Q&A: Removing a quit-claim house mortgage from your credit

Dear Liz: I recently divorced and quit-claimed my house over to my ex-wife. She has been making all the payments on time but the mortgage still shows up on my credit. Because of this, I can’t borrow as it is considered my indebtedness still. Do you know of anyway of having it expunged from my credit reports?

Answer: She will have to refinance the mortgage in her own name to get you off the loan. The contract you signed with the lender otherwise remains in force and isn’t affected by the divorce agreement.

It’s good that she’s making payments on time, since a single skipped payment could trash your credit scores.

It’s unfortunate your attorney didn’t advise you of the consequences of quit-claiming the property while remaining on the mortgage. It’s rarely a good idea to give up an asset while keeping the liability. A better approach is to separate your credit before the divorce is final. That means closing all joint accounts and transferring the debt to separate accounts in the name of the person who will be responsible for the payments. If your ex wasn’t able to get approved for a refinance, the house could have been sold so that you wouldn’t be on the hook indefinitely.

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    I’M 64 yrs. retired 6-30-16 from County of Los Angeles after 25 yrs. My husband passed away 2013, married 43 yrs. I receive his retirement and my retirement. Social Security said I could collect Retirement SS $282.00. I still have a mortgage 1444.45 a month. I have been looking for part-time wk for 6 months. No luck. Thinking of selling my home and maybe move into 55 yrs and over community. If I sell, I would like to sell my home instead of a reality company taking over. What do you think? Thank you for your wise advise.