Real estate Q&A: Son’s ex-wife blocking short sale

Q: My husband and I co-signed a loan for our son and his now ex-wife. Our son stayed in the home but fell behind on the payments, and the home was in foreclosure. His ex-wife discharged her mortgage debt through bankruptcy, but her name is still on the deed. Our son has deeded the house to us, and we made payments to the bank to bring the property out of foreclosure. We’re trying to complete a short sale, but she won’t cooperate. What can we do?

Carole

A: Co-signing a mortgage is always a risky move because it means that borrowers are responsible for the loan payments without rights in the house that is securing the loan. You at least have rights because your son deeded the home to you, but your patience will be tested by your former daughter in law.

Check your son’s divorce papers to see if the court ordered the ex to deed the property to your son. If that’s the case, and she hasn’t complied, your son can point that out to the judge.

If the divorce papers are no help, explain to her that she has the responsibilities of ownership, even though she no longer owes the bank. She could be personally liable to the homeowner’s association and tax collector. And if someone is hurt on the property, she’ll be sued right along with you.

If that doesn’t do the trick, you may be able to sue to have the court determine everyone’s interest in the property. The judge may even order her to cooperate in a short sale.

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar.

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

Most Read