update on previous prisoner.. - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by Kristine-CA on June 02, 2005 at 23:51:53:

Thanks for your message. You’ve confirmed all my fears that a lot of
advice about clouding title is just hear-say. I’ve been thinking of
adding an MOA to the contract signing as well.

Problem for me is that it is already difficult enough to get the sellers I
work with to get their contract back to escrow. These are the same
people who haven’t dealt with their non-performaing asset for years.
They don’t just all of the sudden change their ways and jump in the car
and find a notary. The bulk of the people I work with do not need the
money asap. They are not motivated at all. They just feel
obligated to take of business they have put off for a long time. They
don’t live in town or even in the state. They already have a primary
residence and a job. The property is just one of things they’ve been
meaning to deal with…forever. I think my niche is “I’ll think about it
tomorrow” sellers. Takes weeks for them to sign the contract and drop
it off at Fed-ex (with a prepaid mailer and phone number for a free
pickup). Takes weeks for them to sign the escrow docs and deeds
and return them.

There have been a few probate deals where the heirs need the money
yesterday. But for the most part my deals are people who never cross
anything off their to-do list. Am I the only one dealing with this


update on previous prisoner… - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on June 01, 2005 at 16:20:00:

Just thought I’d give an update on a questions, that I made last week. It was kind of fun to put out these little fires and it may give some of those newbies an idea how things can run differently than planned and that you can do things, even if people say you can’t.

Searched for a few weeks for an owner of a vacant lot. Finally found him and sent him a letter. He called me a few days later and was happy to sell - his only criteria: He did not want to come out of pocket to get ‘rid of this eyesore’. Well, hurrah, I love those sellers. Not a lot of them out there. Got a contract and got a builder to put it under contract within 30 minutes. Purchase 13k, sale 25k. Well, that was an easy one - yeah right ;-)!

Well, last thursday a week into the title search the builder calls me and says: His attorney told him the deal is dead, there are 2 liens on the property and they appear to be fraud, because the seller says he doesn’t know these people (3.5k by a mortgage company, that no longer excists and 3k by someone, the seller says was his ex-wife’s divorce attorney). Talked to the paralegal and she says, she’s done everything she could and those people can’t be found - it’s dead. I asked her to humor me and fax me the deeds - I would find these people or I’d die trying ;-). There were already 10k in liens for taxes and demo lien. I figured, if worse came to worst and I’d have to pay the liens in full, I’d do so and still make profit.

Went to the courthouse and searched under the mortgage company name, found a previous quitclaim deed, signed by an attorney, with a handwritten note, that this attorney was the sole shareholder of that mortgage company. Went to the State Bar website and got his info. Left a message for the attorney and also gave the info on to the paralegal, who also left a message. No return calls. I left another message friday, no return call. Paralegal also couldn’t get any response. Went to attorney’s office yesterday afternoon, he was gone. Sent an email last night, explaining, that I had planned to buy this from the owner, but since there are now 17k of liens on the lot, it’s just not worth it to me. The lot is about to go to tax foreclosure (well, they’ve put a lis pendent in, but it’s not yet put out for foreclosure :wink: )and the other liens would be wiped out. I can either buy at the tax sale or I’m contacting every lien holder and if they’re willing to take less for a quitclaim deed I might still go ahead an purchase. Well, that woke him up. Got an email this morning, asking to make an offer, I offered, he countered - all by email. We agreed and I told him I’d be in his office at 2pm with the QCD and if that didn’t work for him to call me. He didn’t call, veni, vidi, vici ;-).

The other one, who was supposedly the ex-wife’s divorce attorney (while the seller was in prison 1989 to 1997. These deeds are from '92 & 93). I found an old address, drove to the house, which was for sale. Spoke to a number of neighbors. He hadn’t lived there for 5 years. One neighbor told me, that the former attorney (disbarred in '99) was on tv a few months ago and that the police was looking for him.
I figured, if the police is looking for him, what were the chances for me finding him? I kept knocking on neighbor’s doors. Found one, that sent me to another neighbor, who was friends with the couple. Went there and was given the ex-wife’s ph#. She gave me the cell ph# of the former atty. Called him, we negotiated a bit and made an agreement. When I went there I realized, that I did see the reports about him on tv a few months ago - about this RV dealer, that wouldn’t give deposits back to all these customers, that had rented RVs from him. Of course, I didn’t saything about that to him ;-). He then told me, that my seller was actually his client. He was a bankrobber, that, instad of pleading guilty and getting 5 months half-way house, like his cohorts, he pleaded not-guilty (against his attorney’s advice). And since all his ‘guilty’ buddies testified against him, he went to prison for 9 years.

This can be such an interesting business. I loved the chase and I got it worked out. It’s amazing the different kinds of people, that you meet - lol


Re: update on previous prisoner… - Posted by Foster

Posted by Foster on June 01, 2005 at 19:36:56:

Each year we see more and more of this and it’s called,“GIRL POWER.” Us guys is just to da$$ lazy and she gets the gold ring.

Amazing! and Bravo! - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on June 01, 2005 at 16:50:15:

All I can say is "Bravo!"
Simply amazing.
Makes what I do seem so simple.

