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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37348
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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Our family has a cabin that was originally built by our

Customer Question

Our family has a cabin that was originally built by our father and his brother. Upon the eventual death of both 50% of the property was willed to my fathers 3 children, including me. The 50% owned by his brother was willed to one of his two children. The title reflects that as recorded by the county. We all agreed as a group to follow sharing the expenses 50:50 just as the two brothers always had from the beginning. Use of the cabin is arbitrary with the exception that the single son of my dad's brother requests one full month a year which we agreed to. The three children of my father use the cabin intermittently but in aggregate it adds up to less than the full month our cousin takes. The problem we have encountered is for perhaps 10 years or more our cousin stopped paying any of his 50% share of the cabin expenses amounting to $10's of thousands of dollars. To avoid late taxes and lapsed insurance, utilities etc, we have paid all the costs. We want a legal avenue to force our cousin the other 50% owner to pay current or have his eventual right to the equity if sold to be encumbered by his unpaid obligation. Can we lien our own property for what he has not paid sighting him as the default owner, can we force loss of title, can we somehow record an ongoing debt that we would recover should the generation decide to sell? Thank you, ***** *****(###) ###-####
PS: This is a cabin at Lake Tahoe in California
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Can we lien our own property for what he has not paid sighting him as the default owner.

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The only way you could lien the property would be to sue your cousin for breach of contract, get a judgment, and then record the judgment against him in the local land records office.

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If he agreed to split all the costs and has failed to do so, you could sue him under a breach of oral contract (assuming it wasn't written) for half of any costs up to 2 years back as that is the statute of limitations on a breach of oral contract claim in CA.

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can we force loss of title, can we somehow record an ongoing debt that we would recover should the generation decide to sell?

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Once you have the judgment lien recorded, you can foreclose on it and force a sale of the property at public auction where you could bid on it to buy out his interest. Or you can simply let the judgment lien sit on the property as the judgment is good for 10 years and then you can renew it for another 10.

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You can also sue him every 2 years for half of any expenses going forward to keep racking up judgment liens on the property that you would eventually be able to recover on if the property is ever sold or if you foreclosed on it.

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thanks

Barrister