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My mother's home was given to me and two siblings prior to her death. Now that my mother is dead, I've discovered today that my older sister had my name forged on property documents and has never paid me my 1/3 cut. I would have thought that a notarized signature would have been required on those type of documents to convey the property, but maybe not. My cut would have been 1/3 of $42,000. The older sister does not have the money to make me whole. The middle brother got his cut, so he may have been complicit, or not have had a clue that I was shorted. Now that the sister has been found out, she swears she'll make it right, but I know she's lying. She's never had much more than the clothes on her back.

Is the act of reporting the forgery enough to make stuff start to undue itself?

If reporting the crime will fix things, where should I start: In the county the property was owned, the place where the documents were signed, or the county where my sister lives?

Do I really need an attorney?

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If by soul searching you mean legal searching and realizing he could possibly be arrested as an accomplice or more then ... (more)

LordB (Jan. 16, 2012 @ 6:13a) |

With relatives like that, who cares?

Mickie3 (Jan. 16, 2012 @ 6:22a) |

Still, have this researched. Find out what went on, even if it is to keep from getting blind-sided like this again. I'd ... (more)

BitemeIamtoxic (Jan. 16, 2012 @ 1:27p) |

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Chyvan said:   
Do I really need an attorney?


yes

If I was in the situation, and I was financially stable (don't know if you are or not), I would ask my sister to give me my share of the inheritance. If she refused, I would move on.

You have to make the decision of whether or not you want to potentially *destroy* your relationship with your sister and put her in a bad situation. There could be legal ramifications for your sister, and if she's never had much more than the clothes on her back maybe you should try and settle things with her before taking legal action.

weaselslave12 said:   If I was in the situation, and I was financially stable (don't know if you are or not), I would ask my sister to give me my share of the inheritance. If she refused, I would move on.

You have to make the decision of whether or not you want to potentially *destroy* your relationship with your sister and put her in a bad situation. There could be legal ramifications for your sister, and if she's never had much more than the clothes on her back maybe you should try and settle things with her before taking legal action.


I think you have that backwards...she should have decided if she wanted to destroy relationship... and whether or not she wanted to put herself in a bad civil/criminal situation. Looks like she made her decision.

Soooooo glad I'm an only child.

Chyvan said:   I've discovered today that my older sister had my name forged on property documents and has never paid me my 1/3 cut.There's got to be more to this story. Your brother and sister sold your mother's house and stiffed you? Where were you while all this was going on? How long ago was this? You didn't know the property was sold?

dcwilbur said:   Chyvan said:   I've discovered today that my older sister had my name forged on property documents and has never paid me my 1/3 cut.There's got to be more to this story. Your brother and sister sold your mother's house and stiffed you? Where were you while all this was going on? How long ago was this? You didn't know the property was sold?

And you have a copy of paperwork in hand saying that you were on the deed?

To change title you need a notary. (At least in Cali)
Did they ever 'borrow' your ID one day.

And yes you need an attorney

You story is not complete, did they sell the house or how did it transfer hadns? Wouldn't the closing agency be liable for distribution of funds? They should had 3 checks at that time, if they gave two to your sister then they should make you whole and sue her for the difference? Every time I have closed or worked with property I have had to have a photo ID and Social Security card or birth cert. I am not your attorney so you better get some professional help on this.

We all have black sheep in the family -- the point is do other family members put them in jail, or forgive the crime. Since it's just a financial hit and no one was physically injured, I would not involve the authorities. Make her sign a note promising to cover the loss, and let it go. Perhaps you could be pleasantly surprised by some attempt at repayment if that's the goal. But what's the likelihood of that happening if you destroy the relationship and have her rack up lawyer fees...

martin628 said:   ... Make her sign a note promising to cover the loss... But what's the likelihood of that happening ... Yes whats the likelihood, and collecting without being judicially required, after its already been proven to contrary?

Chyvan said:   My mother's home was given to me and two siblings prior to her death.
Could you please clarify what you mean?

Do you mean:
a) Your mother left the house in her will.
b) Your mother called the children together and said "I want you all to share the home equally after I'm gone."
c) Your mother had actual legal documents drawn up and filed that conveyed immediate ownership of the house to you.
d) Something else.

I think everyone is presuming the answer is "c" but often people don't use language so precisely when it comes to legal/financial matters, so I'm hoping you can clarify.

I disagree with the people talking about destroying the relationship. Someone stealing $40k from me I consider the relationship destroyed. That said if she has no assets I question if it is worth doing anything about this.

I would talk to a lawyer. It could be that the forgery makes the sale invalid and thus you get the house back or otherwise able to get funds from someone other than the sister (like the new owner's title insurance).

That said any actions will probably not make the rest of the family happy with you if the sister ends up arrested and you will inevitably be blamed for all this despite it being the sister's fault. If you value the rest of the family it may not be worth it.

