If my co-owner wants out of the the house that we purchased together, if there is negative equity can I collect that amount from her?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my co-owner wants out of the the house that we purchased together, if there is negative equity can I collect that amount from her?

I am unmarried; my girlfriend and I purchased a house together. The house is now underwater; we owe $380K; now it is worth $220K. We have since separated and she wants no part of the house. I understand that the only way to remove her name from the mortgage is to get it refinanced, which at this time is not an option due to the value. I would like to keep the house and continue to make payments. Am I able to collect/sue her for half of the negative equity in the house, which is $80K?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The short answer to your question is that if your former girlfriend and you purchased a home together and its liabilities exeed what it is worth and she wants nothing to do with it (where she presumably will not pay any part of its debt load, insurance, property taxes and the like) she would be obligated to you for her ownership share of this asset that you pay on her behalf during her ownership of it.

She would not be obligated to you for any negative equity in the home. Her obligation for this would lie with the lender on the home possibly. This possibile obligation would be detrmined if the loan that is being paid on the home was purchase money or not and if so, does your state have anti-deficiency legislation regarding purchase money loans.

Good question.


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