How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LawHelpNow Your Own Question
LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7639
Experience:  Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
LawHelpNow is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been divorced for two years and in the divorce agreement

This answer was rated:

I have been divorced for two years and in the divorce agreement my ex husband left me the responsibily of the mortage payments on our home, but I am not listed anywhere on the mortgage papers. He had taken out a second mortgage prior to the divorce and in the agreement he assumed responsibilty for that loan. I put the house up for sale and asked him about the status of the second mortage, and he informed me that it was paid off, so sell the house. I now have a cash offer for the home and am due to close on December 15. My ex husband now informs me that he has not and cannot pay off the second mortgage unless I agree to relieve him of child support obligations for our 3 children, the youngest being 15. I do not want to do that, and want to "walk away" from my home. What are my options?

Hello Susan,
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.
I am truly sorry to hear about your troubles. My heart goes out to you.
Here is how this works. Many folks don't understand, but creditors are bound by the secured instruments and not the final divorce decree. For example, assume just for the sake of illustration that your divorce papers purported to relieve you of all liability for credit card debt. That will absolutely not stop the credit card company from coming after you, if your name is XXXXX XXXXX account, regardless of what the decree says.
Likewise, here the outcome will be governed primarily by the mortgage paperwork. So, the botXXXXX XXXXXne answer is yes, you can walk away from the mortgage, as you put it. However, there will of course be adverse consequences such as a negative impact on your credit owing to the foreclosure. That is true if you are listed on the mortgage(s). If that is not the case with either one, you are in a fortunate position.
Since your former spouse is bringing child support into the picture, I would just suggest that you give serious consideration to seeking a consultation with local family law counsel You could do so for a very modest fee and it would truly be worthwhile to do so with all that is at stake.
If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.
I hope all works out for you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not sure if my second question came through. sorry for being repetitive if it did. I appreciate your help.

Question: if my name is XXXXX XXXXX the mortgage but is on the deed and the house goes to foreclosure, am I liable to the finance company?

Hi Susan,
Thanks for writing back. Good to hear from you.
My pleasure entirely, and I appreciate your letting me know my answer has been helpful to you thus far.
It works like this with your name being on the second deed but not the mortgage. You are not part of the "debt" (the mortgage), but you are part of the "asset" (the deed). So, it can actually end with a rather quirky outcome, namely that the lender (bank) would step in and take over your former spouse's interest (but only his interest) in the property. In other words, you and the bank would end up owning it together. You are actually in a favorable position here...certainly much better than that of your former spouse.

Hope that helps some more. Just let me know if that makes sense.
Take care,
LawHelpNow and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello Susan,

I enjoyed working with you recently.

How are things going?

Is there anything else I can do to help?

Please just let me know.