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Can I get my ex's name off of the mortgage through abandonment laws or otherwise given the current situation?

Fairhaven, MA |

I own a 2 family home w/ my ex girfriend. I am living on 1st fl and up until a few weeks ago, she was living on the 2nd fl w/ a roomate and his son. She (my ex and the other name/owner on the mortgage) has since moved out and the remaining roommate has agreed to pay the entire rental amount for upstairs including what was her (the ex's) portion to me to ensure the mortgage stays current. I will soon have proof/receipts of this. Do I have the opportunity to get my ex off of the mortgage under MA abandonment laws or anything else along those lines, given the current situation?

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Attorney answers 4


I would first try investigating whether you can refinance to remove her name completely and perhaps get a lower interest rate / better terms for your mortgage.

I wish you all the best.

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The only way to remove your former girlfriend from the mortgage would either be to get the holder of the mortgage to agree to remove her (highly unlikely) or to refinance the property and obtain a new mortgage in just your name. However, since you have indicated that she is a co-owner of the property, even if you were to refinance in just your name, as an owner of the property your new lender would require that she sign some of the paperwork, including the mortgage, to show her consent to the new loan. To fully remove her from a new mortgage, you would first need to have her removed as a co-owner on the title to the property. If she is agreeable, a new deed could be recorded removing her name from the title. Otherwise, you would need to pursue a court action, called a Petition to Partition, and request that the property be transferred to you, which would likely entail you paying her for her share of the ownership of the property.


I do not believe there is such a thing. You can file for partition.

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There is no such thing as abandonment. Your co-owner continues to own your home with you even though the two of you have decided to rent out the second floor. You need deal with your ex girlfriend as a legal co-owner. You can:

1. Agree to sell the property;
2. Agree to turn each floor into a separate condo to keep or sell as you each see fit;
3. Agree to buy her out or be bought out by her;
4. If no agreement can be reached, file a partition action.

Best of luck.

Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on generalized Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question. If you would like an attorney with Vaughn-Martel Law to review your specific situation and provide you with legal options or information specific to you, you may schedule a telephone or office by calling 617-357-4898 or visiting us at Our office charges $100.00 for a consultation, and applies your consultation fee to your first bill if the Firm is hired to perform further work.