Are there other options besides a partition action suit towards my two siblings who are joint tenants on a home? 2 Answers as of November 11, 2014

I own a home in CA with two other siblings (joint tenants). I financed the loan, and paid property taxes. In which none of the siblings contributed to. I currently live in the home and one of the siblings recently moved into the property, just over a year now. I defaulted on the mortgage in Sept 2013 and filed for ch.7 bankruptcy in April 2014 and was finally discharged by Aug 2014. Through bankruptcy court, the trustee began to retain, a CPA, and a law firm but did not retain a realtor. The trustee sent a certified letter to two of the siblings if they were interested in purchasing the home. Prior to filing bankruptcy, I was aware the two siblings had no interest in the home, not wanting to purchase or sell. By being vindictive they are willing to walk away from their share so I don't receive mine. I recently found out that the trustee will no longer move forward with the forced sale because there is not enough meat on the home. There is at least a 100k equity and I think it's ridiculous how it will go back to the bank. Time is ticking and the house will go back into foreclosure proceedings. It is still in the bankruptcy stage since it's only been a day when I learned of the bad news. My attorney informed me I'm looking at living in the home for another 5-6 months. I need some guidance on what to do. What other actions need to take place in order for it to make things happen? I am practically unemployed. Can my attorney put a lien on my home to move forward with this case, that's if I have one? I really need my share for me to start my life over since I have exhausted most of my savings and pension. Help!!

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Janke Legal Consulting | Bruce C. Janke
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by your attorney putting a lien on the house. If you are talking about a lien to secure the attorney's fees for the partition suit, then yes you could sign an agreement to do that. Short of persuading your siblings to be reasonable, I am not aware of any way to sell the home without getting a judgment in a partition proceeding. You are allowed to sell just your one-third interest, but it is highly unlikely you could find a buyer for that. However, it appears that it would be easy to get your siblings served with summons and complaint and that they are not likely to file an answer or otherwise respond. In that event, you can obtain judgment by default in a relatively short time. Defendants have 30 days after being served to file an answer or other responsive pleading. At that point, you can apply for a default judgment. Since all you are asking for is a judgment of partition and there are no damages that need to be proved, you may be able to obtain judgment simply by submitting a sworn declaration without the need of a hearing (which could take a while to schedule). Or if necessary, your attorney may be able to file a motion and persuade the court to expedite the default judgment process.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2014
Stacy Joel Safion, Esq.
Stacy Joel Safion, Esq. | Stacy Joel Safion
If your siblings are not agreeable to sell it and you want to, a partition action is the only thing you can do.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/10/2014
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