7 months ago my boyfriend and I purchased a home together. I am named on the deed but not on the mortgage. He has moved out and I have agreed to make the mortgage payments myself so that I do not have to move my 4 children.

Up till now everything has been split 50/50. We have agreed to these terms for a 3 year period. What do I need to do to protect myself and deal with equity at time of sale? I cannot afford an attorney and he refuses to pay for an attorney.

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    What if there is no equity. That is, what if the market value is less now then when it was purchased. Be careful here. Get expert help. – Paul Mar 27 '11 at 19:06
  • My mother's in pretty much the same situation, but with roles reversed. Boyfriend's name on deed (Some kind of rights of survivorship, but with an interest in the house as well?), but only hers on loan. she kicked him out years back, but can't do anything with the house because both names are on deed. She's letting it get foreclosed on because she can't do anything with it and doesn't want to pay it off w/ his name on it – schizoid04 May 24 '17 at 1:38

I suggest that you both try to resolve this as amicably as you can.

Your (ex?) boyfriend is very vulnerable financially if what you say is correct. His name alone is on the debt secured by the house you own jointly. He doesn't even live there, and he is depending on you to make the payments on time so that he doesn't go into default.

You could be vulnerable as well. I don't know how the deed is written up, but he may be able to force the sale of the house because he's co-owner, in which case you'd need to find a place to live. That, and he's currently getting half of the equity from your mortgage payments, while paying nothing. (You are living in the house, though.)

Assuming he doesn't mean any ill will, if you can get an agreement in writing that protects both your interests in the matter, I'd think that would be far better financially than getting someone to protect your own interests (and he his own). Lawyer fees tend to go up if the two parties are fighting.

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    +1 specifically for "Lawyer fees tend to go up if the two parties are fighting". – BobbyScon Aug 31 '15 at 20:51

Consider speaking with legal charities in your area. You can't afford not to have an attorney if homes or tens of thousands of dollars are at stake.

The job of an attorney is to apply his expertise in the law to the specifics of your case. Also, their job is to fight for you to get the proper outcome you deserve.

In the kind of situation you describe, it isn't your boyfriend's job to pay for your attorney any more than it is a bank robber's job to call out the police department.

However well meaning, internet advice sites can only go so far. Try to get a professional on your side, whether by borrowing or begging.


I think your ex-boyfriend is the one who needs to worry about protecting himself! If your name is not on the mortgage, then you have no legal obligation to pay it. But having your name on the deed means that you do have a legal share in ownership of the house. If you're late with a payment, it's his credit rating that will be hurt, not yours. If you quit making the mortgage payments altogether, the bank would go after your ex-boyfriend, not you. I'm not sure what would happen if the bank tried to foreclose. Likely the courts would get involved. If what you're saying is accurate, I'm surprised that the bank would agree to this. I wonder if this is strictly legal and in accordance with the terms of the mortgage.

In any case, the best thing to do would be to get a lawyer to write up a clear agreement. Okay, you say you can't afford that. You could look for free legal advice, like the Legal Aid Society. If that doesn't work out, at the very least I'd say write up an agreement between yourselves that is fair to both of you, get it notarized, and each keep a copy. While lawyers of course cost money, the advantage of having lawyers involved is that they generally know what will hold up in court and what won't if it comes to a fight, and can advise you on legal technicalities to consider that you might not have thought of.

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    If the bank gave a mortgage where the names on the deed don't match the mortgage the OP would have had to have signed a waiver so that they can take possession. She could still end up homeless if payments wern't met. – JamesRyan Nov 17 '15 at 17:33