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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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My finance and I own a home. She up and left NY and went to

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My finance and I own a home. She up and left NY and went to North Dakota for three years. She made no payments on the house in the 3 years she was gone. A foreclosure notice was served to her and an address located near the home was on the notice. I called her thinking maybe she was coming back to me, but no she just wanted furniture from the house. Is she entitled to anything? We are going through with a short sale, she refused to sign off on the house. We bought the house for $475,000, it is not worth that. I have not made any payments on the house either since I could not afford to. I have maintained the home and paid all the other bills. She wants to come in the house and take what she wants. Do I give her back the key?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Is she listed on title of the property? If so, then it is irrelevant under state law if she made zero payments or failed to maintain the property, she remains part owner. You, as the other part-owner, have the ability to potentially sue her for half of he costs you expended toward the property, such as paying taxes or making repairs.

Now, as for giving her the key, here is where not ownership but tenancy rights come in. If you are living on premises, you are deemed to be a lawful occupant. As an occupant and legal tenant you can bar access and deny her the ability to re-enter as you reside there on your own. You are not required to let her in, or give her a key--while she is entitled to her own property if she left it behind, she is not entitled to remain on premises if you are currently residing there. In other words you would need to let her in to pick up her things, but you are under no obligation otherwise to allow her to stay.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you


Thank you for your follow-up. In your other thread you posted:

So you are saying she is still entitled to anything in the house even though she left for 3 years! How much time has to pass before she cannot claim it to be hers any longer?
Leaving it behind does not create a claim that she lost her title or ownership--you have to start a claim with the police by claiming that the items are 'abandoned', file documentation, and then seek ownership. here as that did not occur, she retains full rights.

She is looking for furniture and a cable box that I left outside for the cable company to collect. What kind of lawyer am I looking for to serve her papers for half the bills?
The items you no longer have and would reasonably not keep she cannot pursue. As for filing against her, that can be done by any collections or a general practice attorney who has experience in litigation.

Good luck.

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