Question for legal eagles

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by Gatormb, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    Asking on Too Hot because more post here.

    I own two properties (waterfront condo and a sfr) with a partner. Three years ago he declared bankruptcy. Because there was no equity in the properties they were left alone.

    Two years ago he abandoned the properties leaving me to pay all expenses (repairs and all payments when the properties are vacant ).

    I have requested he deed the properties over (there is no equity) but he refuses to do so. His take is that he's covered by the bk and wants half the equity (if any) down the road when we sell. In the meantime I absorb all expenses.

    Can I sue him to deed the properties over. I'm down $25k so far in repairs and uncovered payments.
  2. malligator
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    malligator Well-Known Member

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    I assume it's too late for you to lay claim as a creditor in his bankruptcy proceedings?
  3. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Preceded our situation.
  4. dadx4
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    dadx4 Well-Known Member

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    You need to talk to a real estate attorney. I don't know if we have any on here.
  5. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    i know a couple of russian guys that pass through Miami on occasion...j/k..sort of....

    guy sounds like a real peach, reminds me why I have always been hesitant to go into any type of joint venture, good luck. not an attorney but I imagine that if there was ever any equity generated you would be entitled to recover any costs you incurred, plus management fees for handling the properties during his absence, plus interest on your costs, .....out of the equity before any of it was distributed to the partnership
  6. Lawdog88
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    Lawdog88 Well-Known Member

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    Caveat: Not a dirt lawyer, so . . . this comment is not legal advice, but merely personal opinion.

    Assuming you had no written partnership agreement outlining the terms of the co-ownership and management of the properties (which might have identified things that could breach the co-ownership agreement, such as: failure to contribute to upkeep, pay property taxes, insurance, etc.), you can't sue founded on breach of a written contract theory. However, while a agreement for the sale of dirt has to be in writing, perhaps (see: dirt lawyer) an oral agreement about the terms of managing the property could be legal and enforceable; that I don't know. (Again, see: dirt lawyer). If so, that would be a matter of proof, but it is pretty much implied that co-owners are co-responsible for expenses.

    You could certainly sue to partition the jointly-held property, i.e., via a forced sale ordered by the Court, holding the other guy's feet to the fire with your accounting for expenses, upkeep, etc., and requiring him to pay out of any profits from the sale, but if you want to hold on to it for later appreciation because there isn't any profit in it now (1/2 of no profit is still nothing), that doesn't work.

    And there is always the idea that suing for partition and pissing the Judge off at the deadbeat side of the equation could bring you a "special" equity, where instead of allocating 1/2 for each party, your suit for reimbursement for Mr. Deadhead's failures over the years, and his attempt to cleverly use the bankruptcy proceeding for future profit, could give you more than 1/2 half in equity. Not saying that would be automatic, but you could really prejudice this guy in the eyes of the Court.

    If there was some profit there, and you wanted to sell and engage in litigation . . . that is.

    IMH (personal) O.

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