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Sheryl Ann Edwards
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Sheryl Edwards’s Answers

219 total


  • Can lenders force heirs to pay balance of mortgage loan for home left in will.

    my mom passed away and left my sister and I a home. the home has since been put in forclosure and the lawyers are trying to make my sister and I repay the loan my mom agreed on because we her heirs. Is this legal and if not how can I fight it

    Sheryl’s Answer

    When your Mom signed the documents for the loan, she signed a note (which was the promise to pay the money back) and a mortgage (a lien placed against the property that would be enforced if the money was not paid back). In any instance, only the person who signed the note is obligated to pay the money back. Since you did not sign the note, you cannot be forced to pay the money back.

    However, if nobody is making payments, the lender has the right to enforce its mortgage through foreclosure, regardless of who owns the property. Thus, if the property was transferred to you and your sister, you own the property subject to the existing mortgage.

    If the house is worth less than the mortgage, there is a possibility that the lender will seek to collect any deficiency balance from your mother's estate. If the house has any equity, it would be wise for you to either refinance the property to satisfy the existing loan or to sell the property and save the equity in the property.

    You should consult with an attorney experienced in probate matters, preferably one with experience in foreclosure.

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  • Does Fannie Mae have the right to unilaterally terminate a contract, as a seller, due to their inability to secure HOA estoppel?

    We have a contract to purchase a foreclosed Fannie Mae property. The closing agent is not able to secure the estoppel certificate from the HOA attorney. We communicated to the listing real estate agent that we are willing to extend the closing dat...

    Sheryl’s Answer

    It sounds like there is a large unpaid obligation to the Association that Fannie Mae has not paid and does not want to pay at closing. In a standard purchase and sale transaction, a seller would be obligated to pay all past due Association dues and close the transaction. However, Fannie Mae typically attaches a very long addendum that modifies the standard contract in many ways (most of which are not beneficial to the buyer). You should check the terms of the Fannie Mae addendum to the contract for any special terms that would permit the seller to cancel the contract without penalty.

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  • (In Florida) Husband died. Wife is on deed to house. Wife is not on mortgage. What happens?

    House held as "husband and wife", wife not on mortgage. What happens to the mortgage? House is way under water and stepchildren (of husband) are executors of his estate. Will bank pursue husband's estate for balance on mortgage? Can the bank p...

    Sheryl’s Answer

    In your questions, I think you meant to say that the surviving spouse is an owner of the property but did not sign the promissory note and is not obligated for repayment of the debt. If she is on the deed, she signed the mortgage but all that means is that the bank can take the property through foreclosure but cannot pursue her for any shortfall or deficiency. Under Florida homestead law, the wife would be the owner of the property. And if there are assets in the deceased husband's estate, the bank can pursue the estate for the shortfall.

    To avoid an action being filed against the estate, the surviving spouse may want to attempt a short sale or offer a deed in lieu of foreclosure to the lender. You should consult with an attorney in your area that is experienced in dealing with short sales where one of the owners has passed away.

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  • Is probate necessary for an estate worth about $25,000?

    Hi. With joint ownership of a bank checking account, will the bank freeze the account upon submitting a death certificate of one of the two owners? How long can I wait to submit the death certificate? With only $25000 in the account, and no oth...

    Sheryl’s Answer

    A common misconception about the administration of an estate after a decedent's death is that all assets of the decedent are subject to probate. However, that is not the case. Any property that the decedent owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship is not subject to probate because the asset legally transfers to the surviving joint owner upon the death of the decedent. Mechanically, the ownership transfer is evidenced once the surviving joint owner provides a copy of the death certificate to the bank.

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  • Do I need to probate my late husband's will if we have no debts, jointly own our house, and have joint bank accounts?

    My husband just passed away and searching through our papers I had this simple question!

    Sheryl’s Answer

    Probate is a court process which involves collecting a decedent's assets, notifying creditors, paying liabilities, and distributing the remaining assets to heirs. Typically, property (whether that be real property or personal property - like bank accounts or personal belongings) that is owned as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship is not a probate asset where the court's supervision is required to transfer assets of the decedent. In a situation where there is only jointly owned property and the decedent did not have any debts, a probate proceeding would probably not be necessary. However, you should consult with an attorney to obtain legal advice directed to your specific situation.

