Michigan Ownership of a property

6 Replies

I have a friend that has been in a relationship for over 12 years in hopes of getting married , in an act of good faith her boyfriend refinanced and had his girlfriend’s name was put on the deed and the mortgage to buy more time, delay the commitment of marriage .. In a recent argument that ensued he informed her that they are not married and if she leaves she gets nothing . She is also preparing to file bankruptcy chapter 13 and is aware that the house cannot be sold for 3 to 5 years . Due to irreconcilable differences this has become a very volatile environment and she is thinking of leaving the home , if she does is this considered abandonment and does this constitute forfeiture of any rights or profits from a home sale?


Hey Joseph, best to contact a real estate attorney locally, happy to recommend one to you if you want to send a private message.  In general though you have several questions as they related to two different topics.  1) House (title) 2) Mortgage.  Both issues need to be thought through as separate items as that is just what they are.  How the city deals with title is different then a mortgage co.  And she is filing bankruptcy.....this is a very message topic and not one that can be dealt with properly in my opinion on a message board and really needs to be with an attorney.  Sounds like a mess and one I am glad I am not apart of : ) 

The best advice I can give is they (she) needs to contact a local attorney.  

If she is on the deed she is a owner of the house. It is pretty straightforward. He would not be able to sell or finance the home without her involvement. Most register of deeds office give some free access so should be able to view on the county website. Her BK would have no bearing on ownership interest if it does exist.

I agree that it appears cut and dry but given the current situation between them (messy) it doesn't seem to far fetched that the person in the home could claim abandonment by the party that left.  Successful or not, they could cause issues that are costly for the party that left and given they are going through Chap. 13 they may or may not have the resources to fight that properly.  Things like how long they lived together, are they common law married (been together for 12 years).  Does the local city/county require 1 party to give written notice to the 2nd party that they are not abandoning the property, just the relationship etc.  As I am not a lawyer, I have no idea.  What I do know is that if things are as messy as they appear to be the person in the home could cause enough trouble for the person who left the property that they just give up or can't afford to defend their rights.  A lawyer may suggest serving the party in the home proper notice that the other party doesn't have an intention on abandoning the property.  Also, who is paying for the upkeep, the mortgage, the utilities etc may all come into paly.  Like I said to start, this is far to messy and potentially complicated for a message board.  The bank. Attorney should be able to provide some guidance to settle the mind.