If my brother owes me money, how can I get him on an acceptable repayment plan?

My parents passed away 11 years ago and left their house in both mine and my brother’s names. He and I

mutually agreed that he could live in the house with his wife and kids and he would pay me my portion over time. The house was estimated at $120,000, so we agreed that he would pay me my 60k over time. No

lawyers or contracts. No hurry. My mistake I know. Over the last several years he has been writing me

checks for $200 here, $300 there slowly paying me off. We have no formal contract written up but every

time he pays me he prints out and attaches a payment history and how much he owes me. I’m starting to get annoyed at the infrequency of the payments and don’t want to wait 30 years to have him pay it off. Do I have any legal recourse to have him pay me my share all at once now or at least a guaranteed payment plan. We’ve had a falling out recently and I never wanted it to go this route but now I have a first baby on the way and need to look out for my family and my portion of the house would help greatly. I am concerned that he’s going to try and stop paying altogether.

Asked on January 25, 2019 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Your only recourse, if he won't voluntarily enter into (and keep to) a payment plan is to sue him for the money: the lawsuit can be settled or resolved by a payment plan.
Not having a written agreement with set terms will complicate suing: it makes it more difficult to prove when he should be paying. Without proof of when he is supposed to pay, it will be difficult to prove that he is paying too slowly. Fortunately, you have his statements of payment history and how much is owed to at least prove the existence and amount of the debt, but to sue him for breach of contract--for not paying when he should--you need to be able to prove when he was supposed to pay, and based on what you write, that may be difficult. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.