale is pending.

4. Was there any type of operating agreement or lease for their portion of the house?

5. When they sold the house, were your parents interests extinguished? I.e., did the title read that the new owners (fee holders, presumably) were your brother and wife, or did your parents retain any fee/ownership interest in the house? If so, this makes a big difference in allocation of sale proceeds?

Also, if they did retain any interest, they would have had to sign the listing and sale agreement and would have to sign any warranty deed to the new owners. MAKE SURE THEY DON'T SIGN ANY WAIVER OF THEIR RIGHTS!!

6. I'm also wondering if the realtor who handled the sale is aware that they're living there, and that they contributed to the cost of the addition? If not, I think the realtor should be aware of this, at least that they're living there as tenants should to be factored into possession by the new owners.

I'm just speculating here, b/c I have more experience in commercial than residential real estate, but I'm wondering that, since they financed a portion of the house, what rights do they have in regard to its sale? E.g., if your brother had the addition built, most likely he would have had to hire a contractor. Yet if your parents hired the contractor, they footed the cost, and expended funds to upgrade and make the house more valuable. This could be a major issue legally.

This may turn on how title and specifically when title was transferred to your brother and wife? Since the addition was built after brother took title, I'm wondering how the costs of the addition would legally be considered then, and now? I.e., would building an addition to a house automatically convey some level of ownership rights?

This is DEFINITELY a legal question for a skilled real estate attorney.

7. If they signed a lease and agreed to pay certain occupancy costs (taxes, utilities, etc.,) would that have given them some level of long term interest (not necessarily ownership) that could give them rights to any sale or move out or occupancy date?

8. If they signed a lease, there might be notice to quit (i.e., get out) requirements in the lease that need to be factored into giving them adequate/legal notice on how long they have before the house can be occupied by the new owners.

9. The fact that they're relatives and older people might also make a difference. Kicking them out w/o adequate time is probably legally close to elder abuse.

10. Getting a new mortgage when in the older years of life isn't always easy; they would have to have sufficient investments to cover the cost of the mortgage so that the lender is guaranteed relief if death occurs to either one of them and the mortgage can't be maintained in good standing (i.e., payments kept up).

11. I think you'll need to get an appraisal of the current value of the addition, as I'm sure the value has increased. This would give you an additional assessment of the value your parent's retirement addition consists of in relation to the sale, as well as an additional negotiating point.

For example, if the addition at the time it was built increased the value of the house by, say, 20%, then I would think that 20% of the sale price of $259,900 should be paid to your parents. If the addition increased the value of the house by, say, 35%, they should get 35% of the $259,900. This just seems equitable.

12. What's the status of the sale? Has a closing date been set yet? Given that your parents lived there, as occupants, they'll need to be considered when the closing takes place and time allowed for them to find another place to live.

13. I'm assuming also that the addition still exists and factored into the sale price. I believe they would be entitled to an updated portion of that addition, and a realtor advisor could provide that kind of an estimate.

14. I haven't read a noncommercial home real estate sale agreement in years, but as I remember, there were allowances for any tenants, who had to be factored into the outside departure date before the new owners could take possession.

15. Your parents have rights, and I would suggest getting a real estate attorney to enforce them. This isn't necessarily an elder law issue, so I would stick with someone familiar with real estate law and tenancy.

And I would find an attorney fairly quickly, particularly before the closing date is set as I suspect an attorney is going to have to put pressure on your brother and wife, if not get an injunction halting the sale until you parents have found alternate living arrangements and/or until an equitable financial agreement is reached.

If you don't know any real estate attorneys, contact (a) the state bar association or the (b) local bar association and get names of "real property" or "real estate" attorneys, then call them to find out if they'll consider becoming involved. Sometimes the fear of legal involvement puts the fear of elder abuse into potential targets, and can bring them to the negotiating table.

I apologize for the length and sometimes disjointed comments; it's often hard to mentally speculate on all the aspects of a transaction such as this. If anything I've written doesn't make sense, please feel free to let me know and I'll try to address it.
Helpful Answer (1)

Sitting tenants come to mind.
What happens if they refuse to move? (in the mean time get the lawyer, contact local councilman, newspapers etc. )

Fight back. What a slug your brother has turned out to be. Squash him. Out of what he got for the place 60k is nothing!
Good luck.
Helpful Answer (2)

Get a lawyer for mom and dad if brother won't play ball. That's sad, to sue your own family, but we see this kind of thing over and over.

If brother won't play ball, it sounds like he already knows he's done something pretty wrong.
Helpful Answer (2)

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