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Can My Name Be Taken Off a Mortgage?

Can My Name Be Taken Off a Mortgage And Have My Ex-Husbands Name Put On The Mortgage?

I'm in a rather unique financial situation and don't know where to turn to for help. My ex-spouse and I owned a business and home together. My ex-spouse is a massage therapist and treated clients in our home. We divorced in February of this year, but the mortgage, which we refinanced a couple of years ago was put in my name only as my credit at the time was better. The title is in both of our names. I asked my ex-spouse to put the mortgage in his name. The problem is that the mortgage will affect my credit and I need to buy a new home. My ex-spouse says the mortgage company will not put it in his name as times are tough and he is not making as much as he used to. I am looking at early retirement and no longer involved in his business. Is there anything I can do to remove my name from the mortgage?

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Bill's Answer
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Updated: Sep 20, 2014

Bills.com | Find Learn Save

You situation is not unique. Unfortunately, I do not have good news for you.

It is unlikely a mortgage lender will remove a party’s name from a loan. A mortgage is a contract binding all parties to its terms. Indeed, mortgages are structured to not allow parties to come and go, unless under certain conditions.

You and your then-spouse qualified jointly at the time of the loan. You are both parties to the contract. There is no, “We broke up so I want my name off of the loan,” clause in any loan contract I have read.

There are two ways to remove a name from a home loan:

  • Refinance
  • Sell the property

To refinance, the remaining people or person must qualify for a home loan. To qualify for a home loan refinance, the borrowers must have:

  1. Stable income
  2. Good credit history
  3. Property with less than a 100% loan-to-value (or qualify for HARP)

The borrower must qualify for a new mortgage loan to pay off the existing loan on the home. It is difficult for many to qualify for a mortgage lately because banks have made the lending criteria very strict since the collapse in the financial markets. It is even more difficult for individuals who are self-employed to qualify for a loan because banks are requiring full documentation of income, which is oftentimes difficult or onerous for the self-employed.

You mentioned a drop in business that your ex-spouse experienced recently. Depending on the present income, your ex-spouse may find it difficult to qualify for a mortgage refinance.

To find out more about how mortgages work visit the Bills.com mortgage page.

Another Option

Bankruptcy removes a person’s liability for a loan. If you have liability for a home loan and the other party(ies) cannot qualify for refinance, then consult with a bankruptcy lawyer to learn the positives and negatives of filing bankruptcy, and whether you qualify for a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

8 Comments

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  • MM
    Apr, 2012
    MARIA
    How can I remove my ex-husband from the loan to the house? I am on the deed but not on the loan, but the house was awarded to me. Can he get me evicted? The house has not been paid for 2 years because I fell into disability. Now I have a steady income.
    0 Votes

    • BA
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      As we discuss in the the original answer above, you need to refinance the home loan to remove your ex-spouse from the loan. Consult with a mortgage broker, your bank/credit union, or a Bills.com mortgage lending partner to start the loan application process. In the meantime, download a Uniform Residential Loan Application (Form 1003), complete it, and make copies you can share with potential lenders.
      0 Votes

  • GB
    Dec, 2011
    Gary
    I was told I could not remove my name off of my Fannie Mae mortgage loan, even though the other person was approved for the refinance? Is this true can I not get off of a Fannie Mae loan?
    0 Votes

    • BA
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      It is not true that if a person who is currently a co-borrower with you is approved for a refinance loan on his or her own that your name will still be on the loan. The loan for which you are responsible would be paid off in the refinance.
      0 Votes

  • BA
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    Maybe. A bank wants three qualities in the perfect refinance candidate: 1) Stable income, 2) Attractive credit history, 3) Low debt-to-income ratio. The bank also want a low loan-to-value ratio on your property. If the LTV on your property is less than 100% and you meet the first three criteria I mentioned, then you are golden.
    0 Votes

  • WH
    Feb, 2010
    wendy
    Because of my husband and my financial situation we would like to put our mortgage in my name only. It is paid through my bank account and I am the higher earner. Is this possible?
    0 Votes

  • BA
    Nov, 2009
    Bill
    The title is easy: You need to sign a quitclaim deed to put his name on the title. You can do this yourself, but I urge you to work with an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction (state) to make sure there are not any relevant facts you did not include in your question that might complicate the issue. The mortgage is more difficult: You need to refinance the mortgage. Go to the Bills.com savings center to get no-cost, online quotes from pre-screened lenders.
    0 Votes