Legal advice - Oregon - property sale

I think I have posted about this situation before, but now I’m asking something different. Also, I do have an Oregon attorney, who so far has taken my money and done bugger all, as far as I can tell.

Situation: parents (now deceased) purchased a house in Salem in 1997 or so, fixed it up, and rented it out. This was my father’s hobby after he retired, also something to supplement his pension and SS. In 2001 he formed a living trust, and they transferred the house to it. There was a technical flaw in the way he did this, apparently, but the county records show the house as belonging to the trust.

In 2003 he sold the house to the then-renter, using paid rent in lieu of down payment, on a private contract sale. This contract was never recorded with the county. Last parent (father) died in 2009 and I am now trustee. I live in SF, by the way.

After 15 years of faithful payments these folks want to re-fi with a bank, which I think is a great idea. The property has appreciated and they can fix it up with some of their equity, and we get our lump sum settlement (the beneficiaries of the trust). Also, this is the last asset of the trust, so after this clears we can liquidate the trust (or whatever you call it).

Tried to get a title co. to record the contract, they said they could not (or would not try) because of the flaw in the transfer to the trust. Then hired a lawyer to fix this, 2 months have gone by and bupkis.

So, in 3 weeks I will be going through Salem and have a few hours I could spend on this. I am thinking of just trying to record the contract myself. If they accept it, fine. If they don’t, no harm done (is what I’m figuring).

Please tell me what is wrong with this plan. If I succeed, will their future re-fi attempts bump up against this flaw in the transfer to the trust? I know banks are pretty careful, and they’ll probably have a title company involved and they’ll probably find it. Would it matter that it happened 17 years ago?

What was the flaw in transfer? My father did the document himself, and only referred to the trust, and not to himself as the trustee. The title company told me that makes it invalid. Serious consequences for the estate, since it would negate our filing it as a “small” estate of under $50K. We thought all the assets were safely in the trust. Nightmare. Help.

This is why lawyers get paid a few hundred, or thousand, to take care of these things.

It will be much cheaper to hire one than to keep making mistakes on your own. Like working on your car when you have no idea what you are doing.

As I said in the OP, I have hired a lawyer, I’ve just gotten tired of growing whiskers waiting for something to happen.

So as a bonus question, I’ll ask if anyone has a clue how to get a lawyer to actually move on a small-fee case.

I have no idea what the facts are, but unfortunately, one possibility is that the lawyer is ducking you because he has decided or figured out that he cannot fix your problem. You might ask him that directly, next time you leave him a message.

Well, we have to fix it one way or another. We may have to re-do my father’s will so it goes to probate so that the house can be correctly transferred by his heirs to the trust and a new sales contract drawn up that would be properly recorded, so then finally the buyers can move towards re-financing. That would all take billable time for the lawyer. So if he’s ducking for that reason, he isn’t too bright.

Can you visit the lawyer in person when you make this trip? An in-person meeting, with you bringing a list of prepared questions, might help.

I could if he will deign to give me an appointment. I don’t have many questions, mostly 1) Is this fixable? 2) What’s it going to take, and 3) How long? Maybe 4) Will it go faster if I give you more money?