A little background: To transfer stock, bonds, etc., you need more than a notary stamp on your signature. You have to get a medallion stamp, which you get only at a bank or a brokerage, because the medallion is backed by insurance for the value of the asset.
Last year, I asked Ex#2 to complete the transfer to me of some jointly-owned shares of stock that I got in the divorce some 30-odd years ago. I sent him the forms. All he had to do was sign them in front of a bank officer and get the medallion stamp, then mail them back to me.
Not so simple. He couldn't find a bank in south Jersey willing to risk their insurance by verifying his identity for that large a sum (which wasn't very large at all). Um, apparently not even the bank he'd been using for the past several years, which makes one wonder. It became a big deal on his end, involving many phone calls and visits to various banks, but he finally found a large enough bank and scraped together enough id to get the medallion. (They also made him open an account.) He then sent the forms to me, I got the medallion on my signature from the small community credit union I'd been using for less than six months, and the deal was done.
So, now, this morning, I got an email from him. He wants to sell the lake lots in Missouri that he'd got in the divorce. He asked me to call him! or send him my phone number so we could talk about it.
Uh uh. Ain't no way I'm talking to him on the phone! He natters, and attempts stupid jokes, interrupts, doesn't listen, and mishears. He objects to everything, he's infuriating, and on the phone there's no opportunity for me to cool down before being forced to respond, which I guarantee will be counter-productive and possibly damaging to my phone.
I suggested we discuss it by email.
Now, I'm pretty sure I completed a quit-claim on that property 30-odd years ago, and I guess he didn't file it because my name is still on the deed, but I can't get annoyed about that because I'd done pretty much the same thing with the stock transfer. He's got a buyer (at a loss, he says, which is odd because we bought the lots before the lake and roads and all the amenities were in, so they were dirt cheap in 1972, but no skin off my nose whether he's taking a bath or lying, and history says he's lying because hey, it's about MONEY!, but I don't care), so he needs me to sign the sale papers. Notarized, of course.
Summary of the email exchanges, omitting the infuriating parts:
He: Drive down here (three+ hours round trip) so we can go to a notary and both sign at the same time.
Me: We don't need to sign at the same time. You sign and get it notarized, then send the papers to me, I'll take them to the notary at my bank and sign, and send them back.
He: The bank won't notarize unless you have an account there.
Me: What part of "my bank" sounds like I don't have an account there? Besides, we're not talking about a medallion. They get sticky about medallions if they don't know or don't like or don't trust you. It's just a notary stamp and any notary can do it.
He: There's only one space for the notary stamp.
Me: Not a problem. The stamps can go anywhere, just so they touch the signature.
He: How 'bout I come up there and your notary can witness both signatures?
Me: (No! No! Please God, No! No!) Not necessary. Get your signature notarized, send the papers to me, I'll get my signature notarized, and send them back. Very simple. Three days with overnight mail.
He: Ok. I send them to [right house number, wrong street name], right?
Me: No. Send them to [my name, right house number, right street name, right town, right zip code, included all just in case, 'cause he's an freakin' idiot.]
Note that he's not signing at his attorney's office because he didn't retain an attorney. The BUYER drew up the contract - a quit-claim. Probably forms the buyer picked up at a stationery store. Sheesh.
And I'm a little nervous myself about the tax issues. Somebody has to pay a real estate transfer tax. Can we trust the buyer to do that? If Missouri requires proof, or fees for filing the deed, maybe. And even though it's (supposedly) "at a loss", Ex#2 should report it on his income tax. I have no confidence whatsoever that he will do that.
We're talking about the guy who didn't file federal income tax for several years because one year he forgot, and then he figured that since the gov'ment deducted the money up front and he never had to pay more at filing time, and nobody came after him for not filing, he didn't have to. Ever. Duh.
If he doesn't report the sale, I can get in trouble for not reporting it, either.
This is the guy who rented out three bedrooms in his seven room house, then claimed 1/2 of his mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utility payments as a business expense, AND since he rented to a succession of drug addicts and sleazeballs who paid the first and last months' rent and didn't pay another penny for the six months it took to evict them while they stole his mail and everything else nailed down or not --- so that every year he declared significant business losses on his income tax, equal to the mortgage+, so that he pretty much got the house free.
The IRS rules say that you can lose money on a business for something like only three years in a row, then it is no longer a business, it's a hobby, and you can't claim business expenses for it. But he scammed the feds and state for ten years, and bragged about how much money he saved on taxes.
The IRS rules also say that if you report crap like that, you get a reward of a percentage of the back taxes owed.
You have no idea how tempted I was. The reward alone would have been in the tens of thousands. But if I had reported his delinquency, Daughter would be upset, so I didn't.
I wish I had. I'm sorry the statute of limitations is up. But so help me, if I find out he didn't report this land sale on next year's taxes, I'll get him. Somehow.
(Of course, if it's REALLY a loss, then he will report it.)