Q: I have just found out that my husband (from whom I am separated) has sold our home.
We inherited the home eight years ago from his father, but he has now sold it on land contract without my knowledge. Is this legal and what options do I have to rectify this.
I am on welfare now and live with my parents and three children. I have tried to get assistance or answers to my questions to see if what he has done is legal but all lawyers want me to pay up front which I can’t do at this time.
Can you direct me to someone that can answer my questions on what to do?
A: There may be more questions than answers at this point in time. While you say that you and your husband inherited the home, did your father-in-law will the home to both of you? Or, was the home willed solely to your husband? If your husband inherited the home and kept title to the home in his name, the home may be his alone to sell.
If the home was given to you and to your husband, and your name is on the title to the home, you would not only have to be consulted but would have to sign the documents to sell the home — even if the home is sold on contract.
If your name is on the title to the home and your husband forged your name of the sale documents, you have the right to not only be angry but to get him in trouble for the fraud with the authorities. You may even be able to stop the sale.
But if the home was not yours and the title was never in your name, he’d have the right to sell the home now that the home is no longer your marital residence. And, you may only have a limited right to the proceeds from the sale.
You’ll need to talk to an attorney who can provide help. Find a Legal Aid clinic in your area. You might also find free legal counseling through local community organizations that have a legal counseling center for people who are unable to afford legal services.
Some law schools offer legal aid and some bar associations have attorneys who can offer limited free legal assistance in some circumstances. One place to try is the Texas Consumer Complaint Center, which is based at the University of Houston Law Center. Find them online at www.texasccc.com.
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