Edit: Amount is probably only $14k... 1/3 of the 42k.

LordB said:   I disagree with the people talking about destroying the relationship. Someone stealing $40k from me I consider the relationship destroyed. That said if she has no assets I question if it is worth doing anything about this.

I would talk to a lawyer. It could be that the forgery makes the sale invalid and thus you get the house back or otherwise able to get funds from someone other than the sister (like the new owner's title insurance).

That said any actions will probably not make the rest of the family happy with you if the sister ends up arrested and you will inevitably be blamed for all this despite it being the sister's fault. If you value the rest of the family it may not be worth it.

I like your thought of thinking. The way I see it, if the rest of the family doesn't like what he does, then they're properly not worth listening to. What the sister did was horrible and nothing to defend - they should feel happy if he goes after her.

I think the relationship is over and it's not worth keeping.

IANAL but isn't forgery a crime (as opposed to a civil matter) where it would be the state bringing charges? If so, could OP get in trouble for not reporting it?

talljay said:   IANAL but isn't forgery a crime (as opposed to a civil matter) where it would be the state bringing charges? If so, could OP get in trouble for not reporting it?
You don't get in trouble for not Reporting a crime

Op what do you want out of this ? You say your Sis can't pay you, right? Has the home been sold and cash spent, or can you be added back on title ? If the cash is long gone, she has no money to pay you, etc, you can punish her by a criminal complaint...which will probably get her probation and a restitution order if your evidence is good. The police and da will do this for free , but only if your evidence is strong. If you can get her to admit in writing or video she forged your sig, that would be great before you head to the cops.

Bringing your own private Suit in civil court can be done cheaply in small claims but the dollar amount may be limited. Or you can hire an attorney but that will cost almost as much as the 1/3 of $42k she stole if it proceeds all the way through trial. And in the end you'll have a worthless judgment if she can't repay

Am I not seeing right? The OP said he/she should have gotten 1/3 of 42,000 which would be 14,000 yet I see responses implying that he/she was stiffed 40K.

You might also be able to make a claim on the current owners title insurance policy, if a title policy was issued...... but I'm not familiar with whether title insurance would pay out. There's no cost to try this

ChemElady said:   Am I not seeing right? The OP said he/she should have gotten 1/3 of 42,000 which would be 14,000 yet I see responses implying that he/she was stiffed 40K.

Hah good catch. I think you are right I had assumed he meant $42k was the 1/3 amount, but from the way OP worded it you are probably right. For $14k it probably isn't worth the effort. For $42k it probably would be.

Regarding some of the questions people had

Where were you?

I live 2500 miles away.

Were you really on the title?

Absolutely. I was a 1/3 owner in a right of survivor titling

When did the sale take place?

No clue of the exact date, but sometime after 10/2010. I only know that it has sold because the middle brother was showing me the stuff he bought with the proceeds. He admitted to the forged signatured saying, "Older Sister thought you'd try to block the sale."

Wouldn't some company have cut three checks?

I don't know. I've never held property jointly.

For me, I would have received $14K out of $42K. 1/3 of the proceeds.

I don't want to negotiate anything with the sister other than immediate payment in cash. She's already declined. She wants me to wait. If there is time bar, I don't want to turn a criminal matter into a civil matter because my delay could be construed as acquiences.

I haven't seen or spoken to my brother and sister in 20 years. They have their own families, I have mine, and 2500 miles is enough of a buffer that any hard feelings won't affect me.

Get your evidence together and go to the cops then since it seems there is no familial bond

Regarding what I want:

I want the money, but it's gone. Therefore, my next thing would be to attempt to void the sale because my signature was in fact forged. I haven't seen the forgery yet, so I can't say whether it was even a good one.

I like what was said about the title insurance. I didn't want to unnecessarily mess things up with the buyer having turned over funds for the property, but I'm not convinced the buyer's hands are clean because they are relatives of my Brother in Law.

Chyvan said:   Regarding some of the questions people had

Where were you?

I live 2500 miles away.

Were you really on the title?

Absolutely. I was a 1/3 owner in a right of survivor titling

When did the sale take place?

No clue of the exact date, but sometime after 10/2010. I only know that it has sold because the middle brother was showing me the stuff he bought with the proceeds. He admitted to the forged signatured saying, "Older Sister thought you'd try to block the sale."

Wouldn't some company have cut three checks?

I don't know. I've never held property jointly.

For me, I would have received $14K out of $42K. 1/3 of the proceeds.

I don't want to negotiate anything with the sister other than immediate payment in cash. She's already declined. She wants me to wait. If there is time bar, I don't want to turn a criminal matter into a civil matter because my delay could be construed as acquiences.

I haven't seen or spoken to my brother and sister in 20 years. They have their own families, I have mine, and 2500 miles is enough of a buffer that any hard feelings won't affect me.


