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Removing Ex From My Mortgage

Mark Cappel
UpdatedDec 31, 2009

How do I remove my spouse from my mortgage without refinancing?

Bill, I recently got out of a relationship and my ex's name is on my mortgage. I have lived in the home now for 7 months paying the mortgage fully by myself. She wants her name off the loan (as do I), and I was told refinancing is the only way. I have a 740 credit score and went to my current mortgage holder to refinance at 5.5%. The home appraised at 180,000 which is what I owe on it. I was told I would need to come up with approx. 14000 for closing costs, which would put a strain on me. Is there any other way to get a name off a mortgage loan without refinancing? Any other advice? Thanks for your time.

Your mortgage was a contract between you and your then spouse and the bank. Mortgages -- or vehicle loans, or lease agreements, or other contracts for that matter -- do not come with a "If we break up we get to choose who stays in the contract" clause. The marriage may have severed the contract that you and your spouse formed when you signed the marriage contract, but it does not sever any other contracts you two signed jointly.

Contact your divorce attorney's office. The first thing you will be told to do is complete a quit-claim deed. Your divorce attorney's paralegal will spend 30 minutes putting one together. It will cost very little to accomplish part 1. The second thing you need to do is a bit more difficult -- you need to refinance the mortgage. The difficulty of refinancing depends on the amount of equity the homeowner has in the property, the homeowner's employment status, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio.

You mentioned it will cost you $14,000 in closing costs to refinance the mortgage. That seems steep to me given the facts presented and I am curious as to why you are being asked to pay 8% of the value of the mortgage to refinance it. My second reaction is to recommend that you shop around. For no-cost refinance quotes from up to four pre-screened lenders, visit the refinance savings center.

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




RRobin, Oct, 2010
We tried the refinance route to remove my husband's previous wife from the mortgage- we want her off, she says she wants off, but is making it difficult and refuses to sign a quit claim deed. The bank stated that her signing a quit claim would make no difference and that because the home is a modular, it can only be refinanced at a 15 yr loan, which would double our payment and which we cannot afford to do, so we are stuck! There has to be/ should be some other option when both spouses, who are no longer married and who agree to which one should remain responsible for the loan, to make it simpler. Refinancing would lower our payment somewhat, but we are more interested in removing her from the loan, as she feels she is still entitled to come and go from the home, even though while married to my husband, she never payed anything toward the mortgage in 12 yrs, she just lived here. She no longer lives in the home, nor makes any monetary payment toward the home or its upkeep, but still feels it is her home, though I share it with my (her previous) husband. Is there some type of fraud involved when she no longer shares his last name? We contacted a lawyer, who basically said, if the bank doesn't want her name off the loan, they don't have to remove it. We also contacted other lenders, but they want an appraisal of the homes' current value, which would never equal the amount owed- it's in pretty bad shape and will take years to get it in good enough condition to be appraised at a fair value. We are truly stuck! How do we get her to sign a quit claim, just to get her out of our lives? I know it doesn't financially remove her, but it would give us some kind of peace of mind that she can no longer intrude into our lives and claim what is truly NOT hers!
BBill, Oct, 2010
Time to think outside of the box. Here are some ideas: 1. Sell the property to the ex-spouse. 2. Sell the property in a short sale. 3. Make the required repairs so that the property sells for more than its current market value, and perhaps the balance of the loan. 4. Talk your mortgage servicer about the requirements for a mortgage modification. 5. Change the locks. 6. Get a restraining order that makes your residence an area restricted from the ex-spouse. 7. Have a heart-to-heart with your spouse and ask why he has not taken any or all of the above steps.