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legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10484
Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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I got a mortgage in 2001 and wife was co-borrower. got

Customer Question

I got a mortgage in 2001 and wife was co-borrower. got divorced a year later and have not seen her since. My mortgage company told me to have divorce decree state that she has no claim on the house, which it does. however, I have not been able to refinance (very high interest rate) because after trying to find her for about 12 years she would not sign a "quit claim deed", I think it is called. My mortgage company keeps telling me there is no other way to resolve this than refinancing with her signature. ( I think they just want the high interest payments I have never missed). Any other solutions you might know of?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas, Jefferson county
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I don't know what you mean by that? I called county clerk and she told me I could file my decree with one of their departments, but mortgage company said that wouldn't matter
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am in the Army and would have a hard time going to Texas if I have to go to court, if that matters
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear this and unfortunately a court decree has no effect on third parties such as lenders; so even if the court decree states the other party has no interest in the home, the lender can still require a quitclaim deed in order to continue with a refinance in only one party's name.

If the other party cannot be located, or refuses to sign a quitclaim deed, the party can petition the court requesting

1. the party be ordered to compel to sign, or be held in contempt of court or

2. authority for the court clerk to execute the quit claim deed.

The second option is rather common in divorce proceedings and this has the same legal effect as if the other party signed it, once filed with the county recorder's office.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.