Is the property in the US or elsewhere?

I again think you may have suit against the title company. I cannot see a proper transfer of title without you present and I would now seek to try to nullify the sale or cloud the title since you probably won't get a time out of your sister. Whomever was the idiot agent that handled the close without you needs to be fired and have their notary pulled, their company should take some blame in this matter. But do defiantly get on your sisters good side and BS her into signing a contract, +1 if in her writing an with her signature offering a repayment plan. If you cannot get it out of her at least that may be some evidence for your case against the closing agency that didn't do their job and illegally transferred title. But again get a lawyer.

Chyvan said:   Regarding some of the questions people had

Where were you?

I live 2500 miles away.

Were you really on the title?

Absolutely. I was a 1/3 owner in a right of survivor titling

When did the sale take place?

No clue of the exact date, but sometime after 10/2010. I only know that it has sold because the middle brother was showing me the stuff he bought with the proceeds. He admitted to the forged signatured saying, "Older Sister thought you'd try to block the sale."

Wouldn't some company have cut three checks?

I don't know. I've never held property jointly.

For me, I would have received $14K out of $42K. 1/3 of the proceeds.

I don't want to negotiate anything with the sister other than immediate payment in cash. She's already declined. She wants me to wait. If there is time bar, I don't want to turn a criminal matter into a civil matter because my delay could be construed as acquiences.

I haven't seen or spoken to my brother and sister in 20 years. They have their own families, I have mine, and 2500 miles is enough of a buffer that any hard feelings won't affect me.
not trying to judge by any means.....

but if you live across the country and haven't seen each other in 20 years...why are you so concerned when it's only $14k? I could understand if it were $50k+ etc. Obviously you haven't kept in contact with them for a reason. So why is that now worth $14k?

i'm not saying what they did was right....but for only $14k it doesn't sound worth it.

We don't know if op was removed from title long before the home was sold, forged during the escrow, etc.

You need a lawyer and you need to gather all evidence re: your ownership and the forgery. Dates and times you talked to people, when they admitted it, what they said, etc.

Go to a lawyer immediately and then report the crime. Your sister committed a crime and your brother was complicit as well. The longer you wait, the less recourse you have, but consulting a lawyer and paying his/her fee for a short consultation is the best start here.

HOW you potentially get your $14K back doesn't really matter at this point, and whether your sister has the $$ is a moot point. The fact is that she committed a crime to steal $14K from you, and you have legal rights to that. Fight for it.

rmhop said:   Chyvan said:   Regarding some of the questions people had

Where were you?

I live 2500 miles away.

Were you really on the title?

Absolutely. I was a 1/3 owner in a right of survivor titling

When did the sale take place?

No clue of the exact date, but sometime after 10/2010. I only know that it has sold because the middle brother was showing me the stuff he bought with the proceeds. He admitted to the forged signatured saying, "Older Sister thought you'd try to block the sale."

Wouldn't some company have cut three checks?

I don't know. I've never held property jointly.

For me, I would have received $14K out of $42K. 1/3 of the proceeds.

I don't want to negotiate anything with the sister other than immediate payment in cash. She's already declined. She wants me to wait. If there is time bar, I don't want to turn a criminal matter into a civil matter because my delay could be construed as acquiences.

I haven't seen or spoken to my brother and sister in 20 years. They have their own families, I have mine, and 2500 miles is enough of a buffer that any hard feelings won't affect me.
not trying to judge by any means.....

but if you live across the country and haven't seen each other in 20 years...why are you so concerned when it's only $14k? I could understand if it were $50k+ etc. Obviously you haven't kept in contact with them for a reason. So why is that now worth $14k?

i'm not saying what they did was right....but for only $14k it doesn't sound worth it.

$14k or even $1k is worth it to many people. Especiallly when "what they did isn't right" sometimes the dollar amount doesn't matter, you just don't want them to get away with it

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   rmhop said:   Chyvan said:   Regarding some of the questions people had

Where were you?

I live 2500 miles away.

Were you really on the title?

Absolutely. I was a 1/3 owner in a right of survivor titling

When did the sale take place?

No clue of the exact date, but sometime after 10/2010. I only know that it has sold because the middle brother was showing me the stuff he bought with the proceeds. He admitted to the forged signatured saying, "Older Sister thought you'd try to block the sale."

Wouldn't some company have cut three checks?

I don't know. I've never held property jointly.

For me, I would have received $14K out of $42K. 1/3 of the proceeds.

I don't want to negotiate anything with the sister other than immediate payment in cash. She's already declined. She wants me to wait. If there is time bar, I don't want to turn a criminal matter into a civil matter because my delay could be construed as acquiences.

