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Partition of Real Property

A partition action is a legal proceeding to divide property amongst unmarried individuals that cannot agree what to do with the property. Pennsylvania partition actions are governed by Rules 1551 - 1574 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. There are generally only two options in a partition action. The parties can physically split the property, if possible. This is rarely a feasible option, particularly in the case of property with a structure on it, such as a home. Alternatively, the property is sold and the proceeds are divided. As far as procedure, a complaint for partition should be brought in the county where the property is located and must include all co-tenants as parties. The complaint must include a description of the property along with each co-tenant's interest in the property.

Securing an Interest in Real Property

It is a good idea to record your interest in any real property with the Recorder of Deeds as soon as possible. In a divorce matter, if one party is keeping the home, a new deed may need to be drawn up to indicate the sole ownership of the property. Transfers of real property incident to a divorce are exempt from the standard realty transfer taxes. On the other hand, you may need to put a lien on real property to protect your interest in the home's value or as leverage for other sums due to you. In Philadelphia, an Affidavit of Interest in Real Property should be completed and submitted to the Recorder of Deeds. A copy of the current deed for the home is necessary to refer to the legal description of the property.

Real estate ownership

In Pennsylvania, there are several ways that real property (i.e. houses) may be titled. When two or more people own property together, they should be aware of the manner in which the property is owned:

Short Sale Basics

A short sale is an alternative to foreclosure. The lender allows the home to be sold for less than what is owed on the mortgage. It is usually less of a loss for the lender to allow a short sale than to let the home go into foreclosure. Once a home goes into foreclosure the lender loses even more money on a monthly basis providing for the upkeep of the home and paying the taxes. Additionally, it is less of a hit on the credit of the seller to go through with a short sale over a foreclosure. A seller should try to negotiate with the lender to minimize damage to their credit rating as part of the sale agreement. To be eligible for a short sale, the seller must be behind on payments due to financial hardship. Proof of this hardship must be established by supplying tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements and list of monthly expenses. A short sale is not likely to occur if the seller is already in bankruptcy as a short sale is considered a prohibited collection activity. 

Splitting Real Estate Outside of a Divorce

A Partition Action is the type of legal proceeding needed to divide property amongst unmarried individuals that cannot agree what to do with the property. There are two options in a partition action. One option involves physically splitting the property, if possible. The alternative option, and more likely occurrence, involves the home being sold with the proceeds divided. As far as procedure, a complaint for partition should be brought in the county where the property is located and must include all co-tenants as parties. The complaint must also include a description of the property along with each co-tenant's interest in the property. 

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