What are my rights if my ex-soouse refuses to take my name off the house?

I am recently divorced. My ex is still unemployed and not seeking a job. She was awarded the house because she refused to give it up and I just wanted closure. I have gone to the lender and had them send her the paperwork to have my name removed. She says it isn’t possible. I want to move on with my life and not tied to the responsibilities of this property. She has been behind on payments and did not let me know. The bank contacted me that there was a fire at the house. There is now an arson investigation. I have to sign all this paperwork and checks not knowing what it is.

Asked on October 28, 2011 under Family Law, Washington


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to hire a lawyer. You also need to file a complaint against the lender with the department who oversees or regulates your lender. At the time of the divorce, even if she was awarded the house, there are two issues at play: the mortgage itself (the loan) and the note and the title. If the title is in both of your names, that is one issue. You can always quit claim the property to her name but that would accelerate the loan. If the loan is accelerated and you are one of the mortgagors (borrowers), then you are liable immediately for the whole amount. Now, even if the lender sent her paperwork to refinance the property into her name, you would a) have to agree and b) she would not qualify. If you wish to take the home on the fact she is unemployed, you will need to go back to court and ask the court to approve an amendment to the divorce decree.

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