Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Maryland

Forced sale or partition of real estate

I own property (raw land with utilities and road improvements only) with several other individuals. The land is in Garret County, MD. In the event that I some of us wish to sell this property but are unable to get all partners to agree to do so, I understand that it is possible to "force" the sale by petitioning the court. I assume the method of sale is an auction of some sort. Is is possible to ensure that the property is not sold unless the price is at least sufficient to cover the existing mortgage and costs of sale?

Asked on 1/29/98, 2:08 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Daniel Press Chung & Press, P.C.

Partition or sale in lieu

It is possible to force a sale of land by petitioning for a sale in lieu of partition.However, the Court must first find that actualpartition is not practical, which with raw land in Garrett County may not be the case. In that event, the Court should divide the actual land. One aspect of practicality, though, is the extent to which there are mortgages or other encumbrances on the property. In any event, the method of sale may depend on a number of factors; often, ifthe parties cannot agree, the Court will appoint a trustee to sell the property, and the trustee can either sell it by listing it with an agent (or otherwise by private sale)or by auction. If the price is insufficient,or for other good cause, any party can objectto the sale, but while not being able to satisfy the loan may be a consideration, it isnot of itself sufficient to stop a sale.

I grew up in Allegany County. I practice inMaryland as well as Va., and my practice regularly takes me to Western Md. Feel freeto contact me if you have further questions.

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Answered on 1/29/98, 9:38 pm

Joseph A. McDermott, III Attorney at Law

Needs partnership agreement

You and your co-owners -- who may not be partners at all, now -- need to have a formal partnership agreement to define the circumstnaces under which the property will be sold. This is a reasonably complex legal matter and you need a lawyer specializing in real estate.

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Answered on 1/30/98, 12:11 am

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