Real Estate Law
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Would he or she be entitled to half the current market value Or would they be liable to pay off their share of the initial purchase and mortgage commitment ?
Unfortunately, the non-contributing owner is still considered a half owner, whether they actually contributed to paying for the property or not.
But the paying owner could file suit under a breach of contract claim if there was an agreement to divide up the payments and they never contributed. They would claim that it would be "unjust enrichment" to allow them to share in the rewards without paying. A judge would then likely rule that the paying owner is entitled to their contributions back in the form of their payments and then the other owner is only entitled to half of any profits over that amount once the property is sold.
This is what you asked...
Would he or she be intilted to half the current market value Or would they be liable to pay off their share of the initial purchase and mortgage commitment ?
And this is my opinion..
A judge would then likely rule that the paying owner A is entitled to their contributions back in the form of their payments and then the other owner B is only entitled to half of any profits over that amount once the property is sold.
So it isn't a yes or no answer. It would likely come out where the A gets all the loan money off the top back and then they split any profit.
For example, the loan was $100K and the house is later sold for $120K. I think a judge would give A $100K plus $10K and B would just get $10K.
So likely but not definitely the law ?
Correct. This will depend on the parties actual agreement, what they testify about, who the judge believes more, whether there are any extenuating circumstances, etc. For example, the deadbeat could say "judge, she/he said if I gave up smoking, they would pay for the entire mortgage". And then the judge would have to decide if that is true or not..
Can you site any past cases that set the precedence to avoid further pursuit by the dead beat ?
No, you can never point to another case and say "this will turn out exactly like this case" because each case is entirely different with different facts and testimony. The best you can do is aggregate all the cases you have dealt with and read and come up with a best guess in a situation like this because there is no black letter law that says A gets $X and B gets $Y