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Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 31684
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My question is: I was married for 17 years, divorce was final

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My question is: I was married for 17 years, divorce was final Sept 2010, in the decree the house was awarded to me, free and clear. However, the mortgage was and still is in my ex-wifes name. I have 5 years from divorce date to refi and we have done a quit claim deed so the deed is in my name. My issue is this, with the housing market I am finding it hard to refi as I owe more then the house is worth. Along with that issue she is coming after me for what I consider an obscene amount of child support and I am worried I won't be able to afford the house. I am considering letting the house go into forclosure. What actions can my ex bring against me if I do this? Sue me for the mortgage amount? Could I file bankruptcy on that? And here's another twist, she has already filed bankruptcy since the divorce and while this home is financed under her name what issues does could that cause if any? I do own my own buisiness but am Incorporated so would a personal bankruptcy affect my business? Can you give me any advice? I live in MN.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

One thing I'm confused about - - If you were awarded the house free and clear, why do you need to refinance? If you got the vehicle free and clear, the mortgage would not be your responsibility, would it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well maybe free and clear isnt the right way to put it. What I mean is the house is mine, she doesn't get anything from me in regards XXXXX XXXXX house. I need to refi because the mortgage is in her name.

Ok. Thanks. I just want to make sure that I understand your situation.

If your ex has filed bankruptcy and had her obligation to pay this debt discharged, she shouldn't have any claim against you because your failure to refinance or pay will not affect her in any way because her own bankruptcy has eliminated her obligation to pay the debt.

If she didn't discharge her obligation to pay the debt/mortgage, then if you cannot refinance the mortgage, your ex could file a motion to hold you in contempt of court for failing to refinance the debt. However, if you can prove that you cannot get the home refinanced because of the negative loan to value ratio, the court would likely try to work with you, or even allow you to offer the home back to your ex or some other solution.

Also, if you do allow the property to go into foreclosure, and she is required to pay some deficiency amount (difference between the debt and what the sale produces), she could ask the court to order you to pay that amount on her behalf.

The best thing for you is if she had the debt discharged in bankruptcy. I that case, you could walk away without owing the mortgage (since it's not in your name) and you wouldn't have to file bankruptcy.

Also, if you were to file bankruptcy, it would relieve you of the debt there would be no obligation for you IF she discharge the debt. IF she didn't discharge the debt, bankruptcy would not help because bankruptcy cannot discharge a divorce award regarding property division/support, etc.

As for your business, if it is incorporated, a personal bankruptcy should not affect your business UNLESS you have personal guarantees or some other individual/personal ties to the business that would affect your company's credit.

I hope this covers all of your questions, but if you need something else, please let me know.
Roger and 3 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you

I hope the above response answers your question. However, if you have any additional questions, please let me know and I'll be glad to respond. Also, please remember to positively rate our conversation so that I may receive credit for my research and response.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You helped me alot. Thanks! If anything else pops up I will let you know! Thanks again!

Glad to help! Please let me know if something else comes up.