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My Mortgage is in my name. G-friend was added to deed as Joint Tennants W/Survivorship. She left me & will not remove name.

South Charleston, WV |

She left me one yr after name was added, she hasnt been around for another yr, I have paid all bills on my own, she refuses to sign name off deed, Mtg is in my name. When she left I gave her everything she asked for AND had to file bankruptcy on $20,000 of CC's & she VERBALLY AGREED to remove name from deed in return! Is there ANYTHING I can do? Does she still have joint tennancy rights when she has not lived there, nor paid ANYTHING in the home for a yr? Is it possible to add my sister on the deed, transfering MY HALF of the home to her in the event of my death W/OUT her approval? ANY HELP at all would be appreciated. She was ONLY Interested in my home & manipulated me to believe she would NEVER do this to me...and my worst fears are happening.There HAS to be SOMETHING I CAN DO! PLEASE!!

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Attorney answers 3


Yes she still has rights. Typically you would have to file a Petition to "Partition" the property, which is a legal proceeding asking the Court to order the property sold which is the only way to force her off the title. The proceeds would ordinarily be split equally, however you may be able to argue that you should receive a greater share given the expenses you've paid. As for leaving your interest to your sister, you should consult with a real estate and/or probate attorney in your State, but you should be able to convey your interest to a revocable living trust naming your sister as beneficiary upon your death. The conveyance will break the unity of title and create a tenancy in common. See a lawyer before you do anything.

The above answer is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You can contact me directly at 978-657-5600 or by email at


I agree with Atty. Gramer. By adding her, you've created a real mess for yourself. A partition is the only likely course, but the property will be sold and you'll start over elsewhere. In a partition sale, you are likely going to pay a higher commission (realtor + a court commissioner). You don't need to split the proceeds with her 50-50, because during the partition case you can establish thru your records your greater contribution to maintaining the property financially. Another long shot is to go to court to establish a constructive trust over her share, but that's a long shot. Speak to a local real estate attorney, but short of negotiating with her to sign off, you are up a creek without a paddle, unfortunately. With this and your bankruptcy due to paying her bills and having nothing in writing, you have learned a very hard lesson.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.


As both attorneys mention, you have placed yourself in a horrible situation. Get a real estates attorney to bring a partition action. Get with him immediately.

Hope this helps.

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Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website and blog

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is <> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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