There is a house in my family that has been lived in for almost 70 years. Originally the family member that purchased the house used a family friend to procure the mortgage (she did not know better as an emigrant in the 1930's) and so the original deed was in his name. Long story short, the family paid the down payment, mortgage, taxes, upkeep etc. for the house since the house was sold, and we have the documentation, but the family friend died before he had the chance to sign it back to her. As a result it is still in his name.

I've approached real estate lawyers about this and they have basically said that it's a strange situation and not something they felt like they were willing to take on.

I have a few questions:

  1. What type of lawyer should I try and find who might be able to address this.

  2. Is adverse possession a possibility? a family member has been living in the house and paying the taxes and upkeep for the last 20 years.

  3. I have files full of papers (including all of the receipts for the mortgage payments) it possible among them is some sort of document detailing that the intention of the family friend was to sign the house back over. What should I be looking for? what kind of document would actually stand up in court ( it is alot of stuff to go through)

Also, it should be noted that the family friend did not have any any kids or living relatives.

  • Where (country, state) is the house? – SJuan76 Mar 6 '18 at 19:05
  • 1
    "the family friend died before he had the chance to sign it back to her" Did he have a will? Who received his assets after his death given he had no living relatives? – JAB Mar 6 '18 at 19:17
  • @SJuan76 NY, Ulster County – user379468 Mar 6 '18 at 19:18
  • Really have no idea he died in the 50's or 60's I do not believe he had a will ... @JAB – user379468 Mar 6 '18 at 19:19

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