What are our legal rights/options if my mother-in-law is also on the deed to my house but her name is not on the mortgage and we have asked her to sign a home equity loan yet she has refused?

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What are our legal rights/options if my mother-in-law is also on the deed to my house but her name is not on the mortgage and we have asked her to sign a home equity loan yet she has refused?

She owns half.

Asked on October 10, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1 If she agrees to buy voluntarily, it's whatever amount, based on whatever calculation or method of valuation, you and she agree to.
2 It would have to be a voluntary buy-out you can't force the other owner to sell to you against her will, unless there is some contract requiring one owner to sell to the other under certain conditions, which conditions apply.
3 While you can't force her to sell you to, you can bring an action for "partition" where a court will order the property to be put on the market and sold for its fair market value and the proceeds distributed. An owner or owners can bring this action when all the owners cannot agree as to what to do to or with the property. If you want to explore this option, speak with a real estate attorney.


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