How can I get my name removed from a mortgage that is my ex-husband’s debt?

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How can I get my name removed from a mortgage that is my ex-husband’s debt?

I was divorced in 11/08. The judgment of divorce stated that he needed to refinance the house within 120 days of the judgment. If he was not able to refinance within that time that the house would need to be listed for sale. He has tried to refinance, but with the state of the economy, he hasn’t been able to get financing. I don’t want to take him to court over this, I just want to know if there is a way to have my name removed from the mortgage without the mortgage being refinanced.

Asked on March 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can ask the lender to allow what is called a "novation" to remove your name (however, as a practical matter, this is rarely allowed).  A novation could possibly be accomplished by demonstrating that your ex (and your ex only - not you)) has paid the mortgage for a period of time (usually 8-12 months), and is current and has never been late. Your lender may allow for the removal of your name from the existing mortgage without your ex's having to refinance.  Additionally, your ex could in effect "buy" your release release by making a substantial payment to reducing the mortgage balance.    


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