Can I sue my ex because he stopped making payments on our old house and it is now in foreclosure and has thrown me into bankruptcy?

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Can I sue my ex because he stopped making payments on our old house and it is now in foreclosure and has thrown me into bankruptcy?

About 4 years ago I got divorced and moved out of our home. The paperwork stated I had 30 days to sign a quit claim deed, which I did. He had 90 days to refinance which he did not. He stopped making payments on the house. I took him to mediation which did nothing, took him back to court in contempt of court and judge made him put the house up for sale. Did not sell. Then 3 years later he is still not making payments and has moved out and walked away. I am filing for bankruptcy. Can I sue my ex for ruining me financially, destroying my credit and putting me in a vulnerable position for many years?

Asked on May 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You had a responsibility to mitigate your damages, which means you should have motioned for the court to reverse the quitclaim or quitclaim the entire property to you, make him pay damages and have you be responsible for the mortgage to either refinance in your name, modify or something to that effect. A divorce doesn't mandate the mortgage company (with whom you had a pre-existing contract) change its rights with respect to you or your spouse. Now that you are in this situation, you will have to fact the counter arguments that you had a responsibility to mitigate your damages. You should sue him but keep in mind that if he files for bankruptcy, it may not do anything. I sincerely recommend you immediately speak with a bankruptcy attorney who has significant experience with contempt issues in post marital divorce decrees. This person will be able to help guide you in the best possible direction you can take.


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