Arizona Divorce Can You Remove a Name from the Mortgage?
In a nutshell, it’s difficult to do.
Does the Arizona Mortgage Loan Have an Assumable Clause?
If you want to remove a name from an existing mortgage the mortgage loan must have an assumable clause – meaning, someone else can assume your loan and thereby remove you from the loan by assuming your portion of the mortgage – this is also referred to as a ‘novation.’
If your home loan does not have an assumable clause (and few mortgages do) there is nothing you can do about taking your name off of an existing mortgage loan, the existing loan will need to be refinanced.
Without an Assumable Clause
Without an assumable clause, the former spouse who is keeping the house will need to refinance the home loan. If refinancing (because the spouse who is keeping the house cannot qualify on their own to refinance the house) is not possible it is best to sell the house as it is one of the only ways both former spouses names will be cleared from the mortgage loan.
Your Mortgage Does Have an Assumable Clause
If your home loan does have an assumable clause and you want to remove a name from the mortgage the person keeping the house must have the ability to qualify for the home loan on their own in order to assume the mortgage on their own.
If the co-borrower cannot qualify on their own, sometimes the bank will allow for a new co-borrower to be with the person on a new mortgage, but the new co-borrower must also be able to qualify for the loan.
VA Loans With An Assumable Clause
Some VA home loans have an assumable clause, but often, the assumable clause states that only another Veteran can assume the mortgage loan.
What About a Novation?
Novation (another word for ‘assumption’) of the loan substitutes one mortgage contract for another. The new borrower(s) signs the new mortgage documents, and then the person who wants off of the loan is released. Of course, the new person who wants to be on the mortgage must also qualify for the loan.
Quitclaim Deed – Be Careful!
One way to remove a person from any legal interest in a house is with the signing of a Quitclaim Deed. However, signing a Quitclaim Deed does NOT remove the name from the mortgage.
You can sign away your interest in the home, but you’ll still be responsible for the mortgage. Signing a quitclaim deed can place you in a very dangerous position!
Here’s an Example
The husband is caught with another woman and the wife wants a divorce. Because the husband was a ‘so-and-so’ and wants to be with his ‘new found love’ he wants the divorce over as quickly as possible, and agrees to give the wife “whatever she wants!”
The wife wants the house, so the husband signs a Quitclaim Deed releasing himself from any legal interest in the property – but the Quitclaim Deed does not remove his name from the mortgage loan!
The Former Wife Gets the House
The wife gets the house in the divorce, and within four months she cannot afford to make the mortgage payments. Because she has total control over the disposition of the house (husband signed a Quitclaim Deed) she decides to let the house go into foreclosure.
The former spouse has no say in this matter because he signed the Quitclaim Deed and the foreclosure action destroys both of the former spouse’s credit ratings – preventing either of them from buying a home for up to seven years.
Get Mortgage Counseling
We can arrange for one of our licensed mortgage loan officer partners to discuss all of your options with you. This meeting is provided at no expense to you, and the licensed mortgage loan officer can handle all of your questions with great in-depth answers.
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WHAT WE DO:
We specialize in helping couples who plan to divorce avoid making expensive and long-lasting mistakes with their marital home.
HOW DO WE DO THIS?
We do this by helping people completely understand all of their options with the marital home including keeping the home, selling the home, mortgage and refinance options, and explaining why home due diligence, updated credit reports, and title searches are so important.
We explain to our clients how their decisions with respect to the home can impact their quality of life for many years to come.
We help our clients prevent credit damage and preserve their ability to buy a home in the future.
With the information we can provide families can make better decisions and perhaps avoid making expensive and long-lasting mistakes.
Our initial pre-divorce consultations are provided at no charge.
HOW DO WE HELP ATTORNEYS AND MEDIATORS?
If you use appraisals in your practice to help determine the value of a home we can show you at least two gaps in the case file that can be detrimental to your clients.
We’ll explain why house due diligence is very important to determining actual value.
We’ll explain why a CLUE report should be part of your case file.
The information we produce can bring about more cooperative clients.
WHY DO WE DO THIS?
We provide our initial pre-divorce consultations at no charge.
We do this in the interest of consumer protection, helping our clients protect their credit ratings and preserve their future home ownership capabilities.
If the couple decides to sell the marital home we hope that our information has been helpful and they will consider us for the listing and mortgage or refinancing of the home and/or new homes.
Less Than 1%
Less than 1% of all real estate agents, mortgage loan professionals, and title professionals have the Real Estate Collaboration Specialist - Divorce (RCS-D) designation. Agents without this designation could just be guessing how to advise you through this difficult time, we'll give you the facts that only professionals with our specialized training can provide.