My Ex-Husband Isn’t Paying the Mortgage Like He’s Supposed to. – Lisa

“Dear Steve,

I was married for 25 yrs to my ex spouse, and prior to our divorce the plan was to sell our home in California & move to Texas. In the meantime after purchasing a home in Texas, he decided to divorce me. I live in Texas and he remained in California living in our former home. Since that time he has been unemployed & he could not refinance. The CA house went into default since he wasn’t paying the mortgage, and foreclosure was becoming a real threat. He tried to get me to refinance with him which I did not want to do. I told him I did NOT want to refinance with him and he needed to get his own loan. Somehow he was able to achieve a “loan modification” and saved the house. I found out later some mths later that my name is still on the loan. This time…it is on the paperwork for a 40 yr mortgage! I neither signed papers or agreed to anything. I was willing to let the bank take the house in my desperation to get my name off of it. I was finally able to get the house in Texas in my name only, but I have the other house (which I signed a quitclaim on) hanging over my head like a guillotine.

When there is a “loan modification” is it necessary for me to sign papers??? Or can any of the named owners request a modification without the loan company notifying the other partner or requiring proof of ownership. How can a loan company modify a loan without an owners agreement, and how can I force them to get my name off?? Am I legally obligated to the new loan, or is there some degree of loan fraud which I can prove? I am now getting phone calls from the new mortgage co. which means he probably is not paying the loan again.

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Dear Lisa,

I would bet the chances are high he might have signed your name to it. In that case, I’d make friends with the collector calling you and get more information. If you are on the modified mortgage then they will release information to you.

After asking the mortgage company if you are on the new note, if they say you are, ask them to supply you with proof. If they do and you see a signature for you on it you can always file a police report for identity theft and move to have you removed from the modified note.

However I would not be surprised if the lender would not then move that have the entire modification invalidated and wind the clock back. But that still leaves you jointly responsible for the old mortgage.

Frankly, without refinancing or selling the old property I don’t see a viable way to get your name off the old note. Your divorce separates you, not your creditors.

Depending on your current financial situation you might consider a fresh start bankruptcy since your Texas home would be protected from the bankruptcy and discharge your responsibility for the old California property.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them for free about your specific situation. Get the facts and then you can make an informed and educated decision if bankruptcy is right for you.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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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.
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