Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

When divorcing, the judge granted our family home to my ex. The settlement states she must get her own loan, and than remove me from the deed. Her attorney wants me to sign an interspousal grant deed. I called our home lender and was told she applied to refinance the house May of 2012 but she did not qualify, and since than, has not attempted to get a loan under only her name. Her attorney has told my attorney that I MUST sign the interspousal grant deed, but from my research, doing so only means that I have no interest in the home, but does not legally free me from the loan and if she defaults, the bank can come after me. I need professional advise, do I sign the interspousal grant deed without her getting a new loan only with her name? Thank you for your help.

Asked on 9/27/13, 4:45 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Joel Selik

Do you have a divorce attorney? He or she should analyze all the facts, and most specifically the Court Order. I would want to carefully review these matters before signing the deed.

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Answered on 9/27/13, 5:16 pm

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

If you are represented by an attorney, why can't you get your answer from him/her?

Without reading the entire property settlement portion of your decree and knowing the basic economic picture surrounding the family home, I can't give you a "for sure" answer. However, this may be helpful: First, if there is an instrument that the court requires you to sign, and you fail to do so, the judge can -- and might -- order his/her clerk to sign your name to it. Judges have the power and authority to do this. Next, when a borrower defaults on a loan, the lender's usual recourse is a non-judicial foreclosure, in which a so-called trustee sells the house at auction. That's it; there's no 'coming after' and the only effect you're likely to endure will be a notation on your credit report. If you are "off title" by the time this happens, there's generally less harm from such a default than if you were still an owner of record. Check my answer with your own attorney and see if he/she I say, there may be facts of which I'm unaware,

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Answered on 9/27/13, 5:27 pm

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