How can I get my ex to remove my name from his mortgage?

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How can I get my ex to remove my name from his mortgage?

We divorced in 2012. He kept the
house and mortgage. He was told
to take my name off and hasn’t –
now I want to purchase a home and
cannot because my name is still
on his mortgage. What can I do to
get myself off his mortgage.

Asked on June 27, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There really may not much that you can do. Your divorce decree does not effect financial liability regarding a mortgage since the lender was not a party to the divorce action. Accordingy, even if your ex-husband assumed liability for all of the payments as part of your settlement, the lender need not remove your name from the mortgage. That having been said, there is a legal tool that could possibly be of help. It is known as a "novation". While they typically are not granted as mortgage lenders would rather have 2 people to look to for payment, there are sometimes allowed. With a novation, the lender would agree to have your name removed from the mortgage if your ex-husband (whose name will remain on the mortgage) if he can prove that he has paid the mortgage without your help. If he is current and has never been late with the monthly payments, the lender may allow him to remove your name. The lender may also allow a novation if your ex-husbnd "buys" your release by making a substantial payment to reduce the principal balance. What you now may want to  do is to consult directly with a real estate attorney in your area; as they can best advise you further.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There really may not much that you can do. Your divorce decree does not effect financial liability regarding a mortgage since the lender was not a party to the divorce action. Accordingy, even if your ex-husband assumed liability for all of the payments as part of your settlement, the lender need not remove your name from the mortgage. That having been said, there is a legal tool that could possibly be of help. It is known as a "novation". While they typically are not granted as mortgage lenders would rather have 2 people to look to for payment, there are sometimes allowed. With a novation, the lender would agree to have your name removed from the mortgage if your ex-husband (whose name will remain on the mortgage) if he can prove that he has paid the mortgage without your help. If he is current and has never been late with the monthly payments, the lender may allow him to remove your name. The lender may also allow a novation if your ex-husbnd "buys" your release by making a substantial payment to reduce the principal balance. What you now may want to  do is to consult directly with a real estate attorney in your area; as they can best advise you further.


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