I’m being threatened with eviction by someone I jointly hold a title with, what do I do?

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I’m being threatened with eviction by someone I jointly hold a title with, what do I do?

I purchased a home with my fiance two years ago. However, I did not sign for a
loan nor am I financially obligated to any loan for the home. Basically,
because of my credit at the time, it was determined that we would have a better
interest rate if my name were not associated with the loan. So my name is on
the deed to the home but not the loan.

Suffice to say we did not get married and eventually went our own ways. During
the separation, I offered the house to the fiance but she declined. She moved
out in 01/17 and has been living else where to date. Since 01/17 I’ve been
solely paying for the mortgage and residing in the home. In 06/17 she contacts
me and gives me the ultimatum that if I don’t assume the loan from her or leave
the premises within three months, then she’ll have me evicted.

Recently she contacted me and demanded money so that she can pay for the down
payment on the apartment. She proposed that if I were to pay her a sum of money
to help her pay for the apartment then she would extend this time window before
I’m evicted. I should mention at this point that her step father is an attorney
and she phrased the proposition in a way that through some type of legal action
she’ll have me evicted from a home that I hold joint title to.

The step father attorney also contacted my father rather than myself and told
him that he was going to send over an itemized receipt totaling 6500.00 in the
amount I owed. Again, I reiterate, I did not sign a loan at any point in time,
nor any contract stating that I would pay back any sum of money for my half of
the title when the home was purchased. I also want to mention that my father is
not an attorney nor does he represent me in any capacity.

At this point in time, I feel harassed and concerned for my home. My family is
confused as to why they’re receiving these odd threats of summons. Does this
person have the right to evict me? Is the request for funds to purchase her new
apartment unfounded and some kind of extortion? Am I somehow obligated to pay
the other party even though I’ve never signed a contract stating I would
orally or otherwise? Should I retain a lawyer for further review? I’m
stressing out over here. Any advice is sincerely appreciated.

Asked on August 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are on the title or the deed, you cannot be evicted: you would be an owner, and an owner cannot be evicted from his or her property. Your right to the property and to use and occupancy of it is equal to her right. She does not have the leverage over you that she or her stepfather are implying, not if your name is on the deed to the home. The most she can do is she can bring an action for partition: a lawsuit seeking the court to order the sale of the property, because the two owners cannot agree as to what to do with it. If she does this, then unless you and she work matters out amicably, it is likely that a court will ultimately order the property be listed for sale, in which case both of you will lose it (after, presumbably, several months to over year, depending on how fast the court action takes and how strong the real estate market is in your area)--but as a co-owner, you will get 50% of the proceeds (after paying the costs of sale and paying off the mortgage) from the sale of the home.


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