how can i take my name off a mortgage loan that i co-sign to help a family member?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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how can i take my name off a mortgage loan that i co-sign to help a family member?

when they needed my help, they promise that they will be paying the mortgage on time. Now they have made late payments that affected my credit score and also municipality officers calling me about multiple complaints against my relatives and was told that I am legally responsible for it even I am not living there.

Asked on May 29, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no way to get off the loan unless your family member voluntarily chooses to refinance solely in his or her own name. The loan is a contract; you are obligated to it unless and until a) it is paid off; or b) ALL parties to the loan/contract agrees to release you from it--and the bank will not. Releasing you not only does not help them, it actively hurts them, by reducing the number of people who have to pay the loan (and who can be sued for the money if it is not paid). So while you could ask the bank and your relative if they will both agree to release you, it is very unlikely that they will. And if they won't, you can't get off the loan unless your family member pays or refinances it, which is also unlikely.
2) The police are 100% wrong: being on a loan for a home does not make you responsible, since being on the loan just means you have to pay the loan--it does not by itself mean you you have any ownership over the home or control over the people living there.
HOWEVER, if you are on the home's title, then you are an owner and can in fact be held liable for the actions of the people living there, whether or not you live there, too.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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