27 Aug CASE STUDY 6 : Fort House
Two brothers owned a home together, in fact their late mother had given it to them hoping they could both live there together for the rest of their lives. As time would tell that never happened. The Nice Brother brought his bags one weekend to move in, when Mean Brother met him on the porch and told him it was not going to happen, this was his fort and if Nice Brother ever stepped foot on the property again that Mean Brother would kill him. Nice Brother was unable to live there for the next 20 years. He made other arrangements but always wanted to claim his 50% undivided interest in the house. Nice Brother was diagnosed with cancer and realized his time was limited but did not want to pass on the headache to his children. He always dreamed of leaving them something, but not this hassle. In Texas the Property Code which is the set of codified laws that effect real estate makes provision for what is called “tenants in common” or “co-tenants”. It effectively makes the co-owers to the property business partners and basically means that all owners share an equal right to use, access the equity, and occupy property. Additionally, each owner has the right to buy or sell their or others shares in the same property independently, but title companies will not allow it, so a special uninsured sale with a title abstract only is the way those “shares” or undivided interests can be sold or traded. This type of sale can not happen with traditional lending. Nice Brother contacted ARP through a referral in the neighborhood and was able to sell his interest in the property for cash to ARP. This allowed Nice Brother to leave money to his children after his death and prevent them from being so called business partners with Mean Brother.