How do I get my personal belongings and furniture back from a house that my ex-fiance and I both owned?

We purchased the house in 11/06. In 09/09 I moved out and left my furniture and other personal belongings there as they could not fit in my mother’s house. I have tried to get my belongings back, but he says I need to sign a document relinquishing my rights to the house. I am not sure if I should sign a document like that or if I should make him refinance to get me off the mortgage? I do not wish to have any part of the house I just want my stuff.

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Absolutely do not sign any document that relinquishes your rights to the home at any time without first consulting with an attorney in your area.  You may think that you want nothing to do with the house right now but that may be your heart and not your head speaking.  You may have to deal with some issues from moving out.  Did you continue to contribute to the mortgage while living elsewhere?  If not then he has a claim as to that. But if the house had equity before you moved then you are entitled to regain some of that or maybe whatever portion of the down payment you contributed.  You can bargain his refinancing the house for same.  But be aware: make sure he qualified BEFORE you sign anything.  If he does not and defaults your credit will suffer.

 As for your stuff and access, you own the house and if he changed the locks then that was illegal without a court order.  You should seek legal help asking an attorney to at the very least write a letter using words such as "illegal denial of access" and "conversion of property." 


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