Primarily servicing the greater New York City metropolitan area



LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.
DIVORCE SOLUTIONS
206 East 38th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
(212) 370-1660

FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY

Question #79:
I have been divorced since 1996. At that time, my husband and I had just purchased a home and I agreed to give him the house. As part of the settlement, he reimbursed me for a disbursement from my 401k plan which we used as a down payment on the home. I signed a quit claim deed on the home. At that time, I did not know enough about mortgage loans to realize the importance of insisting, as part of the settlement, that my ex refinace the loan in his own name. Now, many years later, the loan still appears on my credit. Now he is behind on his payments and it is really having a huge negative effect on my credit. Can I sue him and force him to refinance in his and his current wife's name? If he can't refinance due to his payment history, can I force him to sell the home? (The house has increased in value significantly since our divorce, and I am not seeking any money, just to be taken off the loan) I am also still on a credit card which he is behind on. Refinancing would give him enough cash to pay off the credit card. Is suing a viable option? What happens if the mortgage forecloses or he declares bankruptcy? Thanks for your attention.
Answer:
You are unfortunately caught in a serious dilemma. You can try to take him to court to have the judge force him to keep up the payments or have you removed from the mortgage and credit cards. In any case , this is why it is so essential to have a qualified attorney who is experienced in divorce matters to represent you or to mediate a separation or divorce. Any experienced lawyer would have provided for responsibility for all outstanding liabilities, mortgages etc. in the Separation Agreement. The divorce process is too emotionally draining and too complex for anyone to try to do it by himself/herself. Before the bank would foreclose on the house it would have a right to seek payment from you as a co-signee on the mortgage. Even if your husband declared bankruptcy, the credit card company can still try to collect from you.
LESSON # 1 For the Future - USE AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY!It will cost you much more later if you do not!
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions
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