Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Divorce

My Wife is Divorcing Me. – Mark

“Dear Steve,

Wife of 25 years is divorcing me (We’ve been together since high school – the only love in my life). Home primary mortgage $225,930 Secondary $63,790 both with GMAC. Value of home est. is $190,000. Offerred to settle secondary for $12,500 and refi the primary at a lower interest rate (currently 5 3/8 30 yr fixed). GMAC refused the secondary and wants my wife to sign a quitclaim deed before they even consider a refi. That seems moot since they rejected the secondary part of the offer. Own vacation condo in northern MI and this is going better. Condo primary $142,450 with PNC who has agreed to short sale. Secondary with Citibank was $9600 but they settled for $3000 so this is closed.

I make about $100,000. Two credit cards Citibank at $11,500 zero interest for a few more months and Discover at about $7000. I have never missed or been late on a payment in my life (47 years old). All bills current. My Roth IRA worth 28,000, My IRA = $1 1,300, Wifes Roth $23,200 (but she took out $15,000 to pay Citibank $3000 and is using the rest to live in her new home she rents). My 401K = $71,600 but I have a $20,750 loan on it. Car loan 1 has a balance of $8900. Car 2 has a $325/mo lease that ends in December.

With the impending divorce I won’t be able to continue this way. I need help with GMAC. I’m afraid to ruin my credit, but can’t pay them in the future – it would make sense to reduce the debt on my home and stay here for the kids (two teenage daughters) but GMAC is tough. I get a letter stating “we service your loan on behalf of an investor or group of investors that has not given us authority to modify your loan under the program requested”.

I’m an emotional wreck but have to deal with this. I would give up everything if my wife would just try to work things out but she is so focused. She is already depleating IRA money I had established for both of us for retirement and the kids college fund (Roths). I would be glad to offer more info or talk. I will take any help you would be willing to offer. My wife only works part time and will get about $900 in child support (50/50 split between us) and $1200 spousal support. Lots of other bills as well. I am so lost. I was making major progress in cutting our debt but the immediacy of liquidating for a divorce under the current economic conditions is too much to recover from. Thank you so much for any assistance you can provide.

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Mark”

Dear Mark,

I certainly can feel your pain in what you shared. At times like this it becomes very hard to continue a combined past life on a new separated future life.

Let’s begin by prioritizing things a bit.

When you look forward into your future, what is more important, living within your income and meeting your obligations or trying to make all of the past stuff work based on your new financial reality? Does that make sense?

Post your response in the comments below and I’ll reply. I’m willing to help you plot a course but first we need to figure out which direction we are headed.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.




About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

34 Comments

  • Mark,

    I, too, am really sorry to hear what you’re going though and the tough decisions you have to make. But Steve and Charles are both top experts in their fields, they care, and they can help you through this bad situation.

    There’s one thing I want to clarify from the above conversation. It sounds like GMAC is talking to you about refinancing your first mortgage under the Making Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). It’s a good program, and I’ve written about it in several places. But there are some very specific requirements for that program.

    I want to point out that you don’t necessarily have to go through your current lender to refinance under HARP, if that’s the program they are talking about with you. I am not sure what kind of benefit there would be if you do decide to use them to refi, but I’d also caution that you are trying to negotiate your second with them so it might be smart to get advice from another lender that does a lot of these loans to make sure you are getting straight answers. (Another lender might also help you understand whether you really do qualify for HARP or whether they are dangling a carrot in front of you to get you to stay current.)

    Hang in there.

    Gerri

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