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James Robert Deal
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James Deal’s Answers

19 total


  • What is the exact process for removing a land partner from a title?

    I bought land in Snohomish County, WA with a man who I intend to pay $2500 to quit the title. I purchased the land 2 years ago for $8000 and put both our names on the title. I cannot find step by step instructions specific to Snohomish County/Wash...

    James’s Answer

    Wow! You should have seen a lawyer before you got involved in this deal.

    You need to see a real estate attorney to try to unravel this. A quiet title action is complex, and it is not the kind of thing you can expect to handle on a do-it-yourself basis.

    Title companies do not just remove someone from title. They do not prepare deeds except in connection with an escrow closing. Next is the question as to whether you will have to pay excise tax to get your "friend" off the title. You did not give enough information to answer this question.

    Both buyer and seller sign the excise tax affidavit, except that an escrow agent can sign for one or both parties if that is the intent of the parties. You pay the excise tax first to the treasurer and only then can record the deed with the recorder.

    See a lawyer.

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  • Can my wife force me to sell our house

    My wife and I have a mortgage together and we are separated. I kept the home because I kept our dogs. This is the last thing that needs to be taken care of. She is stating that I need to refinance the house or assume the loan, which I am more than...

    James’s Answer

    It depends on what your decree of dissolution says.

    Is this loan affecting her credit because you have been making the payments late?

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  • Is a Trust Deed void, if it's altered by adding bad Legal description ("Ex. A") after Closing, without authority of the Grantor?

    Wash. State. Can Court reform a Deed of Trust for Bank to foreclose, if it's legally null and void by being altered post Closing (without my author/consent). It is not the same DOT that I had executed/ notarized at Closing. Trust Deed that I si...

    James’s Answer

    The lender will be unable to do a non-judicial foreclosure because of the mistakes in the legal description. However, the lender will be able to do a judicial foreclosure. Sorry, you do not get a free house.

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  • Selling a house to family member

    I want to sell a house of mine to my nephew and i don't know how to start. We want to maximize the benefit of family business transaction. I want to know if i should talk to a realator agent or a real estate attorney? Will an attorney have all the...

    James’s Answer

    I am both a broker and an attorney. So I can give you both points of view.

    The role of the broker is primarily marketing. You do not need a broker because you and your nephew have already found each other. You did your own marketing. A broker will want to charge you at least one percent for writing a purchase and sale agreement. Even one percent is too high because the broker cannot answer your legal questions.

    And there are legal questions. Is your nephew going to get a new loan? Is it possible that the nephew might assume your loan? Does your nephew qualify for a loan? If your nephew can use your financing, that will save a lot of money. For example, you could do a lease option until your nephew qualifies for new financing.

    Any real estate attorney will be of more help to you than any real estate broker. Call an attorney.

    The only help you might get from a broker is an estimation of value so you can set the sale price. But an appraiser can do that for $400, less if you ask for an unwritten opinion.

    James Robert Deal
    Lynnwood

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  • Living in mom's house 26 years.sister is her POA .(lawyer herself) house tax behind wants me to pay them.mom is mentally out whe

    Any suggests ions??

    James’s Answer

    Please restate your question with more clarity.

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  • What are the differences between the options on the vesting authorization form (joint tenants, community property, etc)

    We are in the process of buying a home, my husband is the sole borrower and I am the non-borrowing spouse. We are filling out a vesting authorization form to record the grant deed and our real estate agent says my husband should select "a married ...

    James’s Answer

    Your husband can be listed as "a married man as his separate property". When your husband dies, the property will then go to the person designated in his will. If your husband has no will, you would inherit part or all of the property depending on whether he has children or not.

    Although your husband is the only party liable on the note and deed of trust, you too can be a co-owner without becoming liable on the note and deed of trust. The deed would generally just list both of you as "Jack and Jill, husband and wife". Then when one of you dies, a half interest in the property would go to the person designated in the decedent's will and half would go to the surviving spouse. If there is no will, community property will go to the surviving spouse, even if the decedent has children.

    You could also take title as "John and Mary as joint tenants with rights of survivorship and not as tenants in common". If you do this the property will go to the survivor without probating the estate.

    So you have several choices. Who is on title and who is liable on the note and deed of trust are separate questions.

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  • In Washington State, house in final period b4 foreclosure, owner receives offer to purchase house can foreclosure be halted?

    House is due to be foreclosed on May 1. I have a valid offer for purchase of the house. How can I stop the foreclosure while the purchase and funding complete?

    James’s Answer

    The trustee will almost certainly extend the foreclosure date if you send the purchase and sale agreement to the trustee. If that does not work, file a temporary chapter 13 bankruptcy, which will definitely work. A chapter 13 can be dismissed when you no longer need it.

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  • If i face foreclosure on my home, how long will it be before i have to move?

    I keep falling behind on my mortgage, and am thinking about surrendering my home

    James’s Answer

    If your home is worth not more than around 1.2 times what you owe on your home, and if you have a hardship, you may qualify for mortgage modification, which would probably give you a 2% 40 year amortization and sometimes a principal reduction. Look into mortgage modification. You need to have sufficient income to afford the reduced payments you will get and pay your other expenses.

    Sometimes lenders wait years before they start foreclosure. Once they do it can take two months to send you a disclosure of your options, another two months to give you a notice of default and then another four months for the notice of trustee sale.

    As long as you are negotiating a modification, foreclosure will not be completed. You can also stop foreclosure by filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

    Don't give up on your home.

    I need to know more to determine if you could qualify for modification. I do not charge for telephone inquiries.

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  • Squatting in a foreclosed house - can I really get kicked out?

    My house goes up for auction June 5th in WA state. I left the state to go find work elsewhere but I left my relatives to live in my home I haven't made a payment on in 5 years. I told my relatives to just tell the mortgage company (if asked) that ...

    James’s Answer

    It is possible for you and your family to prevent foreclosure. If the family members living there and you, together have enough income to pay a reduced mortgage payment, you would probably qualify for a mortgage modification. If the lender will not stop the foreclosure, you could file Chapter 13 bankruptcy and save the house that way. Feel free to call and I will get more details and determine whether you can be helped. I do not charge for initial telephone inquiries.

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  • I own Property with a friend. I am selling him my half. We are going to do a quitclaim deed. Is this the best way to do it?

    We have no issues and are just trying to make it an easy transaction.

    James’s Answer

    You can give your friend either a statutory warranty deed or a quitclaim deed. Either will transfer title. With a warranty deed you pass along the warranties of ownership which you received from your buyer, and you are giving a warranty that you have not clouded the title. With a quitclaim deed you are transferring ownership but not giving any warranty of clear title. You did not say how the friend is going to pay you. If the friend is getting a loan to pay you, the lender will require your friend to pay for mortgage title insurance - which guarantees the lender that the lender is in first position. At the same time your friend might buy owner's title coverage for himself. You or your friend will have to pay for excise tax on the half interest being transferred.

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