Can I be sued by my ex if my house is foreclosed on for non-payment of taxes?

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Can I be sued by my ex if my house is foreclosed on for non-payment of taxes?

I was divorced 16 years ago. Dissolution papers say, “Husband shall pay $225$ per month and wife shall pay 115 per month for 99 months or until the loan is paid in full, whichever comes first.” She has taken me to court for missing/late payments since it hurts her credit. House is fully in my name; the loan is in both names. She won’t let the bank foreclose, my taxes were bought out for 2008, and I have to pay by 45 days. If I don’t pay, and they foreclose, can she legally do anything if she doesn’t have to pay anything? Can I just be done with this headache. Tried selling the house for 5 years now with no luck.

Asked on June 4, 2011 under Family Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your troubles.  I am assuming that you have also tried a short sale,meaning that you try and sell the house for less than the mortgage and ask the bank's approval and to waive the deficiency?  No luck? May I ask: does your ex-wife want to get rid of the house as well but just does not want to have the foreclosure on her credit report?  Then you could consider giving the house back to the lender - known as a deed in lieu of foreclosure - but just make sure that the bank agrees to waive the deficiency (a deficiency is the amount that is left after the house is sold and there remains a balance on the loan).  I would try and work something out here to be done with it all.  Good luck. 

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Foreclosure is not bankruptcy. You will both most likely be required to pay on the home even if there is a foreclosure if you live in a state that allows deficiency judgments. Your wife has a valid concern because while she is on the loan, she is not on the deed, which means she essentially has a loan that is unsecured. Your foreclosure will cause her credit to crumble, through no fault of her own. She can legally sue you for all sorts of things, so you may wish to talk to her and your lender and see if she can refinance it entirely and transfer the title to her so you can walk away and she can keep the home. If this is a good route for you both, you need to amend your divorce decree to ensure your ex wife doesn't come and sue you under the old decree.


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