how can i remove my ex-wife’s name from a HELOC?

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how can i remove my ex-wife’s name from a HELOC?

I am supposed to remove my ex-wife’s name from the HELOC as part of our divorce decree. I cannot re-finance cause it is not my primary residence. I have given her $5000 in consideration of having her removed from the deed. I never make a late payment. It is keeping her from getting new credit as it shows on her credit report as a $63k balance. She is now taking me to court, even though there was no set deadline for me to remove her name. Can the lender just simply “remove” her name and stop reporting to crdit bureaus?

Asked on May 10, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The lender can remove her name.  You should write the lender and explain the situation, ask them what their procedure is.  It would not hurt to send it certified mail, return receipt requested, so that you can prove to the court that you sent the letter, and it might even get a little more attention from the lender.

However, the fact that the court ordered you to do this does not mean the lender has to go along with it.  Your solid payment history will help, but it's no guarantee.  The lender might ask you to complete a new loan application, to show your present financial condition, and they might ask you to pay something in addition to your regular payments, to reduce the outstanding balance.

You might look at getting a new HELOC on your primary residence to pay the other one off.  Don't limit yourself to mortgage companies;  you own (at least) two houses and have a good credit history, so your regular bank might be able to help you.  Your worst-case scenario is selling the property secured by the old HELOC -- and of course, this is something you really want to avoid right now.

Have you made any attempt to refinance, that you can document?  That, too, is something you would want to show the court.

As always, court proceedings are rarely simple, and hiring competent counsel is usually well worth the cost.  One place you can look for a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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