What happens during a divorce when abuse is present? How do you safeguard yourself and those you love during those tough times? Divorce can be an incredibly difficult experience, and it gets even more complicated when abuse is involved. With the help of Susan and Tracy in this episode, you’ll learn how to safeguard yourself or your loved ones during these tough times. Knowing the signs of various forms of abuse could prove vital for protecting both yourself and those around you from further harm.
Divorce & Mortgages
This episode of the Lady Lawyer League podcast features Brent Rasmussen from Mortgage Specialists, LLC. Brent provides insight into mortgages as they relate to divorce as well as the importance and value of education in the mortgage world.
Contact Brent Rasmussen at Mortgage Specialists, LLC online at www.mtg-specialists.com!
TRACY: All right, on today’s podcast, we have an extra special guest Brent Rasmussen from mortgage specialists, and he’s going to talk all about mortgages as it relates to divorce. We aren’t going to fall asleep because Brent’s really exciting. So welcome, Brent.
BRENT: Thank you, Tracy, for having me today. No one falls asleep because I’m too loud, so I keep them up.
TRACY: Great. Good, good. Good. And also, we have Tara Righton, an associate attorney from Hightower, Fla., with us as well. So welcome, Tara. Thank you. This is Tara’s first time on the podcast as well. It is because she just created a human. I did create a whole human. The second time doing it? Yeah, I did it twice.
BRENT: Wow. Yeah. Congratulations to you.
TRACY: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Making two humans.
BRENT: How old’s your first human?
TARA: He’s he’s four. Four.
BRENT: Well, it’s a good spread then between four and it’s a
TARA: Very it’s very
TRACY: Spread. Four and zero.
BRENT: Right? Yeah, my math correct. I don’t know what you call a newborn zero.
TRACY: That’s yeah.
TARA: Yeah, he’s four was nice size of a nine month old.
BRENT: Oh, he’s big.
TRACY: He’s huge. I love it. Yeah. Was your first one that big?
TARA: He was fair. He was pretty big. But but he, like, evened out, you know, and he was pretty like true to true to size, like true to age, like average three month old average for this one.
BRENT: No, this
TRACY: This zero year old.
BRENT: That’s right, they do months. I forget about that. Mine’s for teens. I forgot you got to use months for the first weeks, right? Weeks, then months, then years.
TARA: People say, like, my kid’s twenty four months. It’s like you can say to, Yeah.
BRENT: So what does it change from weeks to months once you get to three two? What’s the rule of thumb for that?
TRACY: Fifty one week. Yeah.
BRENT: See, that’s too long.
TRACY: I’m thinking one hundred and ten weeks. That would be weird. Is Jack now he’s 250 weeks old?
BRENT: That sounds like something actuaries would come up with, like an insurance underwriter.
TRACY: They’d be like speaking of and these like mortgage people, there’s were winners and in the mortgage world and then the underwriters get involved and then, like everything, gets all messy.
BRENT: Yeah, I don’t think so.
TRACY: Well, I don’t either, because I just call you.
BRENT: Well, we appreciate that. That’s what we do. We try to do it because that’s the problem, I think, is that it’s not the underwriter that messes up. It’s the person that’s supposed to prepare the underwriter. It’s kind of like when the judge goes in there and probably and messes everything up. Probably, maybe I’m wrong. Like people didn’t do their job to get to the right point is what I might take is,
TRACY: Yeah, yeah, judges mess up a lot of things. Yeah, yeah, they come in and we’re like, Listen, we had this all set. You just needed to sign our version of the decree and then you did something different.
BRENT: Oh, that happens a lot.
TRACY: Yeah, OK. I feel like that’s like an underwriter thing, too.
BRENT: Yeah, yeah. And the people, but the attorneys do their job ahead of time.
TRACY: Yes, that is well, at least at this office, right?
BRENT: Right. I guess. Yeah, you guys do, of course. But now I’m seeing happen when I get calls is that the loan officer somewhere else didn’t know the rules and then they just blame the underwriter when it’s like that was a rule the whole time, and they should have just known the rule. And instead they just say, Oh, this just came up. It’s like it doesn’t just come up because that’s been a rule. Like, it’s kind of like it’s like law. Like, You know what the law is.
TRACY: It’s been a rule for fifty one weeks, right?
BRENT: Totally. We’re like three hundred and seventy thousand weeks. It’s been a rule that long. Yeah, it’s kind of like it’s a law. That’s a reason that we have these things we put in place, right? Yeah. Yeah. Anyways, that’s my pet peeve.
TRACY: Ok, so tell us about you, Brent, and how you became a mortgage specialist.
