I help my brother to buy a land in Davie Florida in 2005. I was told to buy the land for him instead of cosigning.
He had terrible credit, and could not be listed as a financial borrower on the mortgage. Therefore, I was the only one listed as the borrower. His name as well as mine were both put on the deed of the land. He has stopped making payments of his share 6 months. He is not getting back to me about the issue and I would like to have his name remove the deed,. What would be the most efficient way of making this change? Should I take him to court or have a lawyer send him a quit claim deed? I doubt that he wants to cooperate and will not talk to me. I cannot afford to ruin my credit at this time. The land worth about 200K and I owe 300K to the bank. Please advise. We live in NY and the land is in Davie Florida
You've raised a number of issues.
Your credit: If that is paramount, then you have to keep making payments, even though it would appear you should not be responsible for them. Where a property is as underwater as this one is, many would take action to get a modification, but many lenders won't talk to someone unless they are in default. Yes, it sounds unbelievable but it's true. Another issue you would face is that the lender might require that your brother take part since he is a record title holder. Is it vacant land? Or are there improvements on it?
Ownership of the property: If your brother won't talk with you, you have no choice but to bring in a lawyer. It may be that a "lawyer letter" will get him to move, but if not the courts will have to solve the problem. That is absolutely the worst way to proceed but if other alternatives are not available you may have to use it. It will be expensive.
Family issue: Is there anyone who your brother will respond to? Working it out on an amicable basis is much, much better than the legal options (though you must have a lawyer to make sure whatever you do to work things out is proper.
You really need a lawyer to help guide you through this very unpleasant situation.
Best of luck.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
If all civil attempts to have said property deeded to you are met with resistance, you may have to seek a court order partitioning the property, vesting you as sole owner of the property...bear in mind that the lender must be informed of any/all transfer of ownership and concede to same. You may or may not be successful on the merits, as you voluntarily entered in to the purchase agreement, and conceded to solely financing the transaction absent any coercion or duress. Compile all of the documentation and defer to a real estate attorney learned in Florida Law; as the property is located therein, the laws of said state will dictate. As an additional point of information, and food for thought to be discussed with your attorney, given your "upside down" scenario, you may consider modifying the terms of your existing loan, and/or short selling same given the situation. Good luck to you.
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Love Davie! Lived there many years.
As for your dilemma, first off, I agree with my colleagues comments; and the answer to your question is very simple; you need to consult with (and likely retain) a good local real estate attorney to help you navigate this mess - it's far too complex (sorry) to even try to resolve on-line. Do so as soon as you possibly can.
Hope this hlps.
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If your brother continues to refuse to sign a Quit Claim deed you will have to take him to court in a Partition action where you request the Court to transfer property to your name.
In order to avoid hurting your credit you will have to keep making payments on the mortgage.
If you would like to discuss further please do not hesitate to contact me at 561-832-8288.
Robert M. Kesten, Esq.
I suggest that you contact a real estate attorney regarding the matter. The attorney will need to review all of the documentation that you have. You cannot force your brother to sign over his rights to the property by quit claim deed. If he signs a quit claim deed voluntarily, then you can avoid having to foreclose his interest in the property. If he will not execute a quit claim deed, then you will have to take legal action to foreclose his interest. Good luck.
Based on the information you provided, it appears you both are owners of the property but if you are the only person listed on the note, that makes you totally liable to the bank for the loan payment. Unless you have a separate enforceable agreement for payment of the loan you are stuck with the payments. A partition suit may be the way out since a court can order the sale which again may require his participation in transferring the title to a new purchaser. To unravel this will require an attorney versed in Florida real estate issues.
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You should definitely consult with a Real Estate Attorney and consult about the possibility of suing your brother in an action for partition and have a court order the sale that way.
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