Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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What to do when your house is worth less than what you owe

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  • What to do when your house is worth less than what you owe

    I own a home in a rural area. Property values have been dropping since I purchased it, it seems. It was supposed to be a retirement home but since I'm getting divorced, I no longer need, or want the house. It's nowhere near where I work and the area it's in is being fracked, so who knows what the water situation will be like in the future. Another key factor is that my stbx husband lives in the house full time. He's basically destroyed it, and the property, by being a complete slob and hoarder. He has inherited a house, which I stay in while I'm at work during the week. He's planning to sell that house, which means I'll need to find an apartment closer to work. I don't have the funds to buy myself a home/condo/townhouse. We just came out of bankruptcy in December. My credit is slowly climbing upwards due to my on time payments and slow use of a credit card. Now here's my dilemma: once the stbx sells his house and leaves my house, I am now going to have to shell out every month for my remaining mortgage while having to pay rent in an apartment-which is a feat I can't accomplish if I want to be able to eat. Since I already went bankrupt, I think my only choices are short sale (my mortgage is through M&T so I doubt they'll go for that), deed in lieu or foreclosure. The home across the road from me has been on the market for over 2 years and is completely updated with S/S appliances and granite countertops, etc. The price has dropped at least 5 times with no takers. I can only hope that a meteor comes and hits it while no-one is in it and it just sinks into the earth. I am at a total loss as to what to do. My credit is starting in the right direction again and it's just going to take another nose dive. I tried playing Mega Millions, but that backfired as well. ;)
    Last edited by NextPhaseNow; 08-07-2018, 07:51 PM. Reason: Added tags

  • #2
    Some one with more knowledge should have answered you already ,but I'll offer my deepest commiseration to you in your plight.
    Are you the sole mortgage holder?( Is his name on the deed?) If you are making the payments, is he paying you rent? What about deed in lieu (What is that anyway?) ) Is the house unlivable? Could you have it cleaned up and rent it? Could you sell it as a rent to own? Are you able to get alimony in the divorce? Do you have an attorney?
    Find some one to talk to about your options -there must be some one (probably a lawyer) who can give you sound advice how to get out of what sounds like quicksand! Good luck!


    • NextPhaseNow
      NextPhaseNow commented
      Editing a comment
      I am the sole mortgage holder, he is not on any paperwork related to this house (maybe a utility bill, but that's it). I am current on payments and as of right now he is not paying me rent. Once I leave his house (that he's going to sell) he will pay me rent until he leaves. Then, I'll be forced to pay rent where I lay my head and at the house as well. The deed in lieu of foreclosure is something I'd have to discuss with the bank, not sure they'd be willing to work with me, but that remains to be seen. Right now the house is unliveable because of the way he's kept it. It will take a lot of time, money & effort to clean it out. Renting is an option, but the area it's in, rents are going for about $800 less a month than what my mortgage payment is. Plus, I don't have the funds to repair anything that may need it if I did find someone. No, I don't get alimony. I work, he's disabled which means he may also collect alimony from me. He says he won't, but we'll see. Selling it as a rent to own may be an option-one I never thought of. The attorney used for our bankruptcy is one I don't think I'd use again and I dont have a divorce lawyer. So, here I am at what could be square one again. But I will look into rent to own. Thanks for the input.

  • #3
    I'm confused. Did you reaffirm the house in your bankruptcy? If so, that's a prime example of why many on here warn people not to reaffirm anything (not to call you out). If you didn't re-affirm, your life is a little easier. If you did reaffirm, I suppose you could file a five year chapter 13 to give you time to convince the bank to do a short sale, or perhaps negotiate the terms of a deed in lieu more favorable to you. Remember if your other bk was very recent, you wouldn't get an estimate discharge, your just buying time to get the house issue resolved.

    as usual an attorney is your best bet, a good one. Good luck


    • NextPhaseNow
      NextPhaseNow commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok, I'm a little fuzzy on the reaffirmation thing. But the mortgage was not discharged in the bankruptcy, if that's what you mean. When we filed I had no idea about divorcing. This came shortly after we filed, and of course the house was not "included" in the bankruptcy. We were discharged in December after 3 years. It's looking as if I can't do a short sale or deed in lieu, foreclosure may be my only option.

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