BRENT: Yeah, so I just after school college, I was actually doing some financial planning and I liked helping people and I like to deal with numbers. But I just didn’t see that being my long term and I got lucky. I got went on a lunch appointment with one of my associates at the place I work with, and I met my college coaches son, who was starting a mortgage company. And I just kind of fell into the mortgage business right out of college, and I really enjoyed it because, ah, helping people and it’s all about numbers. And I like that stuff and I like guidelines, rules, you know, laws, that type of stuff structure. So I started doing that in two thousand one and then in two thousand four, I started mortgage specialists and I’ve been doing that ever since. So and the
TRACY: Rest is history. There you go. Susan really hates that term. I don’t know why the rest of the time might say that. She’s like, No, it’s not. The rest is the future. What are you
BRENT: Talking? Oh, hey, I didn’t die. I guess you’re right. The rest is history or something. So, yeah, so I really love what I do because that’s helping people. It’s answering questions. And that’s just what I like to make myself big educator. So I’m glad you guys are doing this to get the right information out there because I know some people, you know, we run into it now. Everything can be found in the internet and they think that’s all true. And that’s not always the case, right? Yes. I get a divorce on the internet. Well, you can, but
TARA: Not tell you the law.
BRENT: Yeah, your neighbor,
TARA: Your neighbor’s friend doesn’t know the law.
BRENT: But what about their mom or dad? Because they know the mortgage rules
TRACY: Too, especially when they pay for the divorce. The mom and dad that pay for the divorce are like, I want to know everything and I want to be in the know about everything.
BRENT: Gotcha. Yeah, no mom and dad sometimes ruin it all the time, like when’s the last time mom and dad bought a house, oh, 40 years ago? Oh, I guess the rules haven’t changed since in their houses. Nineteen seventy six or whatever. Yeah, right? So, yeah, no, I get it for sure.
TRACY: Ok, so mortgage world is all about the rules to
BRENT: Completely about the rules.
TRACY: I thought you just kind of like, are like, you look like you could qualify for a house. Looks good.
BRENT: No, but that’s what people do. Still think that they think it is an emotional game. They walk in and say, OK, they tell you the long stories and why they’re better than someone else. And I said, that’s great. But unfortunately, we can’t create standardized rules so that we’re not discriminating against someone because of someone that came in was Caucasian and someone came in that was Indian. Then all of a sudden we treated this person differently than this person. And so there is so much law, and that’s why I like to educate. I do a lot of education and teaching myself, but is that the loans that we do are all standardized through the secondary market like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA. These rules are nearly black and white, and people don’t realize that. So as long as we memorize those rules, know what we can do and we can’t. You’re in good hands. But I can tell you that’s why experience makes a difference when it comes to going with someone, getting a loan or anything you do, in my opinion.
TRACY: So, yeah, yeah. And speaking of education, I mean, you, you have a newsletter every month,
BRENT: Week, every month. We have actually two or three different newsletters now that go out. One comes to you guys specializing in divorce. Then we also give a general in to our clients as well, too, because when I started, I didn’t get the education and it was like, Here, here’s here’s a computer and a phone. Figure it out. And so I said, Well, how do you do this right? So that’s why I feel so important to educate our clients because I went and did that for myself and through five certifications later, one happened to be in divorce. I feel like I have a little bit more information to pass on to people do it right versus just trial and error, and I see people try that and that doesn’t work right?
TRACY: It messes up literally like the American dream, right?
BRENT: Totally. Yes, you can get so close to closing and buying a house, and you’re a week before closing and we get a call. I would say once a week that somebody went online to a lender or somewhere else, and they’re not closing. And I ask them the question what happened? And they’re like, Well, this thing came up like, Well, you couldn’t have done that two weeks ago or five weeks ago, because that rule has always been in place. But they just don’t know because they think just probably similar to you guys, that we’re just a commodity like there’s every mortgage company across town. You know, it shouldn’t be different, but we all play by the same rules. It’s just a matter of how well do you know the rules and how well can you get that person through the process to make it easy and nice on them?
TRACY: For sure. Yeah. And speaking of trying to do it on your own, I always think I like to look at mortgage calculators weirdly, you know, like if I’m going to refinance my loan or something, and then all of a sudden I have the pop ups of like, help us or let us help you refinance your loan. And I’m like, I would never think of doing that, you know? And it’s similar to legal zoom, someone using legal zoom for their divorce or something like that where it’s not an actual person because everyone’s situation is so unique, right?
BRENT: And all those websites now are basically lead generation companies. So once you put your information in there, you’re going to get called from like five or 10 people. And then they call us like, Oh my God, I did something wrong. I need some real help now because these people are calling me and they don’t really care about you. That’s the thing with the online places is that I’m here local, and if I mess up, you’re going to come to my office, Tracy, and say, What’s going on? We got to get this figured out, you know? And so we have that reputation that we know that’s going to, you know, that’s going to happen, but it’s hard to find the right information. Even with interest rates, people think, Oh, everybody should just get the same interest rate and there’s all different rates depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. And I get it. People just want to know, Hey, what’s the going rate today, right? And it’s just like, Well, what are you trying to do? And so they think going online will give them the answer, but you’re right, it doesn’t get them in a big spiral.
