Oftentimes during or after a divorce, spouses find themselves forced into the market to buy a home, or needing to do a cash out refinance to get the mortgage just in their name and/or pull money from equity in the home to pay off the other party.
A few challenges that commonly arise during divorces:
- Spouses find themselves with worse credit post-divorce
- Alimony and child support payments impact debt-to-income ratios
- Former homemakers enter housing market with gaps in their income or work history
- Assets need to be sold in order to fairly split
Here are some ways we can help:
- Alimony and child support income can be included in the calculations to ensure you qualify, if needed, for the divorcee that is awarded that.
- We are experts at asset depletion, for the divorcee that got a big one-time payday.
- We are experts at dealing with revocable living trusts.
- We can help you find creative financing solutions that don’t penalize you for gaps in your work history.
At America’s Home Loans, we understand that divorce is difficult, and we do not “take sides.” We are on the “side” of everyone getting the outcome they have agreed upon or that was ordered by the court, as applicable.
If you’re going through a divorce, or recently divorced, contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can you maximize the division of your assets and/or obtain financing for a new home.
“Way more transparent than any other lender I’ve worked with. Definitely would recommend. Thanks Chris!”
“Chris does a great job in taking the time to make sure we know what to do and what all the jargon means. Critical for first-time home buyers like us!”
FAQs: Mortgages, Refinances, Splitting Assets & Divorce
How do I take my name off the mortgage?
If your name is on a mortgage alongside your spouse’s name, then both of you are still equally responsible for the monthly mortgage payments after the divorce. The divorce doesn’t automatically remove you from mortgage responsibility, even if your ex-spouse is awarded the home in your settlement.
There are a few ways to remove your name from the mortgage:
- Ask your lender for a release of liability. This form releases you from your obligation to pay back the home. This would require that your ex-spouse can qualify to assume the loan by themselves, which will depend on their income, credit, work history, and other variables that would normally go into qualifying for a new loan. Not all lenders allow release of liability, but it’s worth finding out.
- The spouse keeping the home can refinance your mortgage. In this scenario, the spouse who is keeping the home pays off the current mortgage (that’s in both your names) by obtaining a new one (in just their name). Similar to above, and just like any refi or new mortgage, the spouse must be able to qualify for the home on their own.
How do I take my name off the title?
Names can appear on a title, but not on a mortgage, and vice-versa. So removing yourself from the mortgage, doesn’t necessarily automatically remove your name from the title.
To take a name off a title, an ex-spouse must sign a quitclaim deed, which is a document that transfers their ownership of the home to you. This is typically required to refinance a home, and your home lender can walk you through the process.
Do I have to sell my home in a divorce?
Not necessarily. Typically in a divorce, assets are split amongst spouses. However sometimes, the biggest (or only) asset in a family is their home. Selling the homeo and splitting the proceeds is one way to divide the assets.
The other way is to do a cash-out refi on the home, and use the equity to pay off the other spouse. However this method does of course require that the home has enough equity to pull cash out, and that one spouse can afford to qualify for the home on their own. If possible, this method is popular because it limits home disruptions for both spouses, which is especially important when there are children involved.
Should I wait until before or after my divorce to refinance?
The answer to whether or not you should wait to refinance until after your divorce is very specific to each situation.
Sometimes it’s easier to refinance and remove a spouse’s name from the mortgage while still married. Refinancing after a divorce can become more complicated especially if both spouse’s income were originally used to qualify for the mortgage or there’s alimoney, child support, or new expenses that affect a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.
Other times, the option of refinancing prior to divorce isn’t available, so you’re left to play the cards you’re dealt.
If you’d like to evaluate your particular scenario with one of our lenders, contact us for a free consultation.
CA’s #1 Independent Mortgage Broker
Chris Mason has built a solid local reputation since 2014 helping first time homebuyers, refinancers, and real estate investors in California obtain optimal and fast mortgage financing to help them accomplish their goals.
Chris Mason and America’s Home Loans are deeply committed to their clients and ensuring that they receive an above optimal experience by providing sophisticated and personalized brokerage services at every step of the loan origination process.
We take pride in treating each client as an individual, not a number, and are committed to helping you obtain the absolute best loan possible.
Five Star Reviews
Million in Loans Funded
Years In Business
We know numbers. And you’re not one of them!
