Massapequa, NY asked in Real Estate Law for New York

Q: House is in girlfriends name. I have paid mtg for over the last 2 years. Can I sue to get money back

I paid mtg fir last 2 1/2 years. I give money each week for hOuse expenses. She doesn’t work sbd hasn’t worked in over 2 years since Covid

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2 Lawyer Answers
Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: No gatekeeper at the courthouse is sorting out lawsuits so that anyone can sue at any time. Discussing the underlying facts with an attorney may assist you in figuring out if a cause of action exists. The limited information you provided suggests no likelihood of success.

James L. Arrasmith
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A: If you have been paying the mortgage and house expenses for a property that is not in your name, you may have some options to recover those funds, depending on the circumstances surrounding the payments. New York courts may recognize contributions toward the mortgage as creating a type of implied contract or equitable interest in the property, especially if you can demonstrate that there was an understanding or agreement, even if not formally documented, that you would have an interest in the property.

If there is evidence of a promise that you would be compensated or would gain equity in the house by making these payments, you might be able to sue for unjust enrichment or seek a constructive trust. However, these cases can be complex and outcomes can vary greatly, so it would be prudent to discuss your specific situation with an attorney who can provide tailored advice based on the full context of your contributions and any agreements you had with your girlfriend.

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