TRACY: Yeah, it can be problematic. Yeah. Ok, tell us about your certification as a divorce mortgage specialist.
BRENT: Yeah, a CDP certified divorce lending professional. And so I did that.
TRACY: Yeah, initially, yeah. So do you have a lot of initials? I do in your name.
BRENT: Oh, people like always like to quiz me when I’m instructing continuing education. Like, do you know what those really mean? Or do you just make those up?
TRACY: So those initials and Wardle?
BRENT: Oh, really? They’re not all of them. None of them are five letters, though. Oh, three or four
TRACY: Letters, five letters in there. And see what happens?
BRENT: Try that my CMC, CRM, SDLP swivels and my CMA. Oh my, I memorized.
TRACY: Oh, there are a lot of C’s for this sort of situation.
BRENT: Yeah, so but the divorce one I would tell you out of the certifications, I have probably one of the hardest ones I went through because we would we probably spend about two or three weeks of class work to just obtain the information and knowledge to pass the test and after that’s after me being in lending for 20 years. So a lot of it comes down to on the SDLP side of the world is obviously the legal side sitting on enough of what you guys do. Obviously, we’re nowhere close to what you guys can help your clients with, but a lot of it is the tax law side of it to make sure that what you’re making decisions on buying and selling is not going to cause you just hundreds of thousands of dollars later. And again, we’re not tax professionals. We can’t give tax advice. But when we see something that we know, Hey, let’s get a CPA involved, are there. Involved to make sure they’re not going down this path of having huge issues later on, and that’s the big key, I think with any of this stuff is make sure to get the right professional to get the right information,
TRACY: And I think that’s exactly why you’re here. You know, we refer a lot of our clients to you because we know, first of all, we know you’re smart and now I know all of these letters you have by your name. But also like, I like to send people to you sometimes to be the bad person. You know, I will often look at a client situation and and they are interested in keeping the house and they want to refinance it into their own name because they need to do that to take the spouse’s name off. And I am looking at what I know, and they have a whole bunch of debt and then the mortgage loan is very high and I know how much they make. And I’m like, Oh, Brandon’s going to tell you, you cannot refinance that, but I’m going to have Brent tell you that not me, right? Because I think sometimes clients are so emotional in the divorce process that that’s one less thing they get to keep. And oftentimes it is really traumatic thinking about losing the house that the kids are used to and all of that. But I think that, you know, because what you do is so black and white, it’s really helpful that you can say you just don’t meet the qualifications. It’s not personal and sometimes coming from me, it feels personal.
BRENT: I completely agree, and I have to recommend all clients talking to someone else to make sure they’re getting the right information. You know, we joke in the industry. I was at a conference yesterday and I had to speak at a panel and US mortgage people refer to us as dream killers, you know, because it’s like everybody comes in and their ideas.
TRACY: What are they doing? What did they refer to the divorce lawyer? And I say I sometimes feel like a marriage murderer. That’s our new billboard marriage murderer. Contact the divorce expert.
BRENT: There you go. There’s new nuke phrase.
TRACY: Yeah, I hear today we’ll let Gary know
BRENT: Because people do get upset with us like, Well, don’t you understand I want to do something? And I’m like, Unfortunately, we can’t be emotional with this. We’d love to be. And that’s why I like spending a lot of time in divorce. A couple of friends. We’re like, Why are you doing this? You know, because they’re like, Oh, you’re this, you know, guy, that’s, you know, because the whole idea is like, Oh, you’re going after these, you know, divorced females and stuff. You know, you get this idea right. You never heard this before. Oh my God, it’s always
TRACY: Like, That’s your reputation.
BRENT: Yeah, you’re like one of those people. Not that we are, but I always heard these stories and people like, Why don’t you want to go work on divorce? That’s a lot of work. And I’m like. But actually, it’s like, it’s a challenge to me because after some of the stuff that we do, we do it all the time. We know it. So at least here you can develop a plan you can help people like in their their darkest times, like try to get a solution, not just like, Oh, let’s just crank out some rules. And so it does take a lot more work, which a lot of my SDLP was also with arbitration and actually working with people and and getting, you know, both sides to kind of come to an agreement and a happy medium, not just one party getting everything they want, right?
TRACY: So and I know you talk about your own divorce experience a lot too. And you know, having gone through that and then what we know of how stressful it is to just going through a divorce.
