Bought a house with boyfriend then separated

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Bought a house with boyfriend then separated

I bought a house several years ago with my then boyfriend. We separated and he wanted the house and said he would pay mortgage and then finance in his name. I did a quit claim deed and he promised to re-finance. He has the house in foreclosure. What can I do to get my name off the loan, force foreclosure, or force sale of home?

Asked on May 1, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, you have NO right to get your name off the loan: the loan is a contract between you and your ex on the one hand and the lender/bank on the other hand. A contract may only be modified, including to remove one person from it and its obligations, with the consent or agreement of *all* parties: that is, your ex and the bank would both have to agree to remove you from the loan, and the bank will never do that, since doing so hurts them: it removes a person responsible for paying the loan and whom they could sue if the loan is not paid.
If you were still an owner of the property, you could force the sale of the home with what is traditionally called an action "for partition": when the two or more owners of real estate disagree as to what to do with it, one of them can bring a legal action (lawsuit) for a court order compelling that the property be sold and the proceeds--after paying the cost of the legal action and sale, and paying off any loans or liens--be distributed among the owners. 
However, you write that you "did a quit claim deed": if you quit claimed your interest in the home to him you are no longer and owner. As a non-owner, you cannot force the home's sale. 
You *may* be able to force him to refinance if you had an agreement with him that in exchange for you quit claiming your interest in the home to him, he would pay the mortgage and refinance. But if you only had an oral (unwritten) agreement, this may be difficult: not only is it hard to prove the existence and terms of an unwritten agreement if the other side disputes what you say, but under section 13-5-30 of your state's statues, contracts or agreements about interests in (that is, regarding ownership of) real estate generally must be in writing to be enforceable; therefore, if you did not get your agreement in writing, you may not be able to enforce it. Still, this is likely your best option, and you should meet with a real estate attorney to discuss it.


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