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CAMP Fire and home purchase/loss

Discussion in 'Mortgages & Financing' started by Barbara M., Nov 16, 2018.

  1. Barbara M.

    Barbara M. Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    My daughter and her boyfriend have been impacted by the Camp Fire in Northern CA. They are young. Here is the issue:

    House is completely burned...nothing left.

    Boyfriend bought the house where the owner is carrying the title. Boyfriend’s sister helped purchase the house as she has established credit. She may even be primary on title even though she did not live there. Boyfriend put $14k down. Sounds like paperwork all went through a Bay Area escrow company. Boyfriend needs to contact them for copy of of papers as his burned in the house. Sounds like the owner carrying the title has the insurance policy. The house is covered, property is not. The boyfriend does not have additional insurance. My daughter purchased new furniture etc for the home. Largely paid cash, a little on credit. They had minimal bills being delivered to the house, as they literally just moved in, but at least there is something tying them to the address.

    Two questions:

    What are the next steps for the boyfriend? He is now homeless, legally obligated to pay on the property and the person carrying the title will receive the entire insurance reimbursement with plenty left after rebuild to profit.

    What are the next steps for my daughter? Is she just out of luck at this point?

    This will not be a short term displacement. The entire infrastructure of the town has been destroyed.

    I struggled with where to place this in the forum, but thought I’d start here because of the way the home was purchased. Please let me know if I should post elsewhere.

    Thank you!
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    You're daughter and her boyfriend are in quite a mess. The boyfriend is responsible for the contract even if the house is destroyed. Any insurance proceeds should be used to rebuild the house. If the contract for deed had been done appropriately, then insurer should make the check out to both the "seller" and the "boyfriend." He is still responsible for the contract (i.e., to keep making payments). This is entirely analogous to what would have happened had this been a regular sale/mortgage.

    As for your daughter's possessions, it's possible there may have been coverage under the owner's policy, but if not, she's out of luck. She should have made sure she had appropriate coverage (just as if she were a renter).

    The bad side is a lot of these contract for deeds are not done right. It's possible the seller may take the money and run (which may only be an issue if he tries to keep the contract going). The other issue is that there actually is no insurance payout. The insurer may decline to pay (or recognize the boyfriends interest). BF should never entered into the contract without obtaining his own insurance or making sure the owner's insurance covered his interests.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    This is as good a place as any. We all read all the forums so keep it here and avoid duplicate posts.

    I guess his next step is to find a place to live. Beyond that, it's impossible to provide any useful comments without knowing exactly what his deal was on the purchase of the property. When he gets all his paperwork have him join you in this thread with his paperwork on the table in front of him so he can answer some questions.

    Until shown otherwise, all I can guess is that your daughter's legal status was nothing more than a tenant in her boyfriend's home. If that's the case and she didn't buy insurance on her own property then, yes, she is out of luck on the loss.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    A trip to a lawyer's office and probably a bankruptcy petition (after gathering all the relevant documentation).

    If she didn't carry any insurance on her property in the home, she is likely out of luck.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If the victim wishes to shorten the time to learn his legal options he might simply wish to consult a nearby lawyer or three.

    If he chooses to do that, make sure he has ALL of the purchase documents in hand when he visits the lawyers.

    Most lawyers will meet with a prospective client initially at no charge to discuss and assess the case.

    In the end, the victims might wish to consider chapter seven bankruptcy to legally get out from under a massive debt that will yield them nothing.

    However, federal and state relief might eventually offer the victims some relief.

    Staying in touch with state and federal officials, especially FEMA, could prove very useful.

    How can someone get help from FEMA?

    California Wildfires

    We’re continuing to work with the state to support firefighting needs for the California Wildfires.

    Please continue to follow directions from local officials.

    Start your recovery process by calling your insurance company to start the claim process.

    You may also visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.






    Camp Fire: What to expect from FEMA
     
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Since the furniture was apparently purchased for both of them for use in the home, and assuming there would be no dispute between them over it, I would expect the boyfriend could include the claim for the furniture with his own property if he is in fact covered.
     
  7. Barbara M.

    Barbara M. Law Topic Starter New Member

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