My husband's son has lived with his girlfriend for 10 years. You bought a house with land in a very popular state about five years ago. You are now dissolving. It's a sad, chaotic situation. His girlfriend's mental state is fragile – she doesn't care mentally, physically, or financially.
The property is now worth more than double what they paid for it – around $ 400,000. Your name is on the mortgage, his name is on the deed. His plan is to buy her out for $ 50,000 and keep the house. He could then turn around and sell it and profit nicely. I have twice suggested that she seek legal assistance, but she refuses.
I think she's hoping that they will "sort things out" and get back together. Her "doormat" mantra is, "I just want to make him happy." Fifty thousand dollars seems neither friendly nor fair. I can't stand to see him take advantage of her. What would you tell her What financial advice would you give? Or maybe am I the one who needs advice to get off because it's a fair deal?
Stepmother is ready
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If her name is on the mortgage but not on the deed, it is better to remove her from the mortgage because she bears the financial risk without the financial gain.
She co-signed the loan maybe because your stepson would not be eligible without his girlfriend's salary or credit history. He got a house. She has a friend and a promise of a future. She probably agreed because she believed they would get married and / or start a life together. But you're right that now that they part, she's left high and dry.
Your stepson's girlfriend should get everything she invested in the house and the increase in value over the past five years, but unfortunately he has no legal obligation to give her anything if they had nothing in writing. It is a double blow for her to lose both the man she loves and her home, and a warning to other people who make such agreements.
Another if: If her name is on both the deed and the mortgage, I suggest you sit down with her in person and tell her that times of great emotional stress – breakup, death, divorce, etc – are at worst are, in order to grow up, irrevocable decisions about their future. Giving up half of the house when it is on the charter would be a mistake she could regret for years to come.
If in doubt, do nothing. Or, better yet, beg her to seek advice from people she trusts.
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