What to do about an uncooperative co-owner?

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What to do about an uncooperative co-owner?

In 2007 we gave our son money to buy a house and he put his fiance on the title. Now they’ve split up. However she still lives there and refuses to leave.  Is there anything he can do now to get her to move? She refuses to help financially and they cannot sell or refinance because the house is worth less than they paid for it.

Asked on May 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

She's an owner; you can't make her move if she doesn't want to. You also can't make her pay for upkeep, mortgage, taxes, etec., though if your son shoulders the financial burden himself, then it is very possible that if and when he does sell, that he can get a larger share of the proceeds, if any. Your son may need to consider selling a loss to extricate himself (as long as he can pay off the mortgage from his savings or other sources, he can do this); or if you are in a position to help out, possibly you could give your son a private mortgage with with he could buy out her interest (if she's reasonable, you should be able to strike some deal with her). Unfortunately, as this answer began, as an owner (on the title), she holds high cards in a situation like this.


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