Troy, MI asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan

Q: Uncle bought my house 18 years ago promising it would be mine. I have paid everything. Now wants to sell, what can i do?

I paid all of the mortgage, taxes, repairs etc. we have no signed contract.

2 Lawyer Answers
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
Answered
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You have a few avenues you can pursue, but research "Statute of Frauds".

For future reference, a verbal agreement or promise is ultimately worth the paper it's printed on.

Michael Zamzow
PREMIUM
Michael Zamzow
Answered
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You're outlining a case that comes with a strong headwind. I am hesitant to say it is definitely barred until more information is divulged. While on the one hand it is certainly true the statute of frauds will inevitably be a defense raise by your uncle, it is not a straightforward case: " 'we have no signed contract' therefore I lose." It is more likely than not, that in the past 18-years there have been documents that could constitute signed writings that reflect the material terms of an agreement; however, the difficult part is to find those documents. On the other hand the statute of frauds might not be implicated whatsoever, but again without more information it's impossible to say.

It sounds like the landscape is rapidly changing, so you should speak with an attorney who has experience litigating contracts and real property.

David Soble agrees with this answer

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