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Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2518
Experience:  Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
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To whom it may concern: My wife and I are separated, and

Resolved Question:

To whom it may concern:
My wife and I are separated, and have been separated for almost a year. When we separated, she took our then 6-year-old daughter with her to PA. Our verbal agreement at the time was that she would move to PA to live with her father and stepmother, and I would stay back in MA to work on fixing up the house to try to sell it on a short sale. However some circumstances got in the way, and I (we) didn't end up putting the house up for sale. I took a job in insurance sales which did not work out, and then thought about trying to do a short sale on the house again, but that never worked out. We both decided to file for bankruptcy, although separately. She is filing in PA, and I am filing in MA. I have not submitted the paperwork yet, and neither has she. I will be filing the paperwork, however within the business next day or two. I contend that she should be responsible for paying bills relating to the house, since her name is XXXXX XXXXX the mortgage. He name is XXXXX XXXXX mortgage, as well as the electrical bill. Although she moved out of state, we never made any sort of written separation agreement, nor did any legal work to say that we were officially separating, or requested that we be legally separated. Her contention is that since she was not living in the house during our separation, that she is not responsible for any bills associated with the house while living in PA. I contend that since her name is XXXXX XXXXX the mortgage and the electric bill, she is responsible for those bills, as well as heating oil to heat the house, and the two mortgage payments I made while she was not living here. Please advise what she is legally responsible for.
Thanks.
Sincerely,
Peter Hendrickson
XXX-XXX-XXXX XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I am typing out my answer. Please remember that this is general information only, not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me if the home was purchased before or after marriage? Whose name(s) is/are on the deed - just one person's or both of you?

This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The home was purchased after we were married, and both of our names are XXXXX XXXXX deed.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply, Peter. I am going to opt out of your question and open this up for other experts.

Your JA Account has not been charged for this conversation and your question is back in the queue. You do not have to stay online for the question to be active. Should an expert pick it up, you should be alerted via email and/or SMS unless you actively disable these features.

There is no need for you to reply at this time as this may "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying other experts' access to it.

My apologies for any inconvenience and Good Luck.
Expert:  Terry L. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. You should hire a lawyer for specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created here.

This is more of a divorce matter than a bankruptcy matter.
As for the bankruptcy, a debtor can list any liability on a debt, and discharge it though the bankruptcy case. She can surrender the home and let the bank foreclose. Mortgage debts, utilities etc are all dischargeable in the bankruptcy case, including any verbal contract with you for her to pay 1/2 of the expenses.

You can surrender them too, and they will discharge for you as well.

Absent that, if you want her to pay, you'll have to negotiate that in the divorce settlement agreement, otherwise the bankruptcy would discharge those obligations.

It may be best to just surrender the home, forget about trying to short sell in this market. let the bank foreclose, and any deficiency is the bank's problem after you each file the bankruptcy case.

Let me know if you have any questions. thanks in advance.
Terry
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2518
Experience: Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
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