Home Selling in 90277>Question Details

Flavia Brown, Real Estate Pro in Torrance, CA

My ex-husband lives in the house by himself and is the only one on title. I am the only borrower and have been making the payments. Can I short sale?

Asked by Flavia Brown, Torrance, CA Thu Apr 14, 2011

Ex-husband refuses to vacate. I want to do a short sale before underwater house goes into foreclosure. Am I free to hire a Realtor to do a short sale listing, since I am the only borrower?

Help the community by answering this question:


This is a great reason to never put someone on title who is not on the loan and to never take yourself off title if loan is in your name.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
If you're not on a title then you're not an owner and you can not short sale the property. But you can go to court and force your ex to refinance the property making the mortgage your ex husband's responsibility only.

Ewa Reza

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 13, 2011
This is one of the few times I'm going to say don't waste your money on an attorney or a mediator. He's got the power because he's on title. For a $250-500 fee they're going to tell you that as well.

Other than my suggestions made earlier, please also consider getting in touch with ANY of his family members or friends that you still may know, any sisters, brothers, his mother or father & present your case to them & see if they'll get involved in urging him to work with you. Still go to him first with some type of favorable offer for his compliance in doing the Quitclaim Deed.

562-430-3053 cell
Realtor Since 1996
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
I agree with both the answers, however, this is complicated.
I highly recommend you to talk to a real estae attorney. We as realtors can asnwer from our experience but you have legal issue to deal with and the expert in this case is real estate attorney.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
You will need his cooperation to do the short sale. He's on title, he would need to be the one willing to list the property.

The only way to get him out is to 'buy" him out. In a short sale situation where you don't want to stop making payments, you would have to see if he'd be ok with your helping to pay for his moving costs, or pay for his 1st month rent somewhere else, if that would be enough to entice him.

Your goal is to have him AGREE TO DO A QUITCLAIM to get himself OFF the title & YOU ON the title. This way you don't have to worry about him later disagreeing to signing paperwork we would need to successfully close the short sale.
The object is you want to preserve your credit as best you can.

The only other way is to stop making payments, then he'd be forced to move because the bank would foreclose.

If you'd like to speak about this some more, feel free to email or give me a call. I've dealt with many unruly tenants, and that is basically what he is. He needs a couple of carrots.

562-430-3053 cell
Realtor Since 1996
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
The only person who can sell the house is the person on Title. They are the one(s) who have to sign the Deed at close of Escrow. You might want to consult a Real Estate Attorney to find out the best way to proceed.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
Web Reference: http://www.RealtyBySR.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
Yes you can short sale by yourself. IF does however need to cooperate in signing the purchase agreement and cooperate once your short sale is approved. You need to prove you have a financial hardship and the house is worth less than the loan. If you need help to list and short sale in South Redondo, please contact me at 310-866-7598 SAM XAVIER RE/MAX ESTATE PROPERTIES REDONDO BEACH Visit http://www.xavierandxavier.com/our-specialty/short-sales/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 11, 2014
You can get your ex back to do anything you want him to with the help of a spell caster who help me with this kind of situation that you are now, I had issues and fights with my boyfriend and we broke up, due to depression of the fact that it
was few months to our wedding I had to seek urgent help from a spell caster who helped me to unite my boyfriend, we are now married and I
am expecting my second baby, and it took 3 days to get my ex back to me then.
He is really indeed a real spell caster.
You can contact him via email
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 10, 2014
The short sale lender will only deal with you if you are the only borrower...the short sale approval will be in your name only. Your ex will need to cooperate, but not with the lender,,,he'll need to allow showings and has rights since he is in possession, so yes, you need his cooperation. I've been involved in over 100 short sales - if you contact me directly i can give you more advice and would be happy to connect with your husband on your behalf and see if we can't come up with some scenario that benefits him also. My contact info is here. http://manhattanbeachre.com/
Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Yes you can visit http://www.southbayshortseller.com or call Sam Xavier RE/MAX Estate Properties at 310-356-4256 or email samxavier@sbcglobal.net . You can short sale as long as he agrees to sign the grant deed at closing. Thanks, SAM
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
YES, But if he is on title he has to agree to sign the grant deed. I am available, please visit http://www.southbayshortseller.com or Call Sam Xavier 310-356-4256 or email samxavier@sbcglobal.net email
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
Since your ex husband is the only one on the title , he has to be the one to list it for sale.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 28, 2012
Technically speaking, your husband is the owner on record and you are just on the mortgage.

However, I am assuming that the property is in California, so tittle can change to a communiy property which means 50% for Husband and 50% for Wife. You should talk to an attorney for some legal advise.

I do think that there is something you can do. Especially if you can prove that you are making the payments.

