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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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May I have Legal Ease again if possible, please. I co-own a

Customer Question

May I have Legal Ease again if possible, please.I co-own a home with a friend in Windsor Ontario. We are joint owners. I do not live there. She lives there only part-time. Finally she has agreed to buy me out.I am the one who has taken care of the account associated with the household expenses. My co-owner is not good with math, so it became my job. The household account is my personal account and an only online chequing account.She owes me money, a $1000 balance owing (two and a half years) from a personal loan I gave her for her share of the down-payment. However, she held back the money using it toward household expenses (which are shared 50/50). I felt awkward asking for the money, as she had money problems. Nothing was ever agreed about her holding back the money, but now she claims I agreed to this. I thought all along she was broke and couldn’t return my money yet, so in the meantime, she felt justified because she was using the monies toward household expenses and setting up the house. Basically, she was spending my money without asking my opinion on how it was spent. I figured she would one day turn in the expenses to the house account and give me the $1000.I finally asked her for the money and she did not understand how the $1000 in shared expenses of purchases she made didn’t automatically pay off the $1000 loan. After a bunch of confusing emails back and forth, I finally came up with a plan and wrote, “why don’t I take the money out of the account for your expenses of $1000 (give the receipts to the house) and you give me that same $1000 for your loan payment, then we are square.She wrote back that she could always drop off a $1000 check “providing” I give her money for her receipts. This was confusing, but I thought OK, if you want to do it this way. But she never did. She became angry with me and went to a lawyer.I received a letter from her lawyer who writes that the co-owner wishes to break up our joint tenancy and that one of us buys out the other or the house sells, etc. Included in the letter was that I have "two weeks from the date of the letter (already five days old when I received it) to give copies of the household account for the last year, copies of the mortgage payments and all house related papers (which I've held onto).As for the $1000 she owes me: Her lawyer’s letter said they will determine who owes what to whom, when they receive the documentation on the house.My question is: Am I in my rights to take that money out of the account (considering it is my personal account) and do what I proposed, before handing over the account information to them and just write a receipt with the papers that that her loan is paid in full?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You can take out the money. At the end of the day the numbers will speak for themselves. But the lawyer is essentially bluffing in the sense that the lawyer will not be acting for her as the legal fees will be greater than what you are fighting for in the end.

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