I live in NJ and purchased a home with my boyfriend 12 years ago. We share an account where the mortgage payments are made. I recently found out that he has not been paying the mortgage but has been using my half of the mortgage for his personal use. I would like to move on from the relationship and the house, what are my options?
It depends on the circumstances.
If both your names are on the deed, and there is equity in the home. You could offer to refinance and buy out his interest.
If he refuses to do a buy-out, you could file a court action for "partition" in which the court orders the sale of the property.
If the home is upside down or if you cannot refinance for some other reason, then you may have to look into doing a deed in lieu of foreclosure where you deed the home to the mortgage lender and walk away from it.
If you qualify for a bankruptcy, you could stay there and let the foreclosure run its course and then bankrupt out of any deficiency that is owed on the mortgage after a sheriff's sale.
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You can file a partition action, which is a remedy that would allow the house to be sold outright with the proceeds to be divided between the both of you, or allow you to purchase his half ownership interest. If he doesn't agree to sell you his 1/2 interest then the court can order the entire house be sold, and at that point you're just fighting about dividing up the sale proceeds.
Here's an article I wrote recently on the subject. I am currently representing a co-tenant in disputed litigation about purchasing the co-ownership interest.
If you're unable to resolve this own your own I would be glad to help.
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Family Law Attorney
I agree with my colleagues. You also might have a viable claim against your ex for his unauthorized use of your money for his personal use.
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