BRENT: Yeah. And I’ve been through it and actually, I don’t know for for me having a little bit understanding of it, it’s probably one of the reasons why I went and pushed to become certified and divorce. Mine went very, very well. I was very, very organized and we actually get along very, very well, and we sat together and had meetings and agreed on most everything. But even then, it’s no matter how well you’re trying to finalize or finish that situation, it’s still stressful. I think one of the most stressful times I’ve ever been through is I’ve never I’ve been to court, but when they put me on the stand just to, you know, agree to, this is what you agree to. Yeah, I was like sweating to death. I’m like, How is this so nerve wracking when you’re like, you’ve spent nine months working on this and it’s a super stressful time to make decisions? And what are you going to do with your future? Where are you going to live, where the kids are going to do just? It’s stressful. I get it. So if we can help alleviate some of that, that’s the idea of why I feel like we can help.
TRACY: Yeah. Well, and another thing that in today’s market that’s really stressful, too, is the market and what’s happening and not happening. And I think, you know, we were just talking about a client. We just referred to you and this person really wants to buy a house. And so I sent him to you and said, Go figure out if you’re able to qualify for a loan. And you reminded me that, Tracy, that’s fine. He can qualify for a loan, but there are literally no houses. Mm hmm. And so the information that we sometimes have to tell clients is you might have to rent for a year or two, right? And that’s really hard for clients to hear.
BRENT: It is because I think for some reason, you know, the idea of being successful is, you know, owning your own home and having the white picket fence, you know, and having that family and then you’re losing both things, you’re losing your home and your family. And all of a sudden I did the same thing. You feel like a failure. Like, wait a second, like, you know, you even though you might not have failed, I don’t know what the exact terminology is, but you do feel like you’re losing everything you got and home is like where you feel protected and safe. I mean, look at the last two years of the pandemic, you know, people locked themselves in their home, and that’s where they feel safe. They don’t feel like they they have to go out and do all that stuff. But we are telling people, Yeah, you might not be able to buy something, not because you’re not ready or you’re not qualified. The market just. Might not allow you to buy something and so have a backup plan of some kind like an apartment, and I don’t think especially, you know, as you mentioned, sometimes after divorce, your life’s going to change and I tell a lot of my clients too, it’s like, Hey, I know you’re not really thinking about dating other people and getting in another relationship, but statistics show you probably will. And at some point in time, despite
TRACY: Them telling you at the very beginning, I am never going to, yeah, six months later, get remarried. And then sometimes they come back for their second or third divorce with us.
BRENT: Oh my gosh, yes. Well, we see it. Then this housing, you know, they go, buy this little house and they’re going to meet somebody in a year. Then all of a sudden they’re removing their house again. So it’s like, you
TRACY: Know, too little.
BRENT: Yeah, because then they’re going to merge houses, right? So it’s kind of like, you know, maybe give yourself a little bit of time and an apartment. Meet some people you know who you’re going to meet and then you can make your decisions and not saying that don’t go buy a house. I’m not saying that at all, but have somewhat of a plan because you will meet someone. I see it all day long. Then they come back with their new spouse and we do another loan and we buy a bigger and better house and they move on.
TRACY: I just recently told the client that said I will never get remarried again. And I paused and it’s a phone call and I didn’t say anything. And he goes, OK, I know it might happen, but I’ll have. I’ll talk to you first. And I said, Yeah, we’ll do a prenuptial agreement
BRENT: This time around.
TRACY: Yeah, yeah, OK. Great. That made him feel better,
TRACY: Sure. But yeah, they all get remarried. They do. And sometimes people have to wait the six months because you can’t get remarried until six months after your divorce, and sometimes they’re like six months in a day.
TARA: Well, divorces last can last like two years if there’s a lot of conflict. And so in that time,
TRACY: A lot can happen. One hundred and four weeks. Do I did that math really quick? You did.
BRENT: Yeah, that was great. You got it, man. Well, I get that often too. And you guys refer people or many people come to us, you know, and they they’ve already mentally checked out right? And they’ve should have been divorced, you know, a year ago. And so in their head, they’re done like, Oh, this will take like two months that I’m going, Oh yeah, that’s not going to take two months, no matter how well you’re agreeing or you’re not agreeing. And so we kind of have to pump the brakes on here. Let’s get a plan because it’s not going to take you two months to get divorced.
TRACY: So I think, you know, if we kind of think a little bit about refinancing versus buying and selling in a divorce, and if we focus a little bit on the refinancing process, a lot of times we talk to our clients about what’s the best timing to start thinking about that, you know, if one person is going to keep the house and maybe that’s not even our client, we want to know that person may not even qualify. So let’s find that out. So what’s the best time to get you involved in a refi?
BRENT: I always say the sooner, the better, because there’s a couple of things that we try to help in the process. One is why you come to me too, is that we’re going to pull a credit report so at least I can get the minimum, get the attorneys, the credit report to show what accounts you have open because a lot of times you forget you went to Furniture Mart 10 years ago and bought that couch, or you went to Home Depot and took out some tile and you open the credit account. Well, you own that. Are you own that together? And now we have to figure out if that exists. So you want to make sure and close those accounts. But you’re right. We want to look at the whole scenario and find out. And I’ll tell you, I mean, it’s more than half the time people aren’t going to qualify just because, you know, when you’re cutting half of your income and you have all these same liabilities, even though you’re saying, well, we’re going to split them up. But at the time, we got to count all liabilities that are in your name, which are probably both because your spouse, we have to tell people, unfortunately, now we’ve got to come up with a plan, what’s the plan? And that might take three months, six months, nine months, especially if we need child support and alimony, you know, to use to get qualified. And so the sooner. And a lot of clients say, Well, why do I want to refinance early? Well, as you’ve seen here lately, with inflation rates have increased by as much as a percent over the last six months.
