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Missouri - Sale of Remodeled Home with Significant Other

Discussion in 'Other Ownership, Use & Privacy Issues' started by missouriquestions, May 6, 2019.

  1. missouriquestions

    missouriquestions Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Missouri
    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Missouri.

    My ex-significant other, at the time, and I had decided I would do major remodel work on the home that we bought together. I paid for a substantial amount of the down payment and I remodeled the majority of the home (floors, walls, kitchen remodel, bathroom remodels, carpets, paint, etc).

    She has sold the home and made close to $30k based on the work that I have done to the home (she did no work).

    I spent $7,500 on my credit cards, I contributed a substantial amount of the down payment and I invested months of my time in doing the remodel work itself.

    I did the work only under the assumption that the profit would be split, upon sale. Now she's claiming that I'm owed absolutely nothing (not even my expenses) and refusing to pay.

    I'm weighing my options between a real law suit (with a lawyer) and doing the small claims for the maximum of $5k.

    I would guess that what seems like an open and shut case would be worthwhile for me to do with a lawyer, but I've spent gobs of money on a lawyer and gotten absolutely nothing in return previously, so I'm hesitant to go that route.

    Here are my questions:

    1.) Is my case very strong, like I think it is?

    2.) What's an estimated timeline for a case using a lawyer?

    3.) What's a range of costs if I hire a lawyer?

    4.) What' an estimate timeline for small claims?

    5.) Is small claim faster and easier usually?

    Kind regards.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Based on the limited information you posted, it is hard to say with any certainty.

    Is your name on deed along with the other person's name, or is the other person's name the ONLY name on deed?

    If the answer is the latter, you have NO case in law, although one in equity MIGHT be made.

    It could be months, even years.
    No one can accurately handicap lawsuits.


    that answer varies all across the USA, ask a few local lawyers what rate you'd be charged for a better answer.

    USUALLY a case gets before a judge within 8 to 12 weeks.

    Be advbised, you don't get a check IF you prevail in small claims.

    You get a pretty piece of legal paper with a raised seal.
    Then you must endeavor to collect whatever loot you can.
    Most people possessing those pretty pieces of legal paper never collect a dime, but they sure have pretty pieces of legal paper with that shiny gold seal.


    faster in that the matter is resolved, but useless in that most people never get their loot.

    Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, The People's Court DO give you a check for the amount you are awarded, you get a free airfare to the taping, free hotel, free clothing allowance (about $100), free meals, airport transfers & parking, and even some pocket change for buying a coffee or a coke.

    If you prevail for $4,500, you also get that check, plus an appearance fee of between $500 to $1,000; and you get your 5 minutes of national TV infamy.
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I assume this person is not and never was your spouse. Correct?

    She sold it on her own? Or did you two sell it jointly? If the former, how was she able to do this by herself given that you "bought [the home] together"? Was the house titled only to her or to both of you jointly?

    Since you didn't say anything about how much you made from the sale, I'm going to assume you made nothing, but you should clarify that.

    How do you figure? What would you sue for?

    Impossible to say without some clarification about the facts. In addition to answering the questions I asked above, please tell us whether you and your ex had a contract that dictated what would happen with the house in the event of the termination of your relationship. If you did have such a contract, what were the relevant terms?

    I would say that 90% of civil lawsuits resolve in some way within 6 months to two years after the date of filing.

    Between $2,000-2,000,000.

    As for the last two questions, small claims court is supposed to be less expensive and quicker than "regular" court, but I know nothing specific about small claims court in Missouri.
     
  4. missouriquestions

    missouriquestions Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No, my name was not on the deed and we were not married. Neither of us believe in marriage, but we were together for 3 years.

    What's the point of small claims court, then if it doesn't really help to have just a pretty gold seal? Is that a judgement you get against them?

    Does it mess up their credit at all?

    Can you garnish their wages or something?

    (any leverage will help)
     
  5. missouriquestions

    missouriquestions Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Just to go into a little more detail:

    In 2016 she and I did the same to another house. So, this isn't the first home that we did it to. I invested a ton of time into the other house and was paid $10k for that work based on a considerable amount paid out on that house.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Then "we" did not buy a house...she did.

    Yeah, who needs that pretty piece of paper from the government, right?

    Oh, I guess that now you want a pretty piece of paper from the government, huh?
     
    justblue likes this.
  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Then your statement that "we bought [the house] together" was false.

    I don't really understand these questions. If you sue in small claims court and win, you'll get a judgment that can be enforced in all the same ways as any other civil judgment.

    Sometimes, credit reporting agencies will discover civil judgments and report them on a person's credit report.

    I believe wage garnishment is an option in Missouri.

    Your problem is that it's not clear that you have any valid civil claim against your ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, it's not really possible to say anything further because you didn't answer most of the questions I asked in my prior response.
     
    Zigner likes this.

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