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Can DP's Ex-Wife be forced to sell up or pay up?

(17 Posts)
purpleshortcake Sun 22-Jan-17 23:33:06

Have been with DP for 7 years. We have 2 DC and got engaged at Christmas.

He split up with his Ex- wife a couple of years before we met (she cheated on him ..with 2 men). They had no kids together, She earned significantly more than him, wanted to stay in the "marital home" and has paid the mortgage ever since (which is in joint names with DP). At the time the house was in negative equity with an extra loan secured on it so it made sense not to sell it.

They are divorced and she has since remarried (to a wealthy man) and has two DC. The house is now out of negative equity. She had it on the market about a year ago but it didn't sell. My DP has asked several times for his name to be taken off the mortgage but she is saying the bank is being difficult (despite her new DH earning twice what DP does).

My DP wants none of the equity but just the freedom to be able to get a mortgage with me without being encumbered by other mortgage which is still in his name.

His Ex is crap with money, had an IVA about 4 years ago and has missed a few mortgage payments over the last couple of years which the bank chased my DP about.

She says she wants my DP off the mortgage too but nothing is moving forward.

We feel like we're stuck in limbo. Is there anything we can do?

OutToGetYou Sun 22-Jan-17 23:35:50

Get a court order, yes. But it's not cheap. Can't believe the divorce went through without any agreement on that, that was very poor advice.

purpleshortcake Sun 22-Jan-17 23:43:43

Thanks Outtogetyou. Yes she steamrollered the divorce through as was keen to remarry and had health issues at the time and DP didn't want to make things awkward for her. The solicitors stuff I saw did make some provision for what should happen to assets / liabilities but none of it has ever been carried through (this is over 5 years ago).

What would the court order say...would it be to sell the house? Separate the assets? Every time he contacts her she says she is trying to sort it but then goes incommunicado for months at a time. I suspect she is on financial trouble again. He has had to pay off several credit card debts that she ran up after they split up that were in joint names. I can see from the bank's perspective having DP's name on there gives them more security. She has said her new DH would put his name on there instead but I am not sure she is telling the truth...,

BarbaraofSeville Mon 23-Jan-17 09:22:17

If the ExW has a poor credit record and recent IVA (if you are unsure about the date of this you can search by her name on the insolvency register which can be found by googling) she might not be able to get a new mortgage on her own or with her new DH, credit has tightened up massively over the past few years. This is probably what is stopping her selling her house or getting a mortgage on her own - she can't get one. If she is missing mortgage payments, what else is she missing payments on?

Does the ExW want to sell her house or did she put it on for a high price so it wouldn't sell? Will she try again now? If there is equity, could it be a good incentive for her to sell or will she just squander it again?

She must be bad with money if she earns more than your DH and her new DH earns more than both of them and she's still a financial mess. Sounds like a court order forcing her to sell the house might be worth it, but your DP will also need to make sure he is officially financially disassociated from her, she sounds like a nightmare.

I suppose a clean break with your DP just walking away would be a good result because if they had sold the house at the time of the divorce, he would have been liable for half the loan/negative equity.

There is no such thing as a joint credit card. Were the cards in your DPs name with her spending on an additional card? Are there any more joint loans etc lurking?

purpleshortcake Mon 23-Jan-17 21:10:31

Hi Barbara

Yes the credit cards were in his name but he no longer had the cards and she had been spending on them (either she had his original card or had additional cards on the account). He paid them off in full and closed them down. Various financial messes have crawled out of the woodwork over the last few years but we are confident there is nothing left now bar the mortgage and the secondary loan on the house she is living in. DP is reluctant to take out a court order as he fears she will stop paying the mortgage and we will be chased for the repayments. He is going to try and engage directly again with the lenders (last time they said they had written to her and never received a response). There was a consent order made at the time of the divorce but I can't remember it mentioning timescales. I need to dig it out.

Surely she is putting her family at risk at the moment as if she died my DP could claim half the house (or maybe that was covered in the consent order)

Yes the extent of her spending is unbelievable . We estimate her and new DH's income to be over £200k a year / the house is worth maybe £220k!

I just want all this sorting before we marry and feel so powerless :-(

Afterthestorm Tue 24-Jan-17 21:54:16

As far as I am aware a bank will not take a name off a mortgage that is jointly owned. I am currently trying to do this as the person in the ex-wife's situation but the Halifax won't allow it. It's more likely she would have to pay the existing mortgage off and re-finance with her current partner, although it sounds like she wouldn't be able to do that due to her credit history.

ColdFeetinWinter Tue 24-Jan-17 21:58:28

Think of the mortgage like a car loan and the car is the house. Just because you have your name on the loan you don't own the car. Who ever is named on the house deeds owns the house.

