What can I do if I’ve been divorced for 3 years and my name is still on the house even though I signed of on my rights to it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I’ve been divorced for 3 years and my name is still on the house even though I signed of on my rights to it?

My ex and I had a house together. I signed off on my rights to it but he couldn’t refinance. I want him to. Get my name off of the house so I’m not responsible for it? He says no he won’t. What can I do?

Asked on January 6, 2016 under Family Law, Iowa


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since your ex-husband has been unable to re-finance, he can the mortgage lender and see if it will allow what is called a "novation", so that your name can be removed. While this is rarely allowed, it's still worth a try. A novation could be accomplished by your ex proving that he has paid the mortgage without you. If he is current and has never been late with any payment, the lender may agree to it. Additionally, the lender may allow a novation if your ex-husband "buys" your release. This can be done by his making a substantial payment to reduce the principal mortgage balance.

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