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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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