refinance after a divorce

Getting a divorce is never a fun experience. Moving on after a breakup does not have to be hard when refinancing a mortgage after a divorce. Unfortunately 50% of marriages end in divorce and 60% of these couples are homeowners. This means that you are not along when it comes to refinancing after a divorce.

There are several ways to handle a marital home after a divorce. Here are some tips to make sure you are successful at refinancing your home loan after a breakup.

If a home is jointly owned with both people on a mortgage, there is work to be done following a divorce. First step is to decide what will be done with the house. One person may choose to keep the home, or they may agree to sell the home.

Selling a Home after a Divorce

Selling the home will pay off the mortgage and be a clean cut separation. This may be an easy financial solution but forcing children to move out of the home they grew up in may be a tough decision.

It may be a difficult decision but many times, a single spouse may not be able to afford a home that was purchase for a dual income family. The Debt-to-Income ratio of either spouse alone may be too high to qualify for a mortgage.

If the only solution is to sell the marital home, here is how it would work. Both people would need to sign at the closing to release the title to the property for the sale. The proceeds would be split equally or according to the divorce decree.

Keeping a Home after a Divorce

If one person chooses to keep the home, the next step is to figure out how it will be handled. If there is significant equity in the home, a cash out refinance may be required to pay off the departing spouse.

Cash Out Refinance for a Divorce

The person choosing to keep the home would need to apply for a cash out refinance mortgage. The process would require an appraisal for the home which would determine the market value.

Most cash out refinance home loans will allow you to finance around 80% of the home’s value. For example, if a home appraises for $200,000, you could finance around $160,000 a cash out home loan. The proceeds from the refinance would be split according to the divorce decree.

Refinancing an Ex-Spouse off a Mortgage

If there is not much equity in the home, the spouse retaining the home may simply need to do a rate and term refinance of the mortgage to remove the ex-spouse. They would apply for a home loan in only their name and the new mortgage would simply pay off the mortgage that was held jointly.

Mortgage Rates for a Divorce Mortgage

Home loan rates for a divorce mortgage would depend on the mortgage program, loan amount and credit score of the borrower. The new mortgage would be subject to current market rates which may be higher or lower than the current mortgage.

Court ordered property division is where the judge requires the property to be refinanced or sold. If one person is retaining the home after a divorce, they may be forced to complete a refinance to remove the ex-spouse.

Even if the mortgage rates are higher than the current home loan this may be the only option. Typically courts will split assets equally which may force a refinance or sale.

Tips for Refinancing a Home after a Divorce

If a mortgage is held jointly and will need to be refinanced after a divorce, it is important to keep the loan paid on time. Even if you will be the departing spouse, a divorce does not release from the liability for debt.

The current lender may still hold you and and your spouse liable to ensure timely payments. If mortgage payments are more than 30 days late, they will be reported negatively on both credit reports. Late payments may affect your ability to refinance or to buy a new home in the future.

You May not have to Refinance After a Divorce

There are circumstances where a spouse may retain the home and not have to refinance after a divorce. These scenarios include:

  • The spouse retaining the home is the only one on the mortgage.
  • The property is owned free and clear.
  • You can offset assets in your divorce settlement as an alternative to refinancing.
  • The couple has enough liquid assets to pay off the mortgage.
  • It was not a requirement in the divorce decree to refinance.

Speak with a Mortgage Broker about a Divorce Refinance

If you are considering a divorce or have already complete a divorce, it is important to speak with an experience mortgage broker. A mortgage broker will help you to review your mortgage options to find the best fit for you and your ex-spouse.

To speak with a mortgage broker about your divorce call us today at 800-555-2098 or request information below:

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