Home Recovered for Swindled Elderly Man

Case Study

Justice was found for an elderly South Philadelphia gentleman who was swindled out of a property which he owned for many years. Our client is an 86 year old man who was approached by two defendants offering to buy his property. According to our client, the defendants came to him with a brown paper bag containing $4,000 cash.

After a brief discussion, the defendants gave the money to him as an initial down payment towards the full purchase price “to be decided later.” Unfortunately, the elderly gentleman never saw another dime despite the property being worth an estimated $150,000.  

The case proceeded to trial after unsuccessful settlement negotiations.  The defendants testified during the trial that our client “gifted” the property after payment of the $4,000.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Eugene Maier found in favor of our client. Judge Maier stated in his findings that the defendants’ testimony that the property was a “gift” was not credible and was totally without merit.  The Court ordered the Recorder of Deeds to file a new deed recording our client as the sole owner of the property.

If you or someone you know has a legal problem, call us a free case evaluation at 484-690-4613.

Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.

Philadelphia Resident Transforms An Attempted Eviction Into Huge Settlement

Case Study

A lifelong resident of Point Breeze received a large settlement after his own son tried to evict him from his own home.

An elderly man worked hard at his blue collar job throughout his life. 30 years ago, his son won a mortgage lottery qualifying him for a home mortgage. The father had some savings for a mortgage down payment but lacked the credit needed for a mortgage. So, the father and son made an oral agreement where title to their home was placed in the son’s name, but the father paid the down payment. They also agreed to split the mortgage payments.

As it turned out, the father ended up paying most of the mortgage for 30 years while the son lived out of state. Unfortunately, the father never asked the son to transfer the deed to his name even though he took on the mortgage.

In an act of shocking betrayal, the son attempted to sell the house out from under the father, keep all the proceeds for himself and force his father out on the street.

We represented the father to stop the eviction and force the son to share the proceeds of the sale. After a hard fought battle by the father, our firm helped him stop the eviction and force the son to share the proceeds of the sale. The son decided not to risk open court against this solid case against him, and he settled the case.

Our client used his share of the proceeds to purchase his own new home. He is currently living in his own home with his wife and daughter.

If you or someone you know has a legal problem, call for a free case evaluation at 484-690-4613.

Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.

Justice for Victims of Real Estate Theft

Case Study

Real Estate Scams are a legal issue that no one wants to deal with. Theses scams can lead to individuals having their houses stolen right from under them. As a real estate law firm to residential and commercial property owners, we help avoid legal problems and resolve disputes. Read below to learn how justice was served for a family after their inheritance home was stolen by a fake investor.

Our firm obtained a judgment against a fake real estate investor who stole a house from the family of a deceased elderly man. Residents of South Philly know that even abandoned homes can be valuable investment properties. Unfortunately, an unscrupulous real estate “investor” discovered a property that was abandoned when an elderly resident passed away. The house was supposed to be the inheritance of the elderly man’s heirs.

The heirs were horrified to discover that the criminal “investor” filed a fraudulent deed which purported to transfer the property from the elderly man to the investor. There was just one problem. The elderly man had already passed away at the time the fraudulent deed was allegedly signed.

After recording the fraudulent deed, the investor brazenly drove its construction vehicles to the home and began making renovations. Their goal was to rehab the house quickly and sell to an unsuspecting buyer.

The heirs to the deceased man’s estate hired our firm to sue this scam artist for damages and to restore their title to the property. The lawsuit filed on behalf of the estate is called a Quiet Title action. A Quiet Title action is a lawsuit filed on behalf of one party claiming a right or interest in a property. The complaint alleged that the defendant committed fraud in filing the deed and that the property was the lawful property of the estate.

A Philadelphia judge ruled that the defendant committed clear fraud and restored title to the property. The judge’s final order barred the defendant from asserting any right, lien, title or interest in the home and declared that the estate owns absolutely and is entitled to the quiet enjoyment and peaceful possession of the subject property to the exclusion of the defendant . The Commissioner of the Department of Records was also ordered to execute a new deed on behalf of the defendant transferring the property back to the estate.

Our client’s headaches and worries were quickly resolved by hiring our firm. After the order was entered by the judge, our office recorded the new deed transferring the property back to the estate. The family was soon able to sell the property for a hefty sum and enjoy their inheritance.

This is an example of how criminal scam artists can take advantage of a situation. Most homeowners are unaware that there are many types of real estate scams out there. You should always consult with an attorney before signing any documents that look suspicious or you don’t understand.

We know that dealing with a legal issue can add a lot of stress to your life. That’s why we are here to help resolve real estate disputes so you can move on with your life.

If you or someone you know has a legal problem, call for a free case evaluation at 484-690-4613.

Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.

 

Victory for Victim of Real Estate Fraud

Case Study

Court of Common Pleas Judge Gene Cohen rendered an award in favor of a Philadelphia resident caught up in an unfortunate title dispute. Our client engaged us when she discovered that an investment property she purchased was previously sold to another buyer. Both our client and the prior purchaser were caught up in this dispute because the unscrupulous seller sold the same property in both 2005 and 2012.

Our client purchased the property as an investment in 2012 after a title search was conducted. The title search did not reveal the 2005 purchase because the buyer did not record the deed and did not reside in the property. Once our client recorded her 2012 deed, the prior purchaser immediately rushed to record his 2005 deed. The parties later initiated litigation which resulted in a trial.

The general rule in Pennsylvania regarding deed recording conflicts is Race-Notice. Race-Notice means that the first person to record a deed without notice of an alleged prior purchase will take the property. Notice does not mean actual knowledge. Notice is based upon what the subsequent purchaser either knew (actual notice) or should have known (constructive notice) under the circumstances. For example, a subsequent purchaser could be on constructive notice if the property was being maintained. A subsequent purchaser will not take legal title even if their deed is recorded first if there is either actual or constructive notice under the circumstances.

The prior purchaser’s defense at trial focused on notice. The arguments essentially boiled down to which party appeared more credible. Should the judge believe our client who claimed no knowledge of the prior purchase or the defendant’s claim that he spoke to our client many times about the property?

The case was won for our client through cross examination. The prior purchaser admitted on cross that he employed a company called Doctor Deed to “construct” a deed and alter the chain of title. This admission of fraud destroyed the defendant’s credibility and undermined his claim that he had conversations with our client before her purchase.

Our client continues to live in Philadelphia and plans to do so for the rest of her life. Her now-secure investment property will soon be renovated and held as a rental.

As a real estate attorney to property owners, I help resolve legal disputes and avoid costly mistakes. If you know a property owner involved in a title dispute with another person, please give them our contact information.

Phone (484) 690-4613

Email hello@daiellolaw.com

Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.

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