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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55138
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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My brother and I inherited our parents home and 2 cars. He

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My brother and I inherited our parents home and 2 cars. He has keys to the house and he drives the cars. I don't have keys to the house or cars. The only time he contacts me is for the taxes on the property. I told him I want to sell everything and split the money. He says I should gift him the property to avoid paying taxes. We live in VA. Who is right?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. You are right. These assets belong to each of you. He does not get to enjoy all the benefits while you are burdened with 1/2 the taxes. You have the right to force the sale; if he will not agree to sell the assets voluntarily, file a suit against him to force the sale. The court will order the assets sold without his consent and the proceeds divided.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I found out that my brother is renting the house to a friend. He claims the renter can only afford to pay $500.00 and It only covers utilities. Am I entitled to half the rent and we decide what to pay?. Also he has the utilities in my deceased mothers name 3 years after her death. Shouldn't the renter put the utilities in his own name?

Thanks for following up. Not only are you entitled to 1/2 the fair market value rent; your brother should make up the deficiency between the fair market rent and what his renter is paying. Also, yes, the utilities should be put in the renter's name as the renter is the one benefiting from them.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do I file a suit in small claims court to force a sale of assets or do I need to call a lawyer to represent me in another court?

Thanks for following up. You will need to engage a lawyer to represent you in a state civil court. This is not a case that is allowable in small claims. The reality is that in most cases, once the owners fighting the sale find out the certainty of the result of a suit for partition, that/those owner(s) typically agrees/agree to the sale without the suit to avoid the costs of the suit.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What is a title search and how do I conduct one?

Hi there. It's a search of the title at real property records of the city/county in which the property located. You can call any title company in your areas and they'll do one for you for a very modest fee. It will show any deeds recorded as well as all encumbrances, liens, and exceptions to title.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How is buying a house on auction different from a foreclosure?

A foreclosure is when someone with a lien on the property is not paid what is due him/her, and that person declares a default and then forecloses on the lien to collect what is owed. A foreclosure sale is much like an auction in that the highest bidder at the foreclosure sale gets the property. An auction of the property can be held as a result of either a suit for partition in which the court orders the sale of the property or the owners voluntarily put it up for auction...with or without a reserve....rather than simply listing the property and selling it in the ordinary manner that a property is sold.

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