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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 110573
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I recently received a check from my mortgage company that is

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I recently received a check from my mortgage company that is the result of an agreement between Wells Fargo (my mortgage co) and the Gov't settling unfair foreclosure proceedings. The check was made out to me and my ex-wife both. However, I was divorced on Dec 1, 2010, and the foreclosure proceedings this resulted from occurred after our divorce was final, and my ex completed a quit claim deed. To rectify the foreclosure situation I was in, I filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy which prevented me from refinancing the mortgage in my name only. My question is... Do I need to have my ex-wife sign the check, and would I be required to share it with her (50/50), or would I be able to simply sign deposit only, and keep the funds. My concern is whether or not this would be fraud, and if I would be required to share the proceeds with her. It is only $1000 so splitting it is not that big of an issue; however, if she is not entitled to it, I would rather not unless I am opening myself up to a legal issue (i.e. fraud, etc).
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

I am afraid that if the mortgage was in both of your names, you are going to have to have her sign the check to cash the check. Whether or not she is entitled to any share of the check depends on the court order dividing assets. If she was not given any share of the house and it was given to you, or she was already paid in some other type of marital assets for signing the quit claim, then she would not be entitled to any share of the check, but because her name appears on it, her signature would still be required for you to either cash or deposit the check.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the quick response. The house was awarded to me, and all divorce matters were settled back in late 2010 so, if I understand correctly should wouldn't "legally" be entitled to any of the proceeds. However, I have to think it will be far easier to get her to sign the check if she's getting half. Plus I would hope it is a positive impact to the divorced working relationship.

Thank you for your response.

That is correct, if all property was settled and you were awarded the house, she would not legally be entitled to any of the money, but because her name was on the mortgage and was on the check, she would still have to sign it. If she refuses to sign, you could always go back to court for an order to her to do so because one clause in the divorce order is each spouse is to cooperate with each other in signing over marital property to the proper party. However, if you want to negotiate by giving her some, that is your right.
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