Woman who turns over property on quitclaim sues cousin for sale proceeds

Ann Knef Mar. 4, 2008, 6:00am

212 Ridgewood in Belleville

A St. Clair County woman who turned over a nearly paid-off Belleville home to her cousin so the property could be fixed up and sold claims she's never received proceeds of the sale two years ago.

Carla Gonzalez filed suit against Donald Hale, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Nester Realty in Shiloh, and his wife Nancy Hale, plaintiff's cousin, in St. Clair County Circuit Court on Feb. 27.

Gonzalez claims that in September 2004 Donald Hale advised her "that the best course of action would be to quitclaim the said real estate" at 212 Ridgewood Dr. to Nancy Hale and James Johnson -- Nancy Hale's son.

"That on or about October 1, 2004, in reliance upon the expertise of Defendant Donald Hale, Plaintiff did quitclaim the said real estate to Defendants Nancy Hale and James Johnson with the understanding based on the oral statements of Defendants, particularly Defendant Donald Hale that the said real estate would be fixed up and sold and the proceeds from the sale of said real estate would be given to the Plaintiff," the complaint states.

Gonzalez, represented by Christina M. Sugden of Katzman & Associates in Belleville, claims she owed approximately $1,250 on the mortgage as of Oct. 1, 2004.

The property was sold for $95,000 on Feb. 28, 2005, the complaint states.

Gonzalez claims the Hales made false representations with the intent to defraud and deceive her and with the intent to induce her to sign a quitclaim deed transferring ownership of her property.

She is seeking in excess of $550,000 in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages and costs.

Johnson and Coldwell Banker Nester Realty have been named as respondents in discovery.

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