Q: I filed bankruptcy, got a divorce and my ex stayed in the house. It went into forclosure. I'm just now, 10 yrs later,
Getting a "bill" from money I owe from the forclosure. Is this legal? After bankruptcy, divorce and 10 yrs I have to pay a bill (including interest) of 78,000 dollars!?
Your facts are unclear, and more is needed to give you a reliable answer.
Generally speaking, your mortgage debt should have been listed in your bankruptcy (we assume that you completed the bankruptcy case and got an Order of dismissal). An Order of general dismissal in the bankruptcy should have discharged whatever unsecured deficiency (debt beyond the sale proceeds of the residential property) there may have been.
That, however, is complicated by your spousal obligations. Generally, spousal obligations are not affected by a bankruptcy (you don't say which came first, bankruptcy or divorce), although payments to an ex-spouse in the nature of property division, and not as support, are dischargeable in bankruptcy. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon for a husband to agree to hold an ex-wife harmless in a divorce against the mortgage indebtedness. If that happened, the wife would have been a creditor in the bankruptcy. If she was not listed as a creditor, and did not know of the bankruptcy, your "hold harmless" debt/obligation to the ex may have survived the bankruptcy (i.e., not been discharged).
Yes, it is highly unusual for a lender to seek a deficiency ten years after a foreclosure judgment (was such a judgment entered ten years ago?). A foreclosure case may have been pending for a long period of time. Or, it may be that the lender failed to sell the property for that ten years, after entry of the foreclosure judgment. We recently handled a case of foreclosure, and negotiated an agreement that the lender would in no way seek to enforce any deficiency, and in addition, persuaded the lender to pay the debtor five thousand dollars for an agreed entry to a foreclosure decree. The lender then for whatever reason waited over two years to sell the house. That seemed like inordinate delay to us, but that was the lender's choice (the lender was responsible for upkeep, lawn and home care, insurance, etc., during that interim).
Speak to an experienced lawyer in your jurisdiction, and provide that counsel with all relevent documents for review to get your best answer.
Timothy Denison agrees with this answer
A: The house debt should have been included in your bankruptcy. Secondly, your divorce agreement should have provided that when he got the house, he held you harmless on the debt and and indemnified you in the future. Get copies of your bankruptcy and your divorce files snd get them go your lawyer(s) asap do this can be resolved favorable for you.
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