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How to remove name from mortgage after divorce

Posted on: 14th Jun, 2007 12:06 pm
My wife and I got divorced over a year ago. I signed a quit claim deed but never had her refinance. she has been paying on her own for 12 months. I would now like to be removed from the mortgage. My wife has no problems with removing me, if the lender allows my name to be removed from mortgage (unlikely)
1. Will the lender remove me?
2. Can i force her do refinance? (In our divorce agreement, which was drawn up my my ex (lawyer) I don't think the mortgage was mentioned at all.
Hi Christian,
"Will the lender remove me? "
You will have to talk with your lender about this. Depending on your wife's financial situation lender will let you know if she can qualify for the refinance or not.

You said that she has no problems with removing your name so I don't think you will have to force her to refinance. And she has been making the payments on her own for the last one year which means she has no objections to carrying on with the mortgage. First you talk with lender to know if she can refinance in her name or not, if her income and credit profile is good then there should not be any problem with the refinance.

Posted on: 14th Jun, 2007 01:08 pm
she doesn't have a problem with removing me from mortgage but would have an issue with refinancing now with rates where they are. she's on a 5 year ARM due 2010. I was wondering if bank would release me from mortgage without forcing her to refinance at todays higher rates. i'm 99% sure or I guess 100% at this point that this wouldn't be allowed. at this point if bank wont remove me out of the goodness of their heart, then i'll need to force her to. i signed a quit claim deed, but don't think there is wording in the divorce decree concerning the mortgage. so the real question at this point is can i force her to refinance, since i signed the quit claim deed? thanks again...
Posted on: 14th Jun, 2007 01:17 pm
Hi Christian,

If you had to you could take her into court and have it ordered that she relieve you of liability if she has the means to do so. I have seen it done before. Good Luck
Posted on: 14th Jun, 2007 01:28 pm
You might need to contact an attorney to know if a court order can be possible to make you remove name from mortgage after divorce since you are not on the title of the house. And it can be possible that court will instruct her to do so as now she is owner of the house.

But it will depend more on court as how it sees your as well as your wife's financial condition.
Posted on: 14th Jun, 2007 02:03 pm
Inquiring about a release is first avenue but remember all is not lost if you stay on the mortgage. Sure the possibility of a judgment is there if ex stops making payments but remember the liability will NOT affect your ability to get another home IF and only if the lender follows Fannie guidelines. It's the underwriter's choice and I can see why they might be queasy but make the LO present the argument.
Posted on: 14th Jun, 2007 03:06 pm
This is by far the most common problem I run into in my business when consulting with recently divorced individuals.

No disrespect intended to divorce attorneys, but they don't know the first thing about the consequences that divorce have on credit or mortgages.

What you have learned the hard way is that signing a quick claim deed or having a court order absolving you of future liability on your mortgage has no merit with your current lender.

Based upon the limited info you have provided, I believe there are only two ways to get your name off the deed:

- Sell the property.
- Have your ex refinance and remove your name from the deed.

No, you can't make your ex-wife do anything and this is the brick wall that most in your circumstance run into---the ex doesn't have enough income to qualify for refinance in his/her name...

If this is the case, your request to be released from the deed will surely be ignored by the current lender.


Scott Miller
Posted on: 16th Jun, 2007 02:31 pm
scott and all, thanks, for scott - my name is off the deed of the house but its still on the mortgage. my wife would be able to refinance given her income even at higher rates, which is the main reason she is hesitant to refinance at this present time. met with mortgage broker on friday night and he is going to present the underwriter with the quit claim deed and 12 months of history from my wife's checking account illustrating that she alone is paying the mortgage. Should this be enough or will underwriter still shy away from making loan. How can I determine if the loaner is using FANNIE guidelines? Thanks again.
Posted on: 18th Jun, 2007 07:13 am
at this point my main concern is whether or not an underwriter who is looking at my new loan application to buy a new home will deny based upon existing mortgage with ex wife. I make enough to cover new mortgage payments and under normal circumstances would be approved for new mortgage and ex wife has been paying our mortgage alone for past year. will this satisfy underwriter, or will he deny based on existing mortgage?
Posted on: 18th Jun, 2007 07:20 am
This is the other bee's nest most lawyers create when handling divorce proceedings---having you remove your name from the deed (by way of a quit claim deed) without removing your name from the mortgage at the same time has in essense left your financial responsible for a property in which you have no ownership stake in/rights to.

I'm unsure whether underwriting will accept the approach your current lender is taking---at minimum, he/she should be presenting the following:

- Divorce Decree (if it indicates that you are not "legally" responsible for future mortgage payments by way of court order).
- Quit Claim Deed
- Income Documentation for your wife validating her ability to handle the indebtedness independent of your income (bank statements are beneficial in demonstrating the ebbs and flows of your ex's disposable income, but doesn't tell the lender the origin of the income---back up the bankstatement disclosure with 3 months paystubs and previous years' tax return)

Understand that you are trying to demonstrate to the lender that your ex is solvent enough to handle this loan on her own---the more proof you can offer in the way of demonstrating liquidity, no effect to her DTI, etc., the more apt the lender is willing to entertain your proposal.

As for telltale signs that your current mortgage lender is presenting a Fannie Mae loan---it's difficult to tell by what you have shared (or haven't in this case)...

Good luck and keep us posted.


Scott Miller
Posted on: 18th Jun, 2007 01:14 pm
A new mortgage company cannot be sure that your ex will not stop payments in future and thus affect your ability to continue both the payments.

"at this point my main concern is whether or not an underwriter who is looking at my new loan application to buy a new home will deny based upon existing mortgage with ex wife. "

You will not be denied a loan but the rates could be higher based on the risk factor they will have to bear because of the present mortgage obligation that you still have.

Posted on: 18th Jun, 2007 04:52 pm
I have been making the mortgage payments after a divorce and the house has been on the market for over a year. I live in the home and can well aford to make the necessary repairs which I would do if I was able to refinance into my name only. My ex-wife would be agreeable and I would buy her out. Can a house be refinanced if it's been on the market? Thank you.
Posted on: 02nd Nov, 2008 08:38 am
Hi home on mkt - refi!

As far as I know, you will not be able to refinance the property as it is up for sale. The lenders do not generally do that. You can still have a talk with the lender. If you want to make home improvements, you can take away the from from the market. You can then repair it with a home improvement loan or refinance and then put the house again for sale. You can consider this option if you feel you can afford it.

Posted on: 02nd Nov, 2008 10:56 pm
my exhusband wants me to sigh a quit claim deed in Mass. THEN he wants
to refinance with Bk America after I'm off the deed is this wise? Shouldn't we both go to court and get the judges approval...I'm not sure that I'll be relieved of all financial responsiblilites. I'd rather have all this done simultaneoulsly? some one please help me find a solution he lives in the home with our 10 yr old daughter, and I do not want to look like the big bad wolf, I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer and don't want to
Posted on: 07th Feb, 2009 10:58 pm
I am in the process of getting a divorce and only worked part-time but since have completed schooling and now work 1 full time and 1 part time job. I went to the bank to get my ex to bes name removed and the loan refinced but was turned down because I havent been at the job for a year. Is there anything I can do?
Posted on: 12th Apr, 2009 12:01 pm

There's little you can do about it. The only thing you can do is to wait until you complete 1 year at the job. However, contact other lenders as well and find out if they can help you in any way. Some lenders may agree to offer you a loan, but they would charge high a rate of interest or would want you to put down a lot of money.
Posted on: 13th Apr, 2009 05:20 am
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