If I want to sell my property but there is another person on the title that can’t be found, how do I get their name off so that I can sell the house?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I want to sell my property but there is another person on the title that can’t be found, how do I get their name off so that I can sell the house?

The other person on the title committed a crime 3 years ago but fled somewhere out west and will never come back; no one can find him. The county does not accept quiet claims without an attorney and I cannot afford one.

Asked on August 26, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can't get their name off the title: even if they fled and are not coming back, that doesn't mean they lose their ownership interest in the property. They still own their share of it, of they pass away, their heirs will have a claim to it. You can't just take away (which is what taking their name off the title is) another's interest in or ownership of property.
What you can do is bring a kind of legal action called an action "for partition" in which you ask the court to order the sale of the property and the distribution of the proceeds. His share would presumably be held in escrow for him, at least for several years after the sale. 
You really do need an attorney for his: this is a very complicated case for a non-lawyer--you can't even "serve" any papers on him normally have to do one of the more complex "substituted services" for when you can't locate the other party. You really do want an attorney to help you--and if the property is not worth enough to make hiring a lawyer worthwhile, it's not worth bringing a legal action.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption