Can you get out of a mortgage or lien through divorce?

Not all people are great at staying out of debt. Sometimes it’s because of hardship like a job loss or serious illness, but other times it’s simply due to lack of discipline. What happens, however, if your spouse has failed to stay on top of his or her payments and has fallen into debt? One woman found herself in this situation after her husband fell behind on alimony and child support payments to his ex-wife. Their bank placed a lien on their home, but the woman was hoping to have it lifted because she and her husband got divorced.

Unfortunately, liens and mortgages do not follow the person who caused the debt. Rather, they are attached to the specific property, regardless of who is named on the title. Fortunately, there may be a solution to a problem like this.


If a lien was placed on a home because of past-due child support, it may be wise to contact your local child support enforcement agency. There may be other ways to satisfy the debt, including wage garnishment or even pursuing criminal charges that could result in faster collections. Once the debt is paid, the lien would be lifted.

Selling the home may also be a good option if the owner is willing to consider it. In some cases, profits from a home sale can satisfy a lien. However, if a sale would not result in enough money to pay the lien, it may not be possible to sell the home at all.

Although divorce can answer some problems, it may not be able to address everything. To determine the best way to handle a situation like this or any other complicated situation, it is often a good idea to work with an experienced attorney.

Source: Fox Business, “Will Divorce Release You From Home Lien?” Steve Bucci, Jan. 10, 2014

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