Can I be forced to sign a quit claim deed?

I purchased a home about 3 years ago. I financed it myself and it was titled in my name. I had a family member live there and pay the expenses. We later added him to the title. Now both parties are recorded on the deed with only me on the loan with the mortgage company. Long story short, things went sour and now his attorney is demanding that I sign a quit claim deed or risk litigation. There is no marital situation here. There is no divorce settlement or other prior agreements. I still have an interest in the property and it was mine from the beginning, but since the other party has been paying the upkeep, he wants sole ownership and is requesting that I allow him to refinance under his own name along with me signing the quit claim deed. Can I be taken to court and forced to sign it over?

Asked on October 30, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, he has no ability to force you to quitclaim (or otherwise transfer) your interest to him: someone cannot make you give up your property interest, even if they have paid expenses for you. What he can do is bring an action for "partition" (that is the traditional name; your state may possibly call it something else), in which he sues for a court order that the property be sold because the owners cannot agree on its disposition or use, and that the proceeds--AFTER paying off an mortgages, liens and costs of sale--be divided between the owners. It is even possible that he could get a credit in his favor if he has paid more than you and get extra money from the proceeds (after paying off the mortgage, etc.), but that's the most he can do: he cannot force you to simply give up your interest.


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