BRENT: So if you can get refinanced sooner than later, you’re probably going to get a better interest rate. So it’s better to do that sooner than later, in my opinion. Also, and you know, whenever that divorce is finalized, then you can just be done. You don’t have to go back and try to dig up paperwork with your spouse, have them come back in, you know, just the less contact, obviously, sometimes the better in that relationship. So refinancing sooner and earlier is great. And the reason why we’ve got and done a lot of divorces that we will help clients and allow them to refinance before the divorce is finalized. Where your lender will tell you because I know ninety nine point nine percent of all the lenders in town will not allow you to refinance before your divorce is finalized, and it really comes down to because the lender is concerned about your liabilities moving forward your if you’re paying child support or you’re receiving. And we don’t know what the final terms are yet, but we have lenders that will allow us to close as long as both spouses are on the same page. So even though you’re refinancing before your divorce is finalized, you are still married. And I know people contact us and say I’m divorced or I’m separated and I’m like, You’re
TRACY: Really not keeping either my ex husband. I’m like, Well, not yet.
BRENT: You’re still married on paper. Yeah, yeah, it is. It is.
TRACY: Yeah, yeah. So I think, you know, we like to get you involved in the very beginning because even if it’s a contentious divorce and our clients interested in keeping the house, I don’t want to make a settlement on. Offer saying my client’s going to refinance a house if my client’s not even able to refinance a house, so I want to go in knowing, you know, this is a good position that I’m making as a settlement offer
BRENT: And I think education is always it. The more information you have going into those discussions, the better you can benefit yourself and get things done quicker and better for yourself. If you don’t know, like you said, I have no idea if I can qualify or not. You know, that doesn’t help anything because you can’t get what you need done, Tracy, for the clients and and get this divorce finalized for him, which which everybody are trying to accomplish.
TRACY: And I think sometimes when we have decrees that for whatever reason, sometimes we don’t get to figure out what’s happening with the house until the divorce is final. And so we have a decree written that says my client gets to refinance a house and she has nine months to do so. And then if she can’t refinance it after nine months, it has to sell. And then they split the proceeds. And here’s how we figure out the proceeds. And it’s all this hypothetical, you know, language. And sometimes we can’t always think about all the hypotheticals, right? You know what, if the house sells at a loss, what are we going to do then? And so I think it’s just always like you said, that education is really important.
BRENT: When I would say more than I probably say 70 percent of the people that come to me going to divorces, we can’t get a loan done for right then. But what makes us different is that and I’ve had many divorces and judges review our plans because as you mentioned, you know, there’s always usually verbiage like you need to refinance in six months or nine months, and then this is what happens. Well, if you didn’t start with somebody to figure out if you can actually do that six or nine months goes by and then you finally go, apply for a loan and then you finally realize you can’t do it, you still need to do. Instead, we can start that six or nine months in advance and say, Hey, do this, this, this and this. And then that way, in the future, you will be ready to do and qualify with what you need. And we can put together that plan. Write it out. So all attorneys and all parties are aware of what the plan is. And then if you don’t follow the plan, there’s nothing we can do about it, but at least you’ve been given options to what you can do.
TRACY: And I think the other thing to, you know, we were talking about this before that some attorneys, for whatever reason, don’t care to get other professionals involved in the middle of the case. So like, I’m picking up the phone, I’m calling the realtor, I’m picking up the phone and I’m calling you and just having you involved as what we can consider as a neutral person. And I think some cases become so litigious and contentious that they think, Well, you’re only working for my client. And no, really, it can be beneficial to both of the spouses, even if they hate each other, right?
BRENT: Yeah, because we also then as you mentioned professionals, a lot of times I’m going to contact and speak with you and the parties and say, Well, what’s your house worth? And then no one knows I’m not the professional on the value side, and a lot of times we don’t want to just go get a full blown appraisal and spend six to nine hundred dollars because that’s more cost that, you know, we don’t necessarily have to have. But if we can get a a real estate professional or someone that a realtor that knows what the value is, OK, now we can start, I say, you know, eliminating variables we want to start, you know, we have now 20 variables that we don’t know. Let’s get that up to five and then we can start figuring out some kind of a plan and all of those people working together to come up with a solution. Because again, I don’t handle the legal side, but I can help with the mortgage, but I don’t handle the real estate side. A realtor can help us get what we need to be out there too as well. I think everybody should get, you know, more professionals involved. Yeah.
