Missoula, MT asked in Real Estate Law for California

Q: House under contract to sell, and now one of the two owners is in disagreement about how to distribute sale proceeds.

There are two names on the deed as joint tenants in California. We were going to split proceeds 50/50, but now my partner is insisting he wants more of the money from the sale. We have no written agreement. The house is under contract and will close in ten days. What happens to the money if we can not work out an agreement before then? Can the title company where the clossing is done write two checks, each for half of the proceeds, and then let us duke it out afterwords? I will not accept less than my 50%. Will this cause the sale to not be able to close (which will probably result then in lawsuit from buyer)? Thus, to keep the closing from stopping, how can I make sure that the proceeds are not distributed in a way that I think is unfair?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James Joseph Falcone
James Joseph Falcone
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: What the title and escrow company does is up to them, but if they receive conflicting escrow instructions from the two owners they may not be able to close the sale. If you cannot reach an agreement with the co-owner, the solution of last resort is a lawsuit for Partition, in which the court orders the property sold, and the court determines how the money is split.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.