Ask Bill your personal finance question

Advice on how to reduce mortgage payments when divorced

My husband is divorced and his former wife's name is still on the home. How can I reduce the payments?

My husband is divorced and his former wife's name is still on the home, she was ordered to sign a quick claim deed in the divorce agreement, but refuses. Her name is also on the loan, so if my husband should default she is responsible for the loan. My husband had to file bankruptcy a few years ago and the house payment is large, he is also unemployed right now. I work, but my check is not enough to make a house payment and pay bills. If we could get our house payment lowered it would be a blessing. What can we do? We have only been married one year this past November 24.

Read full question
Bill's Answer
(4 Votes) | Find Learn Save

I am sorry to hear you're having a difficult time financially. The short answer is that you will likely have to seek legal counsel from an attorney in your area regarding enforcement of the quitclaim deed as stated in the divorce agreement. It is highly likely that you will have to pursue this account through a legal process, to force your husband's ex-wife to confirm with the agreement and sign the claim deed.

The only ways you can reduce your payments is by a refinance or modification of your current loan. You state that your husband previously filed for bankruptcy and is currently un-employed. Given the circumstance, getting a better rate will be difficult proposition. If you are successful in getting his ex-wife to sign the quitclaim deed, then you might try to refinance by including your name as a co-applicant so that the lenders will consider your credit in deciding on the loan.

As I do not have sufficient information on your current credit situation, I am unable to comment on the chances of a successful refinance even if you were to list yourself as a co-applicant, but any application with your husband will be harmed by his bankruptcy.

In the event that no agreement is reached and neither party is able to retain the home then the home may be sold. Doing so will extinguish the joint debt and the equity (if any) will be divided between the two parties. Obviously, this is not always the ideal solution. Often the parties own a home that has a sufficiently reduced mortgage payment, which makes that acquisition of a similar property with the same affordable monthly payment unlikely. Additionally, as with any sale, the asset or, in the case of a house, the property must be made saleable through improvements and repairs. Such repairs may often be cost prohibitive.

Please check this link for more information about divorce law and help you find an experienced attorney to represent you.

I hope the information provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.



(4 Votes)
1500 characters remaining
  • SJ
    Fairfax, VA,
    Mar, 2011
    I would say that needs to be taken up with the bank and have her name taken off the mortgage. I know how you feel though, I've been trying to find an injury lawyer and the legal system can be a time consuming pain but, it's better to do it that way.