What rights does a man have when his ex-wife fails to take him off the house mortgage?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What rights does a man have when his ex-wife fails to take him off the house mortgage?

His ex-wife has never refinanced the house and took his name off the loan as the divorce decree stated that she must do. She has now filed bankruptcy and it no longer shows on her credit history. However, it is showing on mine and has caused me to have a low score and it continues to get worse. What are my rights? IIs she in contempt of court?

Asked on July 18, 2018 under Family Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If she ignored a divorce decree she would be in contempt of court, and you could file a motion to hold her in contempt (to fine or possibly even imprison her until she complies). However, you have no rights against the lender, since they were not a party to your marriage or divorce and not bound by the decree--therefore, you cannot force the lender to remove you from the loan. The best you can do is vis-a-vis the loan is to seek to punish her (contempt) until she does what she is supposed to do.
If you and she are both on the house's title, you may be able to bring a legal action called an action "for partition" to get a court order requiring the sale of the house: any loans would be paid off, and anything left (after paying the loan and also costs of sale) would be distributed among the owners. Consult with an attorney to discuss this: you may be able to bring this action in parallel with seeking to hold your ex-wife in contempt, and/or in the same legal action (by motion) as your application to hold her in contempt.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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