It’s an exciting time when you buy property – a home, land, or commercial site – with someone. But what if that relationship goes south?
Litigation attorney Steve Whitmore discusses how to protect your equity in the property in the event of a problem.
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A Common Scenario
An unmarried couple bought a house together. Their relationship went south, and they couldn’t come to an agreement as to what to do with the property.
So they found themselves in court in what’s called a partition action in which the judge was going to decide.
How Equity Was Lost
Now, before they went to court, there was about $100,000 in equity in the home. By the time the case settled, without the matter even getting to trial, the parties owed their attorneys about $50,000.
So literally half the equity in the property went to lawyers. And that was simply because the parties didn’t have an agreement in place that addressed what would happen if their relationship ended. But, you know, it didn’t need to go that way.
My name is Steve Whitmore, and I’m an attorney with Robinson & Henry. And if you’re currently thinking about buying a home with someone, a friend or a family member, you’re probably feeling optimistic and excited.
You’re thinking, you know, if a problem arises, that’s fine. We’ll work it out. And hopefully you will. And hopefully you won’t find yourself in a partition case.
How to Protect Your Equity
But maybe you can avoid that altogether, and you can do that by having an agreement in place that outlines, in detail, what’s supposed to happen when problems arise.
If you have that, maybe you’ll get to keep more of your equity, and maybe you won’t have to give that equity to the lawyers.
If you’d like more information about how we can make that happen, reach out to us at robinsonandhenry.com.