Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

I am in a tight situation in which time is not on my side. I have a home in the state of California. I had trouble paying for the mortgage after losing my job. I have very limited income to live. Here is my situation, my two siblings and I are joint tenants. There is at least 100k equity on the property. I am the only one out of the siblings who financed the home and paid for property taxes. I want to sell the home; however, both siblings have no interest in the home. They do not want to buy nor sell, but let all the equity to go back to the bank. I had filed for bankruptcy and have been discharged. A trustee was involved for a short time. I just found out from my attorney that the trustee has no interest in selling the home because there is not enough meat on the house for him to take. My attorney said my only option is to sell the house; however, this is difficult when nobody is willing to sign. Is there a way I can sale the house without their signatures? Perhaps a removal of their names off the deed so I can sell the home. 100k is a lot of money to go back to the bank if nobody is not cooperating. My attorney believes there is a way since I was the one who financed it and paid for property taxes and nobody contributed to pay except for myself. I am practically unemployed and only working on an on-call basis. I really need this money to start over and get a fresh start. I need other options to receive my share of the home. I'm assuming my house will go back to foreclosure proceedings very soon and the bankruptcy bubble will break soon. Would this be considered abandoment of the home? One sister responded to the trustee and the other didn't. In addition, one sibling is still living in the home with me, the one who didn't respond to the trustee's certified letter. Please note, the trustee no longer has interest to do a forced sale. Please help with any advice.

Asked on 11/07/14, 4:00 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

John Molina Jr. Law Offices of John Molina

In order to get a better sense of what strategies you may have available to you, we would need to have an idea of how much time there is before any currently scheduled foreclosure sale of your home.

Presuming there is enough time, and your two siblings remain unwilling to sign their interest in the real property, one tool that you may use is filing what is called a Partition of Real Property action in court. What a Partition action does is to divide whatever are the existing interests of the owners in a real property. Any of the joint owners to a real property may file this action against the other joint owner(s), when one or more of the other joint owner(s) is/are opposed to dividing their interest(s). If done correctly, there are a number of outcomes that the court can grant to the joint owner filing the Partition action, including selling the real property and dividing the proceeds from the sale (after paying off all the existent liens on the real property) to all the joint owners in accordance with their respective interests in said real property.

Determining whether it makes sense to file a Partition, including whether there is enough time to do so based on your particular fact scenario, is something you need to speak to with a competent and professional attorney that practices in the area of real estate. If you are interested in setting up a no-obligation consultation with an attorney that can do just that, call our office at (888) 790-5053 and/or visit our website at

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Answered on 11/07/14, 5:10 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

That is very sweet of Mr. Molina to offer to help you and your lawyer figure things out for free. You should ask Mr. Molina when you call if he can help your clueless lawyer for free on his other cases.

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Answered on 11/08/14, 9:38 pm

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