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How do I get credit bureaus to remove an item from my credit report?

Tacoma, WA |

I recently took my ex-husband back to court to enforce the original divorce decree. Judge ruled for him to sign a full assumption agreement to remove my name off of a mortgage loan for the home he was awarded during the divorce. He has signed an assumption agreement however the bank will not modify the loan because he had defaulted on it over a year ago and cant get re-financed. The bank will not allow me to make any decisions on the loan because they said it's not my property. I'm military overseas and they can't foreclose. Credit bureaus wont recognize the court orders and they won't remove the account off my credit report. So now what do I do to get out of this mess? Ex has no intentions of foreclosing or selling, he wont communicate with bank.

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Best answer

    You seem to believe that the divorce court has some power over the credit bureaus and over the creditors. They don't! The divorce court only has authority over you and your ex-spouse. Under these circumstances, I regret to say that it appears that you have no remedy in this situation. Hope this perspective helps!

  2. Hello, I am so very sorry for your situation. Family law, bankruptcy and credit reports often collide with unsatisfactory results. Your factual situation is detailed, thought out and well written. Here is the best that I have to offer, although I fear that it is not much...

    First, you may have to seek modification of the divorce decree to force sale of the residence. I don't know who your attorney is, but I have had good luck with Charles Schmit, Wendy Zicht, Lynn Johnson and Barb MacInveilgh (always misspell her name, but she works with Robert Helland) and Hillary Holmes in Puyallup is great, too. Maybe consult with one of them if you are trying to do this yourself or if you are not sure about the efficacy of your current legal respresentation. I think you should perhaps re-post on AVVO under family law topics.....

    Second, as much as you might not want to - consider bankruptcy if your income is low enough to permit it. Then you are technically "freed" from the mortgage obligation and it is no longer a personal "obligation" such that perhaps you can dispute it should it show up on your credit report as an obligation other than "discharged in bankruptcy".

    Third, you could "dispute" it to both the credit bureaus and to the mortgage lender/servicer (must be in writing) and see if that helps in any fashion, but I expect that while they may expunge it temporarily from your record they may just end up sticking it back on there under the dispute provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There is a great book put out by the National Consumer Law Center about the Fair Credit Reporting Act - it is probably $100, but if you can afford it, it could help you craft a good debt dispute letter. They have a number of awsome titles, but this is probably the most relevant one to your situation. Free shipping, too! (Except I don't know if it would be free to an overseas address). You could also email them and see if they have a us military rate or something special. It is a great organization. Their Student Loan Law book is superb ....

    I am so sorry that you are going through this while you dutifully serve in the interests of our country.

    If you have other debts bothering you too, I would be happy to consult with you about a bankruptcy filing. Even though you are overseas I have had some luck in getting bankruptcy cases approved under similar circumstances. I take it that JBLM is your "home base"....

    Best wishes,

    James H. MaGee
    Washington Bankruptcy Attorney
    Offices in Tacoma, Puyallup, Olympia and Renton

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