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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
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I used to reside in New York with my ex-husband. We own a Town

Customer Question

I used to reside in New York with my ex-husband. We own a Town House which we bought for $350,000. The house is heavily mortgaged. The first mortgage is solely in my ex-husband's name and he is responsible for that. We also took out a Home Equity Loan for $50,000 which is solely in my name. The Title and Deed is in both our names. When we divorced my ex-husband stayed in the house, and I moved to Florida and bought a Town House, which I own free and clear. I have a Court Order stating that my ex- husband is responsible to pay off the Home Equity Loan, which he has been doing, but he's only been paying the interest, so the principle is still $50,000. Now he wants to sell the house, however, he claims that the mortgage will supersede the selling price of the house. I believe this is called a "Short Sale". If this happens, how is this going to affect my Home Equity Loan, if there is not enough money in the sale to cover this. I feel that if he is not living in the house, he will no longer pay the Home Equity Loan, unless I take him to court, which is something I wish to avoid, since I now live in Florida. Is there a way to handle this from Florida, and not have to go to NY. He also claims that he does not need my approval to sell the house. Is this true, since my name is ***** ***** Title and Deed? What can I do to protect myself?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
To answer directly, in a 'short sale' situation the remaining mortgage is either waived off by the lender, OR is pursued. That, however, DOES NOT include the home equity loan--that becomes due and payable, and since it is in your name, you would have the primary obligation to pay it. Technically your ex would have to pay it due to court order but if he fails to do so the burden would be on you. I am afraid you would need to travel to NY to get this done--you could in theory hire a local attorney via a power of attorney to handle this for you, but you might still be ordered to appear for specific hearing dates if any. As far as selling the home, if it is under both names, both have to approve it--if the title is only under his name, he can sell it without your approval. Since you name is ***** ***** and deed, he CANNOT sell it on his own without court order.
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How can I get a copy of my Title and Deed for my NY home? Also, does he only require my signature, or do I need to appear at the sale. How can I make sure he does not forge my signature? Can I refuse to sell the house if the sale amount does not cover the payment of the Home Equity Loan?
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
You can contact the county recording office in the county where the property is located, and ask for a copy of the recorded deed and title. As far as appearing at the sale, if you agree to it, you can grant him a limited power of attorney to sign for you, but otherwise you need to be there to sign off on the documentation. You can likewise refuse to sell the home and refuse the short-sale option. One way to avoid a claim for forgery is to contact the lender directly and inform them on record that as the other owner you are refusing to sell--perhaps sending this to them via certified mail would be prudent. Then if the sale happens and you sent your notice to the right department, the lender can be liable along with your former spouse for damages.
Dimitry, Esq.