Part I: Background
This is long and probably pretty boring, but I if you can stick with it, I am looking for input. Don’t worry, I am talking to my non virtual friends as well.
Anybody who knows me knows that I have a very complicated relationship with my family. With my brother J and my sister S, the relationship is just as bad as can be. I get a long a little bit better with my two younger siblings.
Anyway, our mother died 10 years ago and she left us land in Arizona in her will. The land is held in common, and we all have to agree before we can do anything. There has been a lot of confusion about this land. We almost lost all of it due to non payment of taxes, but a friend of mine did some research for me and I was able to figure what we owned and how much we owed and got everyone to pay.
Afterwards, the tax payments were a real pain in the ass. Getting a hold of people, getting everyone to pay etc. It was pretty much left to me. When Jen and I decided to get married, I was contacted by a realtor who was wondering if we are interested in selling. I was interested because I thought this would be the only way we would ever have the money for a down payment on a house. This lead to a lot of super nasty arguments with J and S. J was convinced if we held onto the land longer, it would be worth more. I pointed out that we almost lost it, and besides, if he wanted to reinvest in real estate, he could. As an aside, my dad bought my brother his house a few years ago. My father has not bought anyone else a house, believe you me. My brother has never been honest about this.
At any rate, we finally agreed to sell the land. I bought a condo, and I thought the whole situation was over.
Fast forward, it turns out we did not sell all of the parcels. There was still one left. It’s problematic. It is in a flood zone and over looks a nuclear power plant. I told my brother in no uncertain terms that I would be responsible for the taxes. He said he would take over.
So when the biannual taxes were due, I sent J money. A few months ago, it occurred to me to look up online and see if the taxes were paid. Nope.
This sent me into a tail spin. Confronting my brother would just lead to another nasty fight which I wanted to avoid. Not paying the taxes would mean a lien would be put on the property, which I don’t want on my credit.
I was so distraught I contacted a lawyer and asked if there was a way for me to relinquish my rights and get off the deed. He said that I would need to sign a termination of joint tenancy. I almost did it too, but my sponsor and my little brother D talked me out of it.