If the house was awarded to me in our divorce and a quitclaim deed was signed and filed by my ex, do I have to refinance just to get his name off of the mortgage?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes you would have to do refinance. The fact that his name is not on the deed makes no difference.

However, if a refinance is not possible for some reason, there may be another option. It will be bit long shot but worth a try. You could try to arrange with your lender for what is known as a "novation". With a novation, the loan would stay in place but one of the mortgagor's names (your husband's) would be removed. There are strict requirements for obtaining one because from a lender's perspective the more borrowers it can look to for repayment the better.

You would have to show that you have paid the mortgage without your ex-husband (the longer the better). If you are current with the payments and have never been late, your lender may allow you to remove your ex's name from the mortgage.  A novation may also be granted if you "buy" your ex's release by making a substantial payment to reduce the remaining mortgage balance.

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