No One Wants the House

The Sunshine State, with one of the highest foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rates in the nation, now finds that many divorcing Floridians no longer argue about who gets to keep the house, but rather about who has to keep the house.

Many divorcing Florida homeowners now face the possibility of being tied together not because of the children but because of the negative equity in their houses. Married or not, from a lender’s perspective, both spouses are still responsible for the loan they made during the happier times. Many homeowners now find they cannot qualify for a mortgage modification or refinance on his or her own.

Spouses should remember that signing over the property via a quitclaim is not enough to absolve them of the responsibility for the mortgage and the note. And even if there is some equity still remaining, divorcing spouses will likely find it difficult to get at it when dividing assets. One spouse may find it necessary to “reimburse” the other over time as part of a divorce agreement.

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