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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 12923
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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my ex-husband and I are still on the deed for the home we own.

Resolved Question:

my ex-husband and I are still on the deed for the home we own. he recently told me he will be filing bankruptsy and will sign the house over to me. I live in Nevada, he is in MA. I do not know what I have to do before he files to protect myself for he will not communicate with me and has already cost me money to obtain what is in the divorce decree. I do not know if he intends to stay in the house. I just want to know what my options are, since in the final decision of the divorce, it said that the house would "revert to me" if he did not buy me out. He did not but has been living in the home and paying all bills, as stated in the divorce.
please help, it is difficult to conduct business 3000 miles away and with someone whom will not communicate answers.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.

 

Could you explain a little more?

 

Does the house have a mortgage on it?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Certainly,

Yes the home has a mortgage remaining of about 72000. The divorce decree stated that while he lived in the home, he would pay all bills. It also states that the home "reverted to me" when he did not buy me out. I never have followed through on what that meant, except that my divorce lawyer says that the house belongs to me. But I did not get his name off the deed since he will not communicate with me and my options then would have been to either get him to agree to taking his name off or take him back to court to do this.

He went to a lawyer and I believe he finally knows that I "own" the house and he has accumulated his own bills and cannot buy me out--so he says he is filing bankruptsy and will be signing the house over to me--not when though. So I want to know what I should be doing before this filing goes through. Will it mean that after he files that I cannot sell the house? This just leaves many questions for me since I live on the West coast not and need to attend to whatever business I need to do before he files. I do not know if he intends to pay anything to me once he files, or if he is just going to move out and leave me will all the bills. This communication from him was the only thing I have received other than demands of helping to pay--which I do not respond to.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

 

Thank you for the additional information.

 

First thing first, you need to record a certified copy of the Divorce Decree with the Registry of Deeds where the property is located. That would have the same effect as transferring the title to you if he has not sold the house by the time the Decree stipulated.

 

Second, get a real estate lawyer to prepare a new Deed from you and him as the Grantors to you only as the Grantee. The consideration would be pursuant to a Divorce Decree and for less than a dollar to avoid deed transfer tax. The Deed would be recorded with the Registry of Deeds BEFORE the bankruptcy is filed.

 

Third, you need to do all this now BEFORE he files for bankruptcy. Otherwise, once he files, the property becomes part of the bankruptcy estate and you would not be able to sell it without getting permission from the Bankruptcy Court. More importantly, the bankruptcy Trustee may require that you pay 50% of the equity to him /her since your ex's name is XXXXX XXXXX the property.

 

Fourth, you need to keep making the mortgage payments. Otherwise, the lender would foreclose on the property.

 

If you tell me what County the property is in, I may be able to refer you to some attorneys.

 

 

 



Edited by AttorneyPhillips on 12/5/2010 at 9:00 PM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your responce. First of all, the divorce decree is registered with the Record of Deeds in Bristol County, MA.

 

What do you mean by transferring the title to me? Are title and deed two separate things, and if so, could you explain them in laymen terms. He did not buy me out as the divorce states he must have done.

 

Could you explain the Second item mentioned--I understand the deed part, and by Him, do you mean my ex? It is the "consideration would be pursuant to a Divorce Decree and for less than a dollar to avoid deed transfer tax" that is confusing. Are you saying that the new deed would be the same as the divorce decree? What does less than a dollar refer to and who pays this and where? Sorry, but I am just trying to understand in detail what I must do or I will simply be wasting time.

 

If it is too late, is the procedure lengthy to get permission to sell the house, and are you referring to paying my ex equity only if the house is sold?

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

 

Thank you for your responce. First of all, the divorce decree is registered with the Record of Deeds in Bristol County, MA.

 

Response 1: Good.

 

What do you mean by transferring the title to me?

 

Response 2: Your initial post indicated that the deed was in both of your names. If it is still the case, then in order for your name only to be on the deed, you or he should prepare a new deed transferring the title (transferring the deed) to you only. Since both of you are on the deed, both of you must sign the new deed as the Grantors. However, the recording of the divorce decree ordering the property to go back to you if he is unable to sell it by a date certain, has the same effect as transferring title to you. See Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 184 Sections 44 and Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 34A.

 

Are title and deed two separate things, and if so, could you explain them in laymen terms. He did not buy me out as the divorce states he must have done.

 

Response 2: No, they are not. They are the same thing. If your name is XXXXX XXXXX deed, with someone else, you have title to the deed with that other person.

 

Could you explain the Second item mentioned--I understand the deed part, and by Him, do you mean my ex?

 

Response 3: Whoever is currently on the deed with you is the "him."

 

It is the "consideration would be pursuant to a Divorce Decree and for less than a dollar to avoid deed transfer tax" that is confusing. Are you saying that the new deed would be the same as the divorce decree?

 

Response 4: No, that's not what I was saying. When you transfer deed, you must state the consideration for the transfer, which in a normal real estate transfer or purchase would be the purchase price of the property. There is a transfer tax (deed stamps) imposed based on the purchase price. However, when you are transferring property to a family member or due to a divorce decree, the consideration can be for love and affection, or for less than dollar, or pursuant to divorce decree to avoid paying the transfer tax.

 

What does less than a dollar refer to and who pays this and where?

 

Response 5: See my previous response. Nobody pays anything. You put consideration for less than a dollar to avoid paying deed stamps (transfer taxes).

 

If it is too late, is the procedure lengthy to get permission to sell the house, and are you referring to paying my ex equity only if the house is sold?

 

Response 6: If your Divorce Decree clearly states that property would revert to you, go back to you, if he did not sell it by a date certain and the Decree has already been registered, the property is solely yours and would not be property of the bankruptcy estate. Thus, you do not need the permission of the bankruptcy Court in order to sell the property.

 

The procedure is not lengthy for permission to sell the property.

 

If for someone reason the property belongs to you and him at the time that he files for bankruptcy protection and he is unable to exempt his interests (equity) on the property pursuant to bankruptcy exemption laws, then the Trustee would insist on the Trustee being given the value of his equity on the property whether by sale or by your ex giving the money to the Trustee in order for his bankruptcy case to go through.

 

Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 12923
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Phillips Esq. and 3 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I thank you for the information and still have more questions to ask you. I also would like to know what you would charge for a new deed to be made.

Will I still be able to ask you more questions through this site?

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

I thank you for the information and still have more questions to ask you. I also would like to know what you would charge for a new deed to be made.

 

Response 1: Unfortunately, I cannot prepare the deed for you. The site's policy does not allow me to communicate with you outside of this site. However, you can get any local real estate attorney or a form's site to prepare a new deed for you. Use the original deed as the sample. The only changes would be the amount of consideration, the Grantors and the Grantee, everything else remains the same.

 

http://www.avvo.com

 

http://www.justia.com

 

http://www.rocketlawyer.com

 

 

Will I still be able to ask you more questions through this site?

 

Response 2: Yes, you will be. Just make your questions : Attn: AttorneyPhillips.

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