I Bought a Home with my Ex and now he Wants to Refinance, Does he Need to Buy me Out to do This?

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“My now ex fiance and I purchased a home in June 2006. In January 2007 we refinanced for 125% of the value. It is now February 2007 and we are no longer getting married. He told me and my son (7) to leave and he would get roommates. Which is fine because I could not afford the place w/ a roommate (he can get two). Now, in a year he wants me to refinance again so his payments can be cheaper and he can stay in the home. I told him I want to sell it. Right now we are unable to sell because we will have to come out of pocket. My question is, does he have to buy me out when he refinances and what exactly does that entail? I appreciate your help on this matter.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Just because you are not living there doesn’t mean you can’t be a co-owner, so no, he is not automatically required to buy you out (though the bank may be concerned if one of the owners is not a resident). However, do you want to remain co-owners with this man? If you’re both on the mortgage, that means that you are responsible for paying it if he doesn’t, even though you are not living there. Same thing with taxes, insurance, etc.

If you want to get out, you are certainly entitled to do so. If he won’t voluntarily take you off title (and off the loan!), then you may have to file what is known as a partition action. This can be fairly technical, so I would not suggest trying to do it without an attorney, but in essence it is the right of co-owners to stop being co-owners when they want to. If the other owner(s) won’t do it voluntarily, a partition action will force them to.

If he is willing to do it voluntarily, the procedure is fairly simple. In the same escrow when the refinance takes place, you will sign a deed giving up your interest in the property, and you will get some money for your equity, if any. The exact amount is negotiable.



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Author: House Attorney

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