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Arizona Divorce Using the HELOC as an ATM

Fast-rising home prices in the past few years have also increased home equity for many people in Arizona. Some homeowners opted to take out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loan on their homes to make renovations, take vacations, buy cars, and the list goes on. In fact, some people have used the HELOC as an ATM for many years.

Interest Only Loans

Some HELOC loans were set up to be interest-only loans for the first ten years. After the initial ten years, the HELOC loan closes and the repayment of the principal, along with the interest of the loan begins. The higher HELOC monthly payment can catch divorcing spouses off guard.

HELOC as an ATM Causes Reduced Equity

Another problem with using the HELOC as an ATM is when the HELOC closes the reduced equity in the home may not allow the house to qualify for a refinance loan to pay off the HELOC, leaving the homeowners in shock due to the reset of the higher monthly payment amount.

House Due Diligence Required

The moral of this story: Do your House Due Diligence and understand all of the loans, liens, maintenance and other encumbrances on the house before you decide to take the house in a divorce settlement.

One Other Thing: If there is a HELOC on the house and you are planning a divorce, make sure the ‘HELOC as an ATM’ feature is turned off, or you could be in for another surprise.

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We specialize in helping couples who plan to divorce avoid making expensive and long-lasting mistakes with their marital home.


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.



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.



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.