If my ex-wife refuses to remove me from the mortgage the house unless I take care of old IRS taxes, is this extortion?

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If my ex-wife refuses to remove me from the mortgage the house unless I take care of old IRS taxes, is this extortion?

The IRS has cleared me of the back tax errors so she’s responsible for paying them according to the official IRS ruling. She was awarded the house in our divorce; she’s current on the mortgage. However, I want to buy a new house and I can’t until I’m off this mortgage. She’s told me that she won’t remove my name until I pay the taxes.

Asked on November 18, 2011 under Family Law, Idaho

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Okay so I missed a step here.  If the IRS has cleared you of old tax errors wouldn't that have cleared her too?  Did you not file the taxes jointly? So what happened here?  If you have been found liable or not liable individually rather than jointly - which is what I think you are saying - then you are right: she is on some way trying to extort money from you.  So I am also assuming here that your divorce decree may not state a time limit to refianince the mortgage out of your nae.  If it has been a reasonable amount of time and she has not even tried then I would bring her back to court to either hold her in contempt and/or to ask the court to allow you to "resettle" or "modify" your agreement to force a sale to get you off the mortgage - which may move her along.  She will not dare bring up the tax extortion in front of the judge as such but she may bring it up in a back handed way so speak with your lawyer.  Good luck.


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