Question: Dear LoanSafe.org, My husband and I both owned two separate homes, and during the divorce, we decided that he would take over the property so we used a quitclaim deed to get my name removed from the home. However, just recently my ex begun to fall behind on his obligations and now the mortgage lenders are pursuing me as well.
My question to you is, “does a quitclaim deed remove my responsibility for the mortgage?”
Answer: Unfortunately, this is a very common mistake that people make while going through a divorce and deciding what to do with the home. As you have now come to find out, a quitclaim deed does not remove yourself from the responsibility of the mortgage, it only applies to the title of the home.
You may want to consult with the attorney who handled the divorce to see when the deed was executed whether or not the loan remained in both of yours names. From what you mentioned above, it sounds like the loan documents are still in both of your names.
This is most likely the reason why you have now been pursued by the lender because your ex cannot manage the payments. Regardless of how the home was divided in your divorce decree, you as well as your husband are still financially responsible for any deb that is till jointly held. However, before trying to repay the debt, it would be wise to go over and review settlement agreement to see if the attorney added a clause that will protect you from repaying the loan. If there was this clause included in the settlement and your spouse failed to pay the payments, you have the right to pursue legal action against your ex.
If the mortgage is still in both of your names then your only option to get your name removed from the mortgage would be to either sell the home, refinance the mortgage into his name only, or possibly go through a loan assumption. These are the most effective ways to ensure you no longer have any liability to repay the debt.