One of the toughest questions we come across when couples are in the beginning stages of considering divorcing is what to do with the family home?
Question that need answers:
- Who gets to stay in the house?
- Will the wife be able to keep the home that the children have grown up in?
- If so, what’s the best way to go about making that happen?
- Does she qualify for a refinance?
- Will the husband be able to find another home to purchase and if so, how will he qualify for financing?
We help couples and individuals, family law attorneys, divorce attorneys, mediators and paralegal professionals complete the case file regarding real property and secured house debt by gathering house documents and information.
We work with a team of professionals, Lenders, Title Attorneys, Insurance Agents, Home Inspectors and other professionals in order to provide divorce mortgage guidance and house due diligence.
Our goal is to help preserve home ownership and protect the credit score of both divorcing spouses.
We’ve heard horror stories and want to protect our clients from creating anxiety and anguish.
Let’s look at Nancy and Tom… Nancy and Tom decided to divorce and they had a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) on their family home. Before their divorce, they decided to pay off the HELOC. They went their separate ways and everything was great UNTIL.
Nancy wanted to sell the house which was in her name. When the title report was prepared for the sale of the property, it was disclosed that the HELOC never officially closed (although it had been paid off). Good old Tom had been using the HELOC as his own personal ATM! He ran the account up to the max and since the account is tied to the house and not the owners, Nancy was now not able to sell the house.
How could we have helped Nancy and Tom before they got divorced? Since the attorney handling the divorce had an appraisal on the house performed, the couple knew the market value and Nancy was able to keep the house. But, the appraisal does not uncover liens against the home, that is done through a title search. We would have provided that title search to Nancy and Tom and the HELOC would have been noted as a lien against the home even though it had been paid off. The title company could have prepared the appropriate documents in order for the lien to be satisfied.