Ask Standard Legal

If My Ex-Husband’s Name is On the Mortgage But Not the Deed and He Files Bankruptcy, Can I Lose My House?

It depends what steps you take in advance of his bankruptcy filing, and what the mortgage company chooses to do.

Generally, going through the refinancing process for any mortgage on a home when a quitclaim deed has been filed is the safest avenue for a homeowner to pursue. When a quitclaim deed is filed, the obligation within the mortgage documents changes essentially: from the couple jointly owning the property, to just one of the original individuals named in the deed. So the mortgage holder has one less person from which to collect payment, thus increasing their exposure.

Of course, that individually-named person would need to qualify for refinancing.

Another option is to enter into a ‘reaffirmation agreement’ with the mortgage company to continue on with the existing agreement, with modifications. In most cases (but not all), homeowners who enter into a reaffirmation agreement with the creditor and stay current with the payments find that the mortgage holder will accept the payments and not initiate foreclosure proceedings — something that is usually within the mortgage holder’s rights per the terms of a typical mortgage contract. (We suggest you read your mortgage contract carefully.)

If the refinancing or reaffirmation is not done prior to your ex-husband’s bankruptcy filing, it may be wise to seek the advice — and the negotiating help — of a qualified local attorney. You can find one near you for FREE at Standard Legal’s Attorney Find page.

Bankruptcy Questions · Divorce Questions · Quitclaim and Warranty Deed Questions  ·  March 21st, 2009

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