There are many decisions to be made when going through a divorce and one that should not be ignored or put off on the checklist is the decision of what to do with the house? Do you want to know how to get your name off a mortgage?
If you’re wondering how to remove a spouse from a mortgage after a divorce then read on to see why this is so critical and how the process works.
Get My Name Off a Mortgage After Divorce
If you have mutually agreed to let one of you keep the home then having a verbal agreement isn’t enough if both of your names are on the deed and mortgage. With both of you listed on the mortgage you are both legally responsible for the mortgage. In other words, if your ex-spouse quits making payments on the home you once shared you could be the one the bank comes after for that missing money because your name is still on the mortgage.
It’s essential that you get your name removed from the mortgage after divorce so that you can avoid any potential financial or legal problems in the future.
Quitclaim Deed — Don’t Stop There
You might have already taken steps to file a quitclaim deed. This step is often taken when dividing real estate during a divorce and can remove an ex-spouse from the deed of the property that you once shared. Signing the quitclaim deed will release you from the title but it does not release you from the mortgage. If both your names are on the loan with the bank then a quitclaim doesn’t protect you if your ex-spouse were to default on the mortgage.
Property ownership will have passed to your ex-spouse but according to the bank both of you are still liable for the mortgage payments. That’s why it’s so important to take the next step and either refinance, release or sell the home.
Refinance (include FHA streamline refi)
A refinance isn’t your only option for getting your name off the mortgage after your divorce but it is one viable option if the person taking ownership of the home has good credit and can prove they are financially able to make mortgage payments without the former spouse’s income.
Refinancing creates a new loan and would be only in the name of the person assuming the new loan. The process does take a bit of time and this situation would only work if your divorce agreement gives one spouse the house in full and outright.
If your home has enough equity and your divorce agreement requires that you to “cash out” your spouse for this big asset then you can also do a cash-out refinance, getting the house put in the name of the one taking ownership and simultaneously cashing out their partner.
If you had an FHA backed mortgage then you can potentially use a FHA streamline refinance as a simpler way to refinance because of divorce.
As long as you’ve had your loan for at least 6 months and can prove that you have made six home payments without your ex’s income then you can qualify using this refinance tool. The FHA streamline refinance requires less paperwork and can help you get a lower interest rate and payment which is helpful if you’re going from two incomes contributing to the mortgage to one income.
Release from Loan after Divorce
A potentially faster way to get off the mortgage is to apply for a release from the loan if you are the one leaving the home. You need to write your lender to ask if for a release of liability, providing the lender with proof of divorce and the quitclaim deed.
If the lender grants the release of liability then you will no longer be obligated to repay the loan if your ex fails on their payments and you’ll be protected from default and foreclosure and credit score damage that could come from your ex defaulting on a loan.
Before approving a release from the loan the lender will need to determine that the spouse keeping the home has the credit score and ability to make payments on the loan on their own.
If you are the person staying in the home then you can write to your lender and ask for a loan assumption. Like the release from a loan after divorce you’ll want to make a written request with proof of divorce and the quitclaim deed.
If the lender agrees to loan assumption then the lender will first need to determine that you can pay the mortgage alone. There is a cost involved with a loan assumption; it is generally 1 percent of the loan plus any processing fees due to the lender. If you are granted loan assumption then your ex is released of all liability on the loan and the loan remains intact with the same terms as the original loan.
Sell the Home
If you are unable to make home payments on your own, or your lender won’t approve of your loan assumption or release then it can make the divorce even more drawn out and difficult. If you’re ready to move on and split your assets without the time and drama then consider selling your home.
Because selling a home is already a big process that could involve repairs, time and money you should consider working with a house buying company to purchase the house as-is, quickly and for cash. Here at GaryBuysHouses, we are your local, trusted home buyer in Utah and have helped 100’s of great people like you quickly cash out of their homes due to divorce, easily settling the payout for both spouses so they can move on without the extra drama and time of going a traditional route.
If you don’t qualify for a refinance or you’re wondering the best way to protect your financial future after a divorce you can contact Gary about purchasing your home today.