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Registered: ‎08-25-2009
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Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?

I was married for 30 years and have been divorced for 4.  My ex-husband got the house and responsibility for the mortgage and equity loan in the divorce decree.  Unfortunately, I did not insist my attorney stipulate the house must be refinanced (along with the equity loan).  Now I am stuck with his poor credit rating bringing mine down too.  I did do a repurchase agreement to get my name off the house, but am still stuck with my name on the equity loan.  Do I need to get an attorney to get a judicial ruling to have him either refinance or sell the house to get my name off?  My credit should be stellar, but because of his irresponsibility I am fighting to keep it at 600.  Thanks.

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Registered: ‎10-13-2009
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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?


DivorceBurned wrote:

I was married for 30 years and have been divorced for 4.  My ex-husband got the house and responsibility for the mortgage and equity loan in the divorce decree.  Unfortunately, I did not insist my attorney stipulate the house must be refinanced (along with the equity loan).  Now I am stuck with his poor credit rating bringing mine down too.  I did do a repurchase agreement to get my name off the house, but am still stuck with my name on the equity loan.  Do I need to get an attorney to get a judicial ruling to have him either refinance or sell the house to get my name off?  My credit should be stellar, but because of his irresponsibility I am fighting to keep it at 600.  Thanks.


Unfortunately, what has happened is all too common. 

 

I have yet to see a court seriously order a house to be sold -- especially at this late stage of the game.  Although a court is more apt to order a refinance, given his credit state it might not be possible for him to refinance and even if it were, absent his willingness to comply you might be facing a losing battle.  Courts are often reluctant to sanction noncompliance in these types of financial matters.

 

Still, I would contact a local attorney who may be able to suggest a course of action.  A lot depends on what the courts in your area are predisposed to do and a local attorney would be best able to know that.

 

Good luck!

IAALBNYL
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Registered: ‎08-25-2009
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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?

Thanks.  Your answer is what I was afraid I would hear.  I have tried working with him directly, letting him know about all the new programs available to people under water with their homes, but either he doesn't care or his credit prevents him from getting anything.  Looks like I have a lifetime commitment whether I divorced him or not.  Funny, but his recklessness with finances was one of the reasons I couldn't keep living with him : - )  Jokes on me!

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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?


DivorceBurned wrote:

Thanks.  Your answer is what I was afraid I would hear.  I have tried working with him directly, letting him know about all the new programs available to people under water with their homes, but either he doesn't care or his credit prevents him from getting anything.  Looks like I have a lifetime commitment whether I divorced him or not.  Funny, but his recklessness with finances was one of the reasons I couldn't keep living with him : - )  Jokes on me!


You might want to take your divorce decree & settlement agreement in to see a local lawyer.  Each state is slightly different and perhaps in your area there are remedies.  If he takes the house into forclosure or filed for bankruptcy, you could see things get even uglier.  Best to go in and examine all your options before things get to that.

IAALBNYL
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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?

Just a note of support.

 

I'm sorry this is happening to you.  My ex husband wanted to keep the house and not refinance, too.  However, I requested the house be sold as part of the divorce.  I had a great deal of experience with his poor money management.  It was one of many a contributing factors to our divorce.  As the previous poster said, I doubt you could get a court order this late in the game, given your ex isn't in contempt.

 

I suggest you get as much information as you can.  Knowledge is power.  At least you can begin to prepare yourself for the possibilities. 

 

Just a thought.   Is it worth it to you to sign a legal agreement for repayment from him, and pay the equity line yourself to preserve your credit?  At least if he doesn't pay, you would have grounds to recover payment from him.  But, he may not have anything to recover.   It's risky, but it depends on how server the damage to your credit score would be and whether or not you can afford the monthly payment.  My ex was responsible for mortgage payments during our divorce (he was living in the house for 18 mos) and didn't pay.  I did because I could have lost both my job and credit rating (the loan was with the bank I worked for).  It was stipulated in our agreement that neither of us was to access funds from the HELOC (he did that, too).  At the end, the judge ordered him to pay me all the monies I had disbursed.  He paid me with a loan against his 401K. 

 

Have the agreement stipulate that neither of you can access the credit line, the payment plan, etc.    It could be worth consulting an attorney. 

 

Stay strong.  This too, shall pass.  Good luck to you.:smileyhappy:

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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?

Thanks so much for your reply and support.  I am in no position to pay the equity loan myself.  My hours were cut at work, and I could lose my job at any time (budget cuts).  The bank has already written off $10,000 in credit card loans he was supposed to be responsible for, which shows on my credit reports, and he has since retired, so has no income to provide restitution.  Actually, he retired so he could stop paying alimony to me (financial hardship).  He knows how to get what he wants when he wants it, but doesn't think he needs to be accountable to others.  Post divorce, his job loss, and then retirement, he 'bought' two houses as rental properties b/c he got them on land contract.

I keep an eye out for what is going on, but then doing something about it is another issue entirely.  When he got a lowered interest rate on the equity loan I did stipulate in writing that he was responsible for the payments, because I had to sign for it too or he couldn't get the reprieve.

So thanks for the advice.  I will use what I can :smileyhappy:

Valued Member
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Registered: ‎08-03-2010
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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?

Hold up here.... You said that he has financial responsibility for the house payment and the line of equity. If you have this in your decree, or some statement in the decree  that says who is reponsible for what debts, and your name is off those loans, you need to be sending copies of that to all three credit reporting agencies, your loan companies, and whoever else is dinging your credit. You do not need an attorney for this. The loan companies and CRAs will remove the bad credit from your history as long as you have documentation that you are not responsible for those debts.

Don't pay anything YOU are not responsible, by decree, for.  If he loses the house, well, he should have managed better.

 



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Senior Contributor
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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?


JGeuy wrote:

Hold up here.... You said that he has financial responsibility for the house payment and the line of equity. If you have this in your decree, or some statement in the decree  that says who is reponsible for what debts, and your name is off those loans, you need to be sending copies of that to all three credit reporting agencies, your loan companies, and whoever else is dinging your credit. You do not need an attorney for this. The loan companies and CRAs will remove the bad credit from your history as long as you have documentation that you are not responsible for those debts.

Don't pay anything YOU are not responsible, by decree, for.  If he loses the house, well, he should have managed better.

 


Unfortunately, a creditor is almost never bound by the terms of a divorce agreement unless they voluntarily choose to be.

IAALBNYL
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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?

It worked for me with my ex.  I had legal documetation that specified what I was responsible for and what he was responsible for. I also disputed acounts he opened after the divorce which he forged my name on. I got those removed as well. It took a long time, but I got them removed.



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Senior Contributor
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Registered: ‎10-13-2009
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Re: Credit ruined by ex-husband - do I need an attorney?


JGeuy wrote:

It worked for me with my ex.  I had legal documetation that specified what I was responsible for and what he was responsible for. I also disputed acounts he opened after the divorce which he forged my name on. I got those removed as well. It took a long time, but I got them removed.


You were lucky.  Again, a creditor is virtually never bound by terms of a separation agreement or a divorce decree unless the creditor so chooses to be.

 

Accounts opened after the divorce are, obviously, different.

IAALBNYL
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