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  1. #1
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    Default Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    My question involves personal property located in the State of: California

    I am co-owners on a small (less than 1 acre) piece of recreational property.

    I need to end the partnership with the co-owner. She is simply costing me too much money.

    My question is, is forced sale with re-reimbursement a reasonable option? Any idea on how much it could end up costing in court fees and lawyer fees?

    I have $46,000 invested in the property. $30,000 in a small cabin and $12,000 in removal of dead trees that were a threat to our neighbor's property and their lives. The co-owner has roughly about $4,000 invested in property payments. Would the court consider the difference in investment when they sold it for us?

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    Quote Quoting Blueberrie
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    My question involves personal property located in the State of: California

    I am co-owners on a small (less than 1 acre) piece of recreational property.

    I need to end the partnership with the co-owner. She is simply costing me too much money.

    My question is, is forced sale with re-reimbursement a reasonable option? Any idea on how much it could end up costing in court fees and lawyer fees?

    I have $46,000 invested in the property. $30,000 in a small cabin and $12,000 in removal of dead trees that were a threat to our neighbor's property and their lives. The co-owner has roughly about $4,000 invested in property payments. Would the court consider the difference in investment when they sold it for us?

    Thank you
    If the co-owner will not agree to either (1) one or the other of you buys the other's ownership interest on mutually acceptable terms, or (2) agrees to the listing and sale of the property on the open market, your only legal option is by means of legal process known as partition (See: California Code of Civil Procedure Title 10.5 Partition of Real and Personal Property)

    Unfortunately, partition is a highly complex, time consuming, extremely expensive, paper eating process whereby the property, if not subject to an equitable physical division, is sold at a public auction by a referee appointed by the court (CCP Section 873.520) where the only people bidding will be vultures hoping to steal it.

    So what do you do if the co-tenant refuses either (1) or (2)? The answer is "leverage"! Meaning you hold the financial ruination prospects of an action for partition over her obstinate head! And to which she will have no defense. It should bring her around.

    Also better that the threat is conveyed by your attorney with written words to the effect" "I have been retained to . . . unless . . ." I've never had or known it to fail.

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    Thank you Latigo for your quick response.

    The coowner will not sell to me or buy me out.

    I need to end the partnership. I would like to do it without losing too much money but I can't think of any other option. It's like being stuck in a really bad marriage. She is irresponsible and has no values or respect for the property. She only goes there to drink and party around the campfire.

    What is considered extremely expensive? Are we talking 10,000, 20,000, more?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    Latigo's funny. You don't have the leverage, she does. You have $46000 invested, she has $4000 invested. You are 10 times more vulnerable to losing a large part of your investment in a partition sale. Count on paying a lawyer at least $5000 to $10,000. She doesn't have to pay anything. She can just keep on partying while you spend all the money and then the property is auctioned for $20,000 and the check has both names on it. She won't endorse it without getting half so then what? Back to court and more lawyer fees or do you cave and give her half and get on with your life?

    I'm guessing she was a girlfriend who is now an ex-girlfriend.

    Just goes to show you, never get financially involved with a girlfriend. Expensive life lesson from the school of hard knocks.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    I am willing to pay $10,000 to end the partnership. My fear is that it could cost 20,000 or more.

    I am also willing to lose everything I put into it if I can just get my life back and put this all behind me.

    She is a family member. No surprise right? She has been parasiteing off my mother and myself for years. It just needs to end.

    I'm thinking forced sale with "reimbursement" for some maintenance that had to be done. I am hoping that they will sell it and reimburse me off the top and divide between us what is left.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    Quote Quoting Blueberrie
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    She is a family member. No surprise right? She has been parasiteing off my mother and myself for years. It just needs to end.
    That would have been my next guess.

    Quote Quoting Blueberrie
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    I'm thinking forced sale with "reimbursement" for some maintenance that had to be done. I am hoping that they will sell it and reimburse me off the top and divide between us what is left.
    There isn't any "hoping." You'll have to petition the court to award you reimbursement and you will have to prove to the court that you are entitled to reimbursement which, unfortunately, is likely going to require some proof of a contractual arrangement. Otherwise, as far as the court is concerned, a 50/50 ownership is a 50/50 split.

