Debt From A Previous Marriage

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Sycamore3House | 11:39 Sat 27th Feb 2016 | Law
13 Answers
My partner left his wife 12 years ago and was divorced 6 years ago. No financial settlement was ever done. He left her living in the house and she still lives in it today. The 3 children were 17, 19, & 22 at the time only the 17 year old was living at home but left shortly afterwards. My partner has never wanted the house sold as in his words the kids have always got somewhere to go back to.

However over the years the ex wife has run up huge debts and there are a number of charges on the house (four in total) and therefore the house will be worth nothing after all the interest on the charges is taken into consideration. My partner has never contributed to the mortgage as when he left and got a place of his own all 3 kids moved in with him.

My question is if the ex wife dies and the house will need to be sold (as none of the children now want it) and there are not enough proceeds to pay off the debts will the debt then come back to my partner in light of no financial settlement ever being done.


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If his name is on the deeds then he will,in all probability, be responsible for any debts appertaining to the house.
No. Debt belongs to the person/people who took it out. I don't know what will happen to the charges on the house but when someone dies their debt dies too. No one else is responsible for it.

In the first instance the Debt does not die with the person. Debt is the first thing paid for after legitimate funeral expenses. If someone has, for ease and arguments sake, £1000 assets. If they leave 50% each to their two children or £500 each. The children would get whatever is left after debts and expenses. £1000 less £500 funeral expenses = £500 less £250 charge on house = £250 less £200 other debt = £50. The kids will be lucky to see £25 each.

How is the house mortgaged and owned. She must have an interest it if there are charges from her debts on it.
Question Author
The house is/was in her name & my partners and it is mortgaged. The original 25 year term will now have expired and she must have remortgaged. The deeds state both names, the building society and all the charges.
If the ex-wife has remortgaged the house after the joint mortgage expired, then she must have done it alone, surely? If so, then your partner would not be liable for any debts against the property.
// No. Debt belongs to the person/people who took it out. I don't know what will happen to the charges on the house but when someone dies their debt dies too. No one else is responsible for it. //

when someone dies the debt dies too.....
um yah up to a point

If someone has assets of £10k and a debt of £5k then I think you can see that quite obviously the ten kay will defray the debt and as you can see then estate pays off the debt which DOESN'T die [ think off set]

if someone has assets of £5k and debts of £10k then the five kay goes to various debtors in an order set down by law - funerary and testamentary expenses are first and then others and when the 5k runs out the debt if it has not been guaranteed 'dies'.

The myth of assets of £10k and debts of 5k and so the debt dies and yippee the debt goes and the heirs can get their hot little stickly hand on the £10k is a) obviously a myth and b) very hard to kill in front of graspiing relatives who are screaming where is my share ?

and the answer to sycamore's question is it depend on how the husband and wife own the house ( joint or tenants in common ) - what the conditions of the mortgage were - and what the wife said when she ran up the four charges ( like did she say she owned the house herself ) - or did he co-sign the charges
It is quite hard to mortgage a house without the co owner knowing

I think a lawyer may have to look at the papers to he honest
sorry someone has done the debts dont die bit already sozza

the wife seems to have mortgaged a house without the co owner knowing
she is not meant to do that altho the land registry entry would show it is co-owned .....

you need to see her remortgage deeds - which erm I dont think she will show you - in which case it is wait and see
Your partner needs to get a free credit report from Experian or similar. That will show all debt against his name.

If his ex has remortaged a jointly owned property without his knowledge she has very likely done it fraudulently and it needs to be sorted.
I meant if there is no money in the estate. Debts don't get transferred to someone else.

If his ex wife has taken out loans using the jointly owned property as security (a fraud) it is possible that she has also fraudulently taken out the loans in joint names.

Is the house still mortgaged? If so, he will still be liable for that debt if she defaults on the repayments.
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after he left the ex wife ran up £4K + of debt on their joint bank account. This is now one of the charges on the house. All the other charges relate to the water company, a fine related to her now defunct business, and money owed in rent for her defunct business. So she has not taken out loans on the property. She has defaulted on mortgage payments but has now come to an agreement with the mortgage company to enable her to remain in the house. My partner finds it very difficult to find out any information as she does not open any post or acknowledge anything. I have checked the land registry and the charges are correct. My partners credit history is reading normal apart from him not having a credit card. The reason for asking the question was if we were to marry he does not want the debt passing to us as a couple should his ex wife die.
Don't you think it's about time he made the decision to sell the house and be done with it? The youngest has to be about 29 by now so their isn't really any need for the old stable home to be there. Just somewhere to visit their parents.

Sell the house or just cut his losses and get himself taken off the mortgage or something.

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Debt From A Previous Marriage

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