Can a co-owner of a 2-family legally force the other owners to re-finance with a cashout option?

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Can a co-owner of a 2-family legally force the other owners to re-finance with a cashout option?

I have been a co-owner of the 2 family home with my brother and sister-in-law we reside in for 35 years. I need to tap into my portion of the equity i have accrued over the years. They won’t sign the documents necessary for me to get the funds. Do I have any legal recourse to circumvent their unwillingness to cooperate.

Asked on October 28, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

No, you cannot make them refinance. No one can make another incur or guaranty debt or encumber their property interest without the other person's consent. You could file a legal action called an action "for partition" to get a court order forcing the sale of the property: that is the law's remedy for when the several owners of property cannot agree as to what to do with it. After the property is sold, the costs of the sale and the mortgage will be paid off, then the remainder divided among the owners. But that is your only option that does not require their consent.


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