Glad it worked out, and thanks for sharing…always kind of ‘neat’ to see how others look at and then solve ‘problems’.

Very cool!

Take care,
Jim FL

Re: update on previous prisoner… - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on June 01, 2005 at 19:51:41:

this was 1 of 5 deals, that I signed last month (1 of them the seller backed out, but I filed a memo, so he’ll be in for a surprise) and I’ve got 1 signed this month and have 2 more that I expect to sign within the nest few days. I’m also working on another 60 or so. And no other investors to compete with :wink:


Re: Amazing! and Bravo! - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on June 01, 2005 at 17:02:12:


you know how it is - we never plan for it to get complicated, but, hey, things happen and you go with it ;-). But then I find the complicated ones are the deals, that other investors don’t want to mess with. I can either spend a little more time doing those or spend more time chasing easy deals, where I compete with a ton of investors. Vacant lots have been very good to me and I don’t have much competition.


Re: update on previous prisoner… - Posted by Verve

Posted by Verve on June 02, 2005 at 10:03:33:

Hi Michaela,

I enjoyed reading your post about hunting down the attorney and paralegal. Thanks for sharing.

I?ve got a question regarding the deal with the seller who backed out. You stated that you filed a memo. I assume you mean you recorded a Memorandum of Agreement, right? Did you have the seller sign and notarize this agreement earlier? Or did you simply sign and notarize with your own signature with the Sellers address and legal vesting on it?



excellent work NT - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on June 02, 2005 at 05:31:16:


Re: update on previous prisoner… - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on June 02, 2005 at 10:44:31:

You’re right, I filed a memorandum. I just signed and notarized my signature, saying, that I have a valid contract with this seller on this property.


Re: update on previous prisoner… - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on June 02, 2005 at 10:25:18:

Verve: I’m wondering if you are asking about the MOA because you are
having difficult recording one where you are in CA? Where I am I
cannot get the recorder to accept an Affidavit or Memorandum that is
one-sided (one notarized signature). They tell me my option is to have
an MOA between the parties with notarized signatures of both parties
or to record the agreement /contract itself. But of course both
signatures would have to be notarized there too, not something I
usually have the seller do.

Any better luck where you are? Kristine

Re: update on previous prisoner… - Posted by Verve

Posted by Verve on June 02, 2005 at 11:02:58:

When Michaela mentioned she filed the memo…I was thinking what exactly is she doing here? Does she have a bilateral MOA (seller and buyer signed) or a unilateral MOA (she signed)

I’ve never tried to file a unilateral MOA signed and notarized from myself. I understand the Recorder in my area won’t accept one. But if I were to get one past the Recorder and into the public record, my title company tells me that they, and most other title companies, would simply ignore the unilateral MOA and issue a policy. So a unilateral MOA wouldn’t achieve the desired result of clouding title.

Perhaps Michaela has a bilateral MOA signed. Or she has the unilateral MOA angle worked out in her area. I guess I’d like to hear how she’s put it together.

You read my mind Kristine. Are you a psychic? :o)

Re: update on previous prisoner… - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on June 02, 2005 at 12:44:14:

Hi there. Actually, I’m not psychic. I’m pretty perceptive though.
(Psychic is when you’re from CA, perspective is when you’re from
anywhere else.)

This unilateral thing–very confusing to me. A title company may
ignore it. And it might not get indexed properly on the grantor/
grantee index. People on message boards are talking about MOA and
affidavits all day long, but I haven’t figured out if they will actually
protect me. For one thing, there is the recording. For another, there is
the title company, which as you say, may ignore something they feel is
not binding anyway. Which in my opinion is good news because I find
title companies to be way overly cautious about most things. But
maybe their legal depts have sorted through what’s a legit concern to
them and what is not.

So this whole idea of title clouds sounds good, but how does it work in
practice. I once had a deal with a seller and there was a mechanic’s
lien that had been filed recently. It really did get my attention because
I knew who the party who had filed it and, sure enough, he had filed it
to protect his deal. He knew the seller was a flake and might go into
contract with someone else. So in that case it worked–the mechanic’s
lien made me look at the deal and say not worth it (after talking to the
other buyer). But I have no idea how the title company would have
dealt with it.

This is also such a state and county specific thing. And then there is
what a title company will and will not accept. Since I work probate
deals and am looking for ways to protect my interests I sure would like
to hear from other people in CA who have actually, successfully
clouded title. Kristine

Re: update on previous prisoner… - Posted by Verve

Posted by Verve on June 02, 2005 at 15:54:12:


I spoke with my advisory title officer this morning about this issue. He pretty much reiterated what we’re talking about here.

Unilateral MOA has no teeth

Mechanics lien has no teeth, but may cloud title

Bilateral MOA has teeth

I suppose if you wanted to play it as conservatively as possible, you’d get the MOA signed and notarized by both parties the day you get the property under contract. Just one additional paper and a trip to see the notary. Not that big a deal, and then you’d have successfully clouded title once you record.

I’m going to add a few MOA’s to my notebook…glad the subject came up…