How can I get off the mortgage to my ex-husband’s house?

When my ex-husband and I divorced he filed a basic no-fault divorce. Our home was not a part of the divorce settlement (I know stupid me) but I could not afford an attorney and let it go. I have not resided in it for almost 7 years. A little over a year ago he was going to be forclosed on so came to me with paperwork that he needed signed to be able to modify the loan in his name only and apply for assistance. This was fine with me as I wanted off the house all together. Again, doing this without an attorney because of financial issues. Well it turns out the paperwork I signed removed me from the deed and revoked my rights to the property, however I still remain on the mortgage. Is there anything I can do to get off this mortgage? My credit is being affected.

Asked on July 14, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, there isn't anything you can do: a mortgage is a contract, and a party to a contract may only be released from it if ALL parties to the contract--meaning your ex and the lender--agree to let that party out. And your ex and the lender have no reason to let you out of the mortgage, since it reduces the number of people liable or responsible for it (the lender especially has no reason to let you out, since that would reduce by 50% the number of people they could try to recover the money from). 

It is possible you may have a lawsuit against your ex, if he committed fraud in how he presented the papers to you to sign (i.e. that he didn't make clear that you were still liable for the mortgage even though you gave up your interest in the property); that may let you recover compensation from you, and it is worth discussing this with an attorney. It will still not let you out of the mortgage, however.

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