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LegalPro, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 589
Experience:  33 years legal experience in areas of criminal law, estates and probate, and real estate law.
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Divorced and the legal documents associated with divorce gave my wife full ownership of th

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Divorced and the legal documents associated with divorce gave my wife full ownership of the condo. The documents state the parties agree that the property is awarded to the wife free and clear of any tight, title of interest of husband. Said property shall be retained by the wife free and clear from any right, title of interest of husband. Wife shall be responsible for any and all debts associated with said property, and agrees to hold husband harmless thereon.
Currently my name is XXXXX XXXXX both of the mortgages (the main mortgage and the equity line of credit). She just informed me that she was going to stop making payments so she could file for a short sale. This will have a major impact on my credit - do i have any rights to stop her from doing so?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LegalPro replied 5 years ago.
Since you are signed on the mortgage, a number of undesirable things could happen to you if the loan goes into default. You could bring and keep the mortgage payments current and prevent the foreclosure or short sale. If you do so, you would have a legal cause of action against her to recoup what you have had to invest. If you do have to invest in bringing the payments current, you should maintain a lien against the property to enforce your investment. It is prudent to bring this situation before the court in a post-decree action such as through a motion to hold her in contempt, a motion to order her to continue the payments, a motion to enter a judgment against her in your favor for any moneys you have to expend due to her default, or all of the above. Since the mortgage company is not a party to the divorce action, unfortunately, the court cannot relieve you of your responsibility to the mortgage company.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So can she legally short sale this property which will negatively harm my credit when the documents state that "Wife shall be responsible for any and all debts associated with said property, and agrees to hold husband harmless thereon." And if i am still on the loan can she execute a short sale without my signature? And if she does do this - do i have any rights to sue her for compensation?
Expert:  LegalPro replied 5 years ago.
She cannot by herself convey or encumber any interest in the real estate that you legally maintain in an effort to short sale or otherwise encumber the property. She cannot legally impose any debt upon you that she is ordered to be responsible for, as far as the divorce action goes. If her actions in failing to abide by the decree cause you any harm or damages, you have the right through the divorce action to recover complete recompense from her, enforcible to the full extent of the contempt power of the court.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Just prior to notifying me about her intended short sale, my ex wife up-sized her primary residence, while the property in question has been a rental property for her for some time now. This house becomes an asset if I need to take legal action against her, as you had described above. My concern is that she could sign a quitclaim deed to remove herself from any legal rights to her primary residence, leaving only her husband on the deed. This might defer the bank's attention to my assets, in the event of her default on the condo.

Can she do this? Can I prevent it?

Expert:  LegalPro replied 5 years ago.
The transfer or attempt to transfer of an asset in order to avoid any creditor's claim is subject to being legally set aside. While she is married to her husband, even though she executes a quitclaim to him, she may still maintain a marital interest in the property that could make it subject to creditors' claims.

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