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New York property division: Who's responsible for the mortgage?

Though at the beginning of the marriage, the marital home may have been a haven, it could seem more like a prison if the relationship sours. When it comes time to go through property division proceedings, one party may feel no qualms in allowing the other individual to keep the home. However, the relinquishing party may wish to remain aware of potential mortgage implications.

Just because a New York resident no longer lives in a home, it does not mean that he or she is no longer liable for the mortgage. In fact, even after divorce, if mortgage payments fall behind, the lender could go after either or both parties in attempts to obtain payment. This can happen due to the bank considering both individuals liable for the debt.

When dividing property, the relinquishing party may wish to ensure that steps are taken to address the mortgage in a way that allows him or her to be released from that obligation. Loan modification may allow one party to change the loan in order to completely remove the other person from the loan agreement. However, in some cases, refinancing may be required before modifications can occur.

Though certain property division decisions may seem acceptable at a certain time, it is important that New York residents consider present and future financial impacts. By looking into debt and tax implications, parties may find that the choices they thought were acceptable could actually have detrimental effects. In order to work toward the outcomes they find most suitable, interested parties may wish to consult with experienced attorneys.

Source:, "Dealing with Divorce: How to Handle Your Mortgage When You Split," Aug. 15, 2017

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