Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania

I bought a property with an ex-boyfriend in 1997. We put time & effort into it together until we broke up in 2005 & I left. He stayed on the property. In 2007 I went to a lawyer to see if we could get him to buy me out but he refused. I then declared bankruptcy & was discharged in Oct 2007 which removed my name from the mortgage but not the deed. As I understand it I am still 1/2 owner of the property. Recently he has fallen behind in bills & my name has been brought into it. I want this loose end tied up but I don't want to simply give up since I put 8 years of myself into the effort. What can I do?

Asked on 10/07/13, 3:47 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

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What do you want to do? Your name is off the mortgage so you are not liable for the mortgage debt. I don't understand how you are "involved" here.

If you are on the deed then you are indeed half owner of the property. But again, what do you want to do here?

The logical thing would be for the ex-boyfriend to buy you out. However, if he is having financial troubles, that is not going to happen. You underwent bankruptcy, but you may have begun to recover. It would entail you applying for another mortgage, paying off the old mortgage and giving your boyfriend his share of the equity in the home. Are you in a position to buy out the equity share of the boyfriend and do you want to take on all that responsibility?

What is the property worth? How much is still owed? If more is owed on the property than its worth, 50% of zero is zero. In such case, you might allow it to foreclose if your boyfriend is having financial troubles since there would be no equity in the property.

If the property is worth more than what is owed, what about selling it and dividing the proceeds? You should get approximately 50% but your boyfriend should be compensated to the extent he has paid your fair share of the mortgage, insurance and taxes since you moved out. You would both have to agree to do this.

I also do not understand how your boyfriend refused to buy out your share of the property. The remedy would be for you to bring a partition action. Is it that you could not afford to bring the action before? What about now? That is the only other way to get your name off the property.

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10/07/13, 5:17 pm

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