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Housing Title Question

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Eagle90

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Texas

I just recently got divorced and in the Decree, the House was awarded to me. It was on the market and we were trying to sell it, but I went to resign the sellers agreement since I am now the sole owner of title.

In the Decree, its states:
"IT IS ORDERED AND DECREED that the husband, (me), is awarded the following as his sole and seperate policy, and the wife is divested of all right, title, interest, and claim in and to and that property:

H-1 Real Estate
House"

After talking to a titling agent, she said a Quit Claim Deed is not needed and I simply needed to file this decree with the county Deeds & records office to remove her from the title, which I did.

I have not refinanced the house since I did not want to incur any closing costs because I am trying to sell it anyway and will have closing costs then as well. My wife is still on the mortgage and says that she still has title since I have not refinanced and has contacted the real estate agent and had herself put back onto the sellers agreement. She claims that she has talked to another real estate agent who told her the same thing.

My question is, doesn't the decree specifically remove her from title regardless of her being on the mortgage? (much like me still being co-signed on her car loan and not having a claim to it).

Secondly, if so, what steps should I take now to prove this to her? I am trying my best not to hire an attorney for this since I am starting over financially at age 38 anyway, but I guess that my be my only option.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 


LdiJ

Senior Member
Eagle90 said:
What is the name of your state? Texas

I just recently got divorced and in the Decree, the House was awarded to me. It was on the market and we were trying to sell it, but I went to resign the sellers agreement since I am now the sole owner of title.

In the Decree, its states:
"IT IS ORDERED AND DECREED that the husband, (me), is awarded the following as his sole and seperate policy, and the wife is divested of all right, title, interest, and claim in and to and that property:

H-1 Real Estate
House"

After talking to a titling agent, she said a Quit Claim Deed is not needed and I simply needed to file this decree with the county Deeds & records office to remove her from the title, which I did.

I have not refinanced the house since I did not want to incur any closing costs because I am trying to sell it anyway and will have closing costs then as well. My wife is still on the mortgage and says that she still has title since I have not refinanced and has contacted the real estate agent and had herself put back onto the sellers agreement. She claims that she has talked to another real estate agent who told her the same thing.

My question is, doesn't the decree specifically remove her from title regardless of her being on the mortgage? (much like me still being co-signed on her car loan and not having a claim to it).

Secondly, if so, what steps should I take now to prove this to her? I am trying my best not to hire an attorney for this since I am starting over financially at age 38 anyway, but I guess that my be my only option.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
If the decree stated that you were to refinance the house into your own name, then there is a chance that your wife could still push forward a claim to ownership. She did not sign a quit claim deed, and you would not have fullfilled what you were supposed to do to finalize the orders.

If nothing else it would give her grounds to re-open the property settlement....or to have you found in contempt of court.

I understand why you prefer not to refinance, since you are attempting to sell the home, but you made things murkier by not doing so.
 

nextwife

Senior Member
I am aware of title insurers accepting a final decree as evidence of sole ownership, even when a QC was not done. Unless the decree requires refinance of the debt, you are not obligated to. Being a co-borrower does NOT guarantee an interest in title continues after that interest is gone. Many divorce cases fail to address refinancing the co-borrower off the debt. From a title standpoint, debt obligation has no bearing on ownership interest.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
nextwife said:
I am aware of title insurers accepting a final decree as evidence of sole ownership, even when a QC was not done. Unless the decree requires refinance of the debt, you are not obligated to. Being a co-borrower does NOT guarantee an interest in title continues after that interest is gone. Many divorce cases fail to address refinancing the co-borrower off the debt. From a title standpoint, debt obligation has no bearing on ownership interest.
I agree that is possible...but I view it a little differently in this case. It would be unusual for an agreement not to require him to refinance. Its possible, but I have seen very few drawn up by an attorney that did not require that. Therefore the agreement, as a contract, would not be fullfilled because he would not have satisfied his portion.

I think that would muddy things just enough that the title company would want the quit claim....particularly since his ex has gotten herself back on the paperwork.

State law and common practice is also a factor. In my state its almost impossible to get a title company to accept a divorce decree in lieu of a quit claim....too much room for potential liability down the road.
 

skyspirit

Member
LdiJ said:
I agree that is possible...but I view it a little differently in this case. It would be unusual for an agreement not to require him to refinance. Its possible, but I have seen very few drawn up by an attorney that did not require that. Therefore the agreement, as a contract, would not be fullfilled because he would not have satisfied his portion.

I think that would muddy things just enough that the title company would want the quit claim....particularly since his ex has gotten herself back on the paperwork.

State law and common practice is also a factor. In my state its almost impossible to get a title company to accept a divorce decree in lieu of a quit claim....too much room for potential liability down the road.

In Ohio, the divorce decree can be used instead of the QC for the title. It costs a little more to file it that way, but it is acceptable. I was told that I never had to refinance the loan to get my ex off of it, so I never did. Its been more than 10 years. He's off the title, but not the mortgage.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
skyspirit said:
In Ohio, the divorce decree can be used instead of the QC for the title. It costs a little more to file it that way, but it is acceptable. I was told that I never had to refinance the loan to get my ex off of it, so I never did. Its been more than 10 years. He's off the title, but not the mortgage.
If something goes wrong and you can't pay the mortgage, or if he ever wants to buy a house himself....or anything else requiring significant credit, you may find your self with complications that you didn't expect.
 

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