Sorting out mortgage matters after divorce

Refinance, sale may be only ways to remove ex-spouse from loan

DEAR BENNY: I am recently divorced. In our divorce decree, it states that I give my ex-husband the house. He is currently living there. He was to have my name removed from the mortgage and get a new loan in his name alone.

Just recently, I found out through my attorney that the mortgage holder refuses to remove me from that loan. However, when I call to inquire about the mortgage, I am told that my name is not on the mortgage. Please help. My name is on the deed and I cannot remove my name from the deed until I show proof that I am no longer on the mortgage. I cannot get another mortgage until I get my name off of that house. What am I to do? –Hoop

DEAR HOOP: You are in the classical "Catch-22." Your attorney should be able to quickly determine if you are on the mortgage document (typically called a deed of trust in most states). She can do a title search to get a copy of the existing mortgage document that was recorded among the land records in the county where your property is located. In fact, in many parts of the country, this information can be found online from the local recorder of deeds office.