Divorced, My Ex Got the House, Now I Want to Buy Another Home

If you are divorced and the divorce decree states you are not responsible for the payments on a mortgage, the lender will still hold you responsible.

A Realtor referral partner sent me a prospective client to get preapproved. He shared with me that he got divorced 5 years ago and his last alimony payment happened a couple of months ago and there was no children. I asked permission to run his credit, after looking at it, I knew he was in for a huge surprise.

The two mortgages had been unpaid for a couple of years, even though the report didn’t indicate that the mortgage was in foreclosure, it is really the same thing. When I told him what I was looking at, he went a little crazy. I really don’t blame him.

He told me that he hadn’t looked at his credit report in a few years and at the time there were no issues and from what he knew his credit was impeccable. He told me that in his divorce decree, there was language that he was to be held harmless for the mortgages.

I explained to him, that language is truly meaningless, as the lender, the third party never agreed to hold him harmless. He was not very happy with me, as I told him he was not financeable at this time, as his credit scores were in the mid 500’s and technically was currently in foreclosure, even if he wasn’t on title any longer. He was now on the warpath, and was immediately contacting his attorney and his ex.

This happens a lot, unfortunately well-meaning attorneys create these problems all the time. I have always advised attorneys that do divorce work, to make sure one party or the other gets a refinance done, before the actual divorce is finalized.

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