Divorce can get quite complicated when there are significant financial matters to resolve. This week, two articles came to my attention regarding divorce and mortgages or real estate issues.

Saving Advice’s “I thought I divorced that house.”

A snippet:

One day, Billy Joe gets a phone call at work. The caller identifies herself as Marsha Ann from the Down Home Mortgage Company. She tells him if he can pay X amount of dollars, plus late fees, then they won’t start the foreclosure proceedings. “Whoa now,” he says.” I divorced that house. “

Wrong.

Yes, the divorce papers said that Cindy Sue gets the house and is responsible for making payments and upkeep. However; did they go to the mortgage company and refinance the mortgage in her name? No, remember, they thought everything was taken care of. His name is still on all the mortgage documents. He is just as responsible for the mortgage now; as he was the day, they signed the papers, regardless of what the divorce decree says.

The recommendation from that blogger? “Billy Joe needs to find a reputable attorney fast.”

The Monroe Evening News’ print and e-editions on page 1D today also includes a syndicated article by Charles Scutt called “Divvying it up during divorce.” A snippet:

Many experts say that during a divorce, one party usually vacates the home until all the property is officially divided by the courts. But with the current real-estate downturn resulting in slow home sales, the spouses are often forced to coexist on the property until the legal proceedings are finalized.

“The current real-estate mess is keeping many of my clients joint hostages in a house that they want to sell but can’t,” says Elinor Robin, Ph.D, a divorce mediator in Boca Raton, Fla.

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