Torked - gotta vent

amyfiddlerDecember 28, 2007

Long story short-

Bought a vacation house with another family. We signed the loan, they haven't paid but 3 months mortgage. They never send a check, they don't mention it ever, so I'm stuck with the entire 2K payment each month. They are always "too busy" to talk.

I've never been so angry at someone else - except one other person, who screwed us on an investment.

The other family has invited us to their son's wedding reception. I dont' want to go. Husband does. He's willing to go alone.

Don't even know why I'm typing this here, of course you all will tell me to put on my happy face and go. I just need to get it out - my shrink is on vacation.

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Moral of the story? You goofed....never put money into something without "getting it in writing."
I guess you now own the vacation home...
I think I might call them and tell them you will be selling it since it cuts into your life style too much to pay the whole monthly mortgage payments!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 10:34AM
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On are rare occasion will it work, I've learned long ago, not mix money with friends and/or family. Because of the problems that come up,and they always do. The end result is it ruins relationships.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 10:43AM
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You've probably already kicked yourself plenty over the vacation house so you don't need us to add to that. One thing though, I'd make sure I got her key back from her (or change the locks) then you can decide if you want to keep it and keep making the payments, or sell.

As for the wedding, I guess it comes down to making a decision about if you will choose to remain friends with these folks. If you will eventually be able to put this behind you and wish to remain friends, you probably need to go. If you're thinking this is the end, you'll never talk to them again, etc, then why bother? On the other hand, are you comfortable with your husband attending without you? If so, ok, if not, then you have to figure which will bother you more, attending, or having him attend alone.

So, not much of an answer, but I just don't think it's black & white. I will say that your last sentence,
Don't even know why I'm typing this here, of course you all will tell me to put on my happy face and go
leads me to think you do want to go and you're looking for reinforcement here.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 11:30AM
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Your friends are history. You own the house. You'll want to repay whatever they put in as soon as you're able so there's no lien clouding title. Or sell it if you can't handle it alone and refund it then. You are entitled to administrative charges deducted from whatever they put in balanced against their pro-rata share of appreciation (if any), etc. No need to be particularly nice about it. They screwed you. Just make it clean and over. Agree with others about mixing money and friends. Resistance to discussion is the first sign of a flake.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 11:32AM
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I agree with all of you, all of it. It's quite complicated -
The lakehouse was my husband's life time dream. He has supported my hairbrained dream of pursuing a professional musician career, and I promised long ago i would support his dreams -

We wouldn't have gone into this arrangement if we couldn't afford the payments alone....having the partner made it possible for us to enjoy AND eat - but I hear you. NO business with family or friends, has been my motto from day one - but on the other hand, my husband's motto has always been ALWAYS date night with your spouse every weekend, and well, the band plays weekends, so I am grateful that he has made concessions. Thus, so do I -

So, should I stay or should I go? Lowspark, there are about five decent reasons I don't want to go, but my pride tells me to go (I get a lot of pride from being the bigger person - a lot of people are watching our situation like vultures. No one knows about this at all but me not showing up will get tongues moving.)

There was a saying that has been passed down in my family - "(s)he was a real class act." When you hear that a lot, you want to be it - I do want to be it, but my inner child wants to pitch a big old hissy phit. My hissy phit attitude has made me miserable the last few days as we reworked our 2008 budget, and so I figured I'd reach out here to the class forum where amouse bouches are discussed, and if even all of you said SCREW EM I'd stay home and feel good about it - LOL!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 1:44PM
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I'd stay home with my husband. I think this is something you need to decide as a couple.

I guess I'm not really understanding the whole house thing. Ummm... but if they took you for a big ride, why would you go to the wedding? I take it both families' names are on the house but you are the only ones making the payments... So, they get half the worth of the house when sold only you have been making most of the payments. Unless, there's some excusable reason, or buyout that is favorable to you, why is your husband even thinking of going to the wedding? If they came into your house and stole the amount of money you are out because of them from you, would you still be their friends? "Class Act" doesn't mean you have to let people take advantage of you or go to their parties. Sometimes, class is more about knowing what parties not to go to.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 2:20PM
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Thanks carla-
I agree,it should be agreed as a couple, Perhaps that's what has kept me in knots over this.

Last night he said he was going. Wasn't going to let emotions
get in the way, he likes the groom. I said, You're unique. He said, it's that uniqueness that makes me so successful at work (sales) and I have to admit, he's right.

Then, this morning, he announced he wasn't going to the wedding and that he'd rather go to spinning class with me.
Bottom line is, all I really care about is that we are on the same page, and it was really hard for me to want to go to that wedding.

The two year old in me won out. Viva la spin.

For the curious - They didn't take us for a big ride, per se. They simply couldn't afford the commitment, and their sin in the deal was not talking to us about it, leaving us in the lurch. Very disappointing to say the least. It is in our name alone, they verbally committed to pay, and then just disappeared. We are financially prepared to handle it, but emotionally the craziness of them avoiding us is nuts. Of all the people I know, my husband is the most approachable person and for them to avoid us out of embarassment or fear is ridiculous. Even still, if they were to come to us today and say, look,here's the deal - then game on. Relationship repaired. But I can't even get them to return a phone call or anything -

The good news is that their down payment allowed us to enjoy an amazing lake house all summer, parties and gatherings galore. We were able to welcome a lot of new families in the area and created a lot of new friendships.

The plan will be to let them know that the partnership is ended, husband will do so in a businesslike manner,. We will take over payments, and they will have to be patient to receive their down, just as we have been ridiculously patient throughout this ordeal. Then when we sell, should my husband and I decide to do so, once they have their down, they will not be a part of the profit from the sale. Then I will send her an email inviting her to get in touch with me when she's ready to talk about what happened. She won't, of course, then I'll send her a second email which outlines my disappointment in her choice to affect the relationship in such a way, not from the lack of payment but rather from the lack of communication. Then I will leave her an open invitation to call when she's ready to take responsibilty and deal with the situation. I will remind her that running away from problems and not talking only feeds her depression, and that if and when she decides to be something different, I'm ready to help her along. Until then, the friendship is cordial.

