Is there any action we can take to get our money back?

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Is there any action we can take to get our money back?

Recently, my mom and dad sold a home. The home we sold consisted of my aunt and cousin along with myself, my brother, and my parents. The home was under my aunt’s name. At the time my parents didn’t have good credit. However, we still paid our portion of the mortgage and bill. Everything was split 50/50. Now that the home was sold my aunt will not give us our share of the money. This situation is kinda complex due to the fact that there is basically no paper work that has our name linked to the old home. However, many people know that we paid our part. Legally, is there anything that we can do?

Asked on April 13, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, there is most likely not anything you can do. If you and your parents had an agreement with your aunt (e.g. a contract) that you would be repaid or get a share of the house proceeds in exchange for paying your part of the mortgage and bills, you could enforce that agreement in court. But without an agreement, the fact that your parents and/or you chose to pay money towards a house that you did not own does not give you any rights to any of the money from the house: you cannot make another person repay you for amounts you chose to pay without a contract or agreement that they would pay. The law will not impose an agreement to pay you where there was none (and after all, you paying part of the mortgage or expenses could have simply been your "rent" for living in someone else's house). The problem you face is that you write that you "mom and dad sold a home," but then you say that the "home was under my aunt's name." If it was under her name, not their names, too, legally, it was not your mom's and dad's home--it was your aunt's house if it was solely in her name. Since she was the owner, she is the one is entitled to the proceeds. She can choose to share the proceeds with others, but cannot be forced to do so without an agreement to that effect.


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