Should I hire a lawyer if I have been served foreclosure papers?

My ex-husband got the house in the divorce decree. He has filed bankruptcy, so what should I do? I am not sure if the money spent on a lawyer will be worth it.

Asked on September 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Kansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I agree: get an attorney for the issues raised by my fellow attorney above. But I would like to add that this may be an opportunity for you to "buy back" your house for what remains on the mortgage now.  If your husband has listed the mortgage on the house in the bankruptcy he has a clear intention to give up his ownership rights.  But you as the owner still have the right to purchase the house for what remains on the mortgage plus the fees involved here.  If the mortgage is less than the value of the house then you could either keep it or flip it (sell it to someone else) for a profit merely for bringing the mortgage current.  Of course you need to make sure that you would not be violating any agreement or laws in your state.  Good luck to you.  

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should definitely hire an attorney, if even if you believe that the house is no longer yours, so it does not affect you, or that matters will be resolved in your ex-husband's bankruptcy. The reason is, while you say your ex-husband "got the house" in the divorce, clearly, the bank or other lender trying to foreclose believes that you are still an owner--which you may be, if the interest in the house was not fully, successfully, or correctly transferred to your husband. Therefore, you face being sued for a default on the mortgage, which, among other things, could have a drastic negative effect on your credit rating and could result in there being a judgment against you, garnishment of your wages, a lien on another property you own, etc. Let a lawyer help you to make sure you are not implicated in or affected by the default and foreclosure. Good luck.

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