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Mark Cappel
UpdatedMar 19, 2010

What can I do about my ex-husband not making the mortgage payments?

I was divorced 3 years ago. Prior to that, I purchased a home w/ex-husband. He received the home in exchange for a monetary sum to me. He has been late on payments for 3 years and has ruined my credit. He cannot refinance due to bad credit. Since I legally no longer own the home,neither can I! Is there any recourse I can take? Like taking him to small claims court? Recently I tried to get a car loan and was turned down due "too many delinquent past or present mortgage credit obligations."

Many people who have recently been through a divorce find their credit rating suffers significantly because of the financial turmoil that frequently accompanies divorce.

The situation you describe in your question, in which your former spouse failed to make payments on debts after being ordered to do so by the court, is one of the most common reasons for lingering credit problems after a divorce. I encourage you to speak with your attorney about your ex-husband’s failure to make his required payments.

Generally, if the court finds that your ex-husband is in violation of the original divorce decree, the court may hold him in contempt until repays the debts as required by the court order. Once your ex-husband has started making payments on the accounts in your name, your credit score should begin to improve as the accounts start reporting positive payment histories. However, even a court order will not necessarily improve your credit rating.

You may also wish to place a consumer statement on your credit report so that potential lenders who pull your credit report are aware of the fact your ex-husband is supposed to repay these debts, but he has failed to do so. If you would like to include a statement on your credit reports, contact each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to learn the procedure for including a statement on each of your credit reports. Although a personal statement will not change your credit score and will not necessarily cause creditors to be more willing to lend you money, it will explain the situation to potential lenders and may improve your chances of qualifying for new credit.

Three major credit bureaus offer credit reports. If you want information added or removed from your credit report, contact them directly:

Again, I encourage you to speak with your divorce lawyer to understand what, if any, legal options you have. offers a wealth of information regarding the various debt help options available to consumers — visit Debt Help for more information.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.