co-owner property dispute issues

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Latest post 11-08-2012 8:36 AM by Drew. 16 replies.
  • 11-04-2012 7:54 PM

    • myhome
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    co-owner property dispute issues

    This is messy. I have a brother who refuses to sell his share or even acknowledge that he is part owner of a deed which was deeded to him by my decease dad since 2009. I have been paying all the property taxes, insurance and maintenance on the property since 2009 and he refuses to pay me anything.

    I have attempted many avenues to try to work with him, but he is full of anger and vengence.

    Since the title is clear on this property, can I foreclose on his share of what he owes me?

    Can I have the courts remove him from the deed since he is not acknowledging that he has any interest in the property. I offered to buy him out and he still will not communicate with me or with anyone else.

    I am interested in keeping my share of the property.

    What legal avenue can I pursue to remove him from the deed.

    Any assistance or advise will be appreciated.

    State of Texas, Denton County

  • 11-04-2012 8:03 PM In reply to

    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    myhome:
    I have a brother who refuses to sell his share or even acknowledge that he is part owner of a deed which was deeded to him by my decease dad since 2009.

    I don't understand. Do you mean that your Dad deeded the property to both of you as joint owners or just to him as a single owner?

    Do you have a copy of the deed? If you don't then you can get one from the county recorder or land office since it will be an important part of this discussion and you will have to have it sitting in front of you if you expect us to make any sense of it.

    myhome:
    I have been paying all the property taxes, insurance and maintenance on the property since 2009 and he refuses to pay me anything

    Well, who is living in the house? Him? You? Somebody else. Also an important part of the equation.

    myhome:

    Since the title is clear on this property, can I foreclose on his share of what he owes me?

    No. That's now how this thing works.

    myhome:

    Can I have the courts remove him from the deed since he is not acknowledging that he has any interest in the property. I offered to buy him out and he still will not communicate with me or with anyone else.

    I am interested in keeping my share of the property.

    What legal avenue can I pursue to remove him from the deed.

    By filing a lawsuit called a "partition action."

    Read about it at:

    http://law.justia.com/codes/texas/2005/pr/004.00.000023.00.html

    It's the last resort for people who cannot reach an agreement on the disposition of real estate.

    Just understand that a partition action won't remove him from the deed but could end up removing both of you from the deed. In other words, if the real estate cannot be divided equally, the court will order it sold and appoint a third party to sell it. It will probably be sold at auction at considerably less than market value and then the proceeds will be equally divided between you and your brother likely regardless of what you think he owes you. 

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 11-04-2012 8:03 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    The answer probably is to file a partition petition --a forced court ordered sale so to speak --and you become the high bidder--   and buy it in --sure to take time and cost money.  Probably results in a 50/50 split of net proceeds....unlikley that you get paid back for your taxes,insurance, maintenance etc.

    You might be able to tweak the sale for a low price but don't count on it.

    No easy way to force him off the deed or to pay his share



  • 11-04-2012 8:43 PM In reply to

    • myhome
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    Drew, Thank-you for your immediate response.  The property has been vacant since I do not have funds to repair and rent out. The property was deeded to me and 2 other brothers and the "jerk" who refuses to do anything and not communicate with any of us. I have even tried mediating via a realtor and he was very "anger ugly" with the realtor.  I offered to buy out his share and he even doesn't acknowledge. My other two brothers want out of the deed as well. 

    I realize I can place a judgement against his share of the property for what he owes me in property taxes and insurance, but I gather that is not enough to ward him off the deed.

    Do you have any other suggestions or offerings that you can share with me so I can decide what direction I need to pursue? Have you experienced this before?

    Do you think I can get the courts to force him to sell his share to me?

  • 11-04-2012 8:48 PM In reply to

    • myhome
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    Drew, I forgot to mention that I have a higher % share than he does on the property. Are you an attorney?

  • 11-04-2012 10:16 PM In reply to

    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    myhome:
    I can place a judgement against his share of the property for what he owes me in property taxes and insurance,

    Actually, you can't "place a judgment" on his share of the property. You'd have to file a lawsuit and get a judge to award you the judgment and I doubt that's going to happen unless you have a written agreement amongst the 4 owners that you get reimbursed for the money you paid. Without that kind of written agreement, the money you paid in taxes and insurance was a voluntary gift to the other owners.

    myhome:
    but I gather that is not enough to ward him off the deed.

    Right.

    myhome:
    Do you have any other suggestions or offerings that you can share with me so I can decide what direction I need to pursue?

    Try going to his home with a big wad of cash and a quitclaim deed. Take a notary with you.

    myhome:

    Do you think I can get the courts to force him to sell his share to me?

    Possibly. You would have to consult an attorney experienced in partition actions to determine if that's an option that the court has.

    myhome:
    I have a higher % share than he does on the property

    How do you figure that? Does the deed have percentages of ownership allocated to each of the 4 of you?

    myhome:
    Are you an attorney?

