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How do I get someone's name off my deed?

Tell City, IN |

In May 2010 my fiance and I purchased a house with money I received from a settlement. At the end of September 2010 we broke up, he walked away from the property and he agreed to sign the house over to me. Since then, he moved to another state at the end of the year without taking his name off the property. I now want to sell the property but am unable to contact him to get his name off it. I've been trying to contact him since December. Is there any legal action I can take against him to get his name off the deed?

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Attorney answers 1


There is no such thing as merely taking someone's name off of a deed in a situation like this. Your fiancee is an owner of the property. When you and he purchased the property, two ownership interests were created -- yours and his. Assuming that you took the property as tenants in common, not as husband and wife, each of you are able to sell your own interest in the property, via a deed to another person, but you can't transfer the other person's interest.

Your fiancee could not simply take his name off of the deed. He and you together would bhave to execute a deed transferring each of your separate interests to you. Those interests would then combine, in one deed held by you.

As you can see, this can get complicated. You will need a lawyer to advise you on what to do about the fact that you can't find the other owner of your house. It will probably be easier to simply find your fiancee than to jump through the hoops required in order to obtain his interest in the house without his consent.