TRACY: And also speaking of appraisals, too, like especially if one person is going to keep the house and we’re not selling it, we don’t know what the true value of a house is unless it sells right. And so the best alternative is an appraisal, typically or just a random number. They pick out of the air and they agree to. That’s fine, too. But in the refinance process, too, we kind of get a free appraisal. Yes, right? I mean, they’re paying for it, but it hit two birds with one stone completely.
BRENT: Yeah. And so we sometimes start with the loan just going down that path, and an appraisal can be used for four months. So even if you start down the path and say we have lots of clients, do that just so we can provide you guys with a number because they’re not necessarily agreeing to that to make sure that happens. And I know Tara had mentioned that, you know, some people ask, well, what goes into an appraisal or do I need to have my house like spick and span and super clean? Yeah, we want it picked up. You know, I can see there’s crazy pictures that we have
TRACY: That are like this divorce house when they’re trying to
BRENT: Sell the house. Yeah, yeah. But really, you know, you don’t have to like, go crazy, you know, as long as you don’t have like electrical wires sticking out of the wall that are going to electrocute you. You know, it’s a safety and soundness situation of what you need to do before an appraisal comes is, you know, it makes your house is kind of picked up. You know, it’s the big thing.
TRACY: I’ve had a client, a couple of clients. This is not unique where, you know, the appraisal has to happen for a refi or we’re getting an appraisal just to figure out a value. You know, maybe we’re not even in a refinance and the client will say, I don’t really want my spouse to see the inside of the house and they’re going to see the pictures and the appraisal. And I’m like, Then they pick it up or be, who cares, really? Like, you have a pile of laundry in the corner? No one cares. And there’s I think there’s that mindset of, you know, I’m going through a divorce and I don’t want my spouse to know that I’m stressed out, you know, and that my house is messy. Yeah. So, yeah, the pictures do get attached to the appraiser. They are going to be there.
BRENT: They will and we’re immune to it. We get lots of people that’ll say, Oh, you don’t want to eat inside my house. I really don’t care. Honestly, I’m not judging. I just want the numbers.
TRACY: So I don’t think usually people even look at the pictures in the appraisal.
BRENT: Oh, we do. My sister loves looking at pictures. She just loves dreaming, you know, pretty soon. Like, You know what they get,
TRACY: But not for judgment
BRENT: Reason. No. Oh God, no, no. You know, I don’t have no judgment reasons, but, you know, sometimes I’m sure they probably do. But I don’t care.
TRACY: Doesn’t bother unless we need to use it against him for like custody. Like, Oh, look at all those dirty dishes and there’s roaches on the counter that could be helpful.
BRENT: You can see pictures of roaches in little two by two. Oh hey, there must be big roaches.
TRACY: You have to pinch the screen, right?
BRENT: Make it so blurry. You haven’t seen appraisal. They like taking it like I don’t know what they use, like an iPhone one or something. Take a picture of them. Cameras and iPhone ones. I don’t even know.
TRACY: Someone asked me yesterday, what iPhone do you have? And I was like, I think it’s the 11 or the 12. And she goes, Are you sure? I think it’s like 18 is out now. And I was like, No. 18, no. I think it’s just maybe 13 is out.
TARA: Yeah, I think Tom is 13.
TRACY: Yeah, you just got it. But there’s not 18 yet. No, she give that in like six years, right? Maybe they’ll come out with 14 this year. I don’t know.
BRENT: Yeah, maybe 18 weeks or something. Maybe?
TRACY: I don’t know. All right. So then let’s talk about selling and you know, those big the language that is required, really, that needs to be in the decree when we sell. I think that’s the important part to have you looped in, right
BRENT: When they’re selling their
TRACY: Property, if they’re going to sell the house in the divorce?
BRENT: Yeah. So obviously, anything that you’re writing in the contract needs to match with underwriting rules of what we’re trying to do. So if you’re selling the house, yeah, you want to make sure you’re having verbiage on who is getting what in that sale type of scenario, not just let’s sell the house and the well, where’s the money go? What happens then? You know, and that’s what I’m always thinking when this verbiage is getting written, even on purchase agreements, I see so much stuff to happen. It’s like, OK, you left it so open ended. Well, we got to that part now. Where do you go? You know, you got to kind of keep going down this trail to make sure everybody’s covered. And we see it a lot when people either refinancing or selling. No one addresses the escrow account and now they have a five thousand check that’s floating out there. Neither one’s talking to each other, and it’s got both their names in the check. What do you do? Well, some people think I’m going to forge my spouse’s name. Well, I wouldn’t advise you to do that, but you can do whatever you want to do.
TRACY: It’s not me or just deposit the check. Yeah. And then the other person, yeah,
BRENT: Doesn’t they find out later they have it and then you got more people involved trying to get their money back.
