Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Georgia

Quit Claim Deed

My ex husband signed a quit claim on the house over to me during our divorce last year. There is nothing in the divorce papers about any time frame for me refinancing or selling the house.

He is now demanding (w/a lawyer) that I refi or sell to remove his name from the mortgage. Problem is, I can't refi at the moment because I don't have enough income to do it on my on, and he has consistantly been late on payments to creditors that I didn't realize my name was on. My credit score has dropped 100 points since we divorced. I have made no late payments to any creditor.

Help! Can he legally make me sell my house to get his name off, even though he signed the quit claim deed?

Asked on 4/06/07, 4:14 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Joel Callins The Callins Law Firm, LLC

Re: Quit Claim Deed

Without a court order, your husband cannot require you to sell your house, and/or refinance the loan to remove his name. Having said that you should carefully review the final order of your divorce decree for the language relating to this subject. It is likely that there IS a timeframe reference, and if there is not, your husbands attorney is likely to request one from the judge in the near future. Your best action would be to contact the lender, advise them of the divorce, and request that you be allowed to assume your ex-husband's responsibility under the loan. If successful, this will effectively remove your ex-husband's name from the loan, and simultaneously give you 100% of the available equity in the house--unless the divorce decree grants the ex-husband a portion of the equity. I hope this helps.

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Answered on 4/07/07, 7:05 pm
Charles W. Field Charles W. Field, Attorney at Law

Re: Quit Claim Deed

The answer to your situation will be determined by the wording of the divorce decree. I realized you stated there is no time frame for you to sell or refi. In cases like that (a time frame should have been included) the courts will usually determine a "reasonable" time (vague as that may be) for you to comply. You should consult with a local attorney.

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Answered on 4/06/07, 4:32 pm
Cheryl Rivera Smith The Smith Law Firm

Re: Quit Claim Deed

If there is nothing in your divorce papers that compels you to sell the house, provide funds if he received a portion of the equity, or have him released from liability, then you should not have to have his name removed from the mortgage. The answer will be in your settlement agreement and/or your divorce decree.

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Answered on 4/06/07, 4:33 pm
Scott Riddle Law Office of Scott B. Riddle, LLC

Re: Quit Claim Deed

You obviously can't just "have his name removed," but even if the decree does not require you to act, he may decide to notify the lender of the Quit Claim Deed and trigger a due-on-sale clause, if there is one. It appears that both of you are suffering from a poorly drafted decree. Perhap rather than continuing the fight, this is an opportunity to get together and completely resolve all issues of debt and liability.

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Answered on 4/06/07, 6:37 pm

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