LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.

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LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.

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Question #76

I have been divorced since 1996. At that time, my husband and I had 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 quitclaim deed on the house. 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 refinance the loan in his own name. Now, many years later, the loan still appears on my credit. Now he is behind on his payments, which has had a substantial adverse effect on my credit. Can I sue him and force him to refinance in his and his current wife’s name? Can I force him to sell the home if he can’t refinance due to his payment history? (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. 

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 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 complicated for anyone 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-signer on the mortgage. Even if your husband declared bankruptcy, the credit card company could 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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