Minor Child, Vacant House, Dead Parents, Help??? - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by Nate(DC) on July 16, 2002 at 12:37:42:

OK…so you got the owners’ name now. They’re not in the phone book…

There’s an article on this site by Joe Kaiser on finding the owners of abandoned properties. Read it. It has all sorts of good ideas.

Good luck,

Minor Child, Vacant House, Dead Parents, Help??? - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on February 19, 2001 at 12:13:42:

OK, here’s the deal from we can tell so far,

Husband and Wife owned a home. Husband dies of a heart attack. Wife get’s remarried. Wife and new husband have a kid together. Later the wife dies. New husband ends up with the house. New husband then get’s remarried again. New husband ends up dying leaving new wife with custody of kid. It appears that deceased husband “quit claim deeded” the house over to his minor child. A cousin of the family sues new wife to gain custody of the kid…and they win! Now the house is vacant because the cousin has legal custody of the kid who apparently has legal title to the house (the kid). Since new wife no longer has custody of the kid and would now have no legal interest in the house, the new wife splits town! The house is now vacant and the lender is foreclosing since no one has made any payments.

How could I go about getting the house signed over to me with a minor child being shown as the owner on record???

Could the child’s legal guardian sign off on this on behalf of the kid OR would all this have to go through the courts to get approval since the house is owned by a minor who’s parents are both deceased?

Here is what I was thinking of trying to do if we don’t have to go through any court procedures and the legal guardian could sign off on behalf of the minor child that owns the property:

Have the legal guardian deed the property into a trust naming the minor as the beneficiary (or would we name the legal guardian on behalf of the minor child as the beneficiary?) and then have them assign their beneficial interest over to me. I would then reinstate the loan, work out a deal to get the minor child something out of this since their is a lot of equity involved, then I would sell on a contract for deed to my buyer.

Can I do this or is this something that would get tied up in a bunch of court procedings to get approval to allow the legal guardians to sell on behalf of the minor???

Another idea was to see about buying the mortgage from the lender and then I would foreclose on the property. If I did that, would I be required to sell the property and give any of the proceeds above my costs involved to the minor child? I’m assuming that the property would have to go to sheriff’s sale first. If I was the high bidder than I would retain all ownership of the property where any proceeds from the sheriff’s sale in excess of my costs would go to the minor child? Is that correct? Assuming I was high bidder, then after that the house would be mine with no further obligations to give up any equity I gain from reselling after that point, would that be correct?

Any other ideas on how to handle something like this???

My friend had a similar situation… - Posted by Ben (NJ)

Posted by Ben (NJ) on February 19, 2001 at 18:53:41:

he foreclosed on a tax lien, got judgment. It was later discovered that an heir existed, a 10 year old kid. When the judge found out he not only vacated the judgment but gave the minor an INDEFINITE period of time to redeem. You think the courts bend over backwards for foreclosed home owners, wait until they encounter foreclosed children.

Oh Man JB - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on February 19, 2001 at 17:34:13:

Not being a legal beagle I’d buy the mortgage from the bank and then deal with the rest.

Title? who REALLY has it? - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on February 19, 2001 at 17:15:56:

I’d wonder at this point about who actually has legal title to the home.
I will not go thru the who had it when again, wow, lots of death in this family.
But, when the deceased father/husband filled out this quit claim deed to the kid, was it legal?
The suit about custody would not take title along with the kid.
And if the father/husband died, and the quit claim is found to not be valid, then the title should be split 50/50 between the kid and the widow. Depending of course whether or not their was a will and if not, how long the father was married to the wife.
So, does the missing wife still have a claim to this, and if so, if the kids gaurdian were to sign it over to you, would the widow have a later claim?
title insurance sure comes to mind here.
Buying this house at the sheriff’s sale, can you still get good title?
If it is clear because of the F/C, wiping the title, then this seems to be the best way to avoid problems later.

I’d just be REALLY careful here, and title would be my biggest concern, no matter “who” signed the agreement.

PLEASE share with us any further, this peeked my insterest,
Jim IL

Re: Complicated situation - Posted by BillW.

Posted by BillW. on February 19, 2001 at 16:41:05:

Just be real careful whatever happens. As I’m sure you already know, as soon as this gets going, someone will see that you are going to make a profit. Then that someone will go to the courts and say that you (the professional) are trying to take advantage of this poor unfortunate minor (you beast!) and they will drag your name into the dirt if they can (they will also take the money for themselves if they can). Unfortunately, the courts tend to lean towards the poor unfortunate minor, not towards you who is trying to help them get something. Just tread carefully or you might be in for trouble.

Re: - Posted by eric-fl

Posted by eric-fl on February 19, 2001 at 14:27:05:

I don’t even pretend to have a clue on this, but one thought I had - can a minor own real estate, period? I would question as to whether the quit claim would hold up in court or not. If the deed is not valid, I would guess a corrective action to cure the title would be needed. I would think that in order to deed property to a minor, it has to be put into a trust with an “of age” adult as trustee. Of course, I could be totally wrong, but I’d at least ask my attorney those kinds of questions.

Re: Title? who REALLY has it? - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on February 19, 2001 at 18:32:05:

At this point I’m assuming title was quit claimed to the kid. I ran a check on orange county title and it showed the name of the deceased husband had quit claimed the property to himself! Or so I thought at first, which didn’t make any sense to me. Then I found out that his kid has the same first and last name as the father so I’m assuming it means he quit claimed the thing over to his minor son right before he died.

As far as the new wife goes, she’s GONE! From what I heard she packed up and left the state, leaving a lot of furniture and TWO cars behind! She had four cars and took two with her. Everything else is left behind!!! The house is vacant, the city has turned off the water for non-payment, the bank holding the mortgage that is foreclosing is trying to locate the original woman that died because the mortgage is in her name. Get this. She WORKED FOR THIS BANK!!! While she was working for this bank and became ill the bank even allowed her to work at home, so they knew of her illness but evidently they don’t know she has been dead for several years now! LOL WIERD!!!

Hopefully I can track down the relative that has custody of the kid now and find more out about this mess!

Re: can’t find - Posted by memphis

Posted by memphis on July 15, 2002 at 23:13:51:

hey nate I’m a hands on kind of guy and it’s been my experience that i learn more that way in fact i did learn a little bit more than i did before i went in there and although i’m a “newbie” i’m learning everyday and i’m not afraid to ask questions no matter how silly they may sound to an experienced investor like yourself but i was asking questions about finding the owner of a vacant house if you can’t help me with your infinite wisdom than save your wise comments o.k. Nate Dog

Re: - Posted by Nate

Posted by Nate on February 19, 2001 at 14:46:51:

No, I think that sounds right. It would be the same as a quitclaim deed to a nonexistent person or corporation, or one that is not qualified to do business in the state, and could be declared void simply because the grantee is unable to legally take title…

But, even if that is the case, it will still need legal attention to clear it up.