Melinda L. Singer, Esquire
Hackensack Family Lawyer
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What happens to a mortgage after a divorce?

If you and your spouse are discussing the possibility of ending your marriage and you own a home together, it is very possible that you may have talked about one of you retaining your marital home and the other person moving out. For some people in New Jersey, this approach is taken when a divorce is initiated but eventually the plan to sell the home develops. For other people, the wish to remain in their home long-term is strong.

While there is no right or wrong way to go when it comes to staying in or leaving a home after a divorce, there are some very serious potential problems that may arise if a mortgage held in both person's names is not properly handled. As explained by Bankrate, couples need to be very clear about the fact that their mortgage lender looks at the mortgage as separate from the house. This means that even an agreement in writing that details one person's responsibility for the home does not negate the financial liability of the other person for the mortgage.

The spouse who wants to keep a family home should seek to get a new or refinanced mortgage in their name only. This is the only way to protect the credit and liability of the other person. If this is not possible, it may be best to consider selling the home and starting fresh with a new one.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give New Jersey residents an idea of the things they could consider regarding their mortgages if they want to keep their homes after getting divorced.

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Melinda L. Singer was selected to the 2017 & 2018 Super Lawyers list. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at: http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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Melinda L. Singer was selected among the Top Lawyers in Bergen County by (201) Magazine in 2013, 2017 & 2018. The list of Top Lawyers in Bergen County was compiled from the results of a peer-review survey, conducted by Professional Research Services (PRS) of Royal Oak, Michigan. According to (201) Magazine’s website, “[t]housands of attorneys throughout Bergen County were contacted by PRS and asked who they would recommend within the county in given areas of law.” For more information on the criteria for being selected as a Bergen County Top Lawyer, see http://dng.northjersey.com/media_server/201/201_Magazine_TopLawyers_2015.pdf. *No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The lawyers nominated to (201) Magazine were included in the lists with those names, and do not suggest that the lawyer has that attribute.

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