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Friday, April 26, 2019

Can my divorce impact my house sale or purchase?

New York and New Jersey real estate attorneys know that buying a home is one of the biggest purchases in your life. As such, the process can be understandably overwhelming. 

If you’re buying home on Staten Island, or in the New York City or New Jersey area, you need an attorney that simplifies and streamlines the process as much as possible. Like one who can provide you with a real estate purchase roadmap

But even with the roadmap, there can be a few bumps in the road in a real estate transaction. Sometimes it may involve the results of a home inspection report, an issue with title, or with financing (in cases where the buyer needs a mortgage in order to purchase the home). Fortunately, in the vast majority of such cases, these issues get resolved and the deal closes.

Ideally, all prospective buyers will know before making an offer to purchase a home how much of a mortgage they will need and whether they are likely to qualify for it based on their income and their credit rating. 

Sometimes, a divorce can impact a real estate purchase or sale. This can happen in various situations-- like when a couple divorces, one moves out, and the other cannot afford to carry the home on just one income. In such cases, the home is generally sold. 

Another way a divorce can impact real estate transactions is when the newly single former partners seek to purchase real estate on their own and find credit issues tied to joint accounts held with their former spouse. Even if the divorce decree provides that one partner is responsible for a particular debt or account, the credit card company—if it has an agreement binding both parties on the account-- is not bound by the divorce agreement or decree and may be able to pursue the “non-responsible” spouse for the money due on the joint account. 

So, it’s important that couples getting divorced work together to try to transfer joint account balances to new individual accounts and then close old joint accounts to avoid credit problems that could impact real estate transactions and more after the divorce. Poor credit can impact a buyer’s ability to qualify for a mortgage. Money judgments entered against prospective buyers or sellers by creditors generally show up on a title report and, if so, will virtually always need to be paid, satisfied, vacated, or settled and removed at or before the closing in order for the deal to close. 

If you are considering buying or selling a home in New York or New Jersey, the real estate attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

From our offices in Staten Island, New York and East Brunswick, New Jersey, we represent commercial and residential real estate buyers and sellers in both states. 


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