I haven't seen or spoken to my brother and sister in 20 years. They have their own families, I have mine, and 2500 miles is enough of a buffer that any hard feelings won't affect me.
not trying to judge by any means.....

but if you live across the country and haven't seen each other in 20 years...why are you so concerned when it's only $14k? I could understand if it were $50k+ etc. Obviously you haven't kept in contact with them for a reason. So why is that now worth $14k?

i'm not saying what they did was right....but for only $14k it doesn't sound worth it.

$14k or even $1k is worth it to many people. Especiallly when "what they did isn't right" sometimes the dollar amount doesn't matter, you just don't want them to get away with it
my point is he hasn't stayed in contact with them for a reason. Do you think him getting a lawyer and calling the cops is going to help his situation with his brother and sister? Just adding to the family drama that he fled from i'm sure.

He's not trying to mend or preserve the relationship , just wants the cash and /or make sure they don't just "get away with doing it ".

The property is located in MI.

OP, you can probably go to Zillow.com to find out when the home was sold and maybe even a price. YOu might be able to find a RE agent on CL to see when, how much and which agent, escrow co and such too. Usually there are eager agents looking for biz leads on Craigslist so approach a few of them and ask about your mom's house and the history on it's recent sale. They might provide some help. Maybe with that info, you can decide to go after your sis/bro, the title company/notary and anyone else who wronged you.
I agree with someone earlier in the post, they initiated the destroying of the relationship not you. You are simply responding to their mis deeds against you. $14K or $1K it doesn't matter, you should be allowed to spend your mother's gift on your terms.

Just so you know it sounds like your brother knew and approved of this so he is likely legally (and criminally) culpable too. If he has assets then that could be an option. Also whatever you do I would advise talking to a lawyer first. Trying to do anything on your own could cause you to mess up a criminal case or something. While this forum can help you with questions to ask the lawyer and possibilities the details of what can be done, is legal etc. has many areas where a mis-step can cost you. Also I wonder if the brother was complicit and you could also sue saying the house was sold for less than it should have. Sounds like he may have gotten his family to buy it cheap and got the sister to go along with this so her fraud wouldn't show up.

Chyvan said:   I haven't seen or spoken to my brother and sister in 20 years. But your brother was showing you the "stuff" he bought with the proceeds? So are you the rogue blacksheep of the family, or are they? Who handled your mother's estate? Not trying to sound harsh, but have you been gone for many years and now just showing up looking for money? How would your siblings describe this transaction? Just trying to get the whole story here.

Yeah, he was showing me the stuff today and that's how I found out what happened with the sale and the forged whatever it was.

I live 2500 miles away. Not sure what a blacksheep is, but when you're that far away, you lose contact.

Other than the house which she technically no longer owned, there wasn't anything other than personal property that I wasn't interested in.

I'm here visiting. I didn't come looking for money. I didn't even know.

I don't know how they'd describe it. You'd have to ask them. I know how I would describe it. I was a 1/3 owner with rights that were subverted.

dcwilbur said:   Chyvan said:   I haven't seen or spoken to my brother and sister in 20 years. But your brother was showing you the "stuff" he bought with the proceeds? So are you the rogue blacksheep of the family, or are they? Who handled your mother's estate? Not trying to sound harsh, but have you been gone for many years and now just showing up looking for money? How would your siblings describe this transaction? Just trying to get the whole story here.

Hey Moose, Rocco, help the judge find his checkbook, will ya?

Summary:
1) Sale of property was fraudulent
B) Sister forged title(confirmed by brother)
4) Brother was complicit in fraudulent sale(admitted knowing sis did it behind Ops back)
J) Op owed $14K(approx)
#) Property sold to family of brother-in-law
99) F sister and brother, file charges and pray there is title insurance to make a claim against

Did sister truly take all of the $14K, or split it with brother? Does he have assets to go after for repayment? If the house was sold to relatives, I'd be checking into whether all you're really entitled to is just $14K. There could be more to the story yet that you weren't told. Do you know the fair market value of the house? IANAL, but can OP sue for 1/3 of FMV if greater than $14K if property was fraudulently sold under FMV without his consent?

:bookmark: for future reference.

Predictions:

1. authorities initially refuse to investigate.

2. authorities begrudgingly agree to investigate but drop the case due to lack of evidence. (You say your signature is forged? Well, your sister's attorney's handwriting expert says otherwise...)

3. OP spends thousands of dollars on a lawyer who makes very little headway with the case.

4. OP ends up receiving nothing.

5. the lesson: being estranged from your family can have a negative financial impact. Sometimes the cheapest investment (i.e. being nice to your sister) can pay the biggest dividends.

Skipping 60 Messages...
Still, have this researched. Find out what went on, even if it is to keep from getting blind-sided like this again. I'd have to be in the cookie jar up to my pits, and caught, before I'd let loose with a multi-thousand hunk of greenbacks. YMMV.



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