Divorce and a Mortgage
This is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. You should always seek advice from your legal counsel and mortgage professional.
Creditors are not bound by divorce decrees so at the end of the day, whoever is listed on the account will owe and feel the impact of negative (or positive) account credit history.
One of the first things one needs to do is get a copy of their credit report from the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Transunion). This can be done via annualcreditreport.com or contact Get Mortgage Ready for assistance. Once you receive the report, determine:
- The accounts that are held only by you.
- The accounts that are held jointly.
- The accounts that have you, or your ex, listed as an authorized user
Once you have nailed-down account information, contact all creditors and inform them of the divorce and update all personal information such as: new address, employment and other necessary contact information.
Joint Accounts – These accounts can sometimes be challenging to split; however, there are ways to protect the integrity of your credit:
- Checking/Savings/Investment Account(s): Open new individual accounts.
- Auto Loan(s): Refinancing an auto loan should be relatively simple; typically, these types of loans are quickly and easily refinanced.
- Mortgage Loan(s): The only way to remove a name from the mortgage note is to refinance. The lone borrower will need to qualify using his or her sole income, assets and credit.
Authorized User – While these accounts merely list you (or your ex) as an authorized user, the behavior of the other can impact your credit so it’s wise to immediately sever the authorization.