Husband selling house (On title & Loan), Ex-wife still lives in house (not on title)

7 Replies


I am working a deal in Collin county, TX right now. I was approached by a motivated seller who's name is on the title and loan for the house. He was married but divorced back in 2011, the ex was never on title or the loan. After divorce the ex-wife stayed in the house he purchased, and he moved out. She agreed verbally to pay the mortgage while she was there. Up until 4 months ago she was making payments on the mortgage, but stopped. Once she stopped he saw no other option but to sell. His credit was getting dinged and he can't afford both mortgages now. He spoke with a lawyer about his situation and apparently the judge has stated he is not allowed to evict his ex but says if he can sell the new owner would have no problem evicting her, since she is not a tenant paying rent. I'd like to know can I go through with the purchase with the ex-wife still living there or does she have rights to the property and whether or not it can be sold? Second, if it can be sold, will I be able to just serve notice to her or evict the her or is it more complicated? Thanks for any help you can provide.

I think this is worth paying a TX divorce attorney for an hour of their time to run this past them.  TX is a community property state, so how do you know that the spouse isn't entitled to some interest in the property?  Can you offer her cash for keys and a quitclaim? 

Thats a good questions. I'll have to bring that up. Texas is a tough state when it comes to split couples because of the community property laws.

assets (including real property) owned before marriage do not attach to spouse in most states that i know of.

@Derrick Jackson  

No offense to anyone living outside of Texas that is giving advise on this thread. Texas is a homestead state and regardless whether she was ever on title or the loan she may or may not have a claim to the property. Even if it was owned before the marriage she may have a claim if she contributed to the mortgage or upkeep. This could affect your ability to evict her as well.  

I would be very very careful and unless this is the deal of a lifetime want the ex out before purchasing. Was the house addressed in the divorce decree ?  Maybe ask the owner to buyout the ex is cash for keys

@Derrick Jackson  

You won't get title insured in Texas unless she too signs the deed. Get them both to agree to sell or wait until it nears foreclosure and see if their motivation changes. 

Thanks fellas, for the advice. I wouldn't say it's the deal of a lifetime, so I may have to have lunch with a lawyer and see if I can pick their brain a bit. If I get a clear answer I'll reply to post so everybody knows how things work here in Texas.

You need a copy of the divorce judgment/decree, then sit down with an attorney.

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