Spouses seeking a divorce in Ohio may worry that their soon to be ex-spouse is hiding assets. Unfortunately, sometimes this fear is justified, which is why anyone in the beginning stages of a divorce should locate and gather documents that can uncover the existence of hidden assets. Mortgage closing documents are a good place to start.
According to Forbes, it is common for mortgage closing documents to provide a wide range of financial information. If you and your spouse were involved in taking out a loan for a new home, a lender will likely have required the two of you to list your assets, liabilities, and income flows to prove your ability to pay off the mortgage. This means your spouse will have needed to disclose assets and income up to that point in time on those documents.
Nerdwallet provides a rundown of what kind of financial information mortgage documents may include. A person who earns wages would be required to supply copies of W-2 forms and payroll stubs. People that are self-employed, independent contractors or do freelance work should provide two years worth of records that include profit and loss statements as well as Form 1099s.
There are also people who derive income from renting their real estate. These individuals should document their rental income and the market value of their rental properties. Mortgage documents can also list retirement and brokerage accounts, such as IRA statements, 401(k)s, stocks, bonds, and CDs. Home buyers sometimes use bank statements to qualify for a mortgage, so mortgage documents may reveal the existence of an account that a spouse is trying to hide.
The downside to financial information contained in mortgage closing documents is that the documentation can be quite old, perhaps many years out of date. There may have been plenty of time for accounts listed in the documents to have been closed or spent. Nonetheless, it is worth the effort to check these documents. In addition to unearthing hidden assets, you might find old assets that you have simply forgotten about over the years.