Should I surrender or retain property to get my name off a mortgage on a house that my ex-husband still resides in?

My ex-husband and I divorced 3 years ago. He lives in the house but can’t get refinanced. He is current on the mortgage and wants to keep the house. I have to file Chapter 7. When filing Chapter 7, do I “surrender” or “retain” the property to get my name off of the mortgage?

Asked on January 5, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer to your question regarding surrendering or retaining the property is simply "it depends".  If he cannot get refinanced, to take you off of the mortgage, that is one issue.  Are you both on the note and the deed? If so, you may need to consider the impact the Chapter 7 will have on his credit.  And yes, it will impact his credit more often than not.  You need to review your options, talk to your servicer or lender and see if a forebearance or some form of loan modification can help in this situation.  If not, consider a deed in lieu and see if the Obama plan will help you.  If it does, with a deed in lieu, you won't have to claim the amount as income.

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