Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,626
Registered: ‎10-13-2009
Re: Mortgage and divorce decree

frustratedinAL wrote:

My husband's ex-wife got the house in their divorce.  It specifically states in the decree that he was to refnance the house up to 60 days after the divorce was finalized in order to remove his name from the loan.  It also stated that she was to do this every 6 months until his name was removed and that he would be held faultless.  And yes, it specifically states that he will be held faultless.  Of course, since she is such a lovely woman, that never happened.  As a matter of fact, the house went in to foreclosure and she ended up filing bankruptcy on it.  His credit is now in the toilet.  He is stuck with is on his report for the next 10 years?  Is there anything at all we can do?

I wish I could say the Guiness56 was incorrect, but, alas, I cannot.  Creditor's a virtually never bound by any after-the-fact settlement agreement or divorce decree.  Unfortunately the foreclosure will likely remain on his credit report for the full seven years.  In addition, if your state allows deficiency judgments, he may well be liable in that aspect, too.


I see few remedies to the foreclosure reporting and affecting his credit profile.  Contempt of court may be an option, but courts are generally reluctant to hold a party in contempt over financial terms of a divorce that do not involve child support or, sometimes, alimony.  Besides, the damage is done and even in the extremely unlikely event the court would issue a contempt order it will not make your husband whole.


I would suggest three options.  Again, they will not erase the negative items on his credit report, but they may lessen additional negatives, lower the financial burden and possibly prevent a lawsuit for deciciency.


1.  *Consult a local attorney; and / or

2.  Deal with the creditor to find a possible solution that involves avoiding being sued;

3.  **Sue the ex-wife for money damages.


* The sooner the better.


** This may seem unnecesssary at this point because she is likely a total financial wreck, but obtaining a judgment is an extremely wise move.  First of all, she cannot have the judgment discharged in bankruptcy for another ten years or so.  Second, although an economic basket case now, within the next decade or so she may -- indeed is likely to -- have $$ -- either on her own of through trough transferrance via some sucker, er ... I mean fellow ... crazy enough to marry her.