I'd still do the partner thing. It's a great way to reduce the cost of a great investment - as long as I can afford the entire payment without having to depend on someone else.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 4:22PM
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Please have a meeting with an attorney about it all so that there aren't any "oh by the ways" down the road with this deal. You just never know......

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 4:33PM
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Agree with wontoretire...get all your ducks in a row about the property right now. As in RIGHT now. You can't trust what these folks may do next or down the road. Nobody likes a messy real-estate deal and you don't want to discover you have one months or years from now. Make sure you do, in fact, own it outright along with all appreciation that may have or will come.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 6:09PM
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Will do! Thanks.

I think I might try to use her divorce lawyer. I hear he's a shark, so if I get to him first, she couldn't ever use him against me! :)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 8:11PM
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No divorce lawyers. Get a real-estate lawyer. Entirely different specialty.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 10:37PM
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Hmmm. still not understanding totally... but if they paid a downpayment and the house is only in your name, you're probably not out anything... sounds like maybe they are. Granted, they should have told you they wouldn't be making the monthly payments.. but maybe they figured you at least had their investment money???? And, yes, a real estate attorney would be in order... although, now I'm thinking, going the legal route may only help their case, not yours - never hurts to check though. You owe them the money, right?

Anyway, glad you and your husband are on the same page. Guess, that's the most important thing.

Oh, and not sure if your e-mails were going to be word for word...but I would probably leave out the "feeds her depression" line. It's a little harsh and probably better left for a heart felt discussion (if you ever have one), not a break up e-mail. In fact, I would probably just keep the e-mails very businesslike. They can get forwarded to others very easily and not sure everything you'd say would make you appear to be the classiest (if that's what you're gong for) person. I'd take the high road and keep the e-mails very formal and to the point with no added personal comments.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 12:23AM
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True. Bit of history there, but you're right -

She has come to me time and again to "help" her with her depression - her claim was that she was such a victim of an abusive mother and wicked ex husband and evil step children. Now I know differently - it's her total lack of communication. When we women hold it all in, it turns directly to depression.

But you're right. I'll leave that out. Let her stew in her misery.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 12:53AM
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lindac ARE a Class Act!....and you will prove it by attending the a couple. Don't let their insecurity, cluelessness, ruidness or whatever else you want to call it get you down and cause tongues to wag....rise above it!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 1:05AM
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I think I might try to use her divorce lawyer. I hear he's a shark, so if I get to him first, she couldn't ever use him against me! :) If you are referring to the attorney of the wife of the other couple, there could be a major conflict there.

Asolo is right - get a good real estate lawyer. Shop around for one who specializes.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 5:05AM
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Please get an attorney on board. Many years ago, my brother (who was a professional athlete at the time) lent us money for a down payment on our business. The 3 of us wrote the contract ourselves, signed it and had it notarized, spelling out the repayment plan with interest. We made the payments on time, but when he was paid off, he wanted a cut of the business profits and threatened to sue. By that time we had a business attorney, we showed him the contract, he showed us how full of holes it was, and then he wrote my brother a stern letter telling him why he had no legal legs to stand on (not sure this was so) and telling him that to proceed further, he needed to hire an attorney in our state. We remained cordial, however, and I'm glad we did. It made me feel more like a good human being. I'd go to the wedding if I were you...sounds like these people need the emotional support and it may do well to keep this friendship. And as many of theothers on this board would want to soon is the wedding and how have you RSVPed? Whatever you've replied to the family, you now have to do. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 10:04AM
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I'm a great believer in taking the high road, but for your own protection regarding the current use and possible future sale of the property I'd enlist the aid of a good real estate attorney.

If the loan is in your name, the vacation house is, in effect, yours. The other's participation in the plan was based on "good faith" only - which may imply a moral obligation on their part but certainly not a legal one. And since they have renigged on making their share of the payments, you might conclude they are willing to get out from under any kind of obligation - moral or legal - so an attorney can draw up the necessary documents to insure you, as owner, are protected against further claims, etc. Even a claim which has no legal merit can be expensive and time consuming. It might even be possible that they are not due any refund of monies paid as I'm making the assumption that they occasionally used the vacation property during such time as they were paying their share.

It is unfortunate that deals can no longer be struck on a handshake and someone's word is no longer their bond. But it's the way of the world; and we're a litigiuos society because of it.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 12:25PM
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It is in our name alone, they verbally committed to pay, and then just disappeared

Is the deed or loan or both in only yours and DH name? If the other couple are on the deed with you, you may have to buy out their half. Talk to an attorney; lots of loose ends here, and each state has different laws that may or may not apply in your case.

I was a legal assistant for 35 years, but there are too many variations on any given theme to get other than general advice from non-legal sources.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 2:36PM
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Thank you all -

Since this IS an entertaining page, let me address this first-

This was a mormon reception. For those who know anything about this, you'll be chuckling, for those who don't, I'll fill you in on the readers digest version.

Mormon receptions are typically held in a gym - everyone who attends church regularly is given an invitation. There is no RSVP, no one ever does, it's not expected. Usually people show up, stand in line all night, shake hands with the family, eat some gnarly cake and socialize for about 15 minutes and then leave. It's more of an open house, to put it in your words.

Therefore, I never RSVP'd - there was no number listed.

The reception was last night. We did not go. Class less! I am sure I will regret that decision.... Now I have to up the class in me by doing something honorable, should the occasion arise.

Yesterday morning I had class. This morning, I have none.

As for the house, It is our names on the house alone. We dont' have a stitch of paper with their names on it. It is all ours, all our responsibility.
I am not worried about the financial ramifications, at all, however I intend to have an attorney write up papers and have them sign it, indicating either terms of a continued partnership, or terms of ending the partnership.

