Case Study W Rose St Stockton Deferred Maintenance, Foreclosure and Probate

Most people don’t know where to begin when unraveling complex real estate issues because they just lack the experience. Even the most seasoned real estate agent may understand foreclosure and probate but to manage the process all the way through… they’d say leave that to the professionals.

Who are those professionals? Lawyers that cost thousands of Dollars or seasoned real estate investors and cash home buyers that know the process and the right people to get it done? The answer is both.

Every house and homeowner have a different story and this one is quite sad. After years of battling cancer, the homeowners resources were completely decimated. The house was in pre-foreclosure and there was no hope of repaying the past due payments plus legal fees. To make matters worse, Mom passed away with literally no assets.

Here is Their Story:

  • 2 Children
  • 1 Grandchild
  • Foreclosure
  • Probate
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With no money in the estate the executor of the will contacted me to see about buying the house and saving it from foreclosure. We talked about the two daughters and Grandson that were the heirs to the estate and it was determined that none of them could afford the mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance. To make matters worse the condition of the house followed the financial condition of the homeowner the past 5 years. The house needed some major work.

Most people don’t realize that the mere existence of a will does not eliminate the need for probate and probate is not cheap and is one of the only legal fees that is legislated in California and its based on a percentage of the overall value of the estate. Unfortunately the courts do not look at equity as the asset but the value of the property itself so part of the probate process is also establishing a value based on an appraisal at the time of death. If it is under $150,000.00 then the process is fast and less costly. If the value of the estate is over $150,000.00 then a full probate is required. This estate was definitely worth more than $150,000.00.

Having many years of experience and several probates under my belt, I knew the rules and ordered an appraisal after the first meeting with the presumed executor. Part of the probate process is determining who the executor should be based on the will and that takes a minimum of 90 days if it is not contested. There are submissions to the court and notifications need to be sent out to all possible heirs and creditors.

The appraisal came back within one week and the house in its current condition was valued at $170,000 with a mortgage of $150,000.00. Hardly a vast margin to work with.

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I met with the family and outlined what I would be willing to do in advance of the Probate being approved and they were all agreeable.

The first step was to hire a probate attorney so it was up to me to find one willing to take on the case. The second step was to pay the mortgage current including late fees , legal fees and penalties to stop the Stockton Foreclosure.

Finally the house needed to be vacant of all of the heirs so that I could secure the property. We negotiated a time frame and I got to work with a Probate attorney that I have worked with in the past. We pulled several county docs and filed the Probate with the court for approval.

All of this was done with the understanding that I would pay for half of the Probate. Everyone was happy.

Homeowner Concerns:

The heirs to the estate were worried that they would lose everything before the probate could be settled and that Moms house would be lost to Foreclosure. Someone needed to take control of the situation, hire a probate attorney and pay the mortgage current immediately.


The Probate courts only objective is to establish the rightful succession of ownership in a property so technically the mere existence of a will does not establish that right of succession. So paying the mortgage based on an agreement with the “would be” heirs was a risk. So was paying for half of the probate and fronting monies for the appraisal.

The will could also have been contested by others claiming a rightful succession to the house and no matter what action that was taken there was a serious risk that the Probate court could have decided something contrary to what the heirs and the executor had agreed upon with me.


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When I met with the family and outlined the plan to payoff the mortgage and provide the heirs with their equal share of the equity, they had lots of questions. In that plan I also asked for half of the probate cost and that was written into the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Finally, we negotiated that I would pull the house out of foreclosure and pay any and past due mortgage payments and all legal and late fees. The agreement also stipulated that it was my responsibility make the ongoing mortgage, property taxes and insurance payments until the probate could be decided and the sale was approved through Probate.

There was a considerable risk on my side by making the payment and saving the house from foreclosure as the judge could have determined that the house should be sold for more or less, or another heir could have contested the sale in Probate. Thank goodness that did not happen and 110 days later the court appointed the executor of the estate and approved the sale of the house to my company. Needless to say the family was happy that it dd not lose all of their mothers equity and they walked away with something rather than nothing from the sale of the house.

Some Real Estate Problems Are Resolved with the Sale of the House

At “Westbrook REI” and “We Buy Houses Stockton“, we are the best at what we do because we work at it every day. We understand that a commitment to customer and a commitment to our business only happens with hard work. We have years of experience and a plan that we follow. We are a real company with real people that are committed to helping you achieve your goals.

Again, we’re not real estate agents. We are actually Stockton house buyers and have our own cash… so we can make you an offer on the spot. Once we make you an offer, you can take that offer, shop it around if you want, talk it over with friends and family, and think about what you want. We won’t pressure you one bit.

If you want the best LOCAL We Buy Houses Company in Stockton, Sacramento, Manteca and Modesto then give our company a call today, we offer simple solutions to complex selling issues. Our house buying process is very easy with no hassle and we can close on YOUR time.

We Buy Houses Stockton CA, Get Your Offer at or call Peter Westbrook today at (209) 481-7780.