If an unmarried couple purchase a home together and the relationship ends, who is responsible for what financially?

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2011

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If an unmarried couple purchase a home together and the relationship ends, who is responsible for what financially?

House purchased 4 years ago. The deed is in both of our names but the mortgage is under his name only. Neither of us can afford to pay the mortgage alone or buy the other person out. If we default on the loan is my credit affected or just his? I doubt we could sell the house for what we paid for it back in 2007, so we might have to take a loss on the property.

Asked on June 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If his name is the only name on the mortgage, you would not be *directly* (see below) affected by defaulting on the mortgage--he is the one whose credit would be affected and who could be sued by the lender. The house would be foreclosed upon, however.

On the other hand, depending on any agreements between you and him, it may be the case that he could sue you for his economic damages from a default and for your failure to pay your share, if you should do that. That is, if he could show there was an agreement between the two of you that you would pay some part of the mortgage, he may be able to base a legal claim on that agreeement.

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