Woman Stuck on Mortgage Despite Divorce

By Christopher Combs | April 5, 2015

  Question:  Under the terms of my divorce decree last year my ex-husband was awarded title to our Gilbert home.  He was required to pay the mortgage payments on our home.  I even signed a quit claim deed for our home to my ex-husband.  The problem is that when I recently applied for a loan to buy a car, I was turned down by the bank because the mortgage on our home is still shown as my obligation on my credit history.  My ex-husband does not want to sell the home at this time, and because of his poor credit…


Foreclosure Sale Likely Means Home Reverts to Original Owner

By Christopher Combs | February 15, 2015

  Question:  I sold my Chandler home five years ago for $75,000.  The buyers made a $25,000 down payment and I financed the buyers with a $50,000 “seller-carry-back” loan, i.e., the buyers agreed to pay me $50,000 in monthly payments over ten years at 12% interest.  The buyers are now going through a divorce and eight months ago stopped making the monthly payments.   My title company has now scheduled a foreclosure sale in approximately 90 days.  Will this foreclosure sale be a silent auction or will potential buyers bid against each other?  Who will own this home if no…


Apartment-Complex Sale Killed by Wife's Failure to Sign

By Christopher Combs | October 12, 2014

  Question: I made a written offer to purchase a 90-unit apartment complex in Chandler. The seller accepted in writing my offer. The seller said that because his wife was on the title to the apartment complex, his wife also would have to sign the contract. The seller’s wife was in Europe at the time, but the seller said that, because his wife was not involved in his business affairs, it would be no problem to have his wife sign the contract when she returned from Europe. The seller’s wife has now returned from Europe, but the seller said that she…


Use Warranty Deed to Add Hubby to Title

By Christopher Combs | September 14, 2014

  Question:  I have owned my home in Goodyear for six years by myself.  I got title insurance at the time I purchased.  I recently got married and want to add my husband to the home’s title.  Can I just record a quit claim deed to him?  Will I still have title coverage?  Who gets the home if one of us dies?   Answer:  You should generally record a warranty deed rather than a quit claim deed in transferring the title to a home or other real property.  If a quit claim deed is used, a title company could deny…


Exchange Lets You buy, Sell Tax-Free

By Christopher Combs | September 2, 2014

  Question: Our family has owned 40 acres of farmland in Buckeye since the 1940s. The market for farmland in Buckeye is improving and we should make a substantial profit if we sell. We have been told by our CPA that we should sell this land and then buy shopping-center land for long-term development near the football stadium in Glendale. We are concerned, however, about paying a large amount of taxes if we use the money. We also have been told by our CPA that we can sell the Buckeye land and buy the shopping center land in Glendale without…


Survivorship Ensures Full Ownership

By Christopher Combs | August 17, 2014

  Question:  My brother and I purchased a four-unit apartment building in Gilbert four years ago after we graduated from college.  We took title to this building as joint tenants with right of survivorship.  A year later, my brother married his girlfriend and they have a baby girl.  My brother died last month in a car accident.  Do I own 100 percent of this apartment building now because my brother and I held title as joint tenants with right of survivorship?   P.S. Even if I do own 100 percent of the building, I still intend to establish a trust…


Buying Title Insurance is Essential

By Christopher Combs | April 20, 2014

  Question: I recently got married and I want to add my wife to the title to my Sedona home.  I have filled out a quit claim deed (which I purchased at a local stationery store) naming my wife and myself as owners by community property with right of survivorship.  If I record this quit claim deed, do I need new title insurance, or does my old title insurance continue to afford coverage?   Answer: My general rule is that any transfer of an interest in real property should have the protection of title insurance coverage.  Although you already have title…


Deed Home to Yourself and Spouse

By Christopher Combs | February 16, 2014

  Question:  Next month, my husband and I are scheduled to close escrow on a home in Chandler.  We have no living children, and we are both elderly,  Due to my husband’s bad credit, however, the mortgage loan and the title of the home will be in my name only.  If something were to happen to me, I would want my husband to own the home with out any hassles from our mortgage lender.  Any suggestions?   Answer:  After you close the purchase of your home, you should transfer the home by a deed from you individually to you and…