What are my options if the co-owner of our house took out a HELOC without my knowledge?

UPDATED: Mar 4, 2012

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What are my options if the co-owner of our house took out a HELOC without my knowledge?

I purchased my home 18 years ago. A few years later I started to rent a room to my brother. A few years after that I refinanced the house and had my brother put on the mortgage. Recently I went to check on refinancing to a lower rate and in the process I found out that my brother took out a home equity line for $30,000 and maxed it out. He did not ask me or tell me about it and he did not get my signature for it. What are my options?

Asked on March 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your brother used his interest in the home that you jointly own to obtain a home equity line of credit without advising you of what he did and has exhausted the line of credit up to $30,000, he would be responsible for clearing this loan off title.

If your brother was placed on title to the parcel by you, implicit in the placement is that you have him an equity stake in the parcel. His lien as to the $30,000 eliminates some equity in the unit that you gave him. I suggest that you consult with an attorney about the situation you are writing about and have an agreement drawn up between you an your brother concerning placement of any future liens on the property and the pay off of the one he placed.

I find it strange that if you were on title to the property that the HELOC went through without you being advised of such beforehand.

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