How to get my ex-girlfriend to refinancea house so that I can get off the mortgage loan?

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How to get my ex-girlfriend to refinancea house so that I can get off the mortgage loan?

My girlfriend and I split up over a year ago and  she wanted to keep the house. Her mom told me that I needed to sign a quitclaim deed so that she could refinance the house. However my ex still hasn’t done so and the loan is still in my name. How can I get the house out of my name as I haven’t lived there for over a year. I rent my own place and I am trying to get into school and that debt is not helping me. What can I do?

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a practical matter there may not be much that you can do.  You can try and see if she will refinance the property in her name only.  However, in this economy, she may not be successful. It depends on her finances. If a refinance is denied, she can ask the lender to allow a "novation" to remove your name.  This could be accomplished by your ex-girlfriend showing that she has paid the mortgage without you. Assuming that she is current with payments and has never been late in making them, the lender may allow her to remove your name from the mortgage without her having to refinance.  A novation may also be obtained if she "buys" your release by making a substantial payment to reduce the mortgage balance. While novations are only rarely allowed, it is still worth trying, if your ex is willing.

Frankly, it's unfortunate that you didn't consult with an attorney without first signing the quitclaim deed.  You really lost leverage.  Had you been a co-owner you could have filed for a partion of the property and forced a buy-out or sale.  However, I would still speak with an real estate attorney in your area directly as to this matter.


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