Financing, ownership of property do not have to be identical
Tribune Content Agency Q: DoIhaveany
rights to a property if I put down the $50,000 payment when it was first built, then lived in the property solely since 2006? The property was financed in someone else’s name since my credit was bad at the time. A:
The financing and ownership of a property don’t have to be identical. There can be several owners of a home with only one person responsible for repaying the loan.
For example, four friends can buy a property, and all four of them can be owners of the property. But the loan might have been taken out by only one of the friends. That one friend will then be the one legally responsible for the repayment of the loan.
You’ll need to know whether you are on the title to the property or not. If you are on title, then the answer to your question is that you are an owner of the property even though the loan is in someone else’s name. But even here, you should know that the person that helped you out also may own the property with you. If you no longer want them to own the property with you, you may want to approach them and request that they deed their interest in the property to you. At the same time, you can refinance the property and relieve your friend from any loan on the property.
On the other hand, if you aren’t on title to the property at all, you then would have to reach out to your friend and have them convey their interest in the property to you now. Again, you’ll probably need to refinance your loan to have it put in your name and not your friend’s name.
When we get a letter like yours, we also view it from the perspective that you may have had a falling out with the person that helped you get financing on the home. This would be a big problem. While you may have put down the money and made all the payments over the years, if your name isn’t on title, the home is legally owned by the other person.
Your best bet is to work with the person that helped you out to have them transfer the title to you. If they refuse, you’ll have an uphill battle to fight. The biggest reason for going uphill is that you’d have to go to court to get a judgment that the home is actually yours. And going to court is always expensive. We’d hope you can avoid that route and come to a resolution by other means.
Your argument in court would be to prove that the property was purchased by this other person using your money to assist you and not to become the sole owner of the property. You’d also have to show that you’ve made all the payments on the home since it was purchased, including repair bills, real estate taxes, insurance bills and all maintenance expenses. You’d probably also have to show that the other person has not been at the home, used the home or has benefited from the home since the purchase.
Above all, you’ll need a good litigation attorney to help you navigate through the whole legal process.
If you’re still friendly with the other person, try to work out any problems you have with them and have them sign over any interest they have in your home to you. Of course, what we’re really hoping is that your credit has improved substantially and that when apply for the loan it will be approved.
Ilyce Glink is the creator of an 18-part webinar and ebook series called “The Intentional Investor: How to be wildly successful in real estate,” as well as the author of many books on real estate. She also offers information on her YouTube channel. (youtube.com/user/ExpertRealEstateTips).
Contact Ilyce and Sam through her website, ThinkGlink.com.
© 2016 Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.