How canI make my ex-wife get my name offthe mortgage?

I bought a house with wife and her mother, then she divorced me and make me leave. She got everything. The judge made me execute a quickclaim deed, which I did and paid for. Right away, she had my name off the title but it’s been 9 years and she makes no effort to get my name off the mortgage. I’d like to get a place for me and the kids some day. I’d like her to stop continuing to use me at her advantage.

Asked on December 28, 2010 under Family Law, Hawaii

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming she was to have taken you off of the mortgage as per your divorce decree, then you can take her to court for contempt of the order.  She will then have to demonstrate what, if any, attempts have been made to get your name off of the mortgage.  The judge can then order her to try and refinance the property in her name only.  However, in this economy, she may not be successful. It depends on her finances.

If a refinance is denied, she can ask the lender to allow what is called a "novation" to remove your name. While this is only rarely allowed, it is still, it's worth trying.  A novation could be accomplished by your ex-wife showing that she has paid the mortgage for the last 9 years without you; if she is current and has never been late, the lender may allow her to remove your name from the mortgage without her having to refinance.  A novation may also be obtained if she "buys" your release by making a substantial payment to reduce the mortgage balance.


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