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JackJD
JackJD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 503
Experience:  I've been in practice for 30+ years, concentrating in family and employment law. I enjoy helping people.
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My Son & his first wife divorced 6 or 7 years ago. In the divorce

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My Son & his first wife divorced 6 or 7 years ago. In the divorce agreement their mobile home & property & the responsibility for the mortgage payment was given to his es-wife. Their was no alimony awarded & my son is current on his child support. Both have since remarried. He just found out that she is 11 months behind on the mortgage payment & is also behind on property taxes. Somehow his name was not removed from the mortgage which now has 4 names: My Son, his ex-wife, her new husband and a Jane Doe. My new daughter-in-law of almost 3 years is frantic that the Jane Doe may be her & they are both afraid that the house they have together (which she had prior to their marriage and other property may be in jeopardy. Please advise.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JackJD replied 2 years ago.

JackJD :

Oh gosh, the bad news first: since the mortgage company was not a party to the divorce, it can still hold your son responsible for the mortgage payments.

JackJD :

The good news is, he can still go after the ex-wife for breaching her obligation in the divorce decree to pay the mortgage. This is call a motion for contempt.

JackJD :

I don't have enough information to know what the 'Jane Doe' now on the mortgage means; but it's probably not your new daughter-in-law, as she didn't sign anything.

JackJD :

My suggestion is, step one, your son to contact the mortgage company, explain the situation to them, and try to reach a deal with them. This may avoid the arrearages getting onto his credit report. Also, he should check to find out the deadlines on the property tax.

JackJD :

The new house is not in jeopardy, until the mortgage company gets so in arrears that it decides to sue your son and attach his current house. That's probably some time away.

JackJD :

Do these answers raise any questions for me?

Customer:

Thanks. Does it make a difference that as part of the divorce my son signed a quitclaim deed? he said that so far all that has resulted is that his name was removed from the land, but not the mobile home.

JackJD :

No, that doesn't help.

Customer:

He spoke with the mortgage company yesterday and they said that the only way his name can be removed from the mortgage is if the account is paid up to date. He's not in a positions to do that.

JackJD :

That was a good move. Creditors always are more comfortable hearing from people than not hearing from people. In other words, being pro-active helps. Have him look into a motion for contempt.

Customer:

Ok. I will pass that on. Is there a possility that if he files a motion for contempt the court may release him from obligation to the mortgage company? He

Customer:

He now lives in a different county, of the same state than the property in question so would he need to file the motion in the county of the property, or can he file in his county?

JackJD :

More bad news, the only way to get 'off the mortgage' is for (1) the mortgage company lets him off or (2) the ex refinances in her name alone. In this economy, neither one is very likely. If she had the money, she'd probably pay the mortgage. Once he gets her back into court, he can try to get her to surrender the trailer to him. (That's pretty messy.) The easiest is to go back to the county where the divorce took place; but cases can be transferred to another county.

Customer:

She asked him if he wants to take over the trailer. He doesn't want to do that, nor can he afford to. Would it be a good move, once the motion is filed, for him to send a copy of the motion to the mortgage company so they'll be aware that he is trying to resolve it.

JackJD :

Yes, anything that he does to keep the mortgage company in the know, helps.

JackJD :

Did he use a lawyer in the original divorce?

Customer:

He did'

JackJD :

Your son should have been advised at that time, that he was at risk that the ex would not pay the mortgage and he would still be on the hook.

Customer:

He wasn't. He had no idea until this weekend that he was still on the mortgage.

JackJD :

So, maybe going back to his lawyer for an explanation and some help, might be in order.

Customer:

I think so. Thank you for your help.

JackJD :

You're welcome. Please come to Just Answer again if you need more. Don't forget to click the 'Accept' button.

JackJD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 503
Experience: I've been in practice for 30+ years, concentrating in family and employment law. I enjoy helping people.
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