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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53725
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I am a co-owner of a home and my partner has become unbearable

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I am a co-owner of a home and my partner has become unbearable to live with. I requested that he re-finance the home in his own name and buy me out of my portion of the house. He is in the process of doing that, however, he has secreted away all the paperwork. My question is this:

He can't legally take my name off of the title without me signing documents can he?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. You are correct. In order for him to get your ownership in the property, you would have to sign a deed transferring your interest to him. The deed showing your ownership is public record in the real property records of the city/county in which your property is located. He cannot hide this fact. If he were to try to forge your signature on a deed to get your interest, he would have to record this deed in the public records. You can ask any title company for a nominal fee, or you can go to the real property records yourself, to look up the title to your property to ascertain if he has done this. If he were brazen enough to have done so, you not only would be able to have that undone and get awarded punitive damages, you could contact the district attorney's office and pursue criminal prosecution.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that answer. He received the preliminary documents for the re-finance, and was approved for the new mortgage. Also, an appraiser was here the other day, without advance notice to me.


What are the next steps that I should expect?


I've put extensive work and money into the house and landscaping.

You're's my pleasure. What should happen is when the loan is ready to close, a closing should be scheduled. Prior to this you should be given an HUD-closing statement to review which will show the proceeds you are supposed to get from the refinancing. You will also be asked to sign a deed transferring your interest, but you will deliver this signed deed to the title company closing the refinancing with the instructions not to release and record this deed until the title company has received the loan proceeds, paid off the prior loan, and is ready to disburse funds pursuant to the closing statement.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Alright, so I shouldn't sign anything until I receive satisfactory funds for my portion?

You can sign the deed, but you only want to deliver it to the title company, not to your partner. The title company will then only release it when they have received your funds.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So, if I have a specific amount that I'm going to request, do I request that from him, or am I only entitled to half of the equity?

It would be whatever the two of you agreed upon with regard to the purchase of your interest. But, that would typically be 1/2 of the equity after paying off the mortgage. This would be paid by the title company from the proceeds from the refinancing.
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