Can I remove someone from my deed if they never gave me the money to purchase the home?
4 attorney answers
You will need his agreement to do this the easy way: you both sign a deed as grantors, transfering the deed to you alone as grantee. If he will not agree, or wants money to do it, then you have to decide whether and in what amount it is worth paying him, or sue in court to force the sale of the house. In a forced sale, you can ask the judge to award you your money contributions toward purchase before splitting any equity that remains from the sale proceeds, or you might sue him for contribution based on an agreement that he was to contribute half the money toward purchase price. What you cannot do is "force" him to sign the deed over to you; he does so by agreement, or the house gets sold by court order, and the proceeds are split by title ownership (50-50) or as awarded by the court in the action to force the sale based on your claim for contribution. Hire a lawyer to draft any agreement by which he transfers his interest to you, and to prepare the deed if he agrees.
The answer is "no" you cannot remove someone from a deed - for any reason. They have to agree and they'd need to sign a deed to someone else, presumably you. You can buy him out or you can petition your local court for an action in Partition - which means you'd be asking the court to order the property sold and the equity distributed equitably. Even if he's put nothing in (literally nothing), he'll be entitled to something, rest assured. Try to settle with him outside of court, if possible, as Partition actions are never cheap - especially if he chooses to fight back. Good luck.
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You need a real estate attorney. A divorce attorney might also help.
You could bring an action called sale in lieu of partition, to force the sale. In that suit you should bring a claim for breach of contract and contribution. That is, he breached the contract between the two of you to invest in property, just be careful of something called the statute of frauds.
You did not mention timing or amounts, so make sure the suit is worth fighting. Depending on the the amounts involved and who is paying the mortgage, taxes and insurance, ask for the court to order him to contribute toward these expenses.
I am giving you ideas on how to proceed, not advice on how to proceed. The ideas may be good or bad, depending on the facts that you did not reveal in the post.
By answering this question I am not becoming your attorney, nor am I tendering legal advice. Foreclosure cases are complex and require a full review of the facts before any attorney can answer legal questions specific to the case.
OUCH! If he is on the deed you can buy him out or he can buy you out---or you can go to court and force the sale of the property and judge will split the proceeds---perhaps you can recover some of your money claim if you can convince the court the existence of the deal.
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