Q: I am divorced and even though my ex-wife got the house, why are issues with the house still affecting me?
This is what is in my divorce says: Real Property: The Plaintiff shall be awarded the real estate located at: 3524 Alexandria Wellington Road, Alexandria, Alabama 36250. The Defendant has relinquished all right, title, and interest in said real estate by execution of a quitclaim deed filed simultaneously herewith. She apparently never removed me from the loan is what USDA told me over the phone. They refuse to give me any information about what to do because they say I am not the owner of the property and they can't tell me anything. However every time she misses a payments it affects my credit. She gets rebate checks at the end of the year that have my name on them and hers and when she doesn't pay what she needs to I get money taken out of my taxes. How do I stop this, how can I have no right to something and yet it's still affecting me?
A: Hello. Thanks for your question. A well-written divorce decree or settlement will state the home must be refinanced in X days, or sold if it can't be refinanced by the party taking possession of the home. What you have shared, that language isn't in there, but it might be stated somewhere else in it. Other clauses that might be helpful to you may be in there, but again, it takes looking at the whole document to determine what recourse you have available. It would help you to find an attorney to review the whole document so you know your options. Best of luck.
A: Also, you said you've been told you're still on the mortgage. So that is why you're being held liable when she doesn't pay. The mortgage company doesn't care you two divorced. It only knows there are two people on the loan that agreed to be responsible for paying it. You will continue to be response for the loan until she refinances and if she can't, then the house should be sold.
The main question I have is what does your divorce say about the debts related to the property. Traditionally there is a provision either attached to or directly after the portion you cited, that states that the Plaintiff (the person awarded ownership of the property) is responsible for all debts related to the property and is to execute all documents necessary to effect your release from any liability associated with the property within a set period of time. If there is not any language dealing with the debt of the property you will have to file to have the divorce decree modified, if there is a provision stating that she is responsible for the debts of the property then you will need to file a contempt petition to enforce that part of the order.
Further, your question raises the question of if she ever filed the quitclaim deed or not. In most mortgages, there is an acceleration clause that states, in essence, that if the ownership of the property changes in any way the entire balance of the mortgage becomes due immediately. I would recommend checking with the county probate office to find the last deed on file for the property to ensue that the quitclaim deed was filed.
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