“My ex-spouse was awarded the house in the divorce decree. I want the mortgage off my credit report. What has to be done to correct this problem?”
The divorce decree is simply an agreement between you, your ex-spouse and the court regarding who will take responsibility for paying the existing debts. The divorce decree doesn’t nullify or amend the contract you have with the lender or cause the entry for the account to change on your credit report. To remove one party from the contract means that the loan would need to be refinanced. That means your ex-wife would need to qualify on her own to refinance the mortgage into her name only, the terms would be based on her credit history and the current market rates.
“If I’m not obligated to pay the mortgage according to the divorce decree, does this count against me qualifying for a new mortgage?”
No, the mortgage payment does not count against you as long as the divorce decree states that your ex-spouse is required to pay it. If they don’t pay the debt, your credit could be negatively affected, so it’s very important to keep track of your credit report.
“How many months do I have to receive alimony and or child support before I can use it as income to qualify for a mortgage?”
In general you must have received this income for 6-12 months and it must continue for a minimum of 3 years. There are exceptions for as little as 1-3 months, but each program is different. Its best to consult a mortgage professional who specializes in divorce to review you specific situation.
“If I am still on a credit card that my ex is obligated to pay as instructed in the divorce decree, is this debt still counted against me when qualifying for a mortgage?”
As long as the other party is obligated by court order via divorce decree or separation agreement, the obligation is not counted against you in qualifying for a mortgage.
Scott Evans, CCIM, CRMS, founder of The Family Mortgage Team, which offers tools needed to easily understand and compare home financing and refinancing options. Visit his website for more information.