How can I assure that my ex husband will remove my name from the house?
4 attorney answers
Your issue highlights a common problem with the need for specifics in the terms of a divorce, particularly as to real estate and mortgages, and as to the lack of understanding of the parties that the divorce terms do not control non-parties to the divorce action, such as lenders.
The exact wording of your court papers will affect what actions you need to take. Your question only touches on the order as to his removing you from the deed, which he apparently did, but not what the order may say about the debt. The judgment may have been silent on the debt, or simply provided for him to hold you harmless, or could have specified that he was to refinance or otherwise remove you from liability for the debt.
While your question indicates you are probably a co-debtor on the loan, the lender might also notify you of their actions if your ex never recorded the deed or if the lender is unaware that you are no longer married to him. It is unclear what communications you have received about "pre-foreclosure" and the method by which you received the communications, as the being served with papers generally applies only to lawsuits, not debt collection efforts.
If your divorce was in Illinois, you will need to have an Illinois licensed attorney review your court orders, judgments, deeds, documents from the lender, and any relevant pleadings to assess how to proceed. If your divorce was in another state, even though the property is in Illinois, you will need to consult an attorney where the divorce was entered.
Your divorce lawyer made a very common mistake. He/she should have given you a security interest in the house (with a hair trigger right of foreclosure) which would not be released until you are released from the debt.
I cannot say that it is malpractice, It is a very common mistake which lawyers only learn about when their former clients get burned.
You should also talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in your home state (California). While I am not recommending bankruptcy, bankruptcy lawyers are experts in the exemption laws of your home state. You should know how to protect yourself from this liability.
You need to meet or call a lawyer that is fluent in both foreclosure law and family law. In the family law court it sounds like you need to have a lawyer to try hold your ex in contempt of a court order. With regards to the foreclosure you have to meet with a lawyer to review as you may have a contract with the banks that is independent of your agreement with your ex. Schedule your appointment with a lawyer ASAP.
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Only an IL mortgage foreclosure defense and matrimonial attorney has the expertise to prevent you from having more problems than you can possibly imagine. To properly answer your questions and address your concerns, the best way to handle this is with an in-person consultation. You need to retain the best mortgage foreclosure defense and matrimonial attorney you can afford. You should not be restricted by geographic factors. Pick the best lawyer you can find and remember one rule: a good lawyer is generally never cheap, and a cheap lawyer is generally never good so don't choose based on price. Use AVVO's Find a Lawyer tool to select a qualified attorney. Good luck. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE! YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY WHO IS LICENSED IN YOUR STATE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. This is merely suggestions for you to think about in discussing your situation with the local attorney.
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