Hello, as part of my divorce settlement my wife was allowed to keep the house we acquired when we were married. There is a primary mortgage in both of our names and a HELOC in my name only. She has not paid either loan in 4+ months and I am wondering what my exposure is? Home is worth less than is owed, she is responsible for all expenses and both loans according to the decree.
State/Country relating to question: Illinois
I have contacted a lawyer. I asked her earlier in the year why she was not paying and she would not answer me. I am afraid she will file for bankruptcy.
As far as the loan/mortgage companies or banks are concerned your name is XXXXX XXXXX the loans and you are still responsible. As far as the court, she is responsible. Yes, if she files and is granted a bankruptcy, you could be the only one left on the loans. Your "out" is that she is violating a court order (your divorce) and you can file a contempt of court action so that she would have to answer up to the court for this. Contempt of court is consider "quasi-criminal" which means almost criminal. She could (not likely) serve time in jail for this, but she would most certainly face some sort of penalty for not making those payments. It's a bad situation and one that is all too common. Please don't rate my answer unless you are totally satisfied. Ask any follow up questions you might have.
The key issue here is that if she gets a discharge, you're still on the hook for the deficiency if/when the bank forecloses (unless the bank releases you specifically or you file bankruptcy). No deficiency, no worries.You most likely have a nondischargeable claim in her bankruptcy for the amounts due under the settlement agreement (her obligation to pay the mortgage (as I remember, 523(a)(15))The short answer is that if she doesn't pay it (and you don't file bankruptcy), you're liable for it.You need to exercise your leverage to make sure she pays it!
United States Bankruptcy Code:
Chapter 11 Business Attorney;
Restructuring and Recoveries
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