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How do I contest a lien on a house owned by several relatives? real estate, foreclosure, lien

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

The house is almost in foreclosure. It went through probate. My siblings and I own it now but we can't agree to sell. After foreclosure, there will probably be some equity leftover. I am told that amount will be paid to the co-owners. RIGHT?
My sister (the personal representative of the estate) and her attorney filed a lien for expenses incurred while she maintained the house and paid the mortgage and taxes for 16 months. I think she her charges are too high. How do I fight the lien so the rest of the family gets more money?

Also, how much equity will be eaten up in foreclosure (by bank attorneys)? How long might it take?

Finally, how does the bank generally sell the house? At auction? Realtor?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

This is not a matter that you can handle without an attorney. You need to get an attorney quickly, or write off your chances of getting anything.

It seems to me that is is possibly misfeasance of the executrix to allow the home to go to foreclosure. It should have been sold out of the estate by a forcible action against the heirs. Now, the executrix has allowed bickering amongst the heirs to cost the estate a great deal of money. What a shame.

It is very rare rare to see to see equity come back to the owners in a foreclosure. It does happen, but rarely. Good luck.

This answer is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and may not be relied upon as legal advice. A careful examination of the facts is necessary before a legal answer may be relied on. You should consult your own attorney before taking or refraining from any legal action.

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Asker

Posted

Yes, its a shame the executrix (PR) couldn't get cooperation. Unfortunately, two heirs refused all communication. When the time came, the PR was not willing to pursue partition because he would have to hire another attorney to do so. That money would come from his pocket.

Charles Ross Smith III

Charles Ross Smith III

Posted

The PR was wrong to fail to hire an attorney to force the sale of the house inside the estate. She had a duty to maximize returns to the estate. Instead, she took the easy way out. BTW, she should have paId the attorney out of estate funds, not hr own personal funds. I don't know for sure if this is actionable under FLA law, but it seems incredibly wasteful.

Asker

Posted

It is wasteful, but I am not surprised. The PR has been paying all the estate bills and doesn't have enough money for an attorney. There are no "estate funds". There is only a house with a mortgage and a bunch of bills. The house was for sale, but the two uncooperative heirs refused to sell out of spite. Partition would have dragged this out months longer and someone would have had to pay the bills. I don't think the PR (who hasn't gotten paid a cent) should have to bear all costs.

Posted

The personal representative is pehaps committing waste of an estate asset by not addressing the foreclosure issue. The Estate could have entered into a short sale, and perhaps salvaged some of the equity in the home. Instead now, foreclosure costs, fees, and interest, will diminish most of the equity. Seek an attorney's advice ASAP.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements.

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Asker

Posted

At some point, the PR can only do what everyone will cooperate with. If they refuse all communication, refuse to let the house sell and refuse to pay any bills, the PR cannot continue propping up the estate with no hope of a settlement. Yes, its a waste, but the burden is not the PR's alone. At some point, the heirs have to cooperate or the house will never sell.

Karen Tallent Munzer

Karen Tallent Munzer

Posted

Good point, it would be helpful for the heirs to agree. It is certain that none of the estate's beneficiaries would want to lessen the amount that they can recieve by the estate being wasted. You should contact a probate attorney for advice on how to deal with the PR.Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements.

Posted

You need an attorney who will file a contest of the lien. There is no way to predict how much of the equity will be eaten up by the foreclosure action, however no matter what, foreclosure properties sell for less than the same property sold in the normal market and not a foreclosure or short sale, so the odds of any equity remaining are further decreased.

More importantly, why allow this to go on. If there is a personal representative, she has a duty not to allow estate assets to drift off into chaos and to be depleted or extinguished. See an attorney.

Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created or is intended to be created hereby. You should contact a local attorney to discuss and to obtain legal advice.

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