Trying to buy a house from a lady stuck in the middle

6 Replies

So we have a property we are trying to buy and here is the situation.

This lady owns the property with her ex boyfriend, they are both on the deed.  They broke up and he skipped town over 5 years ago and he completely stopped making payments towards the mortgage.  She obviously needs his signature to sell the house, and he refuses to sign anything unless it is with a realtor of his choice and he wants to list at ABOVE a retail price.

My client is concerned because she does not have the money to pay for the vacant house once it is listed, and the ex boyfriend refuses to pay his half, even while the property is listed.

Does she have any right to take over the mortgage since he walked away and she has been covering the whole thing herself for over 5 years?

She is pretty much stuck and doesn't know how to proceed?

That's a tough one for her. If he won't listen to logic, I'd have her seek the advise of an RE attorney. 

Mortgage and deed are two separate things.  I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I've heard of others in similar situations having to go to court to get a partition decision to force the sale of the property.  

Unfortunately,  I agree that it sounds like it is time for a lawyer.

@John Horner I am an attorney, living in Ohio, but not licensed here.  You should DEFINITELY call a local real estate attorney and sit down and talk to them.  Most of these situations can be solved relatively easily, though not quickly.  Find a good attorney THAT WONT CHARGE YOU FOR THE INITIAL CONSULTATION.  Then, when they explain to you the course of action, pay the fee, if you think it's reasonable in relation to the problem, and a strongly worded letter from an attorney is alot more threatening than an agent.  If he owes her any money, they could threaten attachment of a civil judgment of $$ on him, and that threat might leave him to sign the agreement in lieu of having to owe her money.  If I were you, I would ask an attorney if threatening to sue him for back mortgage payments, maybe in lieu of him signing away his right, would be a good course of action.  I dont know anyone in Columbus though.  Best of luck, and keep me updated!

@John Horner

When multiple owners are on the title, any owner of record can bring a partition action pursuant to R.C. 5307. Typically, the results in the forced sale of the property with the proceeds being split between the owners.

Whether or not that's a good move for your particular situation is too complex a question for message board advice but that should give you a good starting point for a conversation with a real estate attorney.'

Originally posted by @Jared Lichtin :

@John Horner I am an attorney, living in Ohio, but not licensed here.  You should DEFINITELY call a local real estate attorney and sit down and talk to them.  Most of these situations can be solved relatively easily, though not quickly.  Find a good attorney THAT WONT CHARGE YOU FOR THE INITIAL CONSULTATION.  Then, when they explain to you the course of action, pay the fee, if you think it's reasonable in relation to the problem, and a strongly worded letter from an attorney is alot more threatening than an agent.  If he owes her any money, they could threaten attachment of a civil judgment of $$ on him, and that threat might leave him to sign the agreement in lieu of having to owe her money.  If I were you, I would ask an attorney if threatening to sue him for back mortgage payments, maybe in lieu of him signing away his right, would be a good course of action.  I dont know anyone in Columbus though.  Best of luck, and keep me updated!

 Thanks Jared, this is helpful, am going to take this to my attorney this morning (We do enough business with him he doesn't charge us to talk any more :) )

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