What rights does an ex-wife have if her husband was court ordered to remove her name off the home and loan, bur dies before this action was completed?

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What rights does an ex-wife have if her husband was court ordered to remove her name off the home and loan, bur dies before this action was completed?

Ex sister and brother-in-law has moved into the home and refuses to leave. Out standing loan of 70,000 remains on the home and the next payment of 1068 is due may 1st.

Asked on April 7, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The wife may be out of luck in terms of the loan and will likely continue to be obligated under it. His obligation to remove her from the title and loan died (so to speak) with him, since it was "executory" obligation (something to be personally done by someone) and those do not survive or outlive the person ordered to do that thing. Since she remains obligated on the loan, if she doesn't pay, the lender could sue. 
The lender can also foreclose, of course, if the loan is not paid, which would deprive her of any equity (see below) she may have in the home (e.g. if the house is worth more than the current loan amount).
On the other hand, she remains at least a part owner of the home, and may be sole owner, depending on hw she and ex-husband owned the home: if they owned it as "tenants in common," she remains a 50% owner and his 50% interest in the home will go to whomever inherits from him. In this case, she is entitled to half of any equity in the home and can bring a legal action called an action "for partition" against the estate and any heirs to force the sale of the home (a part owner of real estate can force its sale and the distrubution of any money from the sale).
Or if she and her ex owned the house as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or JTROs,  then on his death, she automatically became sole owner. She can force her in-laws to leave, since she owns the home and they are merely "guests" there, and guests must leave when the owner tells them to. If the don't leave when told in writing to go, then she can bring a legal action, called an action "for ejectment" (that's the traditional name; it's possible TX has a different name for it) to get a court order enforceable by the sheriff compelling them to vacate. In this instance, she will also get 100% of any equity if/when the home is sold, or could choose to live in it, rent it out, etc.


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