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Old 09-01-2008, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ex husband letting house fall into Foreclosure--Please, I need some advice

Here goes nothing...

While I was married, my husband wanted to buy and move into a house, sick as he was of apartment life. About 2 years later we are divorced, and the house has become a thorn in my side

I live in Columbus, OH, he and the house are in Minneapoilis, MN.

At the time of the divorce he decided he wanted to keep the home, and take responsibility of payments. The divorce papers say as much. Now, a little less than 2 years later, he has stopped making payments, cut off contact with me, and through other sources (like finding out the home was for sale through the real estate company (he had been trying to sell it before the foreclosure finalized), letters from the mortgage company to me telling of non-payment of insurance (the home is currently uninsured) and non-payment of the mortgage itself, along with letters from the electric company, etc. -zeesh) I know the home is just about out of it's "grace" period, before they actually sell it at auction, or whatever it is that happens to foreclosed homes.
I have given him time, to honour what little remains of our friendship. He has abused that, I cannot waste any more time giving him chances I never should have given him in the first place. I have been complancent, it ends.

I just received a promotion (good thing ) but it involves me travelling ALL the time, and I have such limited time to try to figure out what to do, if there is anything I CAN do.

At this point, with different people telling me I am still responsible for the home and payments, even though the divorce decree and quit claims forms I have signed exist, I am at a loss. I need advice.

Another, (for me, smaller) point is that in the divorce settlement he agreed to pay for certain debts (incurred by him/us while married) that went under my name/credit on credit cards. He also hasn't paid anything for those obligations in over a year, save a seperate written agreement. I have made regular payments on all of those obligations.
The agreement--in case it is important--was done about a month ago (more or less the last time I was able to make contact with him--he agreed to pay a $1,000 of the credit card debit in two weeks and make arrangements for the other credit card debt by the end of that month--he didn't, I called and called, and finally he texted me (yea...texted) that he was sending $700, he eventually sent $500)

So my questions:

How can I come at this with strength, what can I do to fight this? Can I take him to court for not paying the mortgage along with everything else?

Can I make a case to future creditors based on the divorce papers and quit claims deed, etc.?

Can I go to court to be given freedom from this debt based on his agreements and his decisions? The papers he's signed and the obligations he took on and then violated?
If I knew I could go to court with this and have a good chance, I absolutely would.

His refusal to communicate about this debt with me--is that something relavant I can and should use in a court of law?

Two things that make me hesitate: Could I find representation in Columbus, or would I need to find someone in Minneapolis? And second, I have no savings, and I'm tapped out with car loan, rent, student loans, paying for his obligations, gas, food, etc. I have very little at the end of it. $400 medical bills make me faint.
The house...it's probably just a few weeks away from foreclosure at this point. I feel helpless, and this just sucks. Not to sound like a teenager. ...no offense, teenagers...

Anyone, everyone, with advice, knowledege, tips, information. I'll take any and all I can get!! My time is definitely running out, and I'm looking for clues.

What can I do?

Thank you
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish. He 'got' the house in the divorce---but now you want it? or you want to make him KEEP it--for what reason? If the house belongs to him, per the divorce decree, I am not sure what you can do about it. You cannot force someone to do something---especially in situations like this----you couldn't ORDER someone to keep a house they cannot afford, or don't want ( whatever the reason is it is being foreclosed upon). What is your goal? Keeping the house? it isn't yours any longer.

If you are trying to force him to keep it to save your credit, I am afraid that doesn't work either (unfortunately). If the house had your name on the note (did it?) or/and your name on the deed (did it?) you are still financially responsible, even if it "belongs" to him, unless he obtained financing in his own name.

Is saving your credit your goal? Unfortunately, you cannot get blood from a turnip, so to speak. If he is ill, or out of work, or facing bankruptcy, taking him to court isn't going to do any good---you cannot get money where there is none.

I would hire an attorney in city where the house is located. A low cost or free consultation would be a great chance to ask these questions---and you very well may get the info you need in just one visit.

Good luck.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply grace...

Good to know that an attorney in that state is the way to go.

From your reply it sounds like there is no legal recourse for me? I don't want the house, I'm indifferent as to whether or not he keeps it. My only goal is protecting my credit and having him accountable for his actions, as much as the law allows of course. That is why I wonder...

...if I can make a case to future creditors based on my divorce settlement, based on giving up my rights to the home, based on his agreement to make payments.

...if I can take my case to court, and (even if only on paper) the court finds him in default of his responsibility to pay the mortgage and to pay the seperate debt to me and reiterate that point--he's not a total turnip, for instance, not a money tree, but not a turnip. Maybe a potato?

Is there anything I can do? Damage control later on, be pro-active now? Especially I'm interested to know if creditors will take the case into consideration.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lover not a Fighter View Post
Thanks for the reply grace...

Good to know that an attorney in that state is the way to go.

From your reply it sounds like there is no legal recourse for me? I don't want the house, I'm indifferent as to whether or not he keeps it. My only goal is protecting my credit and having him accountable for his actions, as much as the law allows of course. That is why I wonder...

...if I can make a case to future creditors based on my divorce settlement, based on giving up my rights to the home, based on his agreement to make payments.

...if I can take my case to court, and (even if only on paper) the court finds him in default of his responsibility to pay the mortgage and to pay the seperate debt to me and reiterate that point--he's not a total turnip, for instance, not a money tree, but not a turnip. Maybe a potato?

Is there anything I can do? Damage control later on, be pro-active now? Especially I'm interested to know if creditors will take the case into consideration.

There are different reasons for being in violation of a court order. Not paying child support to spite the custodial parent is one thing. Falling into financial difficulty and being unable to make a mortgage payment is different. I am not certain that when your ex was ordered to pay the house payment, it meant he was in contempt and could be fined or arrested if he did not. The law assumes he would be paying it if it were financially feasible. Obviously, his failure to pay isn't vindictive against you--it is punitive against him as well.

I believe that while the court "gave" him the house and all that includes, there is a duty of care implicit in the fact that two people entered into the original agreement and two people decided to end it for whatever reasons led to the end of the relationship. What I am saying is, the court isn't going to be as hard nosed as you are about it----it will always be in the mind of the court that if your credit was an issue that was that important--perhaps it would have been prudent to accept the "house" responsibility yourself----even if you didn't want the house, that would have been the best way to assure YOUR credit didn't suffer. I am not trying to be critical--just trying to explain how the court may not take such a hard line as you are. I understand to you it is very cut and dried. He is ruining your credit and he shouldn't be allowed to do that. But back up in the time line a bit---remember entering into the agreement in the first place? The court will remember that, too, meaning---they view you as HALF of the equation and your JOINT actions led to HIS being the safe keeper, as it turns out, of your credit. Understand?

I understand why you think he should 'pay the debt to you', but it was a JOINT purchase, was it not? So, why would the court not see it as a joint "failure" (for lack of a better word)?

This is merely opinion and speculation on my part as a disinterested party in the sense that I don't have a proverbial horse in this race. I think the partnership that was in effect when the agreement to buy the house in happened in the first place, the same responsibility is in place when the deal goes bad, so to speak since you were both originally culpable.

Now, if he SOLD the house, made a profit and YOU received nothing or did not receive a fair share, that would be different. But his losing the house, and taking you both down with it, as it were, isn't the same.

Without the benefit of seeing the paperwork, I am , obviously, just giving my opinion based on your comments.

Wish I could tell you more.
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