Real Estate Rip Off - Posted by Carolyn

Posted by Terry L. Trimble on July 10, 2003 at 24:49:43:

Sorry for the late posting. Please note that while a rule called the Statute of Frauds provides that contracts for the sale of real estate are supposed to be in writing, there are many exceptions to the rule. One of these exceptions is the doctrine of part performance. The Staute of Frauds is intended to prevent someone from claiming a contract existed where it didn’t. Where, however, a party spent significant money performing part of the (alleged) contract, courts sometimes conclude that that party never would have done so much if there had not been a contract. Put differently, the doctrine of part performance ignores the Statute of Frauds where the party alleging a contract existed has already partially performed the contract.

The logic of this rule is a bit circular, but this doctrine has nonetheless been around for centuries. Be sure to ask your attorney about this if he or she hasn’t suggested it.

Good luck.

Real Estate Rip Off - Posted by Carolyn

Posted by Carolyn on July 01, 2003 at 15:08:35:

Two years ago, my live in boyfriend made an agreement with someone that the both of us have known for a very long time to purchase a house. The home owner offered to finance the house for us and we agreed on the terms. One of the things we had to do was totally renovate the entire house in order to be able to make it livable. The renovations were our responsibility and we spent a long time and a lot of money and did most of the work ourselves. Now, my common law husband has moved from our house back to California and the home owner has told me to move out. First of all, I invested a lot of time and money into a home I thought I was buying, second, he only gave me about 1 1/2 weeks to vacate and I have a daughter and no place to go. Does he owe me money? Can he really just make us move when we had a deal? Time is very important, and unless I am entitled to money for the repairs, I don’t have money to even move. Because I am a single mom, I have many strugles, and can’t afford to be cheated by someone just because I can’t afford legal representation.

Re: Real Estate Rip Off - Posted by Tom-FL

Posted by Tom-FL on July 01, 2003 at 17:53:55:

  1. What state are you (and the house) in?
  2. Is your name and signature on all the contracts?
  3. Are you in default on the payments?
  4. Are you in default on any other terms?
  5. Does the contract have any verbiage to the effect you must both be living there to execute?
  6. Do you have the deed, or is it a land contract or a lease/option?

Gather that info, and perhaps one of the legal eagles here can point you in the right direction.

Regardless of all that, call legal aid, at least for a consultation.

Re: Real Estate Rip Off - Posted by Carolyn

Posted by Carolyn on July 02, 2003 at 02:53:22:

I am in Texas. There have been no late payments. I’m not in default of any other terms to the best of my knowledge. There was never anything mentioned about the both of us having to live there in order to execute. Here is the big problem, I was told that the contract was prepared, but I never signed anything and my boyfriend says he didn’t either that at this point it was only a verbal agreement. I can’t imagine after investing several thousands of dollars that there would not be something I could do.
Thanks for any information you can help me with. I can’t believe I thought I could trust a friend. I usually would try to make things more offical. Stupid me.

Re: Real Estate Rip Off - Posted by Tom-FL

Posted by Tom-FL on July 02, 2003 at 11:46:26:

Looks like it’s going to be a hard road. Most places, real estate contracts MUST be in writing to have any force. I’ll reiterate my suggestion to find some counsel immediately. Try legal-aid, and also, the bar association. Lawyers are required to do a certain amount of pro-bono (free) work. Maybe if you call enough of them, something will give. Time is short though, so start now. Evictions can go amazing fast once they get started.