Getting a new mortgage during legal separation


If my boyfriend and his soon-to-be ex-wife have a legal separation agreement clearly stating that he has no financial obligations to her mortgage that they had previously owned together, is it possible for him to get a new mortgage without the old house hurting his debt to income ratio? Their lawyer states he should be able to, but he’s been turned away by a mortgage company until his divorce is final. He has good credit, so there shouldn’t be any other reason for him to not get approved.


** not an attorney **

Did she refinance the mortgage in just her name? If he’s on the mortgage, the mortgage holder can still come after him – it won’t matter what the separation agreement says. If the separation agreement says he’s not responsible for the mortgage payments and only she is, then he can sue her for breach of contract to make her pay…but, mortgage companies don’t really care about this and it’s not going to be their problem. As long as he’s on the mortgage, he is equally responsible to them…they can go after him and won’t want to wait around for him to sue her and settle up the dispute between them.

Going to be pretty hard to get a new loan in this day in age unless she has refinanced and he’s not on that mortgage.


Nowin is correct. If he is still on the mortgage, regardless of what the separation agreement says, the debt is on his credit and will be taken into consideration by banks when they decide whether to lend to him.


not a lawyer

Actually, I was able to do exactly what the OP is suggesting. I had to send the separation agreement to the new mortgage company, and I had to have a sufficient down payment and income to cover the new house (excluding the old house from the calculation.) There is NO WAY I could have qualified for a new mortgage if they had counted the existing mortgage for the house my ex retained because that mortgage is HUGE. I am still listed on that mortgage and I’ve lived in the new house I bought since the separation for more than a year now. My spouse has another year to get it refinanced according to our agreement. In addition, we made an amendment to the property settlement in which he gave me a fixed amount of money in exchange for his taking the house off the market as our original settlement required the sale of the home. The amendment clearly delineated that he is responsible for ALL expenses relating to the home. This was good enough for Wells Fargo to grant me a new mortgage and exclude the marital home from the debt to income ratio calculation.

My friend who lives in FL was also able to do this using a separation agreement to show she wasn’t responsible for the marital home anymore and she is the one who suggested I try buying my own home.

My advice is to shop around to different mortgage brokers. I was able to get my loan through Wells Fargo after a local credit union turned me down; I wasn’t penalized on interest rate or anything like that either (new mortgage is 2.875% fixed rate, 15 year mortgage.) Good luck!