Once name off deed, am I free and clear from being financially reponsible for the remaining mortgage?
Nope. You are still financially responsible until you are off the mortgage and note. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes people make in a divorce is quit claiming a house to a spouse without having the house refinanced also.
The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me for a free consultation at 813-635-0222. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!
Only the mortgagee can release you from financial liability on the mortgage. Since the financing was through the owner rather than through a bank, the former owner may be more willing to let you out of the mortgage. This would be something that your lawyer can explore as part of the dissolution of marriage process.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
The problem that you face is that the lender has no reason to be "kind". Why should they release you from your obligation? You may find it hard in these tough economic times to find
a bank willing to give a loan to enable your husband, only, to pay off the original mortgage.
Does the property have equity? If so, when you initiate your divorce be sure to add a request for "Partition". That means asking the judge to order the property to be SOLD. If the property has equity you both stand to lose it, since people bidding for distress properties are looking for bargains, and look at all the foreclosure properties around. And, if the property does not sell for the amount of the mortgage, you might find yourself owing money on the mortgage anyway.
One reason to push for Partition, though: your spouse will probably lose sleep worrying about losing the house, a place to live, the equity, etc.. That might be the encouragement your spouse needs to go out and get a loan to refi- the mortgage debt so that you are released from your obligation.
And despite all the promises your spouse makes about doing the re-fi in the future, remember this: unless your financial posture is so strong that you could get a loan for your new home if you want one before your obligation on the existing one is retired, you will not be able to get a loan, since your credit analysis would show you can not afford to pay both.
Oh, yes, there would be a court order requiring your spouse to do this, that or the other, and good luck enforcing such an order. Your leverage to get your spouse to do what you want is now, so use your leverage now.
And, for something like this, do not even think about not getting a lawyer. You can not afford to not have things work out the way you need them to. Yes, yes, yes, lawyers are expensive, but......the ramifications of your not having the divorce and the re-fi and/or Partition work out the way you need it to happen will follow you for years and years and years and.....
Good luck resolving your issue.
I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.
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