When he files for bankruptcy, will the house fall back on me or what will happen? 12 Answers as of April 29, 2015

My husband has been living in our house since October we are going through a divorce. He is filing for bankruptcy. The house is in both are names. He hasn't made a payment since December.

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The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
He will no longer have personal liability for the house and the payments and you will have all of the liability for the house and the payments unless you also file a bankruptcy
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/29/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Bankruptcy doesn't change the ownership of real estate (except in rare circumstances). The house will still be jointly owned by the two of you and the bank will still have a mortgage lien against the house. The difference will be that your husband will no longer be liable on the mortgage but you will still be liable.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/28/2015
Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
If you both hold title to the property then you both own the property regardless who lives there and you both have the right to possession. Who holds the mortgage(s)? If you are both on the mortgage then both of you are responsible for paying the mortgage, as far as the creditor is concerned 100% so when payments aren't made, both people's credit reports get dinged. How many mortgages are there on the property and are you in California. If there is a second mortgage is it a purchase loan or a refinanced loan or home equity line of credit. Those are important questions in determining whether there would be a possible deficiency, in the event of foreclosure. I'm not sure what you mean by the house "falling back" on you. That made me chuckle. Houses usually don't fall on anyone unless there's an earthquake or something like it. Sometimes bankruptcy is used to save the home from foreclosure. I don't know what type of bankruptcy he filed, chapter 7 to get rid of other debts so he can start making mortgage payments, will he be applying for a loan modification. Or did he file a chapter 13 which is a reorganization and repayment bankruptcy that allows debtors to bring loan(s) current? I have more questions than answers for you unfortunately. In addition to the ones above there is also: is there equity in the property, meaning is the house worth more than what is borrowed on it? Or are you upside down, meaning you owe more than what it is worth? Probably the best way to resolve your concerns is to have an interactive discussion with either your family law attorney or a bankruptcy attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/24/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Assuming you are on the mortgage, you could be forced to pay for the house or it could go into foreclosure. You may be able to avoid this result in your divorce.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/23/2015
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
If you are on the Promissory Note and Mortgage instruments, you will be jointly liable on the debt with your husband. There may or may not be a deficiency after the foreclosure sale. Also, I don't know what your divorce documents say about one of you filing BK. I would pay an experienced lawyer for one hour of their time (or two hours) to explain the situation to you. You should expect to pay between $250 to $350 an hour for an experienced lawyer. The time to ask your questions is NOW, not when things have already happened. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/23/2015
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    If the mortgage loan is in both your names then his bankruptcy will not protect you from the lender. Eventually, if the payments are not caught up the lender will foreclose on the property. If you have other joint debts you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy also. If there is equity in the home then you should consider hiring a lawyer to protect your rights to that value.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Talk to your attorney or hire one, the answer is YES, it will land on you and you are already 4+months behind.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    You will owe the mortgage unless you file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    When your husband files bankruptcy, he will no longer be personally liable for the mortgage debt. But the house will continue to be responsible for the mortgage and if the mortgage isn't paid, once the bankruptcy is concluded, a foreclosure can begin. In Nevada, a suit to collect a mortgage deficiency after a foreclosure (if the sale price is less than the mortgage balance) is very unlikely.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    This is very common question people ask since divorce is one of the most frequent reasons for bankruptcy filing. First, you don't mention whether there is any equity in the property. This will determine whether your husband's Chapter 7 trustee will be interested in the house. If there is equity, expect the trustee to try to sell it (your husband's interest) to satisfy his creditors. If that happens, you must retain a competent bankruptcy attorney to represent your interests. If there is no equity, your husband's individual obligation on the mortgage will likely be discharged, however, the mortgage lien itself will "ride through" and remain in full force. There are so many variables it is impossible to advise you, except to say you need to immediately speak with a bankruptcy lawyer to protect your rights. Do not rely on your divorce lawyer for this specialized advice. That's like asking a podiatrist whether you need a heart transplant. They're both doctors, but bankruptcy is a specialized area of the law and you need someone who knows it well. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    If the debt on the house is allocated to him, it is most likely not dischargeable in bankruptcy (at least under Chapter 7). So that is something you should mention to your divorce lawyer, to see it gets in the MSA and/or decree of divorce. You would then have a basis for having him held in contempt for not paying it. But remember that the divorce court's allocating responsibility for the debt to him does not, of itself, relieve you of your separate obligation as a signer on the mortgage. You might want to consider having the house sold and hopefully paying the mortgage in full from the proceeds. We are approaching prime time for home sales, so you may want to discuss with your lawyer seeking a prompt order. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Bank will ultimately foreclose. I don't know what state you are in. Some states (like California) do not hold you liable when there is a foreclosure on "purchase money" deeds of trust. Others do. So it depends on the rule in your state. If you are in California it also depends on whether or not the loan was refinanced. If it was refinanced it it is not a "purchase money" loan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/23/2015
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