How can I force the co-owner of my house to make their 1/2 of the mortgage payments?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2010

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How can I force the co-owner of my house to make their 1/2 of the mortgage payments?

 Can I sue them? And how to force a quitclaim deed?

Asked on November 10, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that you are both "jointly and severally responsible" for the mortgage payments.  This means that if the other borrower doesn't pay you will be held liable for paying the entire (as you undoubtedly know by now).  Ina case such as this, unfortunately, you may just want to sell the property and be done with it. It appears that refinancing will be out of the questions considering your finances.

If you can't reach an agreement voluntarily, then you can go to court to settle this.  The law provides an equitable remedy known as "partition" - the name given to a court ordered division of property among co-owners.  Since this is a single family residence and cannot be divided, a “partition by sale” can be ordered by the court.  Once the property is sold, the proceeds are equitably distributed to the owners.

Note:  Prior to a court-ordered sale, it would permit one of the co-owners to buy the other co-owners share property for fair market value.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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