My ex was supposed to have our home refinanced per our divorce 15 years ago, she never had it done. She was arrested a couple of weeks ago for selling methamphetamine out of the home, now they are trying to seize the home, I am still the main loan holder.

What can I do to keep the from taking
the home and the bank foreclosing on it.
Do I have grounds to keep the home
myself

Asked on September 27, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Retain a lawyer NOW to help you. On the face of things, the deck is stacked against you; you need a lawyer to dig into all the specific facts of you case and respond to these issues. Dealing with what you describe is not for the layperson. The problems  you have are:
1) While she may have been ordered to refinance the house, that is only enforceable against her, not against the bank; i.e. you could have taken action against her to force her to refinance, but until and unless it was done, the bank could take action if the existing loan were not paid. The order or settlement or decree in your divorce is not binding on the bank, which was not a party to your marriage or the divorce case. So if she never refinanced, the bank could foreclose if the existing loan is not paid. If the loan is in arrears, it can be foreclosed if the arrears is not paid or some payment plan is not negotiated (which a lawyer could help you with).
2) The law does allow a home to be seized ("civil forefeiture") if it was used to commit cries--e.g. as the site of drug sales. It can be seized even if an owner is innocent, if the person selling the drugs was a co-owner, or a family member or friend allowed to use the home, and so who had legal permission (was not a trespasser) to be occupy it. There are ways to fight civil forefeiture, but it is not easy--you definitely want  a lawyer to help.
3) If your ex is incarcerated, the odds are that she does not have the money to pay off the loan, cannot and will not refinance, and even does not have money you can reach to be compensated for any losses you suffer.


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