Deeds, divorces and judgments
I surveyed some rural residential property a few months ago for a gentleman. My understanding was the survey was performed in conjunction with the sale of the property. It has since sold.
I got a call earlier this week from an attorney. I didn't recognize the name of the party he represented. But he was full of all sorts of pointed questions concerning the property, my relationship with my client and any contact or history I had with the buyer.
I explained I had surveyed the property at the request of the owner and told him little else...simply because (#1) that's about all I knew, and (#2) anything else is none of his damned business. He was extremely interested in when I had first been contacted by my client. I simply told him I really didn't remember and I reiterated it wasn't anything I'd discuss with a third party. I suggested he contact my client for that information. I bade the man a "good day"..
I smelled a rat...or at least a good story so I started digging around the county's records.
My client had owned this 40 acres (39.677) and house since 1997. From the looks of the mortgage papers that was when he and his wife built the residence. I recognized his wife's first name as the first name of the party that this attorney was representing.
The couple divorced in 2002. At that time the court awarded her a $95,000 judgement against the husband for his ex-wife's interest in the current mortgage, I'm guessing this represented her "half". As is common sometimes this dragged on for a few years. From what I could tell the ex-wife has sued the man several times attempting to satisfy the judgement, get her money and get her name off the mortgage. She had been unsuccessful until now.
Finally in March of this year they settled the suit with his ex-wife receiving $50,000 and a release of mortgage. Part of the settlement was a requirement for her to quit-claim all her rights, title and interest in the property. The QCD was filed March 23. On March 26 my client sold the property and provided the buyer a warranty deed for something north of 500K.
Apparently the husband was able to convince his ex-wife to take less than her original judgement just to get it over-and-done-with. He then turned around in a day or two and sold the place for a pretty good chunk o' change. I'm sure the ex-wife is a little steamed over taking less than she was owed and her ex having the profits dumped in his lap. This is probably what prompted her to lawyer-up.
I personally don't think she's got much of a case. But just in case I'm making sure my memory 'fogs up' appropriately in case her lawyer wants to more folks into the maelstrom.
Sometimes the story that records tell is better than a movie. 😉
The few times a lawyer has called our office sniffing around for information, we give them the bare minimum. After 10 minutes of time, we tell them that we would be glad to be put on retainer at 2 times our hourly rate, with time rounded to the nearest 15 minute increment. They typically get off the phone PDQ at that point... 🤣