Selling Property More Than One Person Name On Deed

14 Replies

Hello Everyone, 

I wanted to ask a few questions to get some direction. I'm new to real estate investing I still work my full time job but the reason I'm here is to get some help on a possible deal that kinda fell right in my lap... I have a co worker who lives in a house that he no longer wants he do have a mortgage that's about $1400/month but the down side to this is he and his EX girlfriend names are on the DEED. They are no longer together he have tried to contact her but she will not respond back to him so he have lost all contact with her he's still living in the house paying the monthly payments he wants to sell the property what do you all think could be done?

Not unusual to have more than one person on the deed.  For that matter, my wife's name is on the deed to our primary, but only my name is on the mortgage.

She has rights.  He can't sell without her.

He will have to find her.  He cannot sell without her involvement.

Originally posted by @Richard C.:

Not unusual to have more than one person on the deed.  For that matter, my wife's name is on the deed to our primary, but only my name is on the mortgage.

She has rights.  He can't sell without her.

 Thanks for the responses her name is only on the deed his name is the only name on the mortgage do he still have to involve her???

Mortgage is irrelevant.  ALL people who are on the deed have to be involved in a sale.  He better start tracking her down or he will never be able to sell this property.  If it turns out she's dead he would then be able to deal with that, though her heirs would now be the owners, too.

It is not a major problem, just will take time. Your lawyer will have to do a "quiet title suit". Once settled you will be able to sell the property. If there is excess funds, she may/will be entitled to part. The court will decide what to do with the proceeds.

@Account Closed do you think a quite title works in this situation?

Originally posted by @Arlan Potter:

It is not a major problem, just will take time. Your lawyer will have to do a "quiet title suit". Once settled you will be able to sell the property. If there is excess funds, she may/will be entitled to part. The court will decide what to do with the proceeds.

 Where's the defect?  

Not so sure about a Quiet Title, and that may be state specific.  Quiet title actions are Not intended to remove rightful title holders, or legitimate mortgages.  QT exist to cure errors, defects, fraud, and liens that have been extinguished some other operation of law ie. tax deed sales.  I seriously doubt a judge would remove someone from title simply because they couldn't be served.

If there is animosity between the two, then the best bet would be for You to find the girl friend, as a neutral third party, bearing gifts.

Gurus always trying to the skit the law or issue. Both parties must sign for the property to be sold, and if you do take a Gurus advice, I suggest the seller to don't spend the money just in case if someone came calling they might call that mortgage fraud.


Joe Gore

A quiet title suit may not clear up this issue, but some legal action must/can be taken to sell the property. The mortgage would have to be paid, of course, and any amounts left over will probably go to the state to be held as unclaimed funds for the missing party.

I agree that it is not likely or right to take away anything from the missing party, but a court ordered or court allowed sale to satisfy a mortgage with her excess funds held in escrow is not taking anything away from her.

I am not an attorney. But the guy is not without legal recourse to fix the problem.

Right?

@Arlan Potter,

You are right about one thing the mortgage must be paid in full and the trick to get the judge to sign the order and if the judge did sign the order, you can bet the judge will have someone to auction the home off and split everything's 50/50.


Joe Gore

Originally posted by @Jon Holdman:

@K. Marie Poe do you think a quite title works in this situation?

Nope.  Quiet title isn't used because you can't find a missing owner.  The OP and the co-owner have choices.  They can find the owner.  Not that big of deal usually.  And buy her interest.  If she doesn't want to sell, her interest in the property cannot be eliminated or transferred through a quiet title. If she is deceased, her share might transfer automatically if the owners held as joint tenants.  If not, her share will require state specific probate actions.  

The co-owner can sue for partition.  Totally different than quiet title.  When one owner wants to sell and the other doesn't, and a buyout cannot be negotiated, you can petition to the court.  The court will look at the interests and who paid what over the years, then order the sale of the property and distribute the proceeds.  A horrible and expensive solution in most cases.

These are very simplified descriptions of court actions and missing a lot of variations. Certainly not legal advice.  Not even suggestions really.

Originally posted by @Arlan Potter:

A quiet title suit may not clear up this issue, but some legal action must/can be taken to sell the property. The mortgage would have to be paid, of course, and any amounts left over will probably go to the state to be held as unclaimed funds for the missing party.

I agree that it is not likely or right to take away anything from the missing party, but a court ordered or court allowed sale to satisfy a mortgage with her excess funds held in escrow is not taking anything away from her.

I am not an attorney. But the guy is not without legal recourse to fix the problem.

Right?

The co-owner is only entitled to sell his 1/2 interest if he can find a buyer.  I buy partial interests.  He cannot force the other owner to sell unless he sues for partition.  Without an expensive lawsuit, you can't just force a co-owner to sell.  Doesn't matter if there is a mortgage to satisfy.  The lender is secured and can foreclose to satisfy the mortgage.  

Supposedly "missing" co-owners are very common in my experience.  I get calls and make partial interest offers all the time.  Offer to buy the 1/2 interest for what it's worth (pennies on the dollar) and amazingly the co-owners start speaking to each other again.  At least enough to get the property sold.  

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