If I sign a quitclaim deed so my ex-spouse can have the house, can I still get my name off the mortgage?

How do I do that?

Asked on August 18, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Has he tried to refinance? This is the most common way to handle such a situation. If he hasn't he should. If he has tried but has been turned down, you can ask the lender to allow what is called a "novation" to take your name off of the mortgage. While this is only rarely allowed, it's still an option worth trying. A novation could be accomplished by your ex-spouse proving that he has paid the mortgage without you. If he is current and has never been late with payments, the lender may allow the removal of your name.  Your lender may also allow a novation if your ex-spouse "buys" your release by making a substantial payment to reduce the principal mortgage balance.

You should be aware that you may want to wait to sign a quitclaim. Most mortgages have a "due on sale (transfer) clause". Once you no longer have any interest in the property this clause may be triggered. At that point the lender could "accelerate" the mortgage; this means it could demand payment in full.

At this point you should consult directly with a real estate attorney in your area to go over your options.


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.