Do we let half of our house sell to a stranger? 8 Answers as of June 08, 2015

Back in 1989, my husband and I didn't have enough credit, so my sister in law and her husband signed on the house with us. We have lived in our home ever since. My sister in law and her husband, 50% owners of the house filed Chapter 7 in 2012. Since then, we have paid off the house and have no mortgage. Two weeks ago, we received a letter in the mail and it states the house is going up for auction on June 30. His bankruptcy lawyer says he is trying to get a hold of the trustee - but no response now for two weeks. What are the options? Then what rights does he have? Can they kick us out? Force us to eventually sell? The paper states there is a $27,000 bid on the 50% ownership of the home. Please advise.

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You should avoid it at all costs. The stranger will almost certainly want rent from you for his half of the house. You may want to bid on it yourself. You should review all the paperwork with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/8/2015
Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
You should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer immediately. You may have defenses to claim against the trustee's actions, but you also probably have very limited time and very real deadlines. Don't delay.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/8/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You need competent bankruptcy attorney asap. Did the sister in law pay any money towards the purchase price? If she did not your defense is that you own it subject to a "resulting trust" (see section 541 of the bankruptcy code). Furthermore the trustee had to give you notice of this sale. You may find a lawyer at Do not hire a lawyer who only files chapter 7 cases.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2015
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Pay an experienced Bankruptcy/Real Estate Lawyer for one or two hours of their time. Your case is too complex to answer here. There are any number of options available to you. But the attorney will have to access the BK file to see what occurred in the Chapter 7 filing, and possibly talk to the Trustee about options. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/8/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
First things first: Sit on the lawyer. Perhaps you should hire your own lawyer: someone well informed about bankruptcy and real estate. (There are quite a few out there.) I assume our relatives held the property as 'tenants-in-common' with you. (If they were joint tenants, things might work out differently.) A one-half interest of this sort is not worth much, because to use the property, the buyer would have to share tenancy with people he/she might not know or like. Your relatives, with better planning, could have saved you a lot of bother and expense, but that is neither here nor there. Your lawyer might be able to go to court and have the time for the sheriff sale deferred. Remember too that in Wisconsin, at least, the sheriff sale is not the very last word. You can challenge the sale at the hearing on confirmation of sale, held a few weeks after the sheriff sale, if you believe (and can demonstrate) that the sale price was unfairly low. I am wondering why you waited until this point? Were you not getting notices from the Court or Trustee about the sale? Find a good lawyer. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/8/2015
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    The advice is that you should hire an attorney to represent you as the house can be sold and you would then be evicted.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/8/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    You need to hire a lawyer on this immediately. Since your in-laws own 1/2 the house, it's within the trustee's rights to sell that asset and use the money to pay himself and the creditors. The question is what exactly would a buyer be getting. When two parties each own 1/2 a house, either can go to court and force the sale of the house and split the proceeds. But you should get credit for making all the mortgage payments. Which might make the half that is being sold worthless or close to it. Chances are what the trustee wants is an offer from you to buy the half interest. That's why you need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/8/2015
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can fight it or you can buy the other 50% that they are trying to sell.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/8/2015
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