Our foolishness was not going in to partnership, but rather dong so with a gentlemens agreement and then choosing to be angry when they don't pay, bounce checks, and avoid.
The ball is entirely in my court, I don't feel put out financially in that in the long run this is an amazing investment, and we can only win.

Thank you so much, I appreciate the reminder of what class is LindaC and I will put it into affect next time. I promise.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 6:05PM
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And in keeping with the name of this forum, I am sure it wasn't an entertaining occasion at all.
And sometimes "Class" just eludes one. I had 2 very classy people get into a hissing spitting yelling match at my table last night...probably had to do with the 1 1/2 liters of wine, divided by 2...I'll stick to Scotch thanks!!
Anyhow I didn't lose my cool and graciously pretended not to be concerned....a good trick when there are only 3 people present and 2 of them are yelling at each other and crying and hiding in the powder room.
But I digress.....true class on your part would be to invite them to the home for a weekend!! LOL!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 6:57PM
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I'm sorry... but since when does class mean you have to attend a particular party? Unless you RSVPed to go and then didn't attend, I really don't think you are any less classy for not going. In fact it takes a real mature person to know when it's not best to put yourself or others an if-y situation.

It sounds pretty obvious they don't want a social relationship with you for whatever the reason... (they don't pay their end of the money, don't return numerous calls, etc...) so why would you put them and yourselves in an uncomfortable situation by attending the reception that it sounds like they only invited you to because thay had to? If they really don't want anything to do with you, I would bet they are glad you didn't attend. I'm just not seeing how you did anything wrong or unclassy in the least bit.

Hold your head high. Don't confuse being able to act fake with being able to act classy. Too totally different things... Classy people generally won't knowingly put themselves and others in a situation they know they will have to act fake in unless it's an absolute necessity. It wasn't.

Classiness also isn't attending your friend's kid's reception one night, and then having your lawyer contact them the next week to clear up some financial misgivings. To knowingly do that would be just down right tacky in my book. If there's even a hint that lawyers are going to be involved to resolve this, it's better you stayed away from their social party at this time...

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 8:20PM
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I am not worried about the financial ramifications, at all, however I intend to have an attorney write up papers and have them sign it, indicating either terms of a continued partnership, or terms of ending the partnership.

Why continue the partnership when you've seen first hand how they dealt with it verbally. I doubt a written agreement would change the way they handle it. You might get screwed more depending on how the agreement is written. I knew a couple who were partners on the purchase of a boat. They divorced. The husband was the initial "signer" of the loan and stopped paying, thus leaving the co-signer (the ex-wife) to pay the loan. She was making the payments and he was enjoying the boat. She said that once the boat was paid for, she'd burn it! LOL

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 10:54AM
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I can answer that question, now after drilling my husband over it.

Initially, the idea was to share payments, share the house, share everything. It was a full partnership in every way, a merging of families so to speak.

Their lack of participation has been hurtful, because they have not communicated. It was as if they were saying, we don't even care what situation this puts you in, we have new priorities now.

In reality, we have been able to keep up they payments, so it's not the money that hurts, it's the attitude.

If they want to stay in as partners, that works for us in that they seldom use it, and every once in a while we get money. Now that the landscape has changed, I see it as, we own this lakehouse, and every once in a while someone sends us a check in the mail. When we sell, we will profit, and they will profit whatever percentage they have put in. No skin off my back, as for all intents and purposes we have owned, operated, enjoyed and been in control over a very nice home on a lake -

My beef the entire time has not been about the money - it's about their attitudes. Now that I see how it's going to be, I can't be hurt anymore. Instead, I can say, we're dealing with someone who is incapable of a relationship. So my expectations are lowered, and I then can carry on without carrying anger.

Plus I get a check from time to time -

The other option is to take on the new partner who is itching to get in on it - they will pay, but they will also be there all the time. At least this way I get the place to myself.

I'm sure this all sounds crazy to you all. Who shares property? We've known these people for ten years, have shared multiple vacations, spent a lot of time together - it's not that we liked them so much, but rather they shared similar philosophies of how to have fun and how to make things happen. They wanted exactly the same thing out of a lakehouse that we did, they'd been looking for one for 15 years, we'd been looking for one for 2, we found out we both wanted the same thing but neither felt they could afford it alone. The down was just too much - and the monthly was a stretch.

So, we said, what about this crazy idea? Everyone says, well how does that work - the food, the maintainance, sharing the space -
All that is such a bunch of non issues. Anyone with petty grievances can NEVER do this type of arrangement. Who ate my cheese? Who moved my lotion five inches to the right? Just won't work. I'm not like that, nor is my husband - and if something bothers you, you must say so, rather than harbor feelings over the stupid stuff like 'who ate my crackers."

The only stipulation I had was, if there's a problem, you must say it. All agreed, and I never imagined that two months into the deal they'd stop paying and avaid us. I know exactly what is going on, but that doesn't make it OK -

I have bored you to tears here with the details, but bottom line is, I know MOST people would go kick their arses and sue them, but my husband is not most people, and thank goodness for that. I probably would have, and this would have all escalated. Instead, we just redefine the personal relationship and keep an amazing lakehouse. Some day we'll sell it, make a good penny, and be grateful that at one point we had friends who saw a similar vision and kicked in enough cash to make it happen.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 2:48PM
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I gotta say you know what their problem is, but without actually ever talking to them about it, are you really sure you know why they are not participating? Maybe they are the kind of people that do get mad when you eat their cheese or use their soap. Maybe they're mad their names weren't put on the house too, or that you always seemed to want the holiday weekends, or didn't tip the maid enough. I know I'm throwing out stupid stuff, but I have a feeling there may be more to it than you think. There's usually another side to every kind of disagreement like this that tears friends apart and I have a feeling it's not just financial... just wondering if maybe there's something your not aware of... Guess you'll never know if they won't talk to you though.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 4:18PM
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You're right, I may be off.

