Can my ex sue me to force the sale of our home?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my ex sue me to force the sale of our home?

My ex-husband is on the mortgage but not on the deed. I pay the mortgage and now he wants to sue me to force me to sell or refinance. I owe more than the home is worth and my credit is bad so I can’t refinance. In our divorce he signed a quit deed claim. He got the new truck which in our agreement he would in good faith try to refinance to get my name off. I got the home and in good faith try to refinance to get his name off. The truck was repossessed and I had to file bankruptcy to stop the bank from suing me for the loan. Due to that, I haven’t been able to refinance the mortgage. Now, 10 years later, he is threatening to sue me to force me to sell or refinance. It’s an older mobile home I would never get what is owed and it’s to old to refinance plus I have bad credit. What do I do?

Asked on April 19, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

He can only enforce the terms of the divorce agreement as written against you. If you only had to make "good faith" attempts to refinance and you can show that you have tried or looked into doing so, but have not been able to do so due to factors beyond your control (e.g. the home being worth less than what is owed on the mortage), he should not be able to force you to sell the home, since your only obligation would be to make the good faith attempt. As long as you attempted in good faith, you fulfilled your contractual obligation, even if you were unable to ultimately refinance it. That doesn't mean he can't bring the lawsuit and force yout respond to it, but if you can show that you have not been able to refinance despite good faith efforts to do so, you should have a good defense.

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