Hello everyone. I have a woman that wants to sell her home to
Me with an existing mortgage of about $30K and an ARV of about $70K. She wants to sell her home but she is distraught because she had a title issues with her home and the bank who holds the mortgage and when her husband died and she had a quick claim deed signed by the siblings of her husband. She originally hired a lawyer to represent her so that her bank could see that she is the rightful owner of the house but he ended up cheating her out of money by charging her money to pay the mortgage balance even tho she was paying the mortgage payments each month the whole time. He has important documents such as her birth certificate, her husbands birth certificate, his death certificate and other documents.
I wanted to know if this lawyer is legally bound to withhold these documents for her even tho he did not do much to get the bank to see that she is the rightful owner of the house. He is demanding that she pays $2000 to get her documents back which she does not have the money for.
I would love to help her in the situation but I am stuck on what to do in order to help her. She does not have much money and I would only be able to pay off her mortgage and give her $5000 cash to move which she doesn’t believe is enough.
I feel like if I could someway get those documents back for her she would be more open to taking the $5000 cash.
Does anyone know of lawyers are allowed to do that?
I think not. A client's documents belong to the client. She can file a claim with the state attorney discipline commission stating that the attorney is withholding her property. I think an attorney can hold work product in certain situations, but client documents, including paid for work product, are the property of the client.
I'd probably inform the attorney of my intention to make a claim with the commission and give him 5 days to comply.
Simple answer.....she can get new birth certificates and death certificates. All the other stuff doesn’t make a lot of sense, but oh well.
I agree with Ryan. They are her's, report him to his boss or the bar. Does she owe him money and he's trying to hold them until she pays, which is unethical? She can get a new copy of her birth certificate and the death certificate, not sure if she can get a copy of her husband's birth certificate however.
Is there a mortgage on the house or not? You said she paid the balance of the mortgage, but later say you would only be able to pay off her mortgage.