Q: My ex-husband and I divorced seven years ago. He signed over the house as a deed of gift and put title into my name. Both of our names are still on the mortgage.
My ex-husband keep pressuring me to refinance the loan, I’m not financially able to do that and I don’t want to sell the house. My payments are all current, so I’m not ruining his credit. It’s just that my credit is not that good due to bills leftover from the divorce.
Can he make me refinance?
A: Did your divorce decree require you to refinance the property and then remove your ex-husband’s name from the mortgage? Was there a time limit in which you needed to refinance the property? If the divorce decree had those requirements, and you have not satisfied the decree, then you may be violating the terms of your divorce settlement, and your ex-spouse could chase you back into court.
However, if the terms of your divorce decree did not require you to refinance the mortgage and remove your ex-husband’s name the loan, then I don’t see how your ex-spouse can make you refinance – especially if you’re unable to because of lingering credit issues.
Try to look at it from your ex-spouse’s point of view: His debt-to-income ratio is all tied up with a house he no longer owns nor has any rights to. His credit history and score depend on whether you make the payments on time. He doesn’t want to be tied to you, and the two of you were divorced seven years ago.
Seven years ago, he got some incredibly bad advice. I would never tell an owner to sign over title to a property if his name was still on the mortgage.
You should look into an FHA refinance, and if you qualify you should move forward. You should be able to refinance the loan as long as you have some equity and your credit is above 620. If you don’t know what your credit history and score are, please go to AnnualCreditReport.com and pull a free copy of your credit history and then pay around $9 to buy a copy of your credit score from Equifax, which uses a score that closely mirrors the FICO score most lenders use.
For more details, please seek the advice of a local attorney.