Who Owns What Property?

property cash sale contractToday (2/25/14) was a day of mystery solving. Hands down, the most interesting job of the day involved figuring out a real estate conveyance issue. To maintain confidentiality, I’m going to make up the names and the property description, but this is what happened:

Joe called me this morning. His mom, Wanda, wants to sell a piece of land to her sister Sara. Joe explains that his dad, Greg, passed away years ago. Greg had a succession where Wanda was put into possession of the property, only in her name. Joe told me it was Lot 9 in a neighborhood called Welder Estates, located here in Baton Rouge, LA.

This seemed to be a simple deal, so I explained my fees and headed to the Clerk of Court on Coursey to run a title search. I needed to verify ownership of the property, positively identify the property, get a valid legal description of it, and check for any tax sales, liens or judgments. Simple enough, right? Wrong!

I found out that Wanda and Greg inherited one whole lot (lot 9) and half of another lot (lot 8) years ago. After Greg passed, a succession was performed whereby both of these pieces of property were transferred to Joe and his brother Adam. Wanda still owned her 1/2 of the community portion. So instead of Wanda owning the property as Joe told me, she owned 1/2, Joe owned 1/4, and his brother Adam owned 1/4.

It also turned out that they sold half of lot 9 years ago, so they now own half of lot 8 and half of lot 9. Confusing the issue further, the tax assessor has one tax id for both of these purposes, and they have been lumped together in tax sales in the past.

Now I have to make sure that we are conveying the correct piece of property. Are we selling half of lot 8 or half of lot 9? This area is a very old part of Baton Rouge, and many of the original lots have been subdivided over and over throughout the years. Figuring out boundary lines and identifying particular lot pieces is difficult.

Thankfully, after figuring all of this out and explaining all of the details to the sellers, they were able to identify that they were selling just the half of lot 8. Originally he told me that mom was selling lot 9 that she owned by herself. The final result was that we are selling half of lot 8 that three people own. Is that confusing, or is it just me?

My next step is to meet with all of them tomorrow to sign the Cash Sale. After that I will run back to the Clerk’s office to have it recorded, and give a copy of the Certified Cash Sale to the buyer so that she can bring it to the tax assessor’s office.

On the personal front, my back is killing me today. It kept me up a lot last night, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to ease up. Maybe it has something to do with this rain that’s coming? I also just found out that Chase Bank messed up again and blocked my payment to Google Adwords. Chase sent me a new debit card recently (I was told that it was because of the Target hack), and it’s been a mess fixing all of my automatic payments.

Thank you for reading my notary blog! If you made it to the end, God bless you. Please give me a call at 225-907-5280 if I can ever help you.


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