But I am fairly confident that the reason is, she got upset at the time her husband was spending on the lake house and wasn't doing her honey-do at home. She resented him and the lakehouse, and started claiming that they needed money for her kids at college, her house, etc - it became a power struggle -she was at war with her husband, and she controlled the checkbook. Problem was, her attitude and choices affected me, and she knew it, so her embarassment kept her from dealing with the issue. The more she stayed away, the more difficult it got to address. So she got depressed and went under the covers. Her husband kept hoping I'd rescue her, go over and talk it out, but every attempt I made to get her to talk was refused -
I asked the husband numerous times, is it something we did, no no no, he'd say. I hold him equally responsible, though, for not solving the problem.

I recognize this is not making a lot of sense, there is so much to it - I'm probably leaving gaping holes. Anyway, you might be right, but I don't know how in the world a cheese issue could be it - I did all the house work, painted the exterior, maintained everything and when she said she just didn't have time to dedicate to the lakehouse I promised her I wasn't worried about that at all, that I love to work.

But I certainly do agree with the "two sides" issue - now I'm curious. I'll have to create an environment to allow her to vent - I'll learn a lot, I imagine-

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 7:50PM
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Amy....I really do understand what you are saying. What it boils down to is SHE didn't want a lake house if it meant her DH would be spending too much time there....and just you wait until "something" needs to be done...remodel, change of dock, decide on a new patio or whatever...she will really hype out on that.
She committed a social error....and just can't deal with she pretends it never's easier that way.
Very often, if someone behaves in a way that makes them feel embarrassed about their behavior, they will find it easier to pretend it never happened....and if you wish to be also pretend it never happened.
She feels guilty! You did the shoulder the lion's share of the financial burden and her DH goes and plays and she stays home and seethes.

As to allowing her to vent? Wine!!! And I speak from recent experience! just pour the wine and ask if her DH has finished..."Whatever"...LOL!! Then stand back and listen!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 9:55PM
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Trying to understand this situation, your talking about a joint venture, and the other party doesn't have their name associated with this property in any form. If that is correct, then if I believed I was the co-owner with my name was absent, I wouldn't be making payments either, there would be no incentive for me to do so. Maybe I missed something from earlier posts. Just puzzled as to why their name fails to be on the paperwork.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 10:03PM
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Yeah, you never know what's really going on with other people. Sounds like they could even be having marriage problems..and she's wanting to keep him close to home, and not give him any reason to have an excuse to be out and about without her. Hmmmmm.

If there's one thing I've learned in life...when there's some type of problem, things are hardly ever what they appear to be or what you may expect them to be. There's almost always more to the story. Let us know if you ever find out for sure what is really going on with them because now you've got me curious.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 12:45AM
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Wow, there is so much insight in these posts; you never know what goes on behind closed doors.......I think I would want to legally get out from under their involvement, which may mean buying out their interest, but then again, there's nothing showing they HAVE an interest except for canceled checks.....That would be the only basis for a lawsuit on their side, and it would likely cost more for you to defend a suit than the amount involved. Have a lawyer set it up for you to pay them off, whether all at once or regular payments to them, which of course you would make timely ;-). Could you approach them with that in mind? Or if you aren't comfortable with that, have lawyer send a nicely worded letter to that affect. They may be glad to be off the hook. Just tossing out ideas here.

The other option is to take on the new partner who is itching to get in on it - they will pay, but they will also be there all the time. At least this way I get the place to myself. How would you have the place to yourself if you take on a new partner???

And unfortunately, it IS the little things that erode relationships (moving the cheese). From what's been said, I don't see any positives to this relationship......Time to move on.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:35AM
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This statement:
"At least this way I get the place to myself." You have it all to yourself already, legally. You have 100%, your DH's dream has been fulfilled, & questionable deed arrangements. Something is amiss here. Seek the legal route, clear this up, and by no means seek a partner in this venture.

"they will pay, but they will also be there all the time" that comment, is truly telling. This was your DH's dream, & it's be achieved, but to what means?

A partner of course will want to be there as much as possible, & as will you. Do you really want to be at the lake house w/another couple, kids, friends that they would & could invite and vice a versa? It wouldn't be the tranquil sanctuary your DH had envisioned or expecting, nor for the other possible partner, should you go that route. This type of transaction even in the best situation, is a nightmare in the making. Correction, the nightmare has begun.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 8:03AM
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Here's where we get back in to the entertainment category -

Some of the responses show how my writing could use some clarity -

If we got a new partner, they would be at the lake house all the time. Our present partner hasn't spent much time out there at all, mostly due to the fact that SHE resents it so she doesn't hang out there. HE goes out from time to time, which we enjoy, he's a fun guy.

IF we take on the new partner, this particular family we know would be out there all the time. Not a problem for us, it just changes from peaceful to party.

I should clarify one more thing -

When we originally decided to go "partner" on this, we all decided and agreed that the purpose of the lakehouse was going to be to create family memories for both families involved, and to create an enviromnent where we would have open parties all summer long. Don't be afraid, we're a mormon crowd so when I say parties, it's no alcohol, no foul-ness, more like lots of families with barbeques and games and sitting around the campfire and having good clean fun.

Their friends and acquaintances are our friends and acquaintances. Our congregation at church IS our social circle - and IS theirs. We have about 1000 people in our congregation, and we all know each other, so there is a large pool from which to socialize - anyone they invited, we'd want to spend time with, and vise versa. We have each always enjoyed vacations shared with multiple families from the church, and their idea of fun matches identically with ours.

The lakehouse was not intended as a quiet getaway, it was intended to include lots of people, and this summer was the perfect reflection of that - as new people moved in, we'd have "family night mondays" where we'd have the new families plus maybe 3 other familes over for a cookout, and the kids would all swim and play and then we'd have dinner and a spiritual message and a game - everyone always had a great time. It was exactly what we all dreamed of - minus the other wife, and minus some payments.

