Q: I purchased a home some years ago with another person, but only my credit was used. Her name and my name are on the title to the home.

Since we bought the house, I have obtained an additional 2nd and 3rd loan. My finances have become unmanageable and we can’t refinance because my friend’s credit is not good enough.

A relative of mine is willing to help me refinance but now my friend says that she bought the house. Nothing has changed. How can she claim to own the house?

A: In your letter, you stated that you bought the home with another person. If this other person’s name is on the title to the home, she owns this home with you. Even though you want to refinance, if the other individual remains on the title to the home, she is a co-owner of the home and would have a say in whether you can do this.

You need to have a conversation with your friend about the ownership of the property and what it would take to have her convey her interest in the home to you. She may want to be paid for selling you her interest or you will have to find another way to convince your friend to refinance the loans with the help of your relative.

Did she co-sign the loan? If so, then you’ll need to talk to her about what would happen to her credit if you cannot refinance your mortgages to make the payments more affordable.

If you friend refuses to sign any document, you’ll be left in a difficult situation, so sit down with your friend and try to work something out before your finances overwhelm you and the house falls into foreclosure.

Published: Apr 30, 2004