How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In 2007 I began the process to purchase my first home. After

Customer Question

In 2007 I began the process to purchase my first home. After agreeing to back the mortgage loan, my first lender backed out leaving me just 24 hours to secure a new lender. Under pressure, I had to secure a new promissory letter from a new lender. However, since I was relocating and had not yet found employment in my new city, the lender suggested that I add another person to the loan agreement. The lender asked me who was going to reside in the home with me and suggested that I add this person to the loan and they would back it. That's exactly what I did, feeling confident in my committed relationship and because marriage had been promised. I closed in December 2007.
Needless to say, two years into the new home, things just didn't work out. No crime - not placing blame. We both fell out of love. I know ignorance is not a legitimate excuse in law, but I had no idea that by letting someone cosign on the loan automatically places them on your deed. We parted ways in March 2010. Since then, I've tried to get this matter resolved and he has not been cooperative. I've tried to have a quick deed executed; I've tried an assumption loan with the lender. Nothing has worked in my favor thus far. Every bit of advise I've been given to date says I need to hire an attorney. Here are some quick facts of this situation:
Cosigner invested no money in the down payment, mortgage payments, HOA dues, taxes or maintenance of the property;
Cosigner abandoned the property in March 2010
Cosigner married in March 2013
Now, in addition to our stalemate, I also need to have his wife sign off on the deed as well. I have not been able to take advantage of the lower interest rates, nor can I sell the property outright.
I refuse to believe that there is no legal resolution to this problem. I am the primary borrower; I have paid all mortgage payments, taxes, dues, etc. I strongly feel I should have some rights and should not be punished forever for a mistake I made because I didn't fully understand the consequences.
Should I need to retain legal assistance, can I make him responsible for legal fees and court costs? Can I hold him liable for half of the mortgage payments for the life of this loan agreement so far, or at least since he married?
It has been a real struggle to hold onto this property during the economic recession which began as soon as I relocated. I've done everything in my power to make mortgage payments and hold onto my property. My loan is in good standing and I think it's very unfair that his credit score get a boost every month and he has done absolutely nothing to earn it.
Please help. I need to get this issue resolved as soon as possible. I have two children who will inherit this property upon my death. I also would like to refinance and take advantage of the lower interest rates. And, should I decide to sell, I would like a check written in my name only. I know this is a tangled mess to deal with, but I cannot find peace until this mess is fixed. Please advise!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. I am sorry to hear about this situation. There is a solution, but it is not a "quick" one. What someone in your situation wants to do is to file (or threaten to file) a partition lawsuit. Partition is what happens when two parties cannot agree as to what to do in regards ***** ***** property they both own, and ask the Court to intervene. Then, the Court will either: 1) order the property sold and proceeds split, or2) order one party to buy the other one out, either lump sum or over time, and3) may award you some money for the upkeep of the home/mortgage that you have done yourself alone without his help.4) if you are awarded the home, then the Court will likely order you to refinance within a limited time into your name only. See HERE. Perhaps the threat of a lawsuit (and expensive legal fees) may have him to agree to do this peacefully rather than to have this done via a court order. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.