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How to Get Money Out of a House Owned With Others

When someone passes away, the most valuable asset left to their heirs is often the family home. This asset is often left to more than one heir. For example, if there are two siblings, the parents would like leave the house to both children. Both heirs would own the house equally. Though the parents’ intention may be good and the children may not anticipate any problems, problems may develop because each heir wants to do something different with the house. Ultimately, a co-owner may decide that they situation is not tenable and they want to get their money out of the house even if the other co-owners do not want to sell. While there are out-of-court options, the parties may end up settling he issue in court. If you co-own property in the Chicago area and are seeking to sell your interest in the property, contact an experienced Chicago estate lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Resolving Out of Court

While the court can force a sale of co-owned property, there are options for resolving the issue out of court. One option is for the co-owner who wants to hold on to the property to buy out the owner who wants to sell. Both parties would get what they want. This option will only work if the parties agree on a price and the buying party can afford the purchase. Note that an added complication that must be taken into consideration with a buyout is that if there is a mortgage or other lien on the property it will have to be addressed. To ensure that this transaction is completed properly, contact an experienced Chicago estate lawyer.

Resolving in Court

The in court option is a partition action. A partition action essentially asks the court to divide up the property fairly among the co-owners. If the court finds that the property is indivisible and cannot be divided (partitioned), the court can force the sale of the property.

To initiate a partition case, the petitioner must file a complaint. All of the parties who have an interest in the property must be listed as defendants. 735 ILCS 5/17-103. This includes tenants for years or for life as well as those entitled to the reversion, remainder or inheritance. If there are unknown owners, the complaint must state so. The complaint must be filed in the Illinois county where the property is located. 735 ILCS 5/17-101.

The judge may appoint an independent commissioner to investigate the property to determine if division is possible. 735 ILCS 5/17-106. If the commissioner determine determines that the property can be divided, each co-owner would end up a sole owner of their own parcel. Property division is common with farmland or other unimproved property.

If the property cannot be divided, the property will be sold in a public sale. Before listing it for sale, the court will determine its value. It will not sell it for less than 2/3 of the its determined value. The proceeds of the sale will go to the co-owners, less fees associated with the process.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are a co-owner of a house in the greater Chicago area and would like to understand your options for how to get money out of a house owned with others, contact an experienced estate attorney serving Chicago at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We will help you proceed with the best option based on the specifics of your case. Call us at 800.454.5529 or contact us online for a FREE consultation. We serve clients throughout Chicago.

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