Divorce can be an ugly process even in a seemingly peaceful situation. The family home is the most controversial topic, aside from child custody, because it is typically the most valuable asset a couple owns. The Jeff Lottmann Group in Dallas uses care and consideration to guide clients through real estate transactions that occur because of divorce or separation.
Tips for Selling After a Divorce:
- Get the house prepared for listing.
- Hire an experienced real estate agent.
- Keep the divorce private while the home is on the market. You might receive lower offers if potential buyers know why the home is being sold.
Tips to Protect Your Credit:
- Get a Credit Report: Notify the three credit bureaus to get a copy of your credit report (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You can also get a free copy of each report online.
- Make a Credit Inventory: Put together a list of all your creditors, both secured and unsecured. A secured creditor is one that attaches an asset to secure the debt; for example, your car is used as security if you have an auto loan. An unsecured creditor lends you money solely based on your commitment to repay the loan.
- Separate Joint Accounts: An account with both your name and your spouse or partner’s name will need to be separated during the division of assets.
- Call Lenders for Joint Credit Cards: Ask if the credit that has been extended is based on your credit score or your partner’s.
- If yours, ask to have your partner removed from the account.
- If your partner’s, ask to have your name removed.
- If the lender refuses to disclose, simply close the account and open a new one.
- Note that if you have a balance on the account, it cannot be closed until the balance is paid — however, you can ask for the account to be frozen to prevent further charges from being made.
- Refinance or Sell Secured Assets: Separating the liability for your secured assets is an important part of the process which should not be overlooked.
- If a vehicle is financed in both of your names, regardless of the name(s) on the title, you are both responsible for the loan.
- If a mortgage is in both names, regardless of the name(s) on the deed, you are both responsible for the mortgage.
- Note that even if the divorce decree gives possession of assets to one individual, or if the title is voluntarily transferred to one of you, liability for the loan remains if the asset is not sold or refinanced.
Contact us today if you have any other questions about selling a home during a divorce. We are happy to answer them.