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My Brother Wants Money Out of a House and I can’t Afford to Give It to Him

Written by Steve Rhode


In 2008 I lost approximately $180,000 in the market. I am self-employed & was earning close to $60,000 yr. After the 2008 drop I have never fully recouped the lose & my business has dropped some. I am single & in 2010 my mother suffered a stroke & (of course the single daughter) was asked to move home to help care for her. 2 yrs. later she died. Thanks to the funds I saved moving back home, I used those to open a second business, which has been very successful.

The year after, I developed 2 types of breast cancer & was unable to work through chemo & radiation. I had hired & did a background check on a very talented business manager, who I trusted, to be paid to run the business & supervise the employees & meet our contract deadlines, until I could return.

During this time she took her weekly pay check, but do not pursue new business & did not meet 1 deadline on our contracts. Needless to say my first business tanked. I knew what the circumstances were, but was unable to work.

I went into enormous debt to refund the clients & pay the monthly overhead costs. During this time, one of my clients went into bankruptcy owing me close to $40,000. She never filed a payment plan, so the bankruptcy is on hold. Upon contacting her attorney, he stated because she had filed bankruptcy originally & until there was a court decision on how her creditors would be paid, I was not at liberty to sell her property. That did the business in.

The second business has continually expanded with good employees.

A year later I was in a bad auto accident, hospitalized, surgery & totaled the car. I once again could not work for almost 1 year. My father was in his 90’s & I also had to care for him. He worked for a very large well-known corporation that was bought out & he didn’t like the plans they had for him, so he retired much too early & being in his 90’s had almost outlived his money.

So he & I continued to live together & I did as much as I could to keep the estate intact. He has now passed & there is very little money left that I will receive. I have accumulated close to $25,000 in credit card debt that kept us going. I have been back at my 2nd business & have been paying the minimum on half of the cards & the others are in default. My credit rating has plummeted from 810 – 550 in 1 1/2 yrs.

I know this sounds like a good script for a soap opera, but I have been so successful in my financial affairs until 2008. I have never had to get out of debt before so I don’t know how.

My brother wants the money from the house immediately & I am having trouble finding an apartment I can afford that doesn’t require a credit check. If I could find a mortgage company to fund me as my business grows & (my take about $32,000 now), plus get another part-time job, it would be cheaper to buy out my brother & pay a lower monthly rate to a lender than throw away my income on an apartment that will not provide an emergency financial backup as a house.

What is your knowledge of the bankruptcy terms & are there any programs available for property buyouts for this situation.

So anxious for your input. Thanks




I’m very sorry to hear about your situation. That is a lot to go through in a lifetime let alone 7-8 years. I hope this advice gives helps out.

I do not believe bankruptcy would be the best option to solve your issue with your brother but it may help solve your debt issues.

If your brother wants to cash out of the house right now the only options are: 1. Cash out by refinancing the property which will be difficult because of your credit. 2. Buy your brother out and set up a payment plan to him. 3. File bankruptcy to clear out your debt, allow your credit to rebuild (18 months or so) and then try to qualify for a refinance (Option 1).

In short, your brother is going to need to wait until you can rebuild your credit to cash out. I would not recommend selling the property (and you probably can’t be forced to sell if you live there) because you are going to need a place to stay and it sounds like the expenses for this house are reasonable compared to your other options.

I hope this helps I wish you all the best.


This question was answered by Chad Van Horn, Bankruptcy Attorney.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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