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If you are a joint tenant with someone else, then you each own an undivided 50% interest in the property. If the other person gets a judgment against them, the creditor can file a judgment lien on the property and then foreclose on that lien to force a sale of the property so that they can get at the 50% that the judgment debtor owns.
So the only way to potentially protect it is to get it out of the debtor's name by them quitclaim deeding it to you or someone else. If the creditor does not find out about the transfer and challenge it as fraud on a creditor, then that would protect it.
No, if you put her on the deed, she is a 50% owner... The arrangement for whatever payment that she was to tender for her interest would have been between you two..
But if you and she are on the deed, you are both exactly equal owners....
I am sorry that the news isn't better.
You could claim that you were just adding the other person to the deed for your convenience and that they really didn't have any ownership interest because they didn't pay anything. But when the creditor challenges that in court, the judge will ask you why you added them to the deed as an owner if you didn't want them to be an owner?
That is kind of a hard question to answer. You could have just let her live there on the property as a tenant, which is what most people would do if they were just trading lodging for design services. Most landlords don't add their tenants to the deed to make them an owner..
Right.... but that makes zero difference here... a tenant in common still owns 50% unless the deed specifies otherwise.. The joint tenancy just means that if one of you dies, the other becomes the sole owner instantly. With a tenant in common situation, if one owner dies, their 50% goes into their estate and down to their heirs..
So it is irrelevant for this situation whether the parties are tenants in common or joint tenants....you each own 50% as a matter of law.
If you didn't want her to become an owner of the property along with you, then you wouldn't have wanted to add her to the deed with you. I am still not sure why that was done...
Can you explain the burden of proof to demonstrate that equitable ownership is not 50/50?
It would be a matter of your and mother's verbal testimony where you both stated that it was simply an error in adding her as a joint tenant on the deed and the true intent was for her to be a 10% owner in the venture.. The burden of proof is 51%....a preponderance of the evidence... that means it was more likely than not..
But again, this is going to be up to a judge to see if he buys it 51% if the creditor decides to go after the property after getting a judgment against her.. When you are talking about you investing a half million in real estate, it is going to be kind of hard to sell a judge on the claim that you didn't know what you were doing here.
However, as I mentioned initially, the simplest thing would be for her to quitclaim deed her interest back to you and then see if the creditor missed that transfer.. That is if she would do it to try to protect the property..
I am unable to assist further with your questions.. I will opt out and open the question to other experts..