How can I protect my interest in the property I own with someone who has a judgment againstthem for over $110K?

I share ownership with my brother in a property. He moved out of state andI have his POA to sell. Now I’m receiving collections calls and letters for him at my personal phone/address for over $110K. There may be a judgment against him,he denies knowledge. How can I get his name off the deed and protect my interest? Can we do a quitclaim, grant deed, or warranty deed if he agrees? Our title company told me if I sell the property, and his half of the profit is less than the judgment, collections will take any additional amount from my share. How can they do that?

Asked on July 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am not sure that the title company is correct on that.  Joint ownership assumes half and half.  A Judgement creditor can not come after the property of someone they do not have a judgement for and that is the same situation here. The judgement creditor may try and come after your share but they won't get it in a court of law. But you do need to get your brother on the horn and have him figure out what the heck is going on.  Just transferring the property is not enough at this point.  They can try and have the transfer set aside.  I would not want you to be caught up in trying to help him perpetrate a fraud in any way or him doing it either.  I think he may need legal help with this.  And you too. If he will not help himself you need to help him to help yourself. Good luck.


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