How can I have my name removed from a mortgage?

My husband purchased our home a few months prior to marriage. My name was not included. During the marriage he refinanced it and added me to mortgage and deed. We are living apart and he is living in home. How can I be removed from the debt?

Asked on April 2, 2016 under Family Law, Nebraska

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, your divorce does not effect financial liability of a mortgage since the bank was not a party to the divorce action. Therefore, even if your husband assumed all liability for the payments as part of your settlement, the bank need not remove your name from the mortgage. That having been said, there is a legal tool known as a "novation", that could possibly be of help in this situation (although they are not typically granted by mortgage lenders as they would rather have 2 people to look to for payment). 
With a novation, the lender would agree to have your name removed from the mortgage. It can beaccomplished by having the party whose name will remain on the mortgage (i.e. your ex-husband) prove that they have paid the mortgage without the help of the party who wants their name removed (i.e. you). If the remaining party is current and has never been late with the monthly payments, the lender may allow them to remove the other's name. A lender may also allow a novation if the remaining party "buys" the other party's release by making a substantial payment to reduce the principal balance.
So then, if your husband is agreeable, he could ask the lender to have your name removed if he can offer proof that he is financially capable of making the mortgage payments on his own, or if you and he could work out some sort of lump sum payment to the lender.
What you may want to do now is to consult directly with a real estate attorney in your area; they can best advise you further.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.