Mattawan, MI asked in Bankruptcy, Divorce and Foreclosure for Michigan

Q: Complex Foreclosure on 2nd mortgage/divorce/bankruptcy question

Ex-Husband and I divorced in 2007 and divorce decree stated that I got the house and would assume the mortgage payments. The deed was transferred to my name. The mortgage was in his name only and he had taken out an $11,000 2nd mortgage against it in 2004. The first mortgage is not in default as I have been making the payments. Ex-Husband filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and the lender never contested it in his bankruptcy and it was discharged. In June of this year I was notified that my home was going to be sold at a Sheriff’s Auction as the 2nd mortgagee had commenced foreclosure proceedings for $26,000 and never notified me or my ex-husband until the sheriff’s sale was scheduled. Is this scenario even possible considering that the deed to the property is in my name and the home equity loan that they are foreclosing on was discharged by the bankruptcy court? Also, the divorce decree states that my ex-husband cannot bankrupt any of any of his legal obligations related to our marriage.

2 Lawyer Answers
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: If they didn’t join you as a party to the foreclosure and you didn’t have notice, the foreclosure is defective. Go to divorce court, make a motion to hold your ex in contempt and for every penny pure out of pocket, including your attorney fees, and the Court will resolve this problem for you from there.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Although bankruptcy discharged your ex-husband’s personal liability for the 2nd mortgage, it would not have gotten rid of the lien. Yes, the scenario is possible. You would also need to pay the 2nd mortgage to avoid foreclosure on the lien.

A state court judgment wouldn’t have the power to affect whether your husband could file bankruptcy on certain obligations, unless it was for a domestic support obligation. The language of your divorce decree would determine whether it was a domestic support obligation dischargeable in bankruptcy or not.

As always, make sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before you choose to rely on information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.

Robert Keyes agrees with this answer

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