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October 2012 - Risk of signing a document relative to your home especially for seniors

Risk of signing a document relative to your home especially for seniors

☳ by Adam Aspilla

Man by nature is greedy. Because of greediness, the world has people who are super-rich and there are many people who are super-poor. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.  Some resort to deception to achieve material gain at the expense of others.

Man’s greediness was demonstrated thousand of years ago, by Jacob, when he deceived his Father, Isaac to bless him, instead of his elder brother Esau. Jacob took advantage of his father’s blindness for he was already old (Gen. 27:17-29).

Today there are instances were people lost their homes especially senior citizens for they are so trusting. They simply sign document without reading or understanding what the document is all about.

An example was a retired widow in her seventies, came to my office asked for financial advice. She was loaded with debts. She owned a house and I suggested for her to get a second mortgage against her property for there was enough equity.

When she tried to get a second mortgage, it did not go through for she no longer owned her home. Her house was already in the name of her son and daughter in-law who lived with her. She was forced to file for bankruptcy. Her son was even contemplating to evict her from the house.

What is the moral of the above case scenario? 

When you do not know the content of a document you are requested to sign relative to your home, do not sign a document even though your son or daughter tells you do so, until you are given an independent advice from somebody who knows real estate transactions.

If you signed without knowing the content of a document, it might be one of the following:

  • You are increasing the mortgage of your house
  • You are getting a second or third mortgage
  • You are transferring the ownership of your house


To avoid becoming a victim as in the above example, be cautious in signing any document relative to your home unless you fully understand the content of a document you are signing



Adam Aspilla is a Senior Financial Counselor of the Debt Clinic of Canada Inc. and the author of the book, You Can Negotiate All Your Debts. He also writes a biweekly column, “What Matters In Life” in “Taliba Newspaper. For free initial, professional and confidential consultation, please call 905-306-7572.