The fastest way is to have your X-husband add you on tittle. But again, if that does not work, your best bets will be to talk to an attorney.

Office: 213-417-3898
Cell: 310-486-2132
Fax: 877-310-3002
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
The answer is no. But I would still check with a Real Estate Attorney

Lynn Bentley Realtor
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011
Talk to an attorney. If the property is foreclosed by the 1st lien holder and there is also a 2nd loan that is a line of credit, the line of credit can become unsecured and a personal lien against you.

Daniela Marshall
Realty Executives
760-809 3003
CA DRE License 01056741
Web Reference: http://DanielaMarshall.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011
The answer is NO. You do not own the property, he does. He is the only one that can sell the property.
Web Reference: http://www.vadamcdaniel.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Who is on the deed? You can't sell it without him if he is on the deed, even if he is on with you. Whomever is on the deed signs off the deed at sale time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Okay how is it he is the only one on the deed, You have to check and see if the mortgage is on the property, see if it got recorded as to being on that property. if so, the next question is, could you financially pay the mortgage each month, are you in a financial crisis in which you can not pay your mortgage? If you can show any signs of financial security, you will not get a Short Sale. This is one of those times yu need to use a Real Estate Attorney to work with you rather than a Realtor! This is coming from the mouth of a Realtor so it is not divert tactic by some Real Estate Attorney!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Yes Maam~

I do believe that you may list the property with only one signature (you).
I suggest that you contact a great attorney and file for a partion action.
If you live in the South Bay or surrounding area I stongly suggest that you contact:

Dale Eleniak ~ Attorney at Law
(310) 374-4662
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Hi Flavia,

Hopefully by now you have figured out that you need to contact an attorney, and that you may have a problem. In order to sell a home, as I am sure many have told you below, you need to be on title, regardless of whether you are the sole person paying the mortgage. Your husband would need to agree to sell the home. You may be stuck in a pickle, but an attorney can help you possibly come up with some solutions. Just be careful meandering through the muddy waters, as it is your neck on the line as far as credit is concerned. Also, do not take legal advice from anyone but a lawyer (agents be careful here).

Best of luck,

Rachel LaMar, J.D.
LaMar Real Estate, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Looks like you managed to quit claim your interests in a divorce yet still be responsible to pay. As pointed out, you cannot sell what you don't own. You need to speak with an attorney immediately.

Contrary to comments below, a court cannot force a refinance since if there is no equity, this will be impossible. The court cannot force a sale either since apparently the ownership rights have been signed away.
Get an attorney.

Contrary to advice below, you cannot evict someone from something you do not own.
Have I mentioned that you need an attorney?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 5, 2011
For this situation do your short Sale through a Real Estate Attorney, they can sell your property for you or they can assign a Realtor for the sales end, but you need the Attorney to throw the ex out and to negotiate with the lender and help you through this difficult time. Short Sales are fine for Realtor under most Ideal terms this one needs legal advice all around and the attorney knows what legal actions have to be taken for quick eviction or removal of undesirables in the home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 17, 2011
Hi Flavia,
If your ex-husband is not on title and has no ownership interest in the property, then you should be ok to list. I am assuming the divorce has gone through and is required to vacate based on the divorce decree.Again there are some parameters to see if you would qualify for the short sale.The best way to figure that out would be to meet with a local agent who is qualified in short sales. Please feel free to email directly at annamaria@weichertlosangeles.com, I am a Certified HAFA Specialist ( Foreclosure Alternatives through Short Sales) . Looking forward to helping you through this difficult situation, please feel free to call me at 424-226-8640.

Anna Maria Kitras, Broker Associate
Weichert Realtors,Hoshaw & Associates
Certified HAFA Specialist- Foreclosure Alternatives through HAFA approved Short Sales
Over 15 years of Combined Lending and Real Estate Experience
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 2, 2011
I don't know how a real state agent is going to list and show your house if your husband refuses to let the house be shown.

David Cooper..Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. email davidcooper@lasvegaswinner.org or call for FREE daily list. +1-7024997037
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 23, 2011
Dear Flavia,
The Title to a home is the ownership document reconginzed by law. In other words, if his name is on Title..it's his house. I'm, wondering how your assets were divided in the divorce.

Since you are on the loan, that brings up additiional issues, including credit issues for you if you default.

