Can You Force A Mortgage Co-Borrower To Pay Their Share

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: I bought a small multifamily property with someone I used to work with during the pandemic. We got a mortgage in both our names. He stopped paying his share of the mortgage when he lost his job. Can I force him to pay? Sara, Bloomfield, NJ

A: When you get a mortgage with a co-borrower you are jointly liable for the loan in the case of a default for non-payment. When someone agrees to be a co-signer or a co-borrower on a loan, they accept responsibility for the loan in full. Basically, you are both responsible for the mortgage loan in its entirety. If your co-owner/co-borrower stops paying their share you can bring a suit for partition to try to force a sale of the property. When you buy a property with a 30 year mortgage, you are making a 30 year financial commitment. People’s responsibilities and financial situation can change dramatically over a 30 year period. This is why it’s very important to be prudent and careful about who you choose to partner with in any business. Thanks for your question, Sara.

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