Ask an Expert

After a divorce, how do I remove my ex’s name from our condo’s mortgage?

  • You’ll likely have to refinance the loan with your bank or a new lender
  • If you don’t qualify for the new debt yourself, you’ll need to find a co-borrower
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By Celia Young  |
May 15, 2024 - 10:00AM
Quarrel in a mature family. Senior husband and wife are sitting on opposite sides of the sofa in the interior of the apartment. Relationship difficulties stock photo

You can always ask your current bank (in writing) to remove your ex, but it’s more likely that you’ll need to refinance that debt.


My husband and I are getting divorced, and I want to keep our condo. What will happen to our mortgage, which is in both of our names? What steps do I need to take to transfer it?

The breakup of a marriage is never easy, and neither is taking custody of a mortgage. In this case, you’ll likely have to refinance the loan, according to our experts.

The bank based your original loan on your combined finances—your incomes, credit scores, and debts—and it’s very rare for your lender to agree to let you take on the existing mortgage solo, said Debra Shultz, vice president of lending at CrossCountry Mortgage. 

You can always ask your current bank (in writing) to remove your ex, but it’s more likely that you’ll need to refinance that debt.

[Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story was published in December 2014. We’re representing it with updated information for May 2024.]

Refinancing is similar to the initial loan process, according to National Cooperative Bank (a Brick sponsor FYI). You’ll need your existing or new lender to verify your income, assets, and credit to qualify, then apply for the new financing. 

Your bank would likely use a consolidation, extension and modification agreement (CEMA) loan so you don’t have to pay the state's full mortgage recording tax, Shultz said. But you should expect to pay fees of 2 to 5 percent of the loan amount to refinance, according to BankRate.

The entire process should take 30 to 45 days, and unfortunately, you’ll be stuck with current interest rates, she said.

If you can’t qualify for a loan on your own, you’ll need to find a co-borrower who can help you qualify, Shultz said. 

Otherwise, the question of condo ownership "will have to be dealt with in the separation agreement," said Sam Himmelstein, an attorney at Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, & Joseph (and a Brick sponsor FYI). "If the parties cannot agree, the judge will decide what happens to the apartment in the divorce decree," he said.

A previous version of this story contained reporting by Leah Kamping-Carder.

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Celia Young Headshot

Celia Young

Senior Writer

Celia Young is a senior writer at Brick Underground where she covers New York City residential real estate. She graduated from Brandeis University and previously covered local business at the Milwaukee Business Journal, entertainment at Madison Magazine, and commercial real estate at Commercial Observer. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

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