Even in the best of situations, divorce can be ugly. Outside of children, the home is generally the most argued about subject because it is generally the most expensive thing you and your spouse may share. The Jeff Lottmann Group has guided clients through real estate matters resulting from divorce or separation with care and consideration.
When selling your home after a divorce:
- Prepare your house for the market
- Find a real estate agent with experience
- Don’t advertise the dissolution. Protect your privacy while your home is on the market. If buyers know the reason for the sale, you might receive a lower offer.
Protect your credit:
- Obtain Your Credit Report: You can get a copy of your credit report by notifying each of the three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion or Equifax, or you can obtain free copy of each report here: http://annualcreditreport.com.
- Inventory Credit: Make a list of all creditors, secured and unsecured.
- Secured creditors are those that attach an asset as security for the debt. If your home is mortgaged or you have a loan on your car, for example, your home and car are assets used as security.
- Unsecured creditors are those that lend you money based solely on your promise for repayment.
- Separate Joint Accounts from Individual Accounts: Joint accounts are those containing both names; each of you is responsible for the debt. Individual accounts are those opened solely in your name.
- Call Joint Credit Card Lenders: Find out if the credit extended is based on your credit or your partner’s credit.
- If the credit is based on your credit, but your partner has a card, ask to have your partner removed.
- If the credit is based on your partner’s credit, put the credit card in your pocket. OK, just joking. Ask to have your name removed.
- If the lender refuses to remove a name from the account, close the account and open a new account.
- If you have a balance on your credit card, the creditor will not close the account unless you pay off the balance. But you can prevent further charges on the account by asking for the account to be frozen.
- Sell or Refinance Secured Assets: It is important to separate the liability for secured assets.
- If a car is financed in both names, regardless of whose name is on the title, both of you are responsible for the loan.
- If a mortgage is held in both names, regardless of whose name is on the deed, both of you are responsible for the mortgage.
- Even if your divorce decree assigns possession of those assets to one party, or if one of you voluntarily transfers title to the other, the liability for the loan will remain if you do not sell or refinance the asset.
Have other questions? We are happy to answer them.