    Neither of us are attorneys.

    But that doesn't affect the validity of what we are telling you, which can easily be verified by going out and hiring an attorney.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 11-04-2012 10:28 PM In reply to

    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    myhome:
    I have been paying all the property taxes...... on the property since 2009

    Looks like you might be able to force him to sell you his share (or if he's smart and trying to mess with you, at least pay his share of the property taxes):

    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PR/htm/PR.29.htm#29.001

  • 11-04-2012 11:35 PM In reply to

    • myhome
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

     I know there are alot of lawyer interns and I appreciate any and all correspondences. I was a pre-law student at one time or another, and I have highest regards for them, but I chose another avenue in my career path. I appreciate all the advice and suggestions. I'm putting out my feelers to see if anyone else has expererinced or expertise in this arena. The more I understand, the more I can research. Lawyers are expensive and I try to do as much as I can as "pro-bono". Lots of good advice here.  He has already cost me over $20k on probate issues ..Thank-you, all for your replies .. I will resume searching the texas civil codes as well.

    Regards ..K'

  • 11-04-2012 11:45 PM In reply to

    • myhome
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    Thank-you for your response.

    This is a very interesting code. I think this code will work for me. Awesome. Any idea's how I start this code process as pro-bono.

    I have already filed a civil suit judgment against him for his share of probate legal fees and then file a "writ"  to attach it to his share of the property, then I will also file against him for the $14k he owes me for property taxes, Insurance and maintenance.&...

  • 11-05-2012 7:23 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    If the home was deeded to kids outside of probate then its unlikley to be a probate matter.

    If there were probate expenses the estate owes them out of its pot and the executor needed to have paid them out that way ---and if the pot didn't cover the estates debts--well so be it.  it may be hard to link an heier to pay any of the estate debts/expenses.

    In a way its not his legal problem that others lack the resources to fix up and rent out the property --but you all sink if the ship sinks



  • 11-05-2012 7:30 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    Note the TX code cited requires that brother to have dropped the ball for at least 3 out of last 5 years and plaintiff to be able to prove he /she paid taxes in the meantime  --be sure of your timelines --and I would keep my mouth zipped 100% closed until the timeline was safely passed even to family,friends, lest brother make a last minute cure by the 50% provision



  • 11-05-2012 11:12 AM In reply to

    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    You're talking about probate and what not, and it is unclear why if this property was part of your dad's estate when he died that the executor/admin (if that's you) didn't sell the place vs. hold onto it post-probate.  You can't successfully go after him for expenses related to upkeep of place while it was in probate, nor expenses incurred with probating the estate (even if he was filing what you see as stupid/"wrong"/counterproductive petitions, objections and what not to hold up the process).

    "I have already filed a civil suit judgment against him for his share of probate legal fees ..."

    This indicates to me that you didn't properly do research and are having a little trouble with the concepts.  You may have filed a civil suit against him (a judgment is what you'd get if you won), but the estate is responsible for legal fees associated with estate ... though as a technical matter, it will in effect be "paid" by all heirs because expenses decrease any net result/distribution from the estate.

    If HIS share (25%?) is $14k and that's what was spent post-probate, this really indicates that this property ought to have been sold if it was part of the probate estate (vs. property on which your father added you all as joint owners before he died if you all didn't intend to keep it).

     

  • 11-05-2012 12:13 PM In reply to

    • myhome
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    The property was not part of probate since my dad deeded 1/3 to him before he passed away. I was merely stating that I am placing a judgment against his share for legal fees that I incurred due to his obstruction.

    I was just merely stating the probate issue which has been resolved.  Sorry if I made this confusing.

    I am just trying to figure out what the best recourse is to remove him from the deed since he is making it difficult for all the other co-owners who are interested in selling there share.

    If I am awarded the any judgements I filed against him, I plan on placing it against his share ..this will allow me to at least get my money back in the event he does decide and when he decides to do something with his share.

     

  • 11-05-2012 12:55 PM In reply to

    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    "I was merely stating that I am placing a judgment against his share for legal fees that I incurred due to his obstruction. "

    Ya have to stop saying "placing a judgment" and stuff like that; it makes folks think they haven't gotten through when explaining the concept of how a lawsuit works.  :)  At any rate, again, you aren't in a position to successfully sue him for legal fees incurred during a probate case, regardless of what he did during it in terms of roadblocks.

    "I am just trying to figure out what the best recourse is to remove him from the deed since he is making it difficult for all the other co-owners who are interested in selling there share."

    You've been advised you ought to pursue a partition action to get a court to order the place sold at auction.  For that, you and other interested sellers ought to contact a real estate attorney.

     

  • 11-05-2012 8:25 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: co-owner property dispute issues

    So far you haven't posted any issues , facts or beliefs where you have any decent odds to prevail



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