The present partner has (gulp) eleven children, most of them grown. (His mine and ours thing) We have three young kids. We knew, going in, that they would be there all the time, and we were okay with it. The benefits to us out weighed the cons, in the beginning.

The fact that it has become a situation where now we have full use of the place alone (they never go out as of late) and the fact that they are behind in payments, makes it so that it has become our total control.

Talk about interesting entertaining. My style is very very laid back, come in, enjoy yourself, dont' worry so much about the details, anyone is welcome, no smoking, no drinking, shoes off inside, but relax and jump in the canoe and take a shower take a nap play games whatever - just promise you'll come back and bring a friend.

And no one is allowed in the house if a homeowner isn't there with you.

I can see you all shaking your head, now : "Whaaa??" Believe me, we've heard it all. "How does that work?" Everyone is always curious. We've been approached by so many people who want to be partners, when they see how it is - I'm sure as many people just think we're crazy. We may be, but we sure do own a sweet little piece of property and we have made some killer memories.

BY THE WAY - I Seriously seriously regret not going to the reception. That was so childish of me- not who I am at all. Big fat regrets there. I recommend to anyone in a similar situation, don't let outside issues get in the way of celebrating a wedding.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 2:53PM
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Okay, let's see if I understand this correctly - it sounds like two couples agreed to purchse a vacation home together; however only one couple has their name on the deed and, essentially, want to have it to themselves. "The other option is to take on the new partner who is itching to get in on it - they will pay, but they will also be there all the time. At least this way I get the place to myself."

Meanwhile, the second couple really doesn't get anything back for their investment - no ownership, no legal rights and very little opportunity for usage.

If that is accurate, I cannot imagine every agreeing to such an arrangement. Wouldn't be surprised if they had second thoughts about the whole deal. Their mistake is in not communicating that to you.

.....or have I missed something in all of this?


    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 2:58PM
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Two couples agreed to purchase together. Only one has their name on the deed. The second couple DOES get all rights back for their investment. It was their choice not to draw up papers, they are going on the handshake, which we will honor. They have, in our eyes, equal ownership, equal say, equal usage, and will profit 50% upon a sale. They have every reason to participate finanically here, as soon as we bought it we stood to make $100K to resell. It was a distressed sale , we bought it within hours of it hitting the market. The owner died, and the sister sold way below market value.

It is fair to say that the PARTNER, the husband that is, was more emotionally invested in the dream of owning a lakehouse, than even was my husband. I dare say that when he goes out there, I've never seen him so happy. He loves that he can invite his children out, spend time, relax, boat and ski (which is his PASSION) and so this partnership benefits him trememdously. He doesn't have to maintain, doesn't have to fuss with bills, he just gets to enjoy whenever he wants to. The drawback is, he has to deal with his wife. This was such a twist to all of us, because right up to the first month we bought, she was equally invested. Then she got wiggy.

We have approached them several times about backing out. Do you want out? NO!!!!! She doesnt' want the guilt of taking away HIS dream. So she wont' let it happen. He can't get out of it, he loves it too much. You should hear him bragging to everyone about it - my lake house this, my lake house that - we giggle because ?!??!? they haven't paid for several months - of course, we have told NO ONE about all this, I have at least that much class. :)

The idea that I get the place to myself is the consolation prize. That's it. I'd much rather our present partners just come clean - say, "kids, we dont' have the money. Can we work this out" and I'd say "SURE! LET's GO BBQ" !!!

The whole point is, I want them to just TALK to me. Their behavior has me bugged, thus the lack of interest in going to the reception. I don't do well, however, with elephants in the room.....

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 3:27PM
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I should add they paid half the down.

Their motivation to maintain payment would be their moral obligation, social obligation, and personal interest to maintain financial partnership for recovery when sold. They have no legal responsibility to pay, but it isn't the legal stuff that hurts me, it's the strange affront that has me stunned.

Just as we have no legal obligation to maintain them as partners, we could just kick them out and never repay them - I would never do that. That's just me. I expect the same consideration from others and when i dont' get that I want to hurt them back by not showing up to their wedding. So, I look back and say, Amy, you're an idiot. Normal, maybe, but I could be so much more than that.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 3:34PM
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How long have you had the lakehouse? Heck, just call or send them a letter saying that since you haven't had the opportunity to talk with them, you are sending them this letter because you were thinking that it would be nice to plan a celebration/anniversary party for both your families and you would really appreciate her help in planning it or her thoughts on it. I wonder if she would respond??? This is just a though! LOL Maybe she's one of those people who has to be included in "everything"... if ya know what I mean! Maybe this would "open" up an avenue for both of you to finally talk. But if she hates the lakehouse that much, she might not bother to respond. But then again, if she feels that she has some type of control on the party, she might get involved.

It's too bad this has happened. I've seen it with my own family. Over 20 years ago, my dad got a really good deal on a 168 acre farm. One brother wanted in on it, but my dad felt that he had to ask all his brothers if they wanted in on the deal. So... the owners of the land were my dad and his two brothers. It lasted about 2 years. One brother ended up burning down some buildings because he threw his cigarette in the hay! Then the other brother didn't do anything at all. The couldn't agree about certain matters and ended up having a huge argument that ended with my dad throwing his 2 brothers out of his house. He hasn't spoken to one of them since!

DH wanted to buy a farm with his brother too 16 years ago. I said no way! He agreed after I told him what happened with my dad and his brothers.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:11PM
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I would hold off on bringing another "partner" into this mess right now. When do you plan on giving the first family their downpayment money back and settling everything financially with them? Because to bring another party into this mess without getting the first situation cleared up is probably a really bad idea.

