Divorce: how can I get my name removed from the mortgage?

When I divorced my husband, the property settlement called for the homestead property to become the sole property of my husband. He subsequently failed to get my name removed from the mortgage and is defaulting on the loan. The bank also refuses to remove my name even when I present them with the divorce decree and property settlement agreement. Can they do this? How can I get my name removed from this property before foreclosure?

When the bank agreed to finance your mortgage, they loaned the money to both of you, according to family law attorney Brian Weber. "You and your ex-husband cannot change the terms of that agreement without all the parties’ approval, including the bank. The only way to get your name removed from the mortgage, absent the bank’s approval, would have been for your ex-husband to take out a new loan. Because that didn’t happen, you still are responsible for any delinquencies or deficiencies on the loan."

If the bank forecloses on the property and obtains enough money in the sale to satisfy the outstanding balance, Weber said you will have a foreclosure on your credit record but you will not owe any money. If, however, the bank forecloses and the proceeds are not sufficient to satisfy the outstanding balance, you along with your ex-husband will still owe money to the bank.

In that event, the Wisconsin family court system may have some remedies. A family law attorney can help guide you through the process.

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