    It's time you started talking to a lawyer and review your options and potential costs.

    You wrote that she refused to sell out to you. Did you just offer the $4000? Did she say, or did you ask, how much it would take to get her to sell? Might be cheaper in the long run to just offer big enough bucks. At least, then, you would still own the property.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    Quote Quoting Blueberrie
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    Thank you Latigo for your quick response.

    The coowner will not sell to me or buy me out.

    I need to end the partnership. I would like to do it without losing too much money but I can't think of any other option. It's like being stuck in a really bad marriage. She is irresponsible and has no values or respect for the property. She only goes there to drink and party around the campfire.

    What is considered extremely expensive? Are we talking 10,000, 20,000, more?
    You asked earlier whether or not in the distribution of the proceeds of a sale upon partition of the property if the court will take into account the parties' respective investments. (At the outset please be advised that these are complex issue to be properly vetted by your California attorney. My comments are for general information purposes only.)

    The simple answer to the question seems to be appear in Cal.CCP Sec. 872.140:

    "The court may, in all cases, order allowance, accounting, contribution, or other compensatory adjustment among the parties according to the principles of equity." But then there is Sec. 873.820(d):

    "Distribution of the residue (net sale proceeds) (shall be made) among the parties in proportion to their shares as determined by the court".

    The hard questions and those that can't be conclusively answered from our limited perspective are: (1) what are the respective "equities" of the individual owners, and (2) what are the individual owners' "proportionate shares".

    For one we don't know what if any binding arrangements or agreements exist between you two with respect to treating your individual investments. Or whether any are reflected in the deeded percentages of ownership of the property

    If the disparity of the individual contributions to the purchase price (seemingly yours at $45K and hers at -$0-) are not disclosed in the deed - that is, there is no indication of conveying disproportionate interests - presumptively you would each own an undivided one half interest. Then, unless otherwise formally agreed, your $45K could arguably be considered a gift to the cotenancy estate. And likely the same with respect to the $30K permanent improvements added to the joint estate. An argument perhaps augmented by an amorous relationship.

    With regard to the cost of the removing the dead trees. As a rule any expenditures made by a co-owner that are deemed necessary for the preservation and maintenance of the property are to be shared by all co-owners in proportion to their percentage of ownership. But again we aren't privy to those deeded percentages of ownership.

    Then as if the legalities were not already vexing you toss into the hopper this business of a "partnership and how to end it"!

    Although I suspect that the only thing that you regrettably created is an "estate in cotenancy" and not a formal general partnership now needing to be appropriately dissolved and wound-up, again these are matters to be reviewed and examined by your attorney.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    Someone asked if she might get desperate for the money in the future so that I might just sit on it for awhile. The answer is yes. Her life is in constant chaos and she is always messing up her life. Her Mother or I usually pick up the pieces for her.

    I will probably talk to a lawyer as you have all been suggesting. I have a family lawyer that I really like. I completely trust him, but I am wondering if I need to talk to a real estate lawyer.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    Quote Quoting Blueberrie
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    Someone asked if she might get desperate for the money in the future so that I might just sit on it for awhile. The answer is yes. Her life is in constant chaos and she is always messing up her life. Her Mother or I usually pick up the pieces for her.

    I will probably talk to a lawyer as you have all been suggesting. I have a family lawyer that I really like. I completely trust him, but I am wondering if I need to talk to a real estate lawyer.
    Run this suggestion by whomever you choose to consult with:

    1. After making a formal demand you sue the cotenant for her share of the cost of the tree removal.

    2. Upon obtaining a judgment for her share you then cause levy of execution of the judgment against her deeded interest in the property.

    3. At the sheriff's sale you bid in your judgment.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Forced Sale with Reimbursement

    Quote Quoting latigo
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    Run this suggestion by whomever you choose to consult with:

    1. After making a formal demand you sue the cotenant for her share of the cost of the tree removal.

    2. Upon obtaining a judgment for her share you then cause levy of execution of the judgment against her deeded interest in the property.

    3. At the sheriff's sale you bid in your judgment.
    I will do that. Thank you!

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