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Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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My wife and I are in divorce proceedings. We have a Stipulation

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My wife and I are in divorce proceedings.
We have a Stipulation of Separation agreement in effect.
The Stipulation was court ordered almost one year ago.
As part of the stipulation agreement, we have been ordered to sell the marital house.
Currently she lives in it and I pay rent somewhere else.
During the last year, she caused all kind of delays to sell the house.
I filed a motion for contempt against her.
Her behaviour improved: she allowed real estate agents to bring buyers in, etc.

Eventually, the judge made his decision: he did not punish her; he indicated that her behaviour was not entirely correct but that punishment for contempt would have been to harsh for that.

Right now we found a buyer, signed a contract and the buyer's bank performed the house inspection and issued a formal mortgage approval letter to the buyer.

We purchased this house in 1991 and paid our mortgage in full in 2003.
When we bought the house we also purchased full title insurance for it.

Right now, the buyer's attorney found an outstanding lien, form another bank, for a loan given to the owner previous to us, prior to us buying the house.
Also, it appears that the title insurance broker who sold us the title insurance policy in 1991 went out of business since then.

I contacted the attorney who represented us when we purchased the house. He says that he will be able to clear the title but that he needs the actual title insurance policy to do it.

The title insurance policy is in the house, kept safely with other documents.
In spite of many requests, my wife is refusing now to provide it.

I want this house sold such that I can live in conditions I deserve.
What can I do? Can I find out who that bank was and try to get a letter of mortgage satisfaction myself? What else?

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: I bought a house, I paid all the mortgages in full, I paid money for a title insurance policy, I want to sell the house but I can not due to some mortgage the previous owner had and due to some insurance broker who took my money and went out of business.

What can I do?
*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*


I am a New York licensed attorney. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I can to answer your questions!

You appear to have several avenues to pursue. I will address them individually. Please feel free to ask me for clarification after I have outlined your basic options.
1. File a motion to compel your wife to turn over the title insurance policy.
2. Determine the lienholder. Typically the purchaser's attorney would be required to supply you with this information since he is claiming the lien impairs the title. Alternatively you can research the title yourself by going to the clerk of the court's office in the county where the property is located
3. The attorney who ran the title and discovered the lien would typically have also have discovered the prior title policy and could furnish you with that information
4. Contact your prior mortgage holder and inquire what title insurance company held the "mortgagee title insurance" as typically it will be the same company as the owner's title insurance

I would be glad to respond to any related follow-up questions that you may have.
Ellen and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you