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.