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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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Trying to find out it there any way I can sue my ex-wife if

Customer Question

Trying to find out it there any way I can sue my ex-wife if she stay in Alaska and I stay in Columbus, GA. I am trying to collect money from a judgement lend that was place on our house that she did not report during the divorce. The judgement lend was in her mother and her name from Ford Motor company. Both of us in the US Army.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 7 years ago.

Good Evening,


Let me see if I understand your facts and your question. Please clarify by placing ans answer to the corresponding number


1. A judgment lien was put on your residence by Ford Motor Credit Company?


2. How did your wife's name and her mother's name get on it?


3. Did anyone buy a Ford and did not pay for it?


4. Why would your lawyer tell you to go after her for Contempt of Court?




Customer: replied 7 years ago.

1. A judgment lien was put in your residence by Ford Motor Credit Company? That a yes. I find this out when I refinance my house and had to pay it off.


2. How did your wife's name and her mother's name get on it? When we was marry my ex-wife co-sign for her mother. Her mother let the car go back. Ford Motor Credit Company hire a lawyer to collect from my ex-wife.


3. Did anyone buy a Ford and did not pay for it? yes. this was an between ex-wife and her mother. My name was no where in the contract.


4. Why would your lawyer tell you to go after her for Contempt of Court? Think because she did not bring this up during the divorce and she sign her part of deed to the house her to me. Guess it was more like she with held this information when signing over her part of the deed.


Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your information,


If this happened during the marriage, and in your case it did, a man cannot sue his former wife for something occuring during the marriage; however, even if you could sue her, the money you paid to remove the judgment lien was caused by your ex mother in law since she is the one that benefited from the car, she is te oine that bought it and she is the one who let it go. Your ex wife may have encouraged her, but it is her mother who did the actual damage and she is the one to sue, not your ex wife.


Filing a Petition to hold her in Contempt of Court would do nothing, so I do not know why yor lawyer even suggested it.


I realize this is not the answer you were hoping for, but I have an obligation to give you correct and accurate answers.




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ANDREA, JD, LL.M., Taxation

Member, NY & PA Bar


DISCLAIMER: The facts stated herein are information only and are not intended, nor should be construed as legal advice or legal opinion and No Attorney-Client relationship is formed by asking questions and receiving information; laws vary from state to state and to protect your interests, you should seek local counsel


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

No that was not the answer I was looking for. I'm also thinking that there is a miss understanding about the car. The ex-wife co sign for her mother the purchase the car, so that her as been a buyer also. Now if this was not the case Ford Motor Company could not have taking her to court. Ford Motor Company hire an outside source to collect the money, that was a lawyer from Atlanta, GA. This lawyer made contact with the ex-wife about the court decision and some type of payment plan was made between the two of them. Ex-wife did not live up to her part of the payment. Did not make all the payment. Now this left me finding all this out, when I was refinancing the house. In the judgment lend paperwork I got from the court house only the ex-wife name was on it, no mother name. So Ford Motor Company only went after her I guess, I would not know because I was not inform in-depth about the hold thing.


I think this is the reason why the divorce lawyer is saying Contempt of Court because she did not bring all of this forward during the divorce. So if she know about this when signing the deed paperwork stating that everything is ok and nothing owed on her part would not be true. There also a statement in the divorce paper work stating that "If legal action is bought against the Husband to recover any debts incurred in the Wife's name, or which the Wife has agreed to pay herein, the Wife agrees to indemnify or hold him harmless, and, in addition, to pay all attorney's fees and costs of collection which he may incur as a result of such liability."


Then my question still is. What options do I have to settle this in court if she in Alaska and I am in Georgia. I was told that I have goto Alaska myself or just wait until she come to a closer state. Just looking for another option, like can a lawyer just do it like Ford Motor Company did.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 7 years ago.

Please let me clarify a few things so that we understand what the other is saying.


1. A Co-signor is not the buyer;

Example: Mother in law wants to buy a car; she tells the dealer she has to get a loan

for part of the money; okay -

Mother in law applies for a loan - Ford Motor Credit Company tells her - Can't give

you a loan, your credit is not good enough; or says - Can't give you a loan, your

income is not enough;Then Ford Motor Credit says, "Tell you what, Mrs.Mother in law,

I'll give you a loan, if you can get someone to co-sign with you on the Note; Do you

have anyone who can co-sign the Note with you?"

Mother in law says, "Sure, I'll ask my daughter to co-sign the Note with me"


So, you see, a co-signor is someone who signs the loan Note with the buyer, and is just as liable for payment of the loan as the buyer is. So, if the buyer cannot pay or defaults, the lender, Ford Motor Credit Co., can pick and choose who he will go after because they are both equally liable for payment - In this case, your former wife.


Ford Motor Credit probably sued your wife, put a judgment lien on the house and then handed the judgment over to a collection agency to collect the money.


If, at the time you got your divorce, your mother in law had not yet defaulted in payment of her car note, Ford Motor Credit had not yet sued your wife and had not yet filed a judgment lien against the house. But even if they had, your recourse would not be to file a Petiton for Contempt against your wife. You would have been suing her for fraud, not filing a Petition for Contempt.


You had not told me before that your former wife had executed an Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreement. If you had said this before, I would have told you that this is the basis, the grounds upon which you can sue your former wife.


That Agreement means that if you have to pay a debt incurred by your wife, she is under a legal obligation to "hold you harmless" which means make you whole again by paying you anything you had to pay on her debt.


You can sue her based on that Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreement, but as in any lawsuit, you must sue either 1) Where the defendant can be served with the Complaint; or 2) Where the cause of action arose.


In this case, you would either go to Alaska to sue her, or wait until she returned, just make sure that the Statute of Limitations does not expire on the debt because if it does, you would not be able to collect.


And, in answer to your last question, the law does not permit you to send someone, even a lawyer, in your place to sue your former wife - only corporations are permitted to do that under the law.




Kindly press the Green ACCEPT Button so that I may receive credit fo my time and effort in helping you;


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Member, NY & PA Bar

Edited by Andrea on 11/2/2009 at 8:32 AM EST
Andrea, Esq. and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX all my questions.