Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts - I was living in my house for 12 years, then got divorced. The mortgage on the house was solely in my ex wife's name, but the deed was in both of our names. So I was part owner, but not part borrower. When we got divorced she insisted on letting the house go to forclosure instead of selling it. She moved away and I stayed in the house, waiting for the forclosure to begin. In Sept of 2016 my girlfriend moved in. I charged her no rent at all, but she paid the cable tv and electric bills. Then in January of 2017 I got the notice saying the house would be auctioned off in the next few weeks. The bank hired an attorney to discuss "Cash for Keys" with me. I agreed for us to be out of the house and leave it in perfect condition but a date in March, and he gave me a check for $8000 which I used for moving expenses for myself, my girlfriend and her two kids. I kept the remainder. So the question is - did I owe her any of that cash for keys money? I say no because she had only lived there for 6 months and never paid rent, I didn't ask her to. She insists that she is owed half of that money. I'm not sure how since she lived there just a few months and the entire burden of the house for the previous 12 years, and moving, was on me.

Asked on 2/26/18, 3:22 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Christopher Vaughn-Martel Charles River Law Partners, LLC

This isn't black and white, and without knowing all of the facts, my opinion is that the cash was to get you out. Because she allowed the bank to take the property, the only interest left was yours as a tenant in possession. My opinion won't stop her from suing you for it, but I think you have a better argument. Obviously, only an attorney who knows all of the facts of your situation can give you actionable and reliable advice.

Read more
Answered on 2/27/18, 8:48 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Real Estate and Real Property questions and answers in Massachusetts