The Dangers of Having a Relative Pay Your Mortgage

By Christopher Combs | March 7, 2016

 The Dangers of Having a Relative Pay Your Mortgage   Question: After I was transferred to San Diego two years ago, I let my brother stay in my home in Avondale. Instead of paying rent to me, my brother agreed to make the mortgage payments for the home. Although I knew that my brother was having trouble recently making some of the mortgage payments, my brother promised me that he would keep the mortgage current. My brother called me last week, however, to say that there had been a foreclosure of the home. I am upset with my brother because, if this…


Depreciation Deductions Reduce Tax Basis

By Christopher Combs | March 2, 2016

Depreciation Deductions Reduce Tax Basis   Question: For more than twenty years my father has owned a four-plex apartment building in east Mesa. My father is terminally ill, and his doctor has told him that he only has a few weeks to live. My father is trying to get his affairs in order. I am his only child, and he wants to deed this four-plex apartment building to me now. When I get the deed to me for the four-plex apartment building I intend to sell the building immediately, as I do not want to be a landlord. Is there an advantage…


Divorce Order Will Remove Husband From Title

By Christopher Combs | February 29, 2016

 Divorce Order Will Remove Husband From Title   Question: My husband recently left me after 28 years.  In the divorce proceedings I am desperately trying to be awarded our Glendale home.  If the court should award me our Glendale home, how would I get my husband’s name off the title?   Answer:  If you have a final court order awarding you the home, the recording of this court order should be enough for a title company to insure the title.  If not, the court can order your husband or the clerk of the court to sign a deed to you which…


Tax Exclusion Also Available for Family Revocable Living Trust

By Christopher Combs | February 22, 2016

 Tax Exclusion also Available for Family Revocable Living Trust   Question: My wife and I have owned our Flagstaff home for more than twenty years. Several years ago we transferred the home to our family revocable living trust. We are co-trustees of this revocable living trust. If we sell our Flagstaff home we should have a capital gain of at least $350,000. Will we still qualify for the $500,000 exclusion from capital gains on the sale of our home, even though the home has been transferred to our revocable living trust?   Answer: Yes. Even though the home is titled now…


Arizona Property Lien Law Applies to Recording of Invalid Mortgage

By Christopher Combs | February 9, 2016

 Arizona Property Lien Law Applies to Recording of Invalid Mortgage   Question: Three years ago in the divorce decree I was awarded our Prescott home.  I recently signed a contract to sell the home.  Several days later the title company said that I gave my ex-wife a $50,000 mortgage on the home.  The title company sent me a copy of this $50,000 mortgage, and my ex-wife had obviously forged my name.  When I contacted my ex-wife, she apologized.  She said that she had forged my name on this $50,000 mortgage when she was very angry with me after our divorce. …


Seller Financing Disclosure

By Christopher Combs | January 25, 2016

 Seller Financing Disclosure   Question: My father owns his Glendale home free and clear. He is moving next month to go back to Illinois to live with his first wife. My father is going to sell the home now to me, and I will make payments to him at 6% interest for the next ten years. My understanding is that there is a new law that requires my father as a mortgage lender to make all types of disclosures of this loan to me. What are those disclosures? Does my father have to make those disclosures to me?   Answer:…


Removal of Old Lien May Require Quiet Title Action

By Christopher Combs | December 13, 2015

 Removal of Old Lien May Require Quiet Title Action   Question: In 2005, my sister deeded her home in Glendale to me and my wife. My sister recently died, and we want to sell this home. We thought that the title to this home was free and clear because the mortgage was paid off years ago. The title commitment, however, shows that in 1994 my sister recorded a lien on her home in favor of a bonding company to keep her son out of jail on a drug charge. The bonding company is no longer in business. How can we…


Taxes on Gift to Relative are Paid at Death

By Christopher Combs | December 6, 2015

 Taxes on Gift to Relative are Paid at Death   Question:  My granddaughter and her family live in a home that I own in Cottonwood.  I have been paying the mortgage payments, property taxes, repairs, and other costs of the home for the past two years because my granddaughter has been sick and unable to work.  These costs of the home are approximately $30,000 per year.  Can I deduct these costs from my income taxes?  If I give the Cottonwood home to my granddaughter, will my granddaughter have to pay gift taxes?   Answer:   You are not using the Cottonwood…