FI brought up a good point with the escrow question. You indicate you transferred the deed through escrow. Which one? Title Company, Independent, Broker owned etc.? This doesn't sound like something an escrow company should do and you may have recourse there. If this was to have been a sale, then you should have gotton title insurance too. If that was the case, you could go back to them. The attorney recommendation is sound, particularly if you had a notice of default on the property before your "friend" bought it and you were living in it at the time (California Civil Codes 1695 and/or 2945 may apply). You can call Brian Cain, of the Cain Law Group, at 858.277.2122, for some help. You can also call me if you have more questions-no charge. 619.507.5688 . I am not an attorney, however, I do specialize in foreclosure and foreclosure prevention and can offer you some other suggestions.