At America’s Home Loans, we take pride in treating each client as an INDIVIDUAL and not a NUMBER. You’re more than just a loan application to us and we are committed to understanding your needs and helping you obtain the absolute best loan possible.
- ✅ SHOP MULTIPLE LENDERS RATES – As an independent mortgage broker, we shop the ENTIRE MARKETPLACE for home loans to find you the most optimal mortgage. Unlike a direct lender, we are not tied to one bank or lending institution.
- ✅ LOW (OR ZERO) CLOSING FEES – We are a small independent shop with minimal overhead, and we pass those savings on directly to you. We’re even able to offer qualified home buyers ZERO lender & closing fees who borrow at least $350k for their home purchase or refinance.
- ✅ LOWER PMI – Mortgage insurance is typically required on loans where the buyer puts down less than 20% and drops off when you hit 20% equity in your home. Most home buyers are aware of that, but did you know that lenders can shop your PMI separate from the loan itself? We’ll help you reduce your overall monthly payment with a more competitive mortgage insurance rate.
- ✅ PHENOMENALLY FAST CLOSINGS – The most common delays with buying a home comes down to obtaining financing. A delay in financing costs you time, money, and sometimes even the property itself. At America’s Home Loans, we create a financing timeline for you and then STICK TO IT so that stay on track to close on your home on the expected date (or sooner).
- ✅ TRANSPARENCY – We highly value transparency and make it the cornerstone of all of our marketing and client communications.
- ✅ UNPARALLELED SUPPORT – There’s a reason why most of our business comes from client and Realtor referrals — because they know (from experience) the level of communication and support we offer home buyers throughout their entire experience. From the very beginning to the absolute end of your financing process, we don’t rest until you’re a homeowner!
- ✅ 8 YEARS EXPERIENCE – We’ve got the reputation, reliability, and experience you can trust. Servicing loans is a career, not a side hustle. It’s important to work with an experienced team so that your mortgage broker isn’t learning the ropes on your dime.
Types of Loans We Offer
There are hundreds of different types of loans available to home buyers in today’s real estate market. Understanding and having access to a full marketplace of loans can save you thousands of dollars at loan origination and hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout the lifetime of your loan. Below are a few (but not all) types of loans that we work with:
- Conventional – Your most traditional non-government backed loans. A common myth with conventional mortgages is that they require at least 20% down. However, we’ve got conventional loans for as little as 0%, 3%, 5%, and 10% down.
- FHA Loans – A type of mortgage issued by an FHA-approved lender (like America’s Home Loans) and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). These types of loans are well known for their 3.5% down payment.
- VA Loans – Loans that are guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and made available to assist veterans into purchasing homes with a low interest rate and low down payment. A common myth in Californai is that it’s “impossible” to buy a home with a VA loan, given current market conditions. However this is not true! We specialize in VA loans – and our owner Chris Mason is himself a veteran who owns a home in the Bay Area purchased with VA financing.
- Down Payment Assistance – Not having 3.5% to put down doesn’t necessarily preclude you from home ownership. We have solutions in the form of grants and second mortgages available to assist our clients in obtaining a home with ZERO down — including financing closing costs.
- Subsidized PMI – For buyers who can handle the minimum down payment, and the monthly payments, but don’t like the prospect of expensive Private Mortgage Insurance, we offer programs with significantly subsidized PMI which helps significantly reduce your monthly payments.
- Buying From Family – We work with lenders offering special financing to family members who are buying a house from a relative member. at an attractive price relative to full market value.
- Jumbo Loans – These types of loans are characterized by their low down payments, designed to finance luxury properties and homes in highly competitive local real estate markets like California. Jumbo lenders offer mortgages with up to a 90% – 95% loan-to-value ratio.
- Vacation Home Loans – Owning a second home allows you to deduct for mortgage interest and property taxes, just as you do with your first-home mortgage. We have special loan programs available exclusively for vacation home buyers which help maximize your tax incentives and lower your APR.
These are just a handful of the types of loans we have available to home buyers, vacation home buyers, and 1st time home buyers. Contact us today at (415) 846-9211 or schedule a call via our online form for a FAST & FREE rate quote and to get all your mortgage questions answered with Chris Mason.