How to take Ex-wife name off the mortgage

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How to take Ex-wife name off the mortgage

Im divorced and our house was in both our names, as well as the mortgage. I changed the title and deed to my name only. How can i get my wifes name off the mortgage? Is my only option to refinance?

Asked on April 20, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a practical matter, refinancing is most likely your only option. That having been said, you can ask your lender to allow what is called a "novation" to remove your ex-wife's name. While realistically this is rarely allowed, it's still worth a try. A novation could be accomplished by your paying the mortgage for a period of time (typically 8-12 months or more), then if you are current and have never been late, and you can prove that you were the only one paying the mortgage, your lender may allow you to remove the other borrowers name from the mortgage without your having to refinance. Additionally, you may be able to obtain a novation if you "buy" your co-borrower's release by making a substantial payment to reduce the mortgage balance. 


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