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How do I prepare legal papers without an attorney?

Utica, NY |

I am purchasing the house I live in from my landlord. They live out of state and want to sell the house to me as they are tired of taking care of it. We have agreed that they will carry the mortgage for the next 3years and 9 mos as that is how long it will take me to finish paying for it. The problem is their attorney first said that he would prepare all the papers for the mortgage and to transfer the deed; now their attorney is saying that it is my responsibility to get an attorney to do this. I don't have the extra funds to do this, I will have to do this myself. Where do I go for help?

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Attorney answers 3


I don't believe the work that you require is extensive and you should be able to obtain legal representation on a flat rate or quoted fee. Since you will be purchasing the property subject to an existing mortgage, I strongly encourage you to find the money to get legal assistance here. There are so many ways this deal could go wrong for you and you would be without any recourse if these papers are prepared correctly. Check with your county bar association for a legal referral hotline and to see whether there is a homeownership clinic or similar resource that can help you for as reduced fee. I am also concerned here that you want to purchase real property and do not appear to have any reserves set aside for the inevitable broken furnace/roof repair/increase in real estate taxes or insurance premium/ plumbing disaster, etc. Purchasing a home is only the beginning of your financial investment and commitment and, unfortunately, too many homeowners are in this situation. If you are unwilling or cannot re-prioritize your expenditures to find a relatively small amount of funds to hire an attorney to properly represent you in this important purchase, I would suggest you reconsider this decision. What may sound like a great opportunity for you now may turn out very differently. Best wishes to you.

This response contemplates only the laws of Ohio and is not intended to apply to other jurisdictions. None of the information in this response should be used or relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion about specific matters, facts, situations or issues. Viewing it does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Sherrille D. Akin, the law firm of Isaac, Brant, Ledman & Teetor LLP, or any of its individual attorneys


You don't purchase a house without an attorney. If you have to have to ask how to get the papers to transfer the deed, and prepare the mortgage, you don't have the necessary skills or ability to do it yourself, and guaranty that all contingencies are dealt with (you don't know what the contingencies are) . You hire an attorney. It's that simple.


There is no question about it - you need to hire an attorney. There are too many pitfalls related to the purchase of real property in New York. Especially considering your intention to execute a purchase money mortgage on the property. This is a complicated matter and any money spent on an attorney will be money well spent.

Good luck.

The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general informational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.

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