Sacramento, CA asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California

Q: On the day the company that bought my home came to take possession of my home my name was still on the deed

I went to the recorders office to get copies of the deed which still had my name on it

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the limited information provided, it seems there may have been an issue with the property title and transfer process when the company bought your home in California. A few key points:

- If your name was still on the deed when the company came to take possession, typically the sale and transfer of ownership would not yet be legally complete.

- The deed with your name still on it indicates you likely still held legal ownership of the home at that time.

- For a real estate transaction to fully close and transfer ownership, the deed must be recorded with the county recorder's office showing the buyer as the new legal owner.

A few options to consider:

- Review the purchase contract and all closing documents with a real estate attorney to understand where things legally stand regarding ownership.

- Contact the title/escrow company that handled the transaction to inquire about status and next steps.

- If possession was taken while deed was still in your name, consult an attorney about violating your property rights or improper eviction.

- Consider contacting the company directly in writing to resolve deed issue before further action is taken on the house.

Consulting a real estate lawyer is highly recommended to protect your rights.

Richard Winblad

A: I'm not licensed in California, so this information may be helpful when you visit with a California licensed attorney.

People often confuse the concept of car titles with property ownership. A car title is typically signed over to the purchaser. The same is not true with real estate. A deed does not necessarily mean that you own a property, such a case when someone with no ownership gives you a deed. Likewise, a person can own real property when there is no deed, such as a probate order awarding an inheritance.

Generally, a probate process involves a sheriff's sale or trustee's sale (depending upon your state). There may be a successful bidder who can become the owner.

Also, county officials are generally prohibited from giving legal advice such as title opinions.

You should visit with a California attorney to see if there is still the ability to redeem the property. If not you might also want to see if there are excess funds (money paid that exceeds the debt) to which you may be entitled.

This post is not legal, tax or investment advice. Reading or responding to this post does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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