Q: In 2005, my fiance and I bought a house together. In 2006, we separated and ultimately decided to break up for good.

For the past 18 months, I’ve been unable to negotiate a refinance of the home in order to remove my name from the loan. Should I sign a quit claim deed or begin a legal process to remove my name from the loan?

A: I’m amazed at the number of people who write to me who think that signing a quitclaim deed is the answer to every real estate problem.

Here’s what you need to know: You cannot remove your name on the mortgage loan unless you sell the house or refinance the mortgage. So, unless you or your ex-fiance is able to afford to pay the mortgage alone, neither you nor he will be able to refinance.

If you don’t want your name on the loan, your only choice will be to sell the property. If your ex-fiance doesn’t want to sell, you may have to sue him, which will be expensive, heart-wrenching and time-consuming.

Please talk to your ex-fiance about the situation and see if you can’t work something out but don’t quitclaim the property to him unless you are able to get your name off the loan.