Mortgage still in my name is now past due.

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Mortgage still in my name is now past due.

At the time of my divorce I did a quit claim deed on our house and he paid me my equity in the house. I thought this relieved me of liability on the mortgage. Neither my lawyer or the mortgage company explained the need for a “release of personal liability.” It never showed up on my credit report until nearly seven years later when I find out that he is over $9,000 behind in payments. I had no idea this was still in my name. What are my rights and what actions should I take?

Asked on July 3, 2009 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You're going to have to take your divorce decree to an attorney, who can give you reliable advice based on all of the facts.  It may be possible to file a motion with the court to force your ex-husband to either re-finance the house in his own name (which I suspect will be difficult to impossible, if he's that far behind), or sell the house.

That "release of personal liability" is usually very hard to come by;  it only hurts the mortgage company's rights (gives them one less person to sue for the money), and so they usually either just refuse to give it or only do it if a fairly large payment against the balance is made.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You're going to have to take your divorce decree to an attorney, who can give you reliable advice based on all of the facts.  It may be possible to file a motion with the court to force your ex-husband to either re-finance the house in his own name (which I suspect will be difficult to impossible, if he's that far behind), or sell the house.

That "release of personal liability" is usually very hard to come by;  it only hurts the mortgage company's rights (gives them one less person to sue for the money), and so they usually either just refuse to give it or only do it if a fairly large payment against the balance is made.


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