What is recourse does a partial owner of a home to demand moneyor force asale?

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What is recourse does a partial owner of a home to demand moneyor force asale?

My great aunt put a large sum of money down on the home my husband and I live in, in CA. Aunt’s name is on the mortgage loan but she does not pay (not even taxes), only we do. Aunt moved out of state a couple of years ago. We then learned she had filed bankruptcy (and homestead). She is demanding we pay her back the money she put down + interest, or threatens to do a forced sale. She also says she has made out a Will, which when she dies, we must pay the amount of money she feels is owed to her friend or lose the home. The threat is, either way, we must pay or lose our home.

Asked on July 31, 2011 California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

And I am assuming that she is also on the deed, correct?  I have a few concerns here.  First, if it was a chapter 7 and did she list the mortgage on her bankruptcy?  If it was and if she did then technically she no longer owes on the mortgage and is no longer responsible.  So the lender is only going to look to you who have been paying the mortgage anyway.  Look in to having her name removed.  Now, if she is on the deed to the property as well and she filed for bankruptcy generally when the bank forecloses on the property the deed is changed.  But they are not going to foreclose with you paying the mortgage and as a co-signor.  Please seek legal help here.  If she tries to bring a partition action to have the house "spilt in two" - which generally results in a sale - you have the bankruptcy/equity argument.  And as for the down payment, did you sign any papers that said it was a loan?  Please bring all the paperwork to an attorney there. She can make trouble but if she is going to be successful remains to be seen. Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

And I am assuming that she is also on the deed, correct?  I have a few concerns here.  First, if it was a chapter 7 and did she list the mortgage on her bankruptcy?  If it was and if she did then technically she no longer owes on the mortgage and is no longer responsible.  So the lender is only going to look to you who have been paying the mortgage anyway.  Look in to having her name removed.  Now, if she is on the deed to the property as well and she filed for bankruptcy generally when the bank forecloses on the property the deed is changed.  But they are not going to foreclose with you paying the mortgage and as a co-signor.  Please seek legal help here.  If she tries to bring a partition action to have the house "spilt in two" - which generally results in a sale - you have the bankruptcy/equity argument.  And as for the down payment, did you sign any papers that said it was a loan?  Please bring all the paperwork to an attorney there. She can make trouble but if she is going to be successful remains to be seen. Good luck.


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