What can I do if a cosigner abandoned me and wants our property to go into foreclosure? 10 Answers as of January 27, 2011

A few years ago my ex-fiance and I decided to buy a house. She is the co signer. Then one day while I was at work, she packed up all her things as well as some of mine and left to live with some guy she met online. I have been trying hard to keep the house afloat and until now I have been doing okay. I cannot refinance the house because my credit score is bad. I am going to lose my house if she does not sign some paperwork. She refuses to sign anything for me saying that she would rather see the house go into foreclosure. What can I do?

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William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Lose the house, file bankruptcy and get a clean start.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 1/24/2011
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
I'm sorry to hear about your situation, that is very difficult to handle I'm sure. I'm not sure what paperwork you're referring to. She can't be forced to refinance the house if she doesn't want to, and if you can't qualify on your own then you either need to find another cosigner, or unfortunately I think you're out of luck. You might want to consider discussing your situation with a bankruptcy attorney to see what options that might provide you regarding the house and your other debts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Sadly, you are stuck on this one. If you were married to her you be might able to a court order or her to sign in the family law court. Taking her to civil court would be very expensive.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
Carballo Law Offices
Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
She is not a co-signer. No such thing in real estate loans. She is a joint owner and a joint debtor of the mortgage. She has the same righs as you and the same obligations. She cannot be removed from title or the loan without agreement by everyone. There is a legal process of partition of the property which is expensive. There is also a legal process for contribution from a joint owner. You need to see a real estate attorney. Probably nothing that can be done without a lot of legal expenses and uncertain results. You might not have a choice but to let the property go to foreclosure. If you have only one loan then neither of you should have any liability for a deficiency after the trustee's sale. If there is more than one loan then both might have liability for the oan balance of the junior deed of trust after the trustee's sale by the first or senior deed of trust. I think you are talking about having her sign the loan modification and she refuses. The loan modification is a voluntary procedure to reduce your payments, loan amount, etc. and the bank requires the signature of all those persons obligated under the promissory note secured by the deed of trust. That is why you probably cannot obtain a modification without her cooperation. I do not believe that you can legally force her to sign a modification agreement although she is legally obligated to act reasonably. Buying property with other persons without a written agreement like a partnership agreement before the purchase is dangerous as you can see, particularly if you are not married or the person is not your domestic partner subject to marital dissolution laws.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
DiManna Law Office, LLC.
DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
She cannot be forced to sign. You might have some options in bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 1/21/2011
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation | Sally S. Chan, Esq.
    By definition, a cosigner has no active duty to do anything. They co-signed so that the bank has an additional person responsible in the event that the main person does not pay.

    To my understanding, the foreclosure will affect the cosigner's credit. Perhaps you can use that fact to convince your cosigner to help you prevent this foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    It is not clear what type of papers you want her to sign, and it is not clear based, on the information you provide, how title to the property is held. I assume she is on title, which is why you are requiring her to sign some papers. I suggest you meet face-to-face with counsel to see how you might be able to salvage the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Not much other than bring it current yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    If you can't pay your debts, you may consider filing for BK. If the loan was purchase money and in CA, then anti-deficiency statutes should protect you if you lose the home to foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
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