I get asked that question a lot. How can I keep the house because in order for you to keep the home you’re going to have to be able to refinance that mortgage and remove the other party from liability on the loan. You can’t keep the home and also keep the other person responsible on the mortgage for any sort of extended period of time. So that’s the first thing to ask yourself is do you have the credit and the financial ability to refinance the mortgage if necessary and remove the other person from liability on the loan.
And you also have to ask yourself whether or not there is any equity in the home, and if there is any equity in the home how are you going to be able to divide up that equity. And if you happen to own the home prior to the marriage you’re going to need to get an appraisal that includes a retroactive value and otherwise what was the home worth at the date of marriage and then a current value what is the home worth today. And so that increase in value if you owned the home prior to the marriage is marital and subject to division. But again, the big issue is can you qualify to refinance the home? Can you figure out a way that you can cash out the other person of their interest in the home?
So those are the biggest stumbling blocks to keeping the home and also people confuse the deed to the home the title to the home with the mortgage for the home. So there is a warranty deed or quitclaim deed that has title to the home and then there’s also the loan that you have with the home for example with Wells Fargo or US bank whoever your lender is. Those are two separate things so you can sign a quitclaim deed transferring title to the home but that doesn’t do anything with the mortgage that you have for the home. So if you have any questions about this issue come in and see me we can talk about strategies that can ensure that you’re able to keep the home as part of your divorce process.
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