Signing POA and Mortgage Note Under Duress
Asked Jun 6, 2009, 04:13 PM
I lived with and worked with an attorney for a number of years. I sold my business and worked on his endeavors with no compensation, we were going to marry and actually got a marriage license but I now understand it was never his intention to marry. I was also trading his stock portfolio and making lots of money for him as everyone was when the market was exploding. He left the state (Maryland) to help his mother in Florida but wound up getting an apartment and staying there. My "life" was falling apart and then the market started to collapse. I was afraid to tell him how bad it was so I started giving him spreadsheets showing a continual gain (sounds like Bernie Nadoff, I know, the difference is that I lied to him, but I never took one penny of his money, his losses were stock losses. It just got worse and worse and I finally had no choice but to tell him that there was not the money he thought there was that I was making all the spreadsheets up because it was the only thing I had left to salvage the relationship. I lied to him, I misrepresented his finances to him, but I did not steal or embezzel any of his money. I lived off the proceeds of the sale of my business, I took a high interest rate mortgage, I spent everything I had and went into debt. Of course, he accused me of criminal activity, fraud, lying and threatened me to go to the State Attorney and have me arrested, he threatened me with telling my grown children, and told me I had to sell my house and pay him back the money he lost or he would do as he threatened. He is a lawyer, I had nothing and I was afraid. I refused to do it and we fought about it for almost three years but as the statute of limitations reared, he went and had an irrevocable power of attorney drawn giving him the right to sell my house and receive the proceeds and disburse them as he deemed, he had a note drawn for several hundred thousand dollars that he had decided was the money I lost secured by mortgage on my house with a due date of six months. If I did not sign and notarize that day he would do as he had threatened. I signed the documents and put the house on the market (I would have still realized $150,000 or so and at that point I just wanted this ended). The house did not sell and I started making interest payments to him on the note. The houise was re-listed the next year and did not sell again. He had his workers do work on the house and added that to the amount due. The house still did not sell and the value of the house (if this great market) has continued to decline. He now has said that he cannot wait any longer. He came to the house to inspect it, and decided that it needed more work that he would have his people do the work and sell the house, but that I would get nothing because now I owed him more than the house was worth. He intends to proceed and although I was assured that I could trust him to do what was right and make sure I had enough money to live somewhere, he now says that was then and this is now and if I had sold the house when he first wanted me to I'd have money. I am 61 years old, I have nothing but the house which was to be my retirement - I purchased it 15 years ago. I don't know what to do. He comes in whenever he chooses, he is going to have real estate agents in to give him prices on the house and the house will be sold. I don't know if I have a leg to stand on, I hired an attorney a year and a half ago who assured me that we could challenge this and after a number of meetings with him, with nothing happening, I met with his assistant who told me that the paperwork I signed was legal and there was nothing they could do, if we went to court, quite frankly it would cost me more money than I had and stood a good chance of losing. That attorney is no longer is business, his phone is disconnected. EVERYTHING that has transpired has been under duress and it continues on a daily basis but now the time has come that he intends to make good on his threats. I don't know if I just let him sell the house and lose everyting or if there is ANYTHING I can do or any recourse I have at all. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.