Can I walk away from a house with a mortgage under my ex’s name?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I walk away from a house with a mortgage under my ex’s name?

I currently live in a mobile home that the ex and I got together, she does not live there and said the she does not want any of the responsibility of the house, etc. Since she’ve moved out I’ve been making the payments on the home. I want to know after cleaning out the home and getting my name off the park lease etc and I can walk away from the home because it is in her name. Would their be any backlash on me? What would need to do to legally safeguard myself?

Asked on May 23, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A mortgage is a contract. Like any other contract, it only binds or obligates the parties to that--that is, the people who agreed to be bound and who are signatories to it. If are not on the mortgage (i.e. did not take it out or sign it), you are not liable for the mortgage: you have no responsibiltiy to the bank/lender to pay a loan you did not take out and did not co-sign or guaranty. So if your ex is the only person on the mortgage, then you can walk away and any consequences (e.g. being sued by the lender for the money; damage to credit rating) will fall on her, not you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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