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Can You Sell a House if the Other Borrower Does Not Want To?

Generally, an owner of a house in Palm Beach County can sell it whenever they want to whomever they want. However, selling a house can be more complicated if the property is owned by two people. Both owners must agree to sell. If the two owners have different ideas as to what should be done with the property, including whether to sell it, both parties may become frustrated resulting in anger on both sides and nothing happening with the house. While the situation may be frustrating, Florida law provides options for selling a house even if the other borrower does not want to. If you are interested in selling a house and there is a reluctant co-owner, contact an experienced Palm Beach County partition lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have the experience and knowledge to help you sell the property and ensure that your legal interests are protected.

Force a Sale Through an Action for Partition

If you want to sell your house, but the co-owner of the house does not want to, there are options for selling your interest in the house or even forcing the sale of the property. While the least complicated way to sell your interest in the house when your other borrower does not want to sell is to propose that your co-owner buy your interest. While this may be the least complicated way to resolve the issue, it will not work if your co-owner is not able to finance the purchase. In addition, if both you and your co-owner are also co-borrowers, issues related to the mortgage will also have to be resolved as part of the transaction.

If a buyout by the other owner does not work, then under FL Stat § 64.011 et seq you can petition the court to partition the property. Partition refers to a chancery court determining the interest of each of the co-owners and either dividing the property into separate parcels or selling the property. The result will be that the interests of the owners will be split.

As an experienced Palm Beach County partition lawyer will explain, the court will only order a division of the property if it can be done fairly. If the property is an open field or a vacant lot as opposed to a house, the court is likely to find it to be easy to divide between two people. However, dividing the same property among 10 co-owners, for example, may be more challenging. Ten small parcels may be significantly less useful and less valuable to each of the owners than the undivided property would be to the owners. Furthermore, depending on the location and shape of the property, dividing it into 10 parcels may result in some of the parcels being landlocked, making it difficult for the owners to use the property.

If the court concludes that partition cannot be made in a way that is fair to all of the owners, then the court will sell it at an open-market sale, unless the court finds that a sale by sealed bids or an auction would be the more economically advantageous. FL Stat § 64.210. The goal would be to get the best price for the property. If you have concerns about the process of selling property in an action for partition, contact an experienced partition attorney in Palm Beach County.

Once the house is sold, the proceeds will be distributed to the former co-owners. Note that if there is a mortgage on the property or other lien on the property, they would have to be satisfied out of the proceeds of the sale. In addition, any expenses related to the partition action and sale will also be deducted from the proceeds.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Selling a home in Palm Beach County that has a co-owner can be complicated. If the house has a mortgage, the legal issues can be even more complicated and can reduce the amount of money your receive from a sale. To ensure that all legal issues in the matter are properly addressed and that your interests are protected, contact an experienced partition attorney serving Palm Beach County at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 7 decades of combined experience, we can help you sell a house if the other borrower does not want to. Contact us at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients throughout the following areas: Palm Beach County, Dale County, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.