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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:41 PM
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Unhappy What recourse do I have here?

Where to begin, sorry if this thread is really long. My ex and I started dating in 2002, around 3 months after we started dating he moved in with my parents and I (wasn't paying any rent). Around 3 months after that he got into a really bad car accident (he ended up being unable to work for 1 1/2 years after that) - he proceeded with a civil case for a settlement, and he was receiveing accident benefits (still wasn't paying any rent).

From the time of the accident (he had broke his back and was in a brace for 6 months), he lived with us and I did everything for him including bathing him (he couldn't take the brace off to get in the tub), changing him, making his food, cleaning up after him, driving him to appointments etc.

He continued to live with us until about August 2003 when we split because of his having a drug problem (percoset/cocaine) and cheating on me. In September 2003 he begged me to take him back and like an idiot I did.

From that point (sept 2003) until we moved out, he lived with my parents and I. After being off of work because of the accident, he worked at a couple of different jobs (nothing steady until 2006) while I worked either fulltime or parttime while attending university. From Sept 2003 to around April 2006 he paid absolutely no rent and would drive mine or my parents cars as he had no vehicle of his own. In April 2006, he started paying a minimal $50 a week (don't ask me why I allowed this, I'm still trying to figure it out - but hey hindsight is 20/20 and I was in love with him).

Skip forward to November 2007 - he receives his accident settlement somewhere to the tune of $350,000. I find out after the fact that he lied to the insurance company stating that he was living at home with his parents so that they received additional monies for his "care" over that time period - over and above the settlement he received. I found out one night when he was drunk and he told me his lawyer told him he wasn't supposed to tell me because my parents might try to steal his money from him. I was angry that he had lied and we'd had an argument about everything - in response to this argument he gave my parents $5000 as a gift for the past 5 years because he felt guilty for lying after all my parents had done for him.

In April 2008, he asked me to marry him while on a trip to Dominican with his parents. As soon as we got back he started to push really hard for us to buy a house - I asked for him to hold off as I was still finishing my final semester at university because I couldnt afford half of all the monthly payments, but he was very persistent as were his parents that we buy a place asap. It was around this time that I now know that he started using again, unfortunately I had no idea as I was working and going to school at nights.

With his parents approval, we bought a house with the closing date towards the end of August 2008. Alot of things were happening that I didn't catch on to at the time, but now looking back there were all kinds of things going on behind the scenes.

His parents were stealing money from him as they had convinced him when he received the settlement that he should keep the money in their names just in case someone would try to go after him for it (specifically he was charged with assault causing bodily harm and they were afraid the guy he assaulted would try to sue him for damages). The day before we split, he had just found $22,000 missing from his account - in addition to the almost $20,000 he had given his parents and $50,000 his father gave his brother out of his account to buy a brand new $30,000 truck and start his "landscaping" company.

As we were buying the house he told me that his mother would have to co-sign the mortgage for us because we couldn't get it on our own (despite him putting 30% of the purchase price as a downpayment in cash. I found out after we had split that this was a complete lie. His parents wanted his mother on for survivor benefits so that if anything happened to him his half of the house would go to her). So when we bought the house, it was split with us as joint tenants with 99% interest and his mother as tenant in common with 1% interest.

After the house closed, around 8 days after we moved in to make a long story short he kicked me out of the house. Once on the Sat. when he was all drunk and stoned and then again on the Sun and asked for my engagement ring etc. To this day I have no idea what it was over, at the time of the fight it was because I hadn't made his mother a sandwich when we were moving in - in the months leading up to us moving in he started to become really abusive and was angry that i didnt perform my "wifely" duties to his liking (now I know too he was cheating on me as another girl moved in with him shortly afterwards, so I'm assuming that's may have had something to do with it).

Fast forward to now. After being severely depressed because of everything, in November 2008 he started to try to have my name removed from the house. After the 5 1/2 odd years of my family supporting him etc. I told him I wasn't going to just walk away for nothing after everything he has done to me.

We came to an agreement for a settlement of $10,000 as I can not afford a lawyer. However, when we were using a paralegal to try and get the minutes of settlement signed we discovered that they did not include a release of me from the mortgage. We signed the minutes back to include a realease. His lawyers have now came back saying that it will "cost him an extraordinary amount of expense" to have my name removed, so they want me to remove myself from the title but stay on the mortgage for the next 4 years.

I have subsequently found out that the mortage is open and there is not penalty associated with me being removed, the issue is now that he apparently decided back in January he was going to be a "poker player" and quit his job. Apparently they didn't think that far ahead when they started pushing for me to be removed from the house that he may not now qualify for a mortgage now that he doesn't have a job - or else he'll have to put a considerable amount more down on the house.

What can I do here? I am immensely angry at the turmoil I let this man cause in my life for 6 years and he's still doing it! The settlement we agreed to because I just didn't want this to continue to go on but at the same time I couldn't let him get away with everything after him using myself and my family. I just can't fathom why it's acceptable for me to be taken off of the house but stay on the mortgage so that he can continue to be unemployed and party all day and blow the rest of his settlement. No part of this seems fair to me at all. Any advice?
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:09 PM
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The $10K settlement is fair since that is what you all agreed to, and that included you being 100% done and not on title or on the mortgage.

So that is what you should settle for.

Don't stay on the mortgage - that is taking risk without reward, and there seems much risk here.

