May I keep all the profit if I made all the payments?

About 2 years ago, my brother and I bought our first house together. Our plan was to split the bills and any profit from selling the property 50/50. The property is in both our names and we live in California. My brother was going through some personal issues and was unable to meet his obligations. While we owned the house, I think he probably contributed 3 months worth of mortgage payments. Besides covering the rest of the mortgage, I paid all the property taxes and utilities. We just sold our house and escrow should close in about 2 weeks. Does he legally get 50% of the profit since the house is under both our names or do I have the right to get a bigger share since I paid for almost everything?

While your brother did not contribute his full share of the monthly mortgage payments, what about the down payment and the other expenses of ownership?

Add up all the payments each of you made to include your respective shares of the down payment, repairs, maintenance, upkeep, taxes, insurance, and mortgage payments. An equitable outcome would be to share the profit in proportion to the contributions each of you made.

Suggest you work out an equitable distribution before you get to settlement. Otherwise, if you are on title as equal co-owners, the proceeds of the sale will be distributed to each of you in equal shares.

He is entiled to 50% less the amount of he should have contributed. You could add nominal interest if you wanted. Be fair.

what does it say in your contract with him?


Bleh, he is your brother. Sit down and talk it over… one house is not worth losing a brother over.