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Ask Loren Your Own Question
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33986
Experience:  30 years of real estate practice experience.
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My sister, brother-in-law and I are all buying a duplex in

Customer Question

My sister, brother-in-law and I are all buying a duplex in Spring Lake Township (Ottawa County). It should be paid off within the next two months or so (26 years it has taken). I am 71 and have pulmonary fibrosis and breathing is creating more and more problems (am on oxygen). I really need a house which is more accessible in many ways for my needs. In the mean time, my brother in law (Tom) has lost a total of 3 jobs within the last 13 months and moved to Alabama and is now in Georgia (still without a job). Their credit cards are maxed out, their son is renting their side for now, my sister makes one excuse after another for not working, and now they want to buy me out. They talk about their situation having major implications in their lives but only having a slight impact on my life. They are both approx. 15 years younger and have absolutely no concept of what getting older means and it gets more and more difficult to function with my fatal disease continually progressing. In order to buy me out, he'll need a job and be able to hold it for a while, and they'll to get themselves out of debt. That could be years -- or how many more jobs???? I can't keep waiting. And they should have acted on this last Oct. shortly after they moved to AL - but there's always another excuse. All three of our names are ***** ***** title, Tom and I are the only bread winners, and I did the original $8,000 down payment. I need to just sell and not continue to wait and wait for them? Do I have any legal grounds? Help....please. Thank you. My e-mail address is sgelderloos
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Sorry, it's in Michigan.
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: What kind of paper work - filed for what? Sorry I don't understand you question.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Is there anything I can do to force them to sell (under the circumstances) - and not continue to have to wait for perhaps years?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 9 months ago.
Good aftenoon. I am Loren, a licnesed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.
Expert:  Loren replied 9 months ago.
If real property is owned concurrently by two or more persons then any of the interested parties may bring an action to "partition" the property which, effectively, requests the court to physically divide or, alternatively, order the sale of the property and division of the proceeds. The action is called a Partition Action and for people with concurrent interests (currently existing) who have not "waived" the right to partition, this remedy is an absolute right. The demand for partition must be granted by the Court to such plaintiffs -- although the details of the order can vary widely. The "order" for the sale is typically an Interlocutory Judgment of Partition by Sale, either issued soon after the lawsuit is filed but sometimes not until all of the financial and legal issues are resolved.Partition actions must be filed in the county where the property is located. Any person with an existing or future interest in the property may bring the action.The court has broad equitable powers to protect the interests of all concerned, to prevent waste and to otherwise protect the interests of the owners. In a significant portion of the cases, one of the parties is in possession of the property, whether residing therein in a residential context or operating a business therefrom in a commercial context. There may be issues of fair rental value, payment of the mortgage, insurance, and maintenance expenses, or preservation and distribution of rental receipts. The court may require the parties to contribute funds to the operation of the property, to grant access to the property to various persons including the referee, and to make whatever other arrangements are necessary to preserve the asset and to separate the dispute over the property from the efforts to get it sold.
Expert:  Loren replied 9 months ago.
Partition actions are, generally, complex to litigate and it is strongly recommended that you retain local counsel.
If you need assistance finding local counsel try Martindale Hubble (site rules prohibit us from referring specific attorneys). Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise: is a huge worldwide database searchable by location and specialty. The attorneys are all peer rated. So, they represent the top of the profession.