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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27692
Experience:  JA Mentor
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I did not find out until I was divorced that papers I signed

Customer Question

Hi,
JA: Hi. What is your issue regarding?
Customer: I did not find out until I was divorced that papers I signed while my husband and I were married added my name to the mortgage. When I asked the person witnessing the signing, "Why do I have to sign these?" He replied, "Because you are married and live in the same house." I thought I was signing something that gave me protection in the event that something happened to my then husband. I was never added to the title to the house at this time. Now, I am responsible for 1.4 million in real estate debt that I could have never qualified for on the little amount that I earn. My ex husband said, "You had to be on the note because we filed taxes together." I know that this is not true. He was supposed to refinance on his own, but he is saying that he cannot qualify on his own. In the hearing, the judge said he would have to sell the house if he could not refinance it on his own. I'm going to have to file a "Motion to Compel" to get him to do anything.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Colorado
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am supposed to refinance a house in Arizona that my ex husband was supposed to add me to the title in February 2016. He has not added me to the title because he says they will call his note and he will have to refinance it to add me to the note. If I am not able to refinance that house on my own after Nov 2017, he has the option to put it up for sale. I will not have a leg to stand on. If he does not remove me from the 1.4 million in real estate debt, I will not be able to refinance the house.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

What are you specific questions for a lawyer?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Is it legal that I was made to sign the mortgage on the house, but I was never added to the title?
I was told that I had to sign the document , but never told I was signing to be responsible for the debt.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did not find out until I was divorced that papers I signed while my husband and I were married added my name to the mortgage. When I asked the person witnessing the signing, "Why do I have to sign these?" He replied, "Because you are marriedand live in the same house." I thought I was signing something that gave me protection in the event that something happened to my then husband. I was never added to the title to the house at this time. Now, I am responsible for 1.4 million in real estate debt that I could have never qualified for on the little amount that I earn. My ex husband said, "You had to be on the note because we filed taxes together." I know that this is not true. He was supposed to refinance on his own, but he is saying that he cannot qualify on his own. In the hearing, the judge said he would have to sell the house if he could not refinance it on his own. I'm going to have to file a "Motion to Compel" to get him to do anything.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Colorado
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: yes
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am supposed to refinance a house in Arizona that my ex husband was supposed to add me to the title in February 2016. He has not added me to the title because he says they will call his note and he will have to refinance it to add me to the note. If I am not able to refinance that house on my own after Nov 2017, he has the option to put it up for sale. I will not have a leg to stand on. If he does not remove me from the 1.4 million in real estate debt, I will not be able to refinance the house.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

There is unfortunately no law that prevents you from agreeing to be liable on the mortgage without being added to the title. Each person has an obligation when handed documents to read carefully before signing, and not to sign if they have any questions about the content. Unless he physically blocked you from leaving the room until you signed or put the pen in your hand and moved it for you, it's legal.

You have the ability to force your ex-husband to refinance the property in order to get your name removed by filing a Motion to Compel, as you noted. Even if he can't afford to refinance, he can sell it. But he doesn't get to take the house and stick you with the payments. Also check the divorce decree - you should be also entitled to half the equity in the house.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Also note that, if he DID force you to sign the papers, the time to bring that up would have been before your divorce was finalized. It would be too late to raise that argument now. Your option here is to ask the judge to order your ex-husband to sell the house.

And you cannot be required to refinance your own house before he has your name removed from the other property.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I was lied to when I asked why I had to sign the documents. I was naïve and trusting and that is my fault. However, how was it possible for the bank to put me on a note when I could never have been qualified to have been given a loan for 1.4 million dollars. My husband specifically said- If I ever tried to leave him, I would get half of his debt and nothing else.
Is it legal to add a person to a loan for 1.4 million who earns about 30, 000 or less per year? Wouldn't the bank have to be able to have shown that I could have paid the loan in the event something happened to my then husband?
I don't know how it's even possible to have added me. Furthermore, my ex will not provide the name or contact information for the person who handles the loan.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Can I file a Motion to Compel on my own? Are those documents available on line?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

It is perfectly legal to add you to the loan if all signers together qualify. They probably wanted to add you to the loan so that, if your husband passed away, you would still be liable on the loan after inheriting your husband's assets. That's reasonable. The bank didn't do anything wrong. You can get the name and information of the person who handles the loan at the bank, but again - you can't dispute the loan now, after the divorce. It's too late.

Yes, you can file a Motion to Compel on your own. The TExas courts don't make free forms available online, but check www.uslegalforms.com and www.legalzoom.com. They may have something.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Unfortunately, There is no value in the house. II was attached to debt only. This was a deceptive trick by a controlling husband.
My only hope is to file a Motion to Compel and have him refinance the Colorado house in his own name and add my name to the smaller more affordable Arizona house.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

The judge can also order him to sell the house to pay off the debt. And if there's anything left at all, you'll get half. That could be part of the Motion to Compel.

Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
If I have done everything I was required to do in the divorce decree. My ex is in violation of the divorce decree, due to not adding me to the title on the AZ in February 2016. Can the divorce decree be considered voided ( I'm not using the right verbiage here), due to his non compliance?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry, but no, it can't. His failure to adhere to his responsibility doesn't undo the entire divorce. It DOES mean you can file a Motion to Compel or a Motion for Contempt and the judge can make him comply. The judge can also order him to pay penalties to you if he continues to refuse to comply.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you. I have not idea what I need to go in to court, or how to even get it scheduled, but this gives me an idea of where to start.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

You're welcome. I hope it works out for you.

To start, read the divorce decree. There may be a clause that says, if he forces you to go back to court to enforce the order, he has to pay for your lawyer. That would help, too.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?

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