In Divorce, Judge gave me house and told me to get her name off the mortgage. I cannot find a mortgage company to do this. Now I’m in contemp, what do I do.

In our divorce I was given the house, with $22,000 left owed, and the judge

ordered me to take her name off the mortgage, and make her harmless against it. I have tried to refinance but cannot find a company that will do it. I’m now on

continuance on a contempt charge. I’ve made all the payments, and am 1 month


Asked on September 17, 2016 under Family Law, Indiana


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Since you are unable to refinance, you can try to get a what is called a "novation". This involves asking the current mortgage lender to remove your ex-wife's name from the mortgage. Practical speaking this is rarely allowed but certainly worth a try, especially since you are facing contempt. A novation could be accomplished by demonstrating that you have paid and continue to pay the mortgage on your own (typically you need to show them a period of about 8-12 months). If you can then show that you are current (in fact you are a month ahead), have no late payments, and can prove that you have been the only one paying the mortgage, the lender may allow your ex's name to be removed. You may also be able to obtain a novation if you "buys" her release by making a substantial payment to reduce the principal balance.

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