Legal advice is beyond the scope of Real Estate Agents. This is a complicated issue and for your own benefit it would be best to consult with an attorney as to the best course of action for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 23, 2011
Hi Flavia,
I didn't see this mentioned below, but you mentioned ex-husband. Is it safe to assume that you've already been through the legal process of divorce? If so, then do you have any divorce decree indicating ownership of the property? If it states you as the sole owner of the property, then you may have some luck. I'd advise checking your divorce decree (assuming you're legally divorced) and then possibly consult with your lawyer with the legal specifications. Good luck with it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
There must be a hardship to do a short sale. Your questions hints that you are making payments, and the only problem is that the house is underwater. Are you willing to miss a couple of payments to get the banks attention that you have a hardship? This will defintely mess up your credit

David Cooper Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned Houses with cash flow. Freee List +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 17, 2011
Seek real estate legal advice before hiring a realtor because a realtor will know better to not touch this until all is cooperating.

The best of luck

Jeannee Rose
m: 310.507.4113
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011

You are in a Catch-22. Only the OWNER - the person on title - can sell the home. Only the BORROWER - the person on the loan - can negotiate or provide 3rd party authorization to a negotiator, to negotiate a short sale.

If you are having problems convincing your ex-husband to cooperate, perhaps getting a third party involved would be helpful. Family members are an option, but usually don't want to get involved. The problem is he MUST be willing to cooperate to make this happen. Let me know if I can be of any assistance and Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
Certified HAFA Specialist – CHS®
SSG Pro®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
You can short sale the property, you will need your husbands cooperation. Find an experienced short sale agent in your area. Find an agent with the Certified Ddistressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Hi Flavia,

You can do a short sale. However, if your husband is on the deed, he will need to cooperate and sign some papers. We are a professional short sale service and would be happy to explain the process to you. Please call us directly to discuss your specific situation. Our services are FREE to homeowners. We look forward to hearing from you.

Eli Givoni, Director
Short Sale Department, LLC
Serving all 50 states

MARS Disclosure for General Commercial Communications
Short Sale Department, LLC is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Please don't mistake any of my comments below as any form of legal advice--it's not.

First, I frankly am shocked any RE professionals would dare to recommend someone to "stop paying" in light of MARS.

Second, Flavia, you might want to consult with a real-estate attorney to help you request your lender(s) to do a novation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Hi Flavia,
This does NOT sound like a good situation!
If he is on title, you have no ownership rights to sell - short sale or not.
It sounds like he is uncooperative if he is refusing to leave.
It appears to me that your only viable alternative is to let it go to foreclosure. Stop wasting your money on a house you do not own with a tenant you do not like who refuses to pay you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011

Wow, you certainly have a complicated situation. I have listed several short sales, and I would definitely recommend that you get an attorney. Regardless of what they tell you as far as who has the power, the fact that you are the only borrower but he is the only one on title raises a lot of red flags. Short sales have legal and tax implications, in addition to credit implications. Before taking any steps, I strongly urge you to contact an attorney. In this case, it is not just about what the attorney can tell you about what you CAN do, but it is almost more important that an attorney can tell you what NOT to do.

Whenever a buyer or seller is in doubt about title issues, I always recommend that they see an attorney. In fact, two of my transactions recently have used attorneys for the specific reason of handling title issues when it is not a common title situation.

Once you do get an attorney and figure out if you are going to do a short sale, it is just as important to get an agent who understands the complexities of your situation and is prepared to help you explain them to the short sale lender. I wish you the best, and if you need any referrals, please feel free to give me a call!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
If your house is underwater, and you don't live there, stop making payments. Once your husband gets the Notice of Default, he might be a lot more cooperative. You need to prove hardship just to start short sale, and being underwater is NOT hardship

David Cooper.. Las Vegas Investor in Bank Owned REO's with Cash Flow +1-7024997037
not a real estate agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Hi Flavia,

A lot is riding on the degree of cooperation you can expect from your ex. You placed an incredible amount of trust in him when you accepted responsibility for the loan without insisting on an official share of ownership (title). I see that you're an agent, so I'll give you credit for having known what you were doing.

If there's a challenge getting you ex to quitclaim the property to you but still have some level of mutual trust, then perhaps a mediator could aid you in arriving at a solution that enables a cooperative short sale. I'm familiar with a great one, with considerable real estate experience, if you decide to go this route.

if this is successful in getting you on the same page, then it will make good sense to hire a Realtor with short sale experience and consult together with a real estate attorney to ensure that as much of the process, including tax implications, is understood in advance as possible.


David White
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Hello Flavia,
I agree with what's been said here. I have a great South Bay real estate attorney I can put you in touch with. Feel free to give me a call at your convenience.

All the best,
Greg Geilman
Prudential California Realty
tel (310) 251-7725
fax (866) 277-5535
DRE # 01788567
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
The other choice is to just quit making the payments. It will trash your credit. but you will not be making the payments. LET it go to foreclosure. THEN he will respond. I wouldn't pay another dollar. BTW I DO need a really good MORTGAGE FRAUD attorney if anyone knows of one.
Flag Sat Aug 4, 2012
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