How to protect my investment if it’s not in my name but I am making the payments?

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2011

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How to protect my investment if it’s not in my name but I am making the payments?

Living with my same sex partner and her mother, the house we are purchasing is in my partner’s and her mother’s names. My partner is not employed and her mother is on disability. I am employed full-time at a good paying job. I am the one who is making the mortgage payments. I need to know the best way to protect my interests in the property as I don’t believe I have any legal claim. My partner’s mother is currently seeking to take out an equity loan against the property. My thinking is because I make the mortgage payments, the funds are actually mine. Just need to know what I can do to protect myself.

Asked on September 9, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is a very serious situation for you.  The rule regarding real property is that anything regarding its ownership has to be IN WRITING in order to be valid. You did not say why your name as not on the deed but that is the best way that you can protect yourself here.  You need to seek legal help here as soon as possible.  I would not consider the equity loan until the matter is cleared up unless you are okay with paying more.  Really right now you have no obligation to pay anything on the house legally but legally you own nothing as well.  Seek a lawyers help now.  Good luck.

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