TRACY: So yeah, and I think, you know, sometimes we get involved on cases after they’re closed. Another attorney or no attorney did the divorce, and we have a client come to us and say, Hey, my decree says this, and we’re like, Well, first of all, who drafted the decree, let’s talk about that. And then they say, Well, we didn’t have lawyers, we did it on our own. And they may be missing a whole host of language that is required to either give direction to the title company on where the proceeds should go and escrow funds or how to refinance and figure out what the value is. And again, who’s getting what equity out of the home.
BRENT: Well, during discovery, I see all the time that people unintentionally lie. They don’t disclose an old car, they don’t disclose an old credit account. And all of a sudden like, Hey, who owns this thing? We don’t know. No one addressed it in the degree like it wasn’t taken care of. Now you got this account that’s floating out there that both parties can charge on, and then all of a sudden they charge twenty grand and don’t pay the bill. Next thing you know, your credit’s ruined because you just didn’t go through and close out and had those accounts address that should have been written out in there. And who’s to do what? So especially when people are purchasing, we haven’t talked about, you know, purchasing yet, but that’s also kind of a big challenge, too is, you know, when people are wanting to then turn around and buy, if they’re still married versus them not being married. And that’s always a challenge there because there’s different laws that we have to go by again, rules we don’t just get to pick them. I think some people think that I just like you, you’re Mr. Smith, and you and I know each other since we were, you know, me and I’ll just give you money. But unfortunately, because of a lot of things, especially 2008, we can’t do that no more.
TRACY: So, yeah, what happened in two thousand eight?
BRENT: Well, I mean, obviously, all different loans that happen, anybody could get a loan, you know? And so because of that, obviously, it put us into a massive recession. And so most many people lost jobs. Many people lost homes and the government said, Hey, if we’re going to bail out the situation, we’re going to create loans and mean create laws that are going to stop these bad loans from happening. So nowadays it’s against the law to give a loan out on secondary market. If you don’t verify their income, their credit and the value of their house. So a lot of people might come to us, especially that are self-employed, don’t have enough income or my credit’s ruined because the divorce, whatever it’s like. Unfortunately, it’s not my choice. It’s just the law says we can’t do this. And so if we did, the law states, if I give you a loan and I wasn’t able to review those things and you want to sue me, I have to give you a free loan. And so what lender in America is going to give out of your pocket? Hundred percent. Yeah, so
TRACY: Was Oh, I didn’t know that.
BRENT: Neither because if the law
TRACY: States like the equivalent of getting disbarred? Well, kind of. Well, really going.
BRENT: I just don’t want to give somebody a free two hour long, because if they say, Hey, you didn’t verify this and you knew I couldn’t afford this house and you didn’t verify my credit or my income and you still gave me a loan, they’re like, You’re liable for this. You need to pay my loan off because you put me in a bad predicament, a bad place. And that’s how the law’s written which. So that’s why people say, Well, why don’t we do these loans before? Well, because no one wants to give somebody a five hundred thousand dollar house for free. I mean, I would no, I don’t got that kind of money. I mean, I mean, I would give maybe one or two people a free house, but after that I’d be bankrupt. I mean, I don’t what
TRACY: I could hear can
BRENT: I just not doing that?
TRACY: So let’s talk about purchasing, then, you know, in the middle of a divorce. So we have the marital home and one person’s going to keep that one and the other person’s like, I do want to purchase a house in the middle of the divorce. Is that possible?
BRENT: It is. But people have to get along during those scenarios because what happens is, again, it comes down to laws and rules. We don’t set these, but the state mandates that if you’re married, the other party has to be disclose their interest when you’re buying a house. So if you are married, you definitely can go buy another home. But we have to have the other party that are spouse show up at closing on time to sign the documents that acknowledge that your spouse is buying a house and a lot of times at the beginning of the process, everybody says, Yeah, my spouse will come no big deal. We’re getting along fine. And then something happens. And then they
TRACY: Threw him under the bus in an affidavit and they’re like, No, watch this. I ain’t coming to your closing tomorrow.
BRENT: Exactly. Then all the loan officers are realtors and everybody is sitting there closing and your person doesn’t show up. It’s not comfortable. And so we try to obviously, we always have that conversation in the beginning, but we try to follow up throughout the process to say, Is everybody OK? Is everybody still on the same page? And I would say there’s lots of amicable divorces. Thankfully, yes. I mean, there’s lots out there, you know, because thankfully people are doing what’s right for their family.
TRACY: The definition of amicable varies. It does. Yeah, that’s subjective.
BRENT: But it’s still I mean, you know, it is subjective. You’re right, but you know, hopefully we’ve done a lot of them. That’s why I can say that we’ve seen it because, you know, we do, and it sometimes makes sense. Here’s what makes sense that I see attorneys will refer me people because they’re like, Hey, let’s get Mr. and Mrs. out of the house, so they’ll quit fighting so we can get somewhere. And so if we can get them into two separate houses, maybe, you know, it’s tough, but at least if they’re not there all day long fighting over something, you know, they can actually get along when we’re trying to have these conversations versus this just, you know, bickering for no reason.
