My wife came to the marriage with some debt and one of the creditors has placed an abstraction of lien against her name which is clouding the title. Is there any way in God's green earth to remove her name (with her consent) of course so that I am not punished for someone else's obligations that were there before the marriage? She has even reached out to the creditor in order to settle and even after 8 years the creditor is expecting the full 9,000 amount. This was a credit card debt. Can any attorney help with that?
I recommend that you consult directly with a family law attorney in Texas as soon as possible.
I agree with my colleague. You need to consult a family law attorney as soon as possible.
Alexus P. Sham firstname.lastname@example.org (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Contrary to what the out of Texas attorneys have recommended, you do not need a family law attorney. Under Texas law, an abstract of judgment creates a judgment lien on all of the judgment debtor's real property, except for the debtor's homestead. If need be, you could write a letter, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the judgment creditor to request that the creditor sign a partial release of lien so that the judgment lien no longer affected your homestead.
Your wife may be judgment proof, meaning that even a creditor with a judgment could not seize any of her assets. If she is judgment proof, you may be able to negotiate a favorable deal with the creditor. Few creditors want to spend good money after bad, and most are willing to discount a judgment to recoup of the money. Please review my legal guide on what property is protected from seizure by a creditor in Texas at the following web address:
What Property Can I Protect from Judgment Creditor Seizure in Texas?
Much of a judgment debtor's property in Texas is exempt (in other words, safe) from seizure by creditors, even those with a judgment. The property designated as exempt is set out in Chapters 41 and 42 of the Texas Property Code.
In short, a debtor's home is protected from creditor seizure except for mortgage note lenders or taxing authorities, or construction lien claimants who perfected a homestead mechanic's lien contract. Retirement plans and life insurance is exempt from creditor seizure. For a single person, $30,000, and for a married person, $60,000 of personal property is exempt from seizure. Cash in bank accounts or under your mattress is not exempt.
Section 41.001 of the Texas Property Code exempts a person’s homestead from seizure by creditors. Property Code sections 42.001 and 42.002 exempt certain personal property from seizure by creditors. If a sheriff or constable were to come to your home to execute on a judgment, you can designate to the sheriff or constable what property is exempt from seizure.
The web addresses for these Property Code sections are:
Theoretically, your wife could sign a quitclaim deed transferring her interest int he property to you. But a title company could complain later and insist on a general warranty deed.
Bottom line, as long as the abstract of judgment is not causing any problems with your homestead, just ignore it. If you plan on selling the homestead write the letter I discussed above.