Q: My boyfriend and I were together for 11 years. In that time, we bought a house together and both of our names were on the deed.
I got sick and moved home so that my family could take care of me. My boyfriend filed for bankruptcy protection so that he could save the house. The bankruptcy will be up soon and he thinks that he will be the only owner of the house. He plans to sell our house and buy a new house without my consent.
He says that I left so I don’t own the house anymore. I didn’t sign anything giving him rights to the house. Can he sell the house without me knowing about it? How can I find out when the bankruptcy is over? Do I have any rights?
A: You need to find out if the deed to the property is still in your name. If your name is no longer on the deed, it’s possible your ex-boyfriend has illegally forged your name to a “quit claim deedA Quit Claim Deed is a deed that operates to release any interestInterest is money charged for the use of borrowed funds. Usually expressed as an interest rate, it is the percentage of the total loan charged annually for the use of the funds. in a property that a person may have, without a representation that he or she actually has a right in that property. For example, Sally may use a quit claim deed to grant Bill her interest in the White House, in Washington, DC, although she may not actually own, or have any rights to, that particular house.” or other legal mechanism that would have removed your name as owner of the property.
If that is the case, you can go to your local police station and file a report for fraud. You can also talk to a real estateReal Estate is land and anything permanently attached to it, such as buildings and improvements. attorneyA Real Estate Attorney is an attorney who specializes in the purchase and sale of real estate. about legal options you have to recover your ownershipOwnership is the absolute right to use, enjoy, and dispose of property. You own it! of the property.
As for looking up your ex-boyfriend’s bankruptcy filings, you can either go to the bankruptcy court in your area where he filed or you may be able the documents you’re searching for online. The bankruptcy courts now post filings online and for a fee allow you to view the records online.
You should also pull a copy of your credit history. If your name was on the property when you bought it and it was on the mortgageA Mortgage is a document granting a lien on a home in exchange for financing granted by a lender. The mortgage is the means by which the lender secures the loan and has the ability to foreclose on the home. used to complete the purchase, it should show up as being on the mortgage. If your boyfriend was late paying the mortgage and your name is on the mortgage, it may have affected your credit.
As for your rights, please talk to an attorney about what legal options and rights you have. You can find an attorney through the local bar association.