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Community Voices: Federal Judge ‘Trumping’ California Law of Declaring Homestead Exemption

In an effort to provide our readers with a platform to be heard in their own words, Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper has created “Community Voices!” for both our print and on-line editions.  If you want your “Community Voice” to be heard on an issue, drop Randy Economy a note and letter to [email protected].

Dear Editor:

Please ask your readers to help me with a problem I did not create and should  not be penalized for.  It is ruining all my plans for a life well organized in my senior years.

My home was a well taken care of single family home which was also fully paid off since 2002.  My husband and  signed  the Declared Homestead  Exemption in 1981 and I’ve had my home since 1978 and had planned on retiring there.  In 2003 I was involved with a  lawsuit with my Homeowners’  association.  This was dismissed in April 2005 because the  Homeowners’  Association attorney,  Peter Racobs, refused to have his defendants do discovery.  At that time, my co-plaintiff  and I  did not see any reason to have a trial even though, Judge Cunnison set it up for trial.  My co-plaintiff ended up selling her rental.   The attorney  was still pursuing this case  and wanted to have these  ridiculous  fees paid.  He claimed  Prevailing  party and wanted $70,000.

In March of 2001 my husband passed away and I substituted  his name on the  deed with my brother who lives in Greece.  Nothing  transferred.  This was done to protect me from Probate.  The Deed was sent to be recorded and got stamped but was not given a Docket  number  so the bankruptcy  Trustee calls it a Fraudulent  transfer and says this now belonged to him.  Why would I want to send it to be recorded the same date as the Affidavit  of Death?  In  October of 2001, when  I could think clearer,  I put the house in a Living Trust which changed my title from widow to Trustee of the Theodora Sheldon Trust.  So the deed became invalid as of  October  4, 2001.  The home has remained in the  Trust with no changes.

The Homeowners’ Association attorney was still trying to collect and since  I wanted to slow down my career  I filed bankruptcy   in 2007.  In January of 2008 my attorney, Skip Allen Field, told  the court that the Statute of  Limitation      had passed  for a lawsuit but no one listened.  Also the defendants, the board members, lacked the capacity to carry on.  My bankruptcy has not been discharged  in spite of the three year limit tell me about.  I was also given a 3 day  eviction from the Bankruptcy Court?  Peter Racobs is the only creditor I have and he pretends  that he is  trying to collect for the association.   His lien is  not under his name or the association’s name but Marion Nikliborc a board member and certainly not a creditor of mine.

I  do not owe any assessments to the association so no secured debts, yet Judge Mark Houle auctioned my home in his Chambers to two people which the B.K. Trustee had brought in without my knowledge.  Just before the December 12, 2012 hearing, the person who bought my home was shown the property by Robert Whitmore himself.  Some technical legalities were NOT covered  by this sale.

I’ve had to subpoena the escrow papers and I am entitled to them since I am listed as the seller.  Even if the Trustee had half of my home, when two people own real estate unless they both agree to sell the property, it cannot be sold.  So why was the Declared  Homestead Exemption not enforced and why do they want to keep $105,000 to pay attorney fees by SURCHARGING me?  They claim the surcharges are because I would  not let them do whatever they wanted to do.   No one could get a loan  on the property since  I was the owner of record.  They found an all cash buyer and closed the escrow in 12 days however the Assessor’s  Office  as of 6-5-2013  still had me as owner.

So all of my well covered plans for my Sr. years have been trumped by  Judge Mark Houle.

Why should I be homeless????

Teddy Sheldon


teddy. [email protected] .

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