Stuck in a Mortgage with Ex, Are there Ways Out?

Can I file a partition lawsuit on a co-bought residential property if I signed a quit claim deed?

I financed a home as the co-buyer with my ex through a mortgage lender that shortly after the closing they sold the contract to PennyMac. We were never married, and we have no kids with each other. We got the home in April of 2016 and by December of 2016 our relationship ended and due to hardship of the situation I was forced to move to my parents’ home where I am still currently living. I am unable to find a rental to live on my own or take out another mortgage since having a mortgage on my credit crushes my debt to income situation. I have been stuck in this situation for just over 4 years now. I have asked her to refi the loan and nothing ever came of it. I have been told I’m screwed by people I know and just today I somehow found information on partition lawsuit. Never heard of it before. This situation is happening in the State of Wisconsin. I want to be out from under this situation and be able to get an apartment or a home purchase again in the future. I honestly do not believe that the mortgage lender will allow her to take the loan on by herself. I wouldn’t be typing this up if I felt she would or if they will allow it….

Answer by Atty Jay K. Nixon, Avvo Rating: 10, real estate attorney in Real Estate Attorney in Kenosha & Janesville, WI

Your real problem appears to be that neither of you can afford to buy out the other.  I doubt that a partition suit will help much, since it will not reduce the amount owed by even a penny and will only add more expenses, perhaps needlessly.  More realistic would be a sale attempt, and the success or lack thereof will also give you the best possible appraisal of its real value.  Whatever amounts are left over after paying the liens, if any, would normally be divided 50/50, so hopefully the two of you can at least agree on that much.  Without a lot more income, neither of your credit ratings will improve much with age, either so you could be stuck with each other for better or worse until the place is finally sold.  Getting lawyers on both sides to advise and mediate might help resolve this, but either way, you should take some comfort in the fact that problems of this type are extremely common between joint owners, and it makes no difference if they are married or not.  Realistically, if you cannot agree on how to proceed, what usually ends up happening is the one or both owners lose interest and allow the property to slip into foreclosure, which also resolves the problem eventually.