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Ex Husband not paying mortgage


Guest Endo3
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My ex-husband and I divorced many years ago. In our divorce papers, it is clearly stated that he gets the house and is responsible for the mortgage payments. It also clearly states that "The Wife" (me) is not responsible for any of the mortgage or credit card payments from that point, forward. For the past 6 months, he has not paid the mortgage payments and now the bank is calling me.  They are threatening to sue me if I don't pay. I gave the bank a copy of the Divorce Degree, and they are saying it doesn't matter.  I am disabled and live off of SSI.  I now live in TN, but I did live in GA (when I was married to ex).  What are my options? Thank you.

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The bank is right, as far as they are concerned.  Until your name is removed from the mortgage, you are legally liable for that debt.  You can take him back to divorce court to ask the court to enforce it's order.  The court can fine him or put him in jail for contempt.  Unfortunately both of these things make it harder for him to pay the mortgage, especially if he has no money or property of value.  If he has property of value, the court may be able to seize it and give it to you.  Is there any untapped equity in the house?  You might be able to get the court to turn it over to you and you can then sell it yourself, but then you'll have to deal with getting him kicked out of the house, which can be a nightmare depending on your landlord/tenant laws.

The other option is to sue him in civil court, but chances are if he's not paying the mortgage now, paying you after you get a judgment against him won't be a priority either.

All of these things take months to play out.

It sucks, but there's really not a lot you can do on your own, especially if he simply doesn't have the money or property.  I think the first thing I would do is file a motion with the court to enforce the divorce order and see where that goes.  Since you don't live there, you're going to have to do all of this long distance, or hire a local GA lawyer to handle it for you.

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16 hours ago, Endo3 said:

In our divorce papers, it is clearly stated that he gets the house and is responsible for the mortgage payments. It also clearly states that "The Wife" (me) is not responsible for any of the mortgage or credit card payments from that point, forward.

The major problem with this kind of decree/order from the family court is that is not even remotely legally binding on the creditor(s).  If one party refuses to make the payments or sell/refinance the house as ordered their is very little that can be done about except for going back to family court at great expense to enforce the divorce decree.  The lawyers make out like gang busters on this deal while the parties suffer the consequences.

All you can do is haul him back into family court but sadly the damage has already been done.

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