How do you get your name removed from a mortgage after a split-up?

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How do you get your name removed from a mortgage after a split-up?

Persons were never married but bought a home together. Co-borrower left partner and home and wants to know how to go about getting released from the loan or if this is possible.

Asked on August 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can ask your lender to allow what is called a "novation" to remove your person name; realistically however this isn't typically allowed.  Still, it's worth a try.  A novation could be accomplished by your ex-partner paying the mortgage for a period of time (typically 8-12 months), then if they are current and have never been late, and they can prove that they were the only one paying the mortgage, your lender may allow you to remove your name from the mortgage without having to refinance.  Also, you may be able to obtain a novation if your ex-partner "buy" your release by making a substantial payment to reduce the mortgage balance. 

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, one of the issues that come with not being married and owning a home together is going through the process of figuring out how you own the home together and how you are on the loan. If you were tenants in common and joint tenancy, then each of you own probably 50% of the house if you didn't have an agreement to the contrary.  Title to the house is different than the obligations under the loan.  If you are on the loan as co-borrowers (mr. jone and ms. smith), then each of you are equally liable for the entirety of the loan.  The lender will probably not allow you out of the loan and simply quite claiming the house title to the other (with or without monies) will not absolve you of your responsibilities under the loan.  The only way is if the other co-borrower enters into an agreement to refinance the house alone into that person's name alone and you sign off in agreement.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The only way that the co-borrower can be released from the loan is to refinance the loan out of  his name.  The other borrower will have to apply for the loan all by himself.  The lender is not a party to your relationship and will not care about agreements made between you.  They have a right to hold both borrowers liable for the loan.  Once the house is refinanced out of his name you should also consider filing a new deed in the name of the other owner alone.  Otherwise you will be paying the whole mortgage and only really own half the property. Seek help in all of this.  In these times banks and other lenders are very cautious about lending.  Good luck to you.


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