If my husband was awarded the house in our divorce, what are my options to get my name off of the mortgage?

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If my husband was awarded the house in our divorce, what are my options to get my name off of the mortgage?

He received was the house but needed to refinance it. His credit score is low, he has a lien on the house that I was unaware of, and he owes more on it than what it’s worth. Yet, my name is still on it and it’s on my credit report. In order for me to move on financially with my life, this needs to changed. We divorced almost a year ago.

Asked on December 22, 2015 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Since your ex-husband has been unable to re-finance, he can ask the lender to allow what is known as a "novation" to remove your name. While this is rarely allowed, it's still worth trying. A novation could be accomplished by your ex-spouse proving that he has paid the mortgage without you.  If he is current and has never been late with the payments, the lender may agree to the removal of your name from the mortgage.  Also, the lender may allow a novation if your ex-husband "buys" your release by making a substantial payment to reduce the principal mortgage balance.
As stated above a novation is not typically allowed, and that plus the fact that your ex owes more on the house than it's worth, the lender will be hesitant to let you off the financial hook. However, it can't hurt to ask.


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