TRACY: So yeah, we often give advice like the sooner you guys separate physically, probably the better your case is going to be. Yeah, yeah. And then it’s the question of why I don’t want to leave. She should leave. Well, one of you just needs to leave, right? Like, take your pick. Let’s flip a coin. Yeah, right?
BRENT: But we see that happen a lot and then people say, Well, you know, can I use my other spouse’s income? Can I use my spouse’s credit? No. If you’re going to buy a house on your own, you need to qualify on your own. Well, the challenge exists. Sometimes the biggest one usually we see is child support or alimony as income. You know, we can’t use that till you’ve been receiving it either three or six months, depending on what type of loan we do. And so but if you voluntarily start paying the child support alimony early prior to the divorce being finalized, we can use that. But what happens challenging wise, though, is that if you have a loan on that other house and your name is on it too, now you’re trying to qualify for another house with two mortgages, and that’s why. Then we’re like, OK, let’s refinance and Mrs. name Mister. Let’s go buy you a house or vice versa. And so there’s a plan that has to happen, you know, so we can get everybody into suitable housing arrangements, but
TRACY: That’s where people need to be on somewhat of the same page. One hundred percent. Yeah, and there has to be some trust in that process.
BRENT: There is, but we also say, Well, I want to do this, but don’t tell them about this. Don’t tell them about that. And sometimes I’m like, OK, they’ll never be able to know about that. But this is going to be public and we get to closing. They’re going to see the numbers. So it just depends, you know, to have that situation.
TRACY: And I think, you know, some of the verbiage that we talk about is when a house is purchased during the divorce, so they’re still married. Their names are both going to be on the deed because in Nebraska, you have a marital interest, whether you’re going through a divorce or not. And then we’ll clean that up on the lawyer side and file what’s called a quit claim deed. And that’s quit. Not quick. Right? We always hear
BRENT: The same thing.
TRACY: I want to get along quick. Claim to you. There’s nothing quick about it. We’re quitting. We’re quitting everything. Everybody. Yeah. So you’re quitting your interest in the in the house. And so I think a lot of people get freaked out by that, that, well, wait, why is my spouse, who’s going to be my ex spouse soon going on the deed? We’ll clean it up. It will get filed later.
BRENT: But what we see happen all the time, too. Same thing. People call us and go, I’m going to solve all my problems with the quick claim deed. I’m going to sign this thing over and I’m like, OK, quit claim deed only changes. Who owns the property? You still have the liability of who’s obligated on the nodes. And that’s when it happened. When you bought your house five years ago together so quickly. Nobody does nothing to solve your credit liability problems, and we get that all the time because they jump online. And all I got to do is this and everything solved, right? We’re like Google again. Google. No, it’s not.
TRACY: Yeah. So, yeah, I think so. Some of the good takeaways, really, and I always learn a lot with these podcasts as well, but some of what we already knew and is that you can refinance during a divorce process. You don’t have to do it before you file. You don’t have to wait until it’s over. You can both purchase and refinance. And I think the other the other big thing too, is as lawyers, you know, our advice is get the other professionals involved in the beginning. Don’t be afraid, it’s going to put a wrench in anything. I think that’s sometimes easy, either that or laziness from other lawyers. And like I said, we like to get you involved in the beginning so that you can be the bad guy sometimes.
BRENT: Well, I always say, like you mentioned, you can do any of these things. Anything is possible, but we have to develop some kind of a plan. I can tell you every person that comes in is different and there’s scenarios are different. So just because somebody says, Yeah, I can refinance before my divorce is finalized, we still got to qualify and go through the steps and the rules. But you’re right. Don’t be scared and saying somebody says you can’t do something. There’s possibilities that you can. We just got to work through it and we do it every day, all the time. Yeah, and it happens for sure.
TRACY: Anything is possible. Is that Nike? Everything? No, that’s just to do it. Oh, you’re right. You’re right. Well, Bret, thank you for being on the podcast. And really, I think you all should check out Brand’s website. He also does a weekly live Facebook.
BRENT: Yeah, three o’clock on Tuesdays
TRACY: We do a Facebook. Two episodes
BRENT: A year. Got it week.
TRACY: Fifty two weeks ago. But yeah, Brent’s all about education, and I think this stuff is really important and can be confusing. And I think you do a really good job of clear it up. So thank you for being on our podcast today. This was great.
BRENT: You got it. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. Yeah.
TRACY: All right. Thanks, Brent.
BRENT: You got it.
ANNCR: Thank you for listening to the lady. Be sure to like and subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts, if you would like to learn more about our. At H r Law Omaha. We’ll see you next week.
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