11 Replies

Hi all, it’s been a while since I last posted to the forums and thought I would share an interesting situation I came across with the BP world. As the title states…I am looking for a spouse, not for me as I already have a wonderful and loving wife, and technically I am looking for an ex-spouse.

The scenario is: A property in a great neighborhood is owned by a divorced husband and wife, both are still listed on deed and mortgage (neither one lives there). Mortgage has since defaulted, gone into receivership and has a payoff well below market value, (it will most likely go to auction in February or so).

I was able to speak with the wife and she wants out but apparently the husband split post-divorce and can’t be found. From what I can tell she wants nothing to do with the property and wants to avoid foreclosure but obviously needs husband to sign-off on any sale…so I need to find the ex-spouse.

So anyone have any suggestions as to how to:

  A.   Structure a deal now with wife?

  B.  Find ex-husband?

  C.  Convince him to agree to a sale?

Of course if anyone has any other strategies for getting this property sold I would love to hear them…I was looking into possibly getting her to transferring her partial interest to me but it didn't seem like that would be a good idea.

I obviously need some more info like the details of the divorce settlement before I commit but wanted to see if it may be worth the time/effort chasing this?

Either way any insight would be appreciated, thanks.

The divorce order may eliminate one of them.

@Wayne Brooks  I am assuming that this would have been a result of the divorce settlement agreement, not something that could happen retroactively?  

Aside from a partition, is there any way to get one party off a deed?

Right, it was in the divorce decree, or it wasn't.  Finding the husband is the easiest route.  Check title for other liens, taxes, etc. first.

I ran into a very similar issue a few months ago. The seller was awarded the property in the divorce decree. She got divorced in Oklahoma but the property is in Arizona. After signing the contract with her, I sent it to a title company who had their attorney domesticate the divorce decree into AZ (for a fee) making it legal for her to sell the property without her ex-husband.  An alternative to this is filing a quiet title lawsuit. I hear they're a real pain to do, and the laws might be different for you in New York, but it might be worth looking into.

The internet is a wonderful thing. I had to find a previous owner of a property to clear a title some time back and its amazing what you can find on the internet. There are several websites that enable you to hunt someone down.

When you find him, he may have his reasons for wanting to be missing. Can I suggest maybe sweetening the deal and offering him a couple of $$ to sign things, remain missing and not hold up the deal.

Filing a QTA often gets hung up in noticing during the prove up.

You do need to look at how record title is vested now.

Then review Order for Dissolution to determine how that may have affected title (I.e., breaking a joint tenancy or giving all or a percentage to one spouse versus another). If not recorded, you can obtain a certified copy from court or selling spouse now IF this works to your advantage.

It may be possible to control the deal opportunity via a contractual agreement and transfer of the interest that's currently available now. If held in joint tenancy, begin by breaking the joint tenancy.  If your state is a community property state, this may not fully satisfy for marketable title.

If you control one spouse's interest, you can then (hopefully) justify the cost of hiring a skip tracer or licensed P.I., if it comes that. You would approach your "new real estate partner" with the facts: You've (hopefully) got a record 1/2 undivided interest AND possession and his share is worth much less that 1/2 of ARV due to the following list of reasons...

It's no longer a dispute between two spouses and does not have to be emotionally charged or difficult to resolve and attorneys CAN be avoided IF a realistic resolution is agreed upon.

Remember: you didn't cause your current seller's problem and they have nothing without your help. In our business of solving problems that others cannot or will not do themselves, what's bad is good (and what's good is bad). 

I really missed BP, this is great stuff so far...

@Andrew Abbott  I would assume Quiet Title may be a pain but who knows? 

And as @Rick H.  tried internet found a bunch of stuff but nothing in the last 1.5-2 years, and like the approach if negotiating the "remain in hiding" angle if I can track him down...


So an issue has come up since my last post...

Apparently the deed was not been updated as a result from the divorce proceedings due to the property being under contract to sell and was set up to split the revenues at the time of the divorce.  Well the sale fell through after a few months and nothing had been addressed since then.  So it looks like the property may be held as "tenants by the entirety" (I am verifying this).  If this is true, from what I understand she could not transfer/sell her interest...can anyone verify this?

first, start making lots of money.

your future spouse will find you.

oh wait, that's not helping. :)

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