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Ex-partner trying to provoke foreclosure

I have a half share in the house with my ex-partner. I paid for half the house and I am on the title. I separated from her and suggested she could move out and I could stay in the house and pay her half of a fair market rent or vice versa. The alternative was to put the house on the market and in the meantime rent it out to a third party.

I was stupid enough, when we were still in the relationship, to suggest that I renovate the house, the whole house, which would increase its value. She was more than happy but refused to take any loan for renovation materials. I not only put in my labour but also took a $30K loan in my name, she promised to pay me half after we sell the house. There was another loan of $20K in my name.

I moved out two and a half years ago and my ex hasn’t paid me a penny and of course I cannot evict her or force her to pay as half of the house is hers so she doesn’t need to move out of this half. She has trespassed me from the property so I cannot use my share.

I paid the loan for 6 months after I moved out but then I couldn’t afford it. She is delaying the sale, subletting the downstairs and I have the loans to pay and the bank chasing me and no use of the house, no income from it and no influence over the sale process.

There are some strange things going on with the offers we have had so far and it looks to me as if she wants to provoke me to break down and sell my share to her for far less than it is worth.

I have told her on several occasions that I have stopped paying the bank loans and that she should make the payments to the bank directly from what she owes me in rent arrears if she is not prepared to pay me directly on a regular basis (and pay the balance to me). What she owes me is more than enough to cover all the loan repayments although, because they were not paid on time there are a lot of extra charges, fees and fines which she should pay.

She hasn’t made any payments to the bank or to me. I keep asking that she moves out and we rent the house to a third party but this seems pointless. She claims that she cannot afford the rent but yet also refuses to move to a smaller and more affordable property. I know, you will tell me to take her to the family court but the problem is that she decided to claim that we did not have relationship as it is clearly to her advantage to do so. She can demand some more money from me and stay out of all the debts. Whilst I had the loans in my name, borrowed some money and have CC debts she has a nice little term deposit. Yes, she knew how to use the relationship to her advantage.

I now have to prove my relationship with her in order to force the sale, get a fair division of the relationship property and my share of the furniture which she also refuses to give me.

This will take time and will cost about $23K and I have already paid heaps to the lawyer to help me solve this and to negotiate and at the moment I cannot afford all the legal fees. I do not need a family lawyer just the money to pay mine to continue and file to the court, but I need some help and advice and perhaps another property lawyer who has experience in foreclosures.

A few months ago my ex informed me that she is putting my rent aside to ‘bail me out’ with the bank, obviously in her view I am incapable of paying my own loans. Why she is putting this money aside and not paying the bank when the money is due to avoid hefty costs, fines and interest, I have no idea.

I have now received a final demand from the bank but when I requested that my ex immediately pay the bank from the rental contributions she owes me and which she claimed she had put aside, her lawyer wrote saying that she wouldn’t be able to pay the whole amount and in his recent letter said that I should find the rest of the money myself to pay the bank.

My question: I am afraid that the bank may decide to foreclose. What are my rights and what options do I have? I am not sure how the foreclosure process works and if I can only buy the house at an auction together with other buyers or can I negotiate with the bank beforehand?

I believe I could get a mortgage to buy the other share. I could not pay the loans if I have no use of the house and no prospect of using it or selling it in the near future. I think my ex might have deliberately created this situation to buy my share at a low cost. How can I prevent this? Can she go to the bank and say that because I have the debt towards them they should only sell my share (the shares are independent) and she will make an offer for this share because, obviously, no one else would be interested in buying half of the house. Can the bank sell her my share at some ridiculous price? What are my options?