"Just as we have no legal obligation to maintain them as partners, we could just kick them out and never repay them -I would never do that"

I know you would never do that, but I'm not so sure you're right about your thinking on it.. they probably have a lot more legal grounds to stand on than you are aware. I take it, you may not be happy with paying back the full downpayment to them all in one chunk. Is that part/any of the problem with not getting this resolved sooner?

It sounds like you are just so bitter against the wife, but without knowing all the facts, I suggest you hold them both equally responsible. She could be physically sick, etc... you just never know. And, depression often goes a lot deeper than most people think and shouldn't really be blamed on the individual even if you think it's their fault. Lack of communication probably isn't causing her depresion, it's probably a cause of it.

Have you thought of sending a letter or e-mail (without personal attacks or opinions) but with just the financial specifics asking what they would like to do?

Betty and George,

Hi, We've noticed that payments have not been made for the past 4 months on the Beach House. Would you prefer that we buy out your interest, and find a new partner, or did you want to set up some sort of payment plan for the monthly payments. Please let me know by this Monday so that we know what finanicial responsiblilty we are dealing with ourselves. (Of course, you will both always be welcomed at the house either way.)

Amy and Bill

If you don't hear back, contact a lawyer.

It seems like you've got a good deal going... Someone else helped pay a big downpayment amount and you probably can get someone else to help pay the monthly payments... all with you being the only ones with your name on the deed. Wish I had friends like yours - LOL

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:18PM
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Here's the note I just sent:

Dear XXXX,
(DH) and I did our annual finance revisions on Thursday, and have made a new program for ourselves that identifies where each dollar goes per each month - we have some added expenses, in that we took on a third property to help out a family member. This will require stringent bookeeping on our part -

We are flexible to your needs, but will need a solid idea of what your plans are financially. Can we get together and figure this stuff out sometime this week?

I would also like to get a forwarding address to XXXX so we can send them their gift. We were not at the reception, for that I apologize - but would like to send them their gift.

Thanks, Happy New Year -

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:42PM
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As Carla said, don't give any serious thought to taking on another partner until the current situation is settled, legally, in writing. From what you have said, you can handle the financial end of it on your own, so that's not a problem. Settle it, one way or the other. Then, if you take on the other partner, put the conditions in writing, legally. I cannot emphasize this enough.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:26PM
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"We are flexible to your needs, but will need a solid idea of what your plans are financially..."

but I would have added - as regarding the lake vacation home. You needn't have given them the impression that you want a picture of their entire financial status.

And since they now know you've taken on a third property to help someone out, they may well think you've got money to burn and their lack of financial participation doesn't affect your finances at all. Would have kept that little piece of information close to the hip as well.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:45PM
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Understood, but I'm sure they know we don't have any interest in their entire status - could have been more clear though.

The other info I put in there for the reason that they have assumed they are the only ones with obligations elsewhere, without considering that we too have other things to pay for - she complains of college payments, wedding payments, etc - we have never disclosed finances to them so I think they figure we're freely rolling in cash -

I assumed the info would let them know we DONT have money to burn...anymore....

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 6:26PM
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Amy, your letter sounds perfect.....but I will bet it will make the wife angry!

My take on the matter? She was never really into the lake home ( or as we say here..."The Cottage"...even it it's a 3 million mansion...if its on a's a Cottage!! LOL!) and would rather spend money somewhere else....but he loves it!! And if she nixes the deal, she is a first class Bi##h...or so she thinks. I suspect she's very unhappy about the whole thing...but the fact of it and the fact that they have fallen down on their promises.
Let us know their reply...
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:00PM
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Update for those few who were wondering....

She responded two days later after the email I sent:
Let's get together Thursday night-I've got family tomorrow (yada)

So Thursday came, they didn't show, the husband said he'd be over in the morning, no show - he's off to china now for 3 weeks.

I sent her an email - said some tongue in cheek thing about how the men can't get it together so the womenfolk should make it work, how about if I come over with lunch and spreadsheets monday...

She says they have the flu. Of course, it's only friday, that's three days away, but she says she's sick -

So I sent another email that says, well let's just do this online then. I'll send you the spread sheets -

I dont' expect to hear back from her. In two days I'll send HIM the spread sheets, give them a payment plan, and let them know that if they want any flexibility they need to contact within such and such time.

The plan is to find out definitively where they are at - do they want in, or do they want out? I think they still want in, just can't afford it, and are too embarrassed to admit it. I'm trying to make it easy, but....

Evidently he has some major bonus coming, my husband wants to wait and see if that's coming our way. If not, then plan b.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 10:21PM
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What you've described here throughout is typical deadbeat behavior. Continue to call them friends if you want (I wouldn't) but I strongly urge you to protect yourselves.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 11:10PM
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Forgive me, but something isn't right here. Intelligent adults would make a major investment with no record that they held part ownership? HUH?

I'd call b@llshit, but I'm a newbie. Anybody else??

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 11:11PM
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Agreed. Friendship, over. Partners - still. I'll take their money if they continue to send it over.

Steel - obviously, these guys are less than intelligent. They are just lucky we have scruples - considering how upset I was a while back, we could have kicked them to the curb with no intent to refund.

As is, we have a less than mature partner who seldom uses the place but sends money every once in a while, who put a sizeable down which allowed us to buy the home of our dreams. Their issues in their relationship have ruined this for them, it's too bad.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 12:03AM
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Oh, I totally agree with you, steelmagnolia. I don't know how much they put down buy I'm thinking it could have been five figures or more... and they have no official stake in the house and amy 'could' (although she won't) per her acknowlegement leave them high and dry if she wanted. Granted, I would be mad they aren't making monthly payments and I think there's a little more going on than just that Mildred is upset that Donald wants to spend time there. Even if it's financial problems, why don't they just mention the bonus and ask for some time?