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  • Would I have to pay Doc Stamps( taxes ) if I wanna register the title of my property back to me?

    The balance on my mortgage is aproximately $176,k. The Condo association took over of the title for over 2 years, since I had a debt with them, but is already paid off and they decided to give me the title back. I went to have the quit c...

    Sheryl’s Answer

    Yes - the general rule is that documentary stamp taxes are due on any transfer of real property in the amount of consideration given for the transfer. In the case of a transfer where the beneficial interest does not change, documentary stamp taxes are due to the extent of the amount of any mortgage liens recorded against the property.

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  • Is there anyone who is actually litigating a Dyck and O'Neal Lawsuit?

    I have been served with a lawsuit from them...and I am having a hard time finding an attorney who is actually experienced with these deficiency cases...located in Melbourne. ..but willing to drive anywhere for the experience!

    Sheryl’s Answer

    Dyck O'Neal purchased a number of loans from Fannie Mae and is attempting to collect on the post-foreclosure deficiency balances. The Dyck O'Neal cases have lots of problems. Any lawyer in your area who has been working in foreclosure defense over the last several years should be able to assist you in defending the case. Good luck.

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  • Statute of Limitations on Deficiency from Foreclosure My question involves a mortgage in the state of: Florida

    July 2007 = Stopped sending my mortgage payment and I received a NOTICE OF DEFAULT AND ACCELERATION. 2008 = Got served with foreclosure package 2009= summary final judgment for foreclosure. 2010= order dismissing fro plantiff’s non a...

    Sheryl’s Answer

    The issue of the statute of limitations in mortgage foreclosure is very much in flux in the state of Florida. There are 2 recent appellate decisions in Florida that indicate that each missed payment gives rise to a new cause of action and therefore, the statute of limitations may not begin to run until the maturity date on the recorded mortgage - which is typically 30 years from the date the mortgage was signed by the borrower. One of the appellate courts certified this issue to the Florida Supreme Court - which is essentially a request for the Supreme Court to rule on the issue. The Supreme Court has not yet indicated whether it will consider the issue. Therefore, until it does, you would be wise to hire an attorney in your area to defend your mortgage foreclosure action. If the Supreme Court decides the issue in favor of homeowners (meaning that it will rule that the Statute of Limitations is calculated from the filing of the first mortgage foreclosure action), the ruling will not benefit you if a foreclosure judgment is entered against you before that happens. Good luck!

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  • What’s the best way to setup the ownership of a condo? Currently owned by grandmother. Idea is to transfer to grand kids (21+).

    Condo owned by mother and son (jtwros). Mother (84) and son (63) are non US residents. Condo is paid off. Purchased in early 80s for $180K, in 2004 father passed away and it was transferred to mother and son, taxes paid at that time. Current value...

    Sheryl’s Answer

    The best way to register ownership of real property is very fact specific and depends on several considerations that are too complicated to assess in just few words or paragraphs. The determination in your case looks like it should be made by an attorney who specializes in international tax who will work with your real estate attorney. You should consult with someone who specializes in this area of law - any amount that you spend on attorneys fees now will be money well spent when the property is either sold or is transferred due to the death of one of the owners.

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  • Selling property that was previously purchased through first mortgage foreclosure, what title evidence/insurance is required?

    I purchased a home through first mortgage foreclosure and was issued a CET. After the CET was issued, title search came clean. What evidence is sufficient for section 9c, TITLE EVIDENCE AND INSURANCE? The wording is this: "Seller shall f...

    Sheryl’s Answer

    I believe that the language you are focusing on is the following: "Seller shall furnish a copy of a prior owner's policy of title insurance or other evidence of title . . . " You probably do not have an owner's policy of title insurance (unless you purchased title insurance after the purchase at foreclosure sale) so your evidence of title is the certificate of title you were issued by the Clerk. This document acts just like a deed would to evidence your ownership of the property. The rest of that paragraph simply provides language as to who is responsible for what expenses in your upcoming sale transaction.

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