50% share in a property - mortgage in arrears

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I'm in a complicated situation. In 1988 I purchased my mothers council property along with my brother and my mother. As my brother has never worked, my mother and I paid 50% each of the mortgage every month until she died 3 years ago. I married in 1992 and moved out of the property, but continued to pay half until 3 years ago. I asked my brother, still living in the property, to sell up and split the profit 50/50 but he refused. I advised him at that time, I will not contribute to the mortgage and if he wanted to continue living there he should pay it. The time has now come that the mortgage is in arrears! I'm in turmoil at what to do. If I die before my brother he will inherit 100% of the property (having paid almost nothing himself) and my wife and children will inherit nothing. However, if my brother dies before me the house becomes mine. I'm not sure of the process of repossession. Can anyone advise me, if the property is repossessed, can they sell the property at auction for just the amount outstanding? (In this case it would be 7k plus fees!!!) or do they sell it at bottom market value? If so, would my brother and I be given the residue of the estate? I know this will result in me being black listed, but I can see no alternative. My wife and I are not prepared to gamble and pay off the mortgage presuming I will out live my brother. He refuses to sell up. I've offered to let him live there rent free if he will sign his 50% share over to me and I will repay the mortgage, he refused this too! The irony is I am a joint council tenant with my wife, we can't afford to buy our house! HELP!!!! Any ideas?

-- James Quigley (MrQ2702@aol.com), February 07, 2004

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