Ok, here's another off the wall shot.. but is there a chance they may be planning on suing (for the profit margin value) and that they are keeping away because they don't want to get into any real discussions about it yet? Could you see something like that going on? How does one get in a house situation like this with friends for thousands of dollars without having anything in writing? Granted, I would bet they paid by check, which probably counts for something, but wow...there's a lot of trust going around here on both ends.

Keep us updated; I'm sure her computer will get a mysterious virus or something, and her phone will go dead or she'll have laryngitis if you try to call.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 12:29AM
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"Their issues ..." are theirs, not yours. Something tells me they will attempt to make them yours sooner or later. You don't know for sure because they're not talking....or cooperating. Flakey "partners" are always bad news. From your description, you don't know what they may do or avoid doing next. Do talk to an attorney and make sure your own situation is secure. This thing's going to bite you one of these days.

Not suggesting you stiff them. Am suggesting you prevent them from stiffing or later. This doesn't smell right at all.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Thank you, all -

The more I learn about them (circles run pretty shallow in my social arena) the more I see that this is their m.o. - disappear when things get difficult, go to bed, avoid, dont' talk -

I can either handle it the way EVERYONE else handles it, or I can get to the bottom of it - my own curiosity keeps my emotions in check and keeps me 'acting' so that I can figure this out.

As for the legal side of it, I agree, a lawyer (secretly) is in order. Will do.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Considering my original question was 'should I go to the party', I still do regret not going. That's not me.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 1:16PM
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Lets see here, your husband dream was to have a lake house. Dream fulfilled! Another couple puts down the down payment, enabling the dream to come true. However, its in your name ONLY! Certainly has the scent of rotting FISH!

The other couple has college bound kid, & a total of 11 children. They put their money for an investment, key word here "INVESTMENT" and according to you; they didnÂt want their name on the property, why are they in the FBI Protection Plan? . Who are you kidding! Something smells very foul here. What happened here? You have the down payment in hand. Do you rush to file papers, & have it written up your name only? If this were a legit transaction, both owners names would be listed, how convenient thatÂs in yours only.

Possible that the other partner has come to realize theyÂve been screwed & are ready to take action themselves, (reason for lack of communication). Furthermore, what makes you think for one moment "that they will have to be patient to get their money back"? NOT! Sounds like they were defrauded, & of course thereÂs laws to protect victims against this type of thing.

Go to the lawyers in secret; remember to wear a wig, dark glasses, & a trench coat!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 8:14AM
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Wow. Well, that's one point of view.

How did we defraud them again?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 10:14PM
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You took their money, which they gave in good faith ( they could claim) and offered them nothing for their dollars....and now you want them out of the deal anda re offering to pay them off a little at a time for the money they spent on the down payment.
There are 2 sides to any get a lawyer in on this.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 11:05PM
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I feel like I'm having to defend myself, but maybe the nuttiness of it all forces it so -

Both families spent equal effort searching for a house. Their requirements were specific - must be class III for skiing. They are ski FREAKS. We sat down and figured out all the details together, how to furnish, how to share, how to do work, how to have parties, how to communicate, how to pay bills, etc - husband and wife of both families were equally involved in all aspects.

The long range goal was, we'd buy and play for two years, they'd move on to serve a church mission, and we'd decide at that point what to do.

If either couple wanted out, we'd sell immediately, and split the profits.

At that point, it was unspoken who would take the risk and sign for the loan. We couldn't both sign for the loan, one family had to be responsible for the payment. The bank isn't going to bill two families for one property - they want one party responsible. In fact, probably if the bank knew that two families were going in on this together they might not have issued the loan.

We are the only family that could be approved for the loan in its entirety. It made sense that we would assume the loan - and we trusted that they would make the payments. I still trust that if it were the husband paying the bills, the payments would be coming in.

However trusting we were that they would pay us, we were not confident enough to throw money down and trust that anyone else would make payments. We wanted control of that because we know ourselves well enough to know that we will not only make the payments on time and with honor, but that we will also honor the partnership no matter what. You never know what other people are going to do -

and obviously this family trusts us enough that they were willing to make the down, and commit to monthlys, without their own due dilligence of getting a lawyer to write up some sort of agreement. The other husband said he was going to, the week before we signed, but he up and went to china. He is the president of a large company and travels extensively, he's pretty preoccupied. Meanwhile, the wife stays home, works only over the christmas season.

They only have one child at home. One is in college, the other 9 are grown and on their own.

Why in the world they don't take us up on the offer to sell immediately, I don't know. I can only assume that the husband is so attached to the place, and the wife is afraid to force the issue for fear of him resenting her. She now has the upper hand, in that she can resent HIM. In the mean time, we get caught in the cross hairs of what appears to be a marital mess -

Of course, there is much more to the story that I would LOVE to hear about - you may be curious to know, but I'm dying of curiosity.

What do they get out of it? A lake house. They (he and his kids) are living their dream - ski'd and played at the place all summer - it was a beauty summer. He gets a big ego kick out of bragging about his place, we hear him do so at gatherings and church - we think it's fun to see him like a kid.

They get everything out of it that we do. Plus they have the benefit of no monthly, apparently. My issue is, why won't they talk, this is awkward socially, etc.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 11:56PM
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"They get everything out of it that we do."

Amy, I think that line may be where the problem is... It doesn't sound like they do get everything out of it that you do. You own the house, they don't.. That's huge! Being able to use a house for a summer or brag about owning it may be great, but, if it is in your name, and not theirs, it's your house, not theirs, and they probably get that.

I'm sure you did nothing morally or ethically wrong. It just sounds like they could be having a case of buyer's remorse --- as in --- "We should have put something in writing". I mean, you've even admitted you "could" leave them high and dry. How would you like to be in their shoes...putting thousands down and being in the position where you could possibly lose it all with nothing to show - especially if you were having financial problems on top of it? I take it your payments are at least going towards the mortgage so are somewhat of an investment. Plus, you have the house itself to show for it. They have nothing.

