Foreclosure - Not Sign Promissory Note - How Get Droppped as Party Defendant
My husband then files for divorce a few months later. My ex-husband remarries right after the divorce and then defaults on the mortgage loan. My ex-husband used the money to pay off all his debts prior to leaving. I know I was blind-sided or just blind.
The Bank has just filed a Foreclosure and named me as a defendant (since I am still on the title and security instrument).
I have never been sent any letters from the Bank regarding the default. I found out all went to my ex-husband. And all were addressed only to him.
I am not living in the house. I don’t care about the house and don’t want the house. I am concerned about my credit report and rating which has always been A+ with a very high FICO score, a deficiency judgment and income tax consequences and just being sued.
Can I, the defendant "ex-wife", contact the bank's attorney and quit-claim my interest to the Bank and get dropped as a party defendant?
Thank you all !!!
1 attorney answer
The short answer is probably not. The mortgage foreclosure process is designed so that, at the end, if the property is sold at foreclosure sale, all interests in the property which can be disposed of are gone. Unless there were superior liens ahead of the mortgage in question, usually that mean that the buyer has received a clear title.
The foreclosure firms are very high volume, very mechanized operations. They generally handle every case the same way, unless they make a mistake (this is a pretty frequent event given all the people and files) or unless they are forced by law and the developments in a particular case to make modifications. In Florida, all spouses of borrowers in foreclosure for homestead property must be included to divest their interests, and of course all parties in title to the underlying real property likewise.
While technically a quit claim deed from you would be sufficient to extinguish your interest, that would then mean the Plaintiff would need to take the extra step to drop you as a party. They would also need to record the quitclaim deed, and if the original were to become lost, they would have a mess on their hands. It is easier for them to just keep rolling, and so odds are they will refuse.
if they do refuse, you would do well to obtain a qualified attorney to control what happens after that. There is a dangerous aspect to your being included in the case as it rolls on - the norm in Florida has become that of these firms requesting the court to award a deficiency judgment. That adds a whole new area of danger. While this is not appripriate against anyone but the party or parties who signed the note, in the wholesale way these firms proceed and the wholesale way the courts here are pushing their paper through the system, the final judgments are being issued against all defendants of record. This inevitably means that when the lenders sell their judgments by the carload to the debt buyers, everyone named in the original foreclosure suit who was not formally dropped is likely to be targeted for further collection, and those people will have a hard time defending hemselves at that point. The process where debt buyer aquire debts is already well known to lack underlying files and details, so it is likely that they will have no idea who was dropped as a party.
It is improper and unfair, but given the machine-like way this is all proceeding, I am betting that that is how it will eventually play out. So, I would urge anyone who is named as a party defendant simply because you were on title or had a homestead interest in the subject property.