What can someone do if, on a joint deed, one of the people the owners is preventing you from getting a mortgage for house renovations?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can someone do if, on a joint deed, one of the people the owners is preventing you from getting a mortgage for house renovations?

My mother is trying to renovate the family house which sits on family land. Her name is on the deed along with 2 of her brothers; 1 of the brothers does not want to consent to the mortgage because he claims he can’t agree to the bank holding the property for 10 years. However, my mom can’t renovate without going to the bank. She has lived there over 34 years, pays water, electricity and property tax. He does not live there or contribute financially. What can she do to prevent him from blocking her while trying to access a mortgage at the bank under the banks conditions?

Asked on September 3, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a deed owner, whether he lives there or not, whether he contributes financially or not, he *is* an owner and his consent is required for a mortgage.
If your mother, other brother, and him cannot work this out amicably, she may need to bring an action for "partition" in chancery court (a division of county court). That is a lawsuit seeking a court order that the property be sold and the proceeds (after cost of sale, paying any mortgage and taxes due, etc.) be distributed or divided among the owners. That is the law's only remedy for cases where the owners of real estate cannot agree as to what to do to it. If she wants to explore this option, she is advised to consult with a real estate attorney.

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