You main goal is to get off both the title and the mortgage. Getting the 10K is a secondary goal.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:44 PM
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How do I go about doing that though now? It's been about a month since I got the response from his lawyer saying that removing me "would cause problems with the settlement"...it appears to me that they were expecting that I should take the $10,000 and agree to stay on the mortgage which I'm not going to do. When I spoke to the bank, they said that the only way they will remove my name off the mortgage is if he and his mother can qualify - which they can't. I don't want this to go on any longer, it's bullshit. But I also don't have the luxury of the expendable income that he has to pay for a lawyer.

It appears that when he started the action against me (he had still had the job) it never occured to him that he wouldn't get a mortgage. But now that he is unemployed obviously he can't. I think after we initially agreed to the settlement (because in those letters it was indicated I would be removed from the mortgage) and he went to the bank and discovered he wouldn't qualify, they then tried to pull a "fast one" and see if I'd just jump at grabbing the cash and not bother with ensuring my name was taken off the mortgage as well as the title...then by the time I would have found out it would have been too late. They even tried to say they would include a "clause" in the settlement saying I wouldn't be responsible for any of the debt with the house. Well upon speaking to the bank I found out that, that "clause" means absolutely dick. It looks to me that now he's just going to leave it and leave me on the house and the mortgage until his situation changes - which i do not want.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:25 PM
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Well then you are a legally an owner of the house - to be fair you own less than half the houe as he put 30% down, so you own 35% of the house. He is living in the house so he should pay you 35% of a normal rent value for the house. He should pay all the utilities and you should pay 1/2 the mortgage and 35% of the taxes and upkeep.

When the house sells, or he buys you out, you get 35% of the house sale price after real estate and other fees and with that money you must pay off half of the remaining mortgage.

Since there is only one mortgage, you are on the hook for his half and he is on the hook for your half.

If you do it this way, then you forfeit the 10K because the deal was that you give up your interest in the house for 10K. However this may be a better deal for you if the housing market goes up faster than the mortgage rate, plus you would have some rental income. It may not be easy to continue to have a financial relationship with him, but as of today, you do.

Last edited by billm; 09-01-2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:05 PM
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Thank you for your help. So if that were what I chose to do then here is another question, I know that he has his brother and a mutual friend of ours living there and paying him rent for the last 6 months. Am I supposed to collect 35% of the rent from them then too? I'm not too sure how much each of them pays each month. I believe the utilities are also still in my name as well (gas, hydro, water, phone), should I have my name removed from them as well?
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:17 PM
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Definitely have your name removed from the utilities. You are not responsible for other people's bills. And yes, you should have been recieving rent from other occupants, however you would have had to pay your share of the mortgage with that.

My suggestion is to find out the value of the house now, the cost of selling (closing costs, lawyers fee, penalties etc) and then calculate how much you would come out with. Obviously if it i close to the $10,000 he has proposed then take the deal and run! otherwise you could be waiting a long time to get out of this.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:26 PM
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As of today after having spoken with the bank, the house is worth approximately $245,000-$255,000 I would guess (their appraisal of the house was $260,000 but we purchased it at a discount for $240,000 - ironically out of a divorce case, we closed really fast in two weeks).

The mortgage outstanding on the house is $168,000 approximately. If we go with the low end of what the house is worth (knowing the market and houses around it, it's probably more) then there is $77,000 worth of equity in the house. I'm not sure what the closing costs/real estate costs are although I'm sure I could find out. Is it possible to represent myself ?

Preferably I'd just like them to do whatever they have to do to get qualified for the mortgage themselves and release me from the mortgage as part of what they originally were proposing when they offered me the settlement for the $10,000. No way in hell do I feel that $10,000 is acceptable if they want me to stay on the mortgage for him because he can't qualify without me - especially after the absolute hell this guy put me through. I wish I had been smart enough to see that he was just using me all those years.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:06 AM
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let them try to get the mortgage without you. If they can't then they have 2 options: sell the house, or let the mortgage default and the bank will take it over. I'm guessing that they will choose to sell, and then you will get your share. Sounds like it should be more that $10,000, so it's also the best option for you.

Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:40 AM
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OK, so by law you cohabitated for long enough to be considered common law, so most of the laws about marriage and divorce apply to you.

Being that his money is from an injury settlement, you can't touch any of it. Therefore his 30% downpayment pretty much covers all of the homes equity. So you don't get anything if you sell.

So $10,000 is a good deal.

You are in a pickle. You are legally responsible for the mortgage payment on that house. If he doesn't pay, you have to. And with him not working, it probably wont take long until he is in financial trouble. If you don't want to foot the bill, you have to get off of the title of that house.

If it is an open mortgage (no penalties), there wont be any extraordinary expenses to do so. However he wont qualify without a job. So I think you are right about his Lawyer trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

The only way out of this is to sell the house, and you are going to have to get a Judge to force the issue, if he wont agree to sell. You are in for a battle, but you will win. He and his mom can go buy a different house.
It is a pretty straightforward case.
Real Estate Commission is 4.5% to 5%
Lawyers fees for a property sale $500 - $1000

If you let the bank foreclose, you wont be able to purchase a new home for years.

You can represent yourself, but you will need to do a lot of research, talk to your family law information center, duty counsel, etc.

Good Luck
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:41 PM
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Are they still willing to give you the $10,000 if you remove your name from the mortgage and the deed? Can his mom co-sign (as originally intended) for a new mortgage?
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