How to Remove a Spouse From an Existing Mortgage

Written by renee price
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If you and your spouse are facing a legal separation or a divorce, you can remove her from the mortgage to become the property's sole owner. According to the Federal Trade Commission, mortgage lenders aren't legally obligated to change your joint mortgage agreement to an individual account. As a result, most mortgage lenders require legally separated individuals or divorcees to apply for a mortgage on an individual basis via a refinance. During this procedure, your personal credit rating is under scrutiny as your mortgage lender determines whether removing your spouse from the mortgage agreement is a viable option.

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Things you need

  • Recent pay stubs
  • Credit report

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  1. 1

    Contact your mortgage lender and request a home refinance loan. Removing a spouse isn't as simple as submitting a written request. Most lenders use a home refinance loan as a means to remove a spouse from an existing mortgage. Submit a credit report and income, bank and asset statements with your application. Keep your credit rating high by continuing to pay all your bills on time and avoid opening new accounts at this time. This communicates to your lender you can maintain a positive repayment schedule once your spouse is removed from the mortgage agreement.

  2. 2

    Obtain a certified copy of your divorce decree to include with your mortgage refinance application. Because lenders aren't legally required to remove a spouse's name from a joint mortgage agreement, you need a divorce decree as reason for removal. If you and your spouse aren't divorcing, obtain a copy of your legal separation papers, or submit a letter explaining your reasons for requesting your spouse's removal from the mortgage.

  3. 3

    Obtain a quitclaim deed from your lender or from a local real estate agent or attorney. A quitclaim deed legally releases a grantee, or borrower, from the interest a granter, or mortgage lender, possesses. According to the book "Real Estate Law," by James Karp and Elliot Klayman, quitclaim deeds are most commonly applied during divorce property settlements in which one spouse seeks to transfer her interest in the marital residence to the other spouse.

  4. 4

    Request that your spouse attend the mortgage refinance closing. She must attend and sign the form at closing, which your closing attorney records and notarises to solidify the transfer of the home's ownership.

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