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Posted: 2/14/2013 4:39:25 AM EDT
So here s the deal ARFCOM,

Long story short I was divorced in 2009 just a handful of days prior to a Afghanistan deployment. Wanting it to be fair I gave the house to my ex for my daughters sake. I had no legal rep and was very emotionaly broken. At the time I was duped into signing a quit claim deed to the house, not realizing that it did not remove me from the mortgage.

Fast forward to today I am in the process of filing motions to enforce(divorce decree states i will be protected from all financial harm from the house) to get the courts In Vermont to force her to remove me from the mortgage because her inabilility to pay, has destroyed my credit. During the status hearing yesterday I was brought to light that she may be filing for Bankrupcy. I am unsure as of to which chapter.

If my ex does go through with it, I am assuming that I will be wholly responsible for the mortagage. Does that render the quit claim deed null and void? If not can the quit claim be reversed? Can I become the sole owner if she claims the house in said bankrupcy and in turn sell the house outright? Im am really trying to figure a way of not getting hammered on this. I can assume some financial liability but I refuse to let my credit be destroyed further, If it were not for this I would have a steller rating

If any one has any experience in this matter or legal know how in the area of divorce/property/bankrupcy law it would be very much appreciated!!!!!!!

Regardss to all, SGT Bell
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:40:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By VTInfantrySgt:
So here s the deal ARFCOM,

Long story short I was divorced in 2009 just a handful of days prior to a Afghanistan deployment. Wanting it to be fair I gave the house to my ex for my daughters sake. I had no legal rep and was very emotionaly broken. At the time I was duped into signing a quit claim deed to the house, not realizing that it did not remove me from the mortgage.

Fast forward to today I am in the process of filing motions to enforce(divorce decree states i will be protected from all financial harm from the house) to get the courts In Vermont to force her to remove me from the mortgage because her inabilility to pay, has destroyed my credit. During the status hearing yesterday I was brought to light that she may be filing for Bankrupcy. I am unsure as of to which chapter.

If my ex does go through with it, I am assuming that I will be wholly responsible for the mortagage. Does that render the quit claim deed null and void? If not can the quit claim be reversed? Can I become the sole owner if she claims the house in said bankrupcy and in turn sell the house outright? Im am really trying to figure a way of not getting hammered on this. I can assume some financial liability but I refuse to let my credit be destroyed further, If it were not for this I would have a steller rating

If any one has any experience in this matter or legal know how in the area of divorce/property/bankrupcy law it would be very much appreciated!!!!!!!

Regardss to all, SGT Bell


I don't deal with bankruptcy and don't practice in Vermont, but my impression is that you are seriously in trouble. The quit claim deed would still be valid and she would still be the owner of the property, even with the bankruptcy. In addition, i don't see the quit claim deed being reversed. There are ways that deeds can be set aside, but they are only really applicable in very narrow instances (for example, a child convincing their elderly, incompetent parent to sign a deed transferring ownership of their property). I don't see any possible avenue here because by your own admission, you wanted to give her the house and just made a poor decision in the manner that you chose to do so (sorry to be blunt).

Being named on the mortgage and the deed of trust securing the mortgage is different than actually being on title and having an ownership interest in the house. Without that ownership interest, there is nothing that would allow you to assume ownership of the property and sell it. At this point, you essentially only have the debt of the house without any interest. If the ex signed a quit claim deed back to you or even making you a co-owner then you can work on selling the house (although if you were the co-owner it would require both people to consent). However, if she is filing bankruptcy or going to be filing bankruptcy soon, there is a big potential problem with any transfer of ownership because it could lead to a claim that there is an attempt on her part to either conceal or diminish her assets and potentially the bankruptcy court could order that the transfer be undone.

The one thing that I don't know how will affect this situation is if she reaffirms the debt for the house and keeps it. I don't know how this would impact the mortgage company and what they have the ability to do. My initial thought is that it probably wouldn't help you because you would still be liable for the note.

This goes without saying, you really need to talk to a good lawyer in your area who is familiar with both bankruptcy and divorce matters.

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:58:39 AM EDT
Tag. My father is in a similar situation. Ex took his name off the deed, but bank said "too bad, so sad" when it came time to remove him from the mortgage.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 9:25:37 AM EDT
The lender is likely to come after you if she defaults on the mortgage.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 10:56:33 AM EDT
Well after making many phone calls and looking for options, it doesnt sound like I have any except to rely on the court system(that really means i am hit)

So my question is now, A. Should I try to file bankruptcy first( I dont have any property to speak of, car and a motorcycle and about 6k worth of debt total) or B. Wait till the bank comes after me either because the ex has defaulted on the loan or claimed bankruptcy; and tell them to just take the property? Either way it is bad, but recovery from this needs to begin sooner not later. Ugh


Oh yeah FMYEX&BHO


SGT Bell
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 12:45:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 12:46:05 PM EDT by spqrzilla]
SGT Bell, you should find a bankruptcy practitioner in the state where the property is and divorce was and consult with them. There are a few times when a divorce decree regarding obligations is not discharged by bankruptcy. You need to consult with someone with a practice that encompasses bankruptcy and divorce law in the state where you were divorced.

This one requires you to get more specific advice than just that here.

As for your credit, that's already damaged - forget worrying about that for the moment.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:53:55 PM EDT
check the paper trail... does the bank foreclosing have a physical paper trail on the mortage?
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:48:01 PM EDT
Will she consider short sale or deed in lieu? If not, a forclosure on your credit might be better than a BK. but do talk to a practioner in your state. (is there a military JAG program that could assist you?)
Link Posted: 2/16/2013 12:08:33 PM EDT
I would first try to talk to her and explain the bank is going to take the house back if she continues down her current road. She could,

1. Deed the house back to you (she's going to lose it anyway)
2. Put your name back on the deed along with hers (in which case even if she files for bankruptcy there are pay-through provisions [basically you keep paying the mortgage and the house will be unaffected by her bankruptcy filing])
3. Let the bank foreclose. They'll take the house and you'll be done with the situation outside of a stain on your credit.
4. Tell her to sell the house

Or, #5, you could bring an action in a court of equity requesting equitable relief due to the language of the divorce decree, or, have the house sold and have the mortgage paid off from the sale to release you from the situation.
Link Posted: 2/17/2013 10:21:32 AM EDT
Let the bank foreclose. They'll take the house and you'll be done with the situation outside of a stain on your credit.


Only if the house is in a 'non-recourse' state.

They can come after you in civil court for any deficiency unless prohibited by state law.
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