Hopefully, I'm wrong, the wife will go on some quick acting anti-depressants, and everything will happily work out and you will all remain good friends. Really... it could happen... Of course, they would actually have to talk to you first...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 12:57AM
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Reading this post late in the game. I hope you have gotten a lawyer to draw up a separation agreement and such. BTW, you can't go to your friend's lawyer, he/she won't take your case since your friend is his/her former client.

If you intend to invest in real estate with a co-investor, please set forth everything in writing (with a lawyer) BEFORE the transaction takes place. It makes things like you are going through at the moment much more straight forward than it seems your former transaction is.

Seems sad that you've lost the friendship. Am I correct in my impression that these people are very longstanding people in your life in that you would endeavor to buy an investment property with them? Money makes strange bedfellows. I will have to agree not to mix money and family/friends.

Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 5:58AM
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admittedly, the fact that it is in our name gives them a lot of leeway, they are allowed some distance and less responsibility to have to make a payment on time. Weddings, the flu, death of a pet, etc - all things that if your name is on the line take a back seat, but when you're not legally responsible, plus you're issed-pay off that you have to make a payment at all on a cherished dream that belongs to your husband whom you resent, well that means something.

I'm really glad their name is not on this, glad its ours -by now the bank would have repo'd it and bye bye my down and subsequent payments.
Got hold of the husband - he thought they were paid up in full. Had no idea she's been withholding again -

I think the moral of the story here is clear - I'd do it again, but make sure it was all in writing. Now that it will all be in writing with legal help, that will eliminate the awkwardness of me having to constantly say, 'can we talk?'

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:31AM
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Glad it's soon to be all legal and in writing...but be aware...SHE may make waves and try to make it sound like you cheated.
There's something going on....she didn't just "forget" to pay.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:59AM
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I think he's lying, and the wife is actually the one with the scruples. At least she's trying to dodge you and not lying to your face. She's also not "using" a property they are not making payments on. She probably knows that would be wrong. Just a different way to look at it.

He knows they missed payments, he has to know, he's married to her and it sounds like she's done it before.... Maybe they are financially strapped and they just can't make the payments.. Bet, he didn't fess up to that... no, he just passed the buck onto blaming his wife... What a guy. He's just as much at fault for the payments not being made. And, by the way, what was his reason for not showing up when he was suppose to - bet he can somehow blame that his wife to... how convenient. I love guys like that... can someone get their wives to agree to sink money they don't have into a place only they will enjoy and somehow make the wife look like the bad guy and still come out smelling like roses themselves. How do they do that?

So, by the way, when do you expect to get that check I'm sure he is sending right off in the mail to you for all the missed payments? And, will that check come before or after the call from their lawyer asking for half the worth of the house?

Sorry, I still think there's a lot more to this story, and that you need to get a lawyer and straighten this whole thing out once and for all.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 12:52PM
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You state: "it was unspoken who would take the risk and sign for the loan. We couldn't both sign for the loan, one family had to be responsible for the payment. The bank isn't going to bill two families for one property - they want one party responsible"

That statement, sounds like this was an assumption and a totally a wrong assumption, at that. Joint ownerships happen every single day, many times w/multiple names and in this case both names should have been processed in the correct manor. And no, the bank would not have billed separately, another assumption. A billing address would have been agreed upon, however,with late payments all parties involved would be notified.

Whatever assumptions, omissions & errors, that have been created in this situation. Ultimately, corrections need to happen ASAP. Should the other party involved, get a lawyer & make waves, the problems could cause you a nightmare that you can't even begin to image. Cleared this up legally, with rightful ownerships listed properly. You state over & over again that they're owners too, then do it right.

If on the other hand, they've have found that this expense is out of their range, or have buyers remorse, and/or a husband/wife thing. Simply buy them out,then it will be yours 100% or sell it and one way or the other, get out of this current nightmare.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 1:07PM
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Good advice and insight from all - I agree.
Thank you -

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 1:57PM
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Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Head of a company and not so smart? C'mon.

I agree a lawyer is in order - for them.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:30PM
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One thing I've never understood: "torked"

In context, I get it, of course. But it's not an expression I've ever heard before. Am I the only one who is clueless?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 9:37PM
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"Torqued" (turned or twisted) is probably what you've seen before and it's one of the popular usage words getting new dictionary designations. But torked makes it through spellcheck.

It makes sense in this context, I suppose - but is a context I'd "untorque" pronto with the assistance of a good attorney. Keeping in mind all the while that the mere mention of attorney doesn't mean a lawsuit follows. I think this thread is extremely valuable as an object lesson of exactly what NOT to do in the first place - and that is enter into what is essentially a business agreement without the appropriate obligations/safeguards for all parties in place.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 10:10PM
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It seems like I hear the term torked a lot (Hopefully, that's not a reflection on my personality... really, I am a lot nicer in real life). Anyway, not sure how to spell torked. I always took it to be a polite way of saying I'm "Pi$$ed Off". Is that not right?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:28PM
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Torqued...getting your knickers in a twist for one meaning, twisted, angry...I've not seen the spelling torked.....but it sounds the same.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:28PM
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Yes, carla, you are right - it's another current buzzword for angry, po'd, confused, unhappy, annoyed, tied up in knots, twisted in all directions, etc. etc. It's a word to describe any state of feeling other than good. But the correct spelling is torqued not torked - but who cares about spelling these days anyway?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 1:12AM
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Wow. We have been thinking about the possibility in the next five years of going in on a beach house with a group of friends and this makes me really think about it! Just an idea, but could you rent the home out to recoup some of your money? Sounds like you don't HAVE to, but it would be a nice way picking up some money. We have friends who own a beach house and they only rent to people they know and trust (obviously this can cause problems as you found out). But, seeing how you are Mormom (I grew up Mormon) and most of your friends are "partiers" this may be a good way to do things. My rule of thumb would be if their house is well taken care of and clean(ish) then they probably would take care of my property.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:11PM
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