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Practical Advice On How Divorce Affects Home Liens

New Jersey couples who are considering divorce may be interested to hear the recommendations of a debt advisor from a recent online advice column. A reader of the advice column was recently interested to learn about the current rules regarding home debt liens after divorce.

The scenario described a situation in which a lien had been placed on a home because the husband failed to make alimony and child support payments that were owed to a wife from a previous marriage. The man and his most recent wife had just divorced, and she wished to know if the lien could be removed. The article mentioned that the man shared the house with her but was unclear whether the sharing was either physical or financial in nature after the divorce.

The author’s advice was that any mortgage or lien against the property stays with the property rather than with a person. The lien will remain on the home, no matter who has title to it, until the lien is released by the person or entity who filed it.

He further advised that, since the lien involved child support, the woman should consider contacting her state’s Office of Child Support Enforcement and possibly offer assistance to help collect what is owed.The agency, by law, normally has many tools to help collect what is owed. Such tools include garnishment of wages and property seizure. He also suggested the possibility of selling the home to satisfy the lien, either in whole or in part, from the proceeds of the sale.

In the process of divorce, couples often face many questions regarding the value of the assets they share. Consultation with a family attorney may help. An attorney may be able to thoroughly review all possible issues that arise and potentially offer a possible solution that would be acceptable to both parties and to the court.

Source: FOX Business, “Will Divorce Release You From Home Lien?“, Steve Bucci, January 10, 2014

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