I think it would be unusual to have a consent order that did not deal with house ownership tbh? Who's name is on the deeds. You need to know that and you need to get his name off that mortgage ASAP as this is a ridiculous situation.

NickyEds Tue 24-Jan-17 22:17:36

My sister recently had to threaten her ex with court to get two houses they jointly owned (he has massive debts on his half). They were both on the mortgages and deeds. He wanted to keep the status quo but she wants to take her equity and get a mortgage of her own. She was told it would cost around £3500 and take 3-6 months to get the court orders and that it would be potentially more complicated as he was living in one of the houses (not impossible though).

NickyEds Tue 24-Jan-17 22:42:18

Also op, I'm afraid she might stop paying the mortgage. My sister's ex has (dickhead)because he has debts on the house, will essentially get no money from it so has nothing to lose. His last hope so to speak was to damage her credit rating so badly that she couldn't get a mortgage and would be stuck. He succeeded in that and she's going to have to rent for 6-12 months to repair it. Your dp also needs to check up to date statements on the mortgage. My sister's mortgage had a facility to borrow on any equity tge house accrued. Dickhead went into the bank and requested all statements be sent to his e mail or their second house (where he was now living). The next day he took out £13k, 5 years on and this figure had increased to £48k. Sister only found out when he stopped paying the interest as she had said she wanted to sell. She is joi ntly liable for it. Your dp needs his name off any joint financial products and he needs to get in touch with the lender asap.

purpleshortcake Wed 25-Jan-17 22:28:00

Thanks so much for the insights. He is going to try and arrange to meet her one last time to try and get an agreement from her. And contact the bank as a matter of urgency as I think they did have an offset mortgage so now the house had some equity in it she could well try to borrow more. The bank are supposed to be sending him copies of all statements but we want to be sure.

Manumission Wed 25-Jan-17 22:34:17

Surely she is putting her family at risk at the moment as if she died my DP could claim half the house (or maybe that was covered in the consent order)

By your own account she doesn't have many options. With an IVA in her record and little equity, she can't remortgage. She's tried to sell it and failed.

What exactly is it you're expecting her to do, in the circumstances?

purpleshortcake Wed 25-Jan-17 23:29:09

Manumission. Her husband is a high earner and I don't believe he has a poor financial record. I suppose I'm hoping it would be possible for him to take over DP's "half" or remortgage the house in his name alone. They live there with their children ...

My DP has spent years mopping up her messes so his own credit score is not too badly affected. Then she still misses odd mortgage payments and his score plummets again. It feels like we will never be free from this.

Am I being unreasonable?

Manumission Wed 25-Jan-17 23:33:25

It isn't really about whether YABU is it?

It's about what is possible.

Her DH basically buying the place sounds like the only possible runner. But if their credit files are linked together or one of them isn't keen (or they can't find a lender who likes that situation) even that might not fly.

A forced sale might be your only option but then again, waiting for her credit to improve might be cheaper and easier.

If you can calm down and detach a bit, your blood pressure will thank you.

NickyEds Thu 26-Jan-17 08:30:07

What state is the house in? If it was uo for a year and didn't sell then it was probably too expensive. My sister was told that she could get several valuations and the order to sell would be granted with the proviso that it sells within X% of the asking price. In my sister's case the £3500 would have been worth it (although it's obviously good it hasn't had to go that far....yet) because having to rent is going to cost much more than her mortgage payments would be if her credit rating was better. I would get in touch with his ex and tell her he wants off the mortgage one way or another, either she can buy him out or he'll get an order to sell -it's totally unacceptable that she has the ability to affect his credit rating after so long.

oleoleoleole Thu 26-Jan-17 08:32:25

Ask your DP to go to the bank and see what he can do. Insist he comes off the mortgage or say he will move in and get her off it and put it in his name. Or he will put it in his name and rent it to her.

19lottie82 Thu 26-Jan-17 12:05:20

You can't just "come off" a mortgage. The ex would need to take a new one out in her name alone. If she can't or won't do this then your DH is pretty much stuffed without going through the courts, which can be expensive and not always successful.

As co owner of the house he is entitled to move back in however. As a temporary basis this may encourage her to move things along!

Ellisandra Thu 26-Jan-17 18:31:18

No way in hell would I marry a man who does not know what the terms of his Consent Order are, and where I was posting "I'll have to look at it".
Tell him to go read it and sort this out.
You say she's bad with money, but he doesn't sound great either.
He may be good at paying things off, but he sounds terrible at understanding and managing the bigger picture.

As others have said, with a recent IVA I very much doubt she can get a mortgage. It's not her new rich husband's obligation to do so either. You don't know the state of her marriage - he may be unsure if its future and not want to take on her house debt.

He needs to look at his Consent Order.

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