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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    1

    Default Home Titled in One Spouse's Name - What Are the Other Spouse's Rights

    I'm in NJ. My problems are family and housing issues. so not sure if it belongs here or a different section.

    My father is letting the house we live in (him, my mother and me) go into foreclosure. We lived here for about 20 years. Even though the house is in his name, my mom helped pay the bills and mortgage during that time. So my first question is; even though the house isn't in my mom's name does she have any rights or say at all on if the house is sold or not? My mom is also on disability, so not sure if that will help her have any rights. My dad has threatened someone is buying the house; yet noone has actually come in to see the house. If someone is really buying the house without seeing the inside, it's possible he is selling it for dirt cheap.

    He currently has an alcohol problem and is selling everything and anything to buy the alcohol (he hasn't worked in a year). He's taken alot of things I bought and my mom has bought and sold them without our permission. He's assuming since the house is in his name everything thing in the house is also his. I've called the cops and they told him it's theft to be taken our belongings but he won't stop. Which really is a shame because it would have been nice to sell some of the things and put the money towards another place to live instead of it going towards alcohol and basically having nothing to show for it.

    So the problem is- I don't feel he is mentally stable to be selling the house. He no longer bathes himself, no longer buys him self food and goes days without eating- the only concern he has is getting his alcohol and getting drunk. A neighbor told me there are people around the neighborhood giving him beer sometimes. So my concern is, maybe someone is trying to take advantage of him. Maybe they are getting him drunk where he agrees to sell the house to them for way less than it is worth and signs the papers over to them.

    Another problem is - both of my parents are hoarders. While we had alot of things before, everything is just torn apart now due to my father going through things looking for anything of value to sell. I have some expensive jewelry left to me by my grandmother somewhere, my diploma, I lost a SS card in the mess - I would have to go through everything to make sure either I find it or those things are out of the house so whoever buys it don't get it. I tried to get some of my belongings together in case we have to leave, but I have to be careful my dad doesn't take the boxes. I'm wondering if there's would be any legal way to have him removed from the house (maybe put in rehab/detox for awhile) so I could go through the stuff and get my things and some personal papers that are in the house. I'm sure we will lose the house eventually whether he actually sells it or not, but I feel I should have some rights to get everything that belongs to me out of the house if I need to without him interfering.

    I have been to social services and talked to case workers and social workers about whats going on, but they don't really seem too concerned. I understand they have to deal with people everyday and maybe my problem doesn't seem so significant to them.

    sorry this is so long, and I know it's probably complicated...but figured I'd throw this out there since any help and advice is helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Home Titled in One Spouse's Name - What Are the Other Spouse's Rights

    If the house is going into foreclosure, the sale is going to occur because the payments aren't being made. If your mother isn't prepared to pay off the arrears such that the mortgage is again in good standing, I'm not sure what "say" you would expect her to have. We would have no way of knowing if your father is actually trying to sell the house or at what price.

    It is quite obvious that, whatever the inconvenience to you, you should go to the house, find and remove any items of value that belong to you. Otherwise they are apt to end up sold with the home or located and sold by your father. Often when hoarders are involved, the disposal crews hired to clear out the home don't even try to find valuables - everything goes into dumpsters.

    If you believe you have grounds to have your father committed somewhere against his will for mental health treatment, you can explore your options; it is very difficult to compel somebody to get mental health treatment unless they're willing to go (and cost is also an issue). You've given us no indication that your father is suicidal or is a threat to the safety of others.

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