Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

I own a four unit building with three other family members as joint tenants for the past 12 years. I was the only one on the loan initially and after a year one member was added to the loan.Each of us renovated and occupied our own unit. After a year one family member stopped paying her share of the taxes and insurance and about four years ago she stopped paying her share of the mortgage. I have been trying to keep it together but I am now unable to continue paying. I have maintained excellent credit over the years and I am afraid that my credit will be ruined and the property will go into foreclosure. What can I do? Can I file a partition action so that the property may be sold and we all go our separate ways? At the moment I cannotafford to hire an attorney.

Asked on 10/16/13, 12:38 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

William Christian Rodi Pollock

Your first step is to discuss the issues with all partipants to see if they will agree to a sale of the propertyand equitable division of the proceeds. If everone agrees you do not have a problem. The Partition action is available if all parties do not agree. A sale can be forced by such an action. However everyone ends up with less because the lawyers have to be paid. If tyou are forced to partiton, I feel you will have no alternative to engagement of counsel to walk you throught he procedures.

The alternative, of course, is nonpayment and foreclosure.

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Answered on 10/16/13, 1:46 pm

Mitchell Sussman Mitchell Reed Sussman & Associates

By all means a resolution with the co - owners ( without the involvement of attorneys) is the

preferable and least expensive ways to resolve this matter.

My experience with these cases, however, leads me to believe that an outcome where all the owners agree without court intervention is unlikely. Especially given the facts as you described them.

There are other, less expensive, ways to resolve this than short of filing a petition action.

Feel free to contact my office should you wish to discuss these options in further